Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 42

Thread: Spare parts and repairable cars into the future.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    558

    Spare parts and repairable cars into the future.

    I guess most of us have been confronted with it lately; unavailable spare parts, and I am not talking about the chinese flu having any part in that. What follows is a bit of a rant from my pov

    30 odd years ago I started my adventures in motoring and as many people do I bought my first "banger" for the low price of 1k, this is before the euro. Not being native to .au it was not a holden but a honda. A prelude to be exact. the 1.8 ex was at the time of my purchase around 13 years old and ran just fine! In those days (80's vehicle) japanese cars, especially sports cars were way ahead of the curve. It cemented my love for the brand and japanese car brands in general. Funny story, when it came to buy my fist 4bee I bought a landrover

    Of course, rust was always a thing so I learned how to fix metal work over time. I am still not great at it but I can fix pretty much anything on petrol powered cars these days. Diesel and diesel pumps are a whole different story... Anyway, at 13 years old it needed some parts over time and whenever it did I could find brand new parts at my local Honda dealership and half a dozen imitation parts for my car. After prelude that followed more cars of course and spare parts were never really a problem, at least, obtaining them.

    My last (before the rangie) big experiment was a honda legend from 1998 that I bought in 2012. Spare parts were again not a problem and it drove like nothing else. Fast forward a few years and the cheap banger legend I bought as an experiment was on it's way out and I bought myself a P38 from 1998. With a new high paying income and after a crappy divorce I was happy to spend 20K on the old girl fixing her up and improving everything I could find. Parts were not a real problem and the pricing was reasonable. Also, the rover V8 being so much loved and used had every possible option of rebuild and tuning available. Of course, having modified the P38 to be a tourer and off roader I decided to buy myself a new Legend as a faily driver, the facelift from 1999 this time and I was happy that I could go for years in those cars from that point on. I even converted my new girlfriend to the idea and she to drives a Legend as well as a mate of mine.

    Then the "fun" started. The cars by now were 20 years old and even though 10's of thousands of those vehicles still drive around in the US as the acura RL (so there is a market for parts I should think) the parts supply started drying up, fast. My previous experience of parts being available quickly turned into frustration. The first things to go were the bumpers and panels, followed by trim and finally thing like the brakes, (not the pads) CV joints, aircon parts, bearings, you name it, all disappeared from the catalogues like snow before a hot burning sun.

    With my recent land rover experience I was a bit surprised that those parts dried up so quickly but of course, lo and behold, the P38 parts bin is rapidly draining as well. It started with the VCU that is simply no longer being produced. There is a way to refurbish them which is a blessing since that is not a part someone could machine easily. Next up were the wheel bearings. From land rover you need to buy a whole hub and those have pretty much disappeared over here, not sure if that is rona related but there it is. There is still some britpart stuff around but no more originals. The separate bearings were offered from several brands, including the original from timken. That too has stopped. SKF still have them in their portfolio as a complete set (including new C clip and bolts) but when my latest wheel bearing gave way I looked into buying 4 decent brand bearings to do all 4 corners (since I used birtpart stuff before) but they would cost met 900 euro's (that's $1500 au?) and they are not even in stock but need to be ordered. This usually means that shortly from now they will be removed from the catalogue.

    So I am left to wonder. As a car enthusiast and PETROL head, having lost my love for diesel a long time ago (you can't get anywhere anymore with a diesel in europe) and not being on board with duracell gokarts... What is a man to do?

    I know fossil fuel is pretty much end of life but I guess with some effort it can last me at least till my retirement. I am not against electric motors but not powered by batteries. Also I do not like most of the modern gadgets in vehicles, not because I am a grumpy old git but I feel like losing control to driving and owning a vehicle and pretty soon privacy is going to be a concern with all those 5g connected playstations on wheels.

    Having said that, an older vehicle is and remains to be my choice. I do not mind grabbing the spanners every now and then and to be fair, it adds to my enjoyment even. But, no spare parts means no working vehicle.

    Recently a mate of mine bought a Jeep wrangler TJ. A fun little rig that he will use as a daily driver and tag along with us on some touring. Of course he bought the cheapest one he could afford and, well, it's not a lemon but it does require a lot of work. We started a body of chassis resto and started hacking away at it. Even in my small european country most parts are available and when you open up ebay or amazon I can find literally -every- single frigging part I need. Each section of the chassis is available as a rust repair piece etc etc. And the prices are ridiculously low, compared to honda pricing and even land rover. It made this grumpy old buggers cold heart warm up

    With that experience under my belt I started thinking about my own vehicle future whilst sipping a nice scotch by a campfire on a warm evening. What could I possibly buy that would suit me and be repairable "indefinitely". After much thought I could come up with only a handful of options:


    • land rover
    • range rover
    • jeep
    • mercedes
    • small enthousiast cars


    Any thing I have forgotten?

    In case of land rover: either a series or a defender would probably have parts made for it until the cows come home. Mind you, ford has a very bad track record in terms of spares for engines (that's why my mate bought a jeep, he owned a 1998 jaguar XJ with the ford V8 which has NO spares) so the puma is out. I am not sure about the TD5 but certainly the 300tdi is such a loved vehicle that it will always have a supply of parts? I think the rover V8 will also have a support for a very long time to come. The body and chassis are a no brainer since they have been used for eternity so that would certainly always be available?

