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Thread: Small town service

  1. #11
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    I use the chain auto parts stores for buying cans of brake clean on sale or car wax when they are clearancing it out. Gave up on using them for actual parts a good while ago.

    There is a small, long-time independent, parts store close by that is affiliated with CarQuest but still has the same guys at the counter running it that they have always had. Place is always busy. They obviously cannot carry everything but they WILL find it and get it there fast based on my numerous experiences with them. That is why all the local repair garages go there and pass the chain stores by.

  2. #12
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    I've finally been finishing the head gasket/timing chain on my '87 3.8. I just find the exact part I need beforehand, put it in the online cart, print out the cart, and take it in the store for them to lookup. Worked pretty well except for one part the employee fat fingered and gave me the wrong part (correct part type, wrong application). Now I've learned to double check all PNs before leaving!

    The plastic AOD TV bushing at the engine fell apart when put it back in. Turned to the googles to try and find the proper bushing. Found where a brass bushing had replaced the POS plastic piece, but the Coolcat website explicitly left out my '87 as being a candidate. I decided to just head to the dealer and see if by some off chance they had one in stock and see if it fit. The counter guy was younger than my 'bird and was having issues navigating the menus to find the bushing. Eventually he called in a gray beard who knew the plastic PN by heart. While the first guy was ringing it up, the gray beard came from the back room with the brass bushing (that the first guy looked up in his system with the correct PN, but couldn't find it). $33, but I didn't have to wait one to come in from and online vendor.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderjet302 View Post
    I look up the part # I want on the auto parts store website, see if my local store has it, write the part # down, go to the store, and ask for the part number. I get the exact thing I want every time because I cut out the guy who doesn't know what he's looking for.
    Pretty much this.

    Outside of consumables, I rarely even shop at my local part places. If I do, I tell them what part number I want.
    Long live the 4-eyes! - '83 Tbird Turbo

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck W View Post
    Pretty much this.

    Outside of consumables, I rarely even shop at my local part places. If I do, I tell them what part number I want.
    Stuff I don't need in a hurry = online

    Brake pads I need today = parts store
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  5. #15
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    ^^

    Has 3 20+year-old Volvos. Pretty rare to find ANY hard parts "same day".
    Long live the 4-eyes! - '83 Tbird Turbo

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck W View Post
    ^^

    Has 3 20+year-old Volvos. Pretty rare to find ANY hard parts "same day".
    Maybe brake pads....

    Same day is for daily driver parts. Unless you're dding a 20+ year old Volvo.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  7. #17
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    Well, wheel bearing started making noise, so I bought a new one. Got the old stuff off and put the new stuff on after lightly sanding the spindle to get rid off all the ridges. Wheel bearing slides right on, past where I need it to sit and all the old damage was closer to the threads, so I think I dodged a bullet and slap it all back together.

    As I'm torquing the spindle nut checking for play, it strips the threads. Didn't realize it, but a chunk of the old washer was stuck inside the little square channel. As I was tightening it down it was cutting new threads, which honestly were probably already damaged. I had a new spindle nut at it was spinning right on, so I figured the threads were fine.

    Obviously they weren't, so now I get to tear apart another car and take off the spindle.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  8. #18
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    I remember when you could walk into AutoZone/O'Reilly's/etc, tell the guy at the counter what you needed, and he didn't even have to look it up on the computer. He would walk right up to it on the shelf, bring it to you, would be right 90% of the time. Or he would look at the computer, but would know that on such-and-such vehicle, the computer says this thing, but it's really the other, and would still bring you the right part. I think most of these people had been mechanics prior to working at the parts store. Many of the people working in these stores now don't know a brake caliper from a radiator hose, so they're going to bring you whatever might have been identified wrong on the shelf. Even though they're only required to bring you what their system tells them to, in my opinion I expect them to actually know as much or more than me about what I need, and maybe even offer advice that I can use on my project, which the person off the street who knows nothing about cars can't do. Oh well.....

  9. #19
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    I had a friend who worked in an auto parts store. He worked there for a good 5-6 years and was decent at his job. One day I was hanging out with him, and he got a phone call. I can't exactly remember the years and whatnot, but the guy had like, a 68 Nova, with a 72 350, and a 4 speed out of another GM of a similar era. The guy needed a throwout bearing for something because his swap was an oddball swap. He puts the phone against his chest, looks at me and says "what section would a throwout bearing be in?" Another time, he had a customer buy rotors because his wheel bearings took a dump. He came back in confused as to why the bearings wouldn't work. I had to explain to the guy, he had two options: buy the matching races, or return the rotor, and hammer out the old races and put new races and bearings in saving him about 100 bucks. My buddy had no idea that the races weren't part of the rotor.

    I understand that most people with an automotive background would prefer to make money turning wrenches than be behind a parts counter. It still doesn't make it any less frustrating when you know the parts persons job better than they do.
    It's Gumby's fault.

  10. #20
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    I had a buddy, knew nothing about cars. We worked a few scrappy temp jobs together. After a year or two, I noticed AutoZone was hiring.

    We both applied, he got the job and I didn't. They told him they don't like hiring car guys because there crappy salesman and don't push stuff you don't need.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

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