    Range rover, I guess the classics are such collectors items it seems that spares supplies would be ok there too. The P38 might become a new classic but I doubt that it would help. Just too many parts like the VCU that are not easy to produce that would fall off at some point in time

    Jeep, as mentioned above, a lot of enthusiasts for those rigs, certainly in the US so there us plenty to be gotten and will be for the foreseeable future me thinks.

    Mercedes have a special branch for classics. You can get -anything- there but you need a pretty thick wallet.

    Small cars like the 2cv, beetle, mini... There probably always be some niche market like that but it's not what I would want to drive.

    Finally, there are a few japanese cars that have had spares available for quite some time but only the landcruiser is the one that comes to mind. the 80 series is pretty old by now but still quite well supported after market it seems due to the huge loyal following. I wonder though that once the cars dry up terrain tamer and the likes will still stock parts for them.

    Anyway, a bit of a ramble from my side of the pond. What do you guys think?

    Cheers!

    -P

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    3,370
    I think that every vehicle made so far, and still yet to be made will eventually see the same situation where the supply of parts will steadily dry up.

    The most extreme example of what this means is for example the T model Ford. How many millions made, and parts would be available for sure, but not so readily.
    So as a model ages, it's only reasonable that parts get harder to find.

    I think even the Jap 80's and GQ's and whatnot will eventually all dry up too, if you think landrovers rust, get a cruiser and whatch it rot away in real time!(like my dads 60 did). Once the rot sets in, best(ie. cheapest) option is to send it to the scrap metal heap.

    While Jap off roaders are popular to a high degree, they seem to be more of a 'consumable' than an enthusiast's choice.
    As a consumable, when it becomes 'unviable' or when that consumer lusts after more creature comforts or modernity, the 'consumable' get trashed(eventually).

    Defender/D1/RRC .. share so much parts it's reasonable to assume that parts availability into the future will last longer than most other vehicle models will. I'm referring to say ~20-30 years into the future.
    As RRC values increase, and Defender prices similarly heading into outer space too, people will acquire them for the 'enthusiast' value .. ie. not to use it as a regular consumer will.
    They will still require parts .. and those that are common to each should remain relatively easy to get.

    TD5, I'd say that parts will become more scarce in the long term. As more folks mistreat them, and they end up as recycled metal, then parts demand will decline, so manufacturing them is not sustainable.

    Any part that was common to more than one specific model, or had a very long production run should safely remain in good supply for many years to come.

    IIRC manufacturers are compelled to maintain spare parts supply for 10 years after a model has been discontinued(at least here is Aus).

    I seriously think that the day will come when some totally elite hacker type will learn to hack into these fully connected Tesla type vehicle, and steals them all 'en masse' all whilst safely tucked away in the basement and remotely drives them all to their destination of choice. The future of car theft won't require anyone to be anywhere near the scene of the crime.

    At the moment, the Defender has to be the best candidate as the most future proof vehicle in terms of supply of most parts(including trims and stuff). It seems like there is either a remanufactured part made or an alternative part made for just about ever nook and cranny in the Defer.

    But, with the popularisation of the 3D printer, and with the tech only going to get better as time flys past us .. could make the need to buy parts redundant in many ways.
    Cheers,
    Arthur.

    '99 D1 300Tdi Auto
    '03 D2 Td5 Auto

  3. #3
    350RRC's Avatar
    350RRC is online now YarnMaster Silver Subscriber
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Bellarine Peninsula, Brackistan
    Posts
    3,977
    Quote Originally Posted by prelude View Post
    ...................The P38 might become a new classic but I doubt that it would help. ....................

    Anyway, a bit of a ramble from my side of the pond. What do you guys think?

    Cheers!

    -P
    Sounds like something outa 'Hope Dies Last' by Studs Terkel.

    Nothing classic about them whatsoever, apart from 'owner loyalty', which seems to have waned in Oz.

    DL

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Yass NSW
    Posts
    4,692
    Most American marques seem to have very good support as you have mentioned with just about anything available for Mustangs, Jeeps, and Chev products. The widespread availability of CAD services means that parts which were once rare are now available. Also 3D printing will assist in this realm. I'm not terribly concerned, there have always been unobtanium parts until sufficient demand exists to reproduce them. My BIL sold a second hand heater control panel for an XY that he had left over for $250.00 the other day. Similarly there is much better availability of Land Rover Series one parts now than there was in the 1970s.

    Regards,
    Tote
    Go home, your igloo is on fire....
    2014 Chile Red L494 RRS Autobiography Supercharged
    MY2016 Aintree Green Defender 130 Cab Chassis
    1957 Series 1 107 ute - In pieces

    Assorted Falcons and Jeeps.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Yass NSW
    Posts
    4,692
    Quote Originally Posted by 350RRC View Post
    Sounds like something outa 'Hope Dies Last' by Studs Terkel.

    Nothing classic about them whatsoever, apart from 'owner loyalty', which seems to have waned in Oz.

    DL
    Off Topic, youngest daughter wants a Range Rover as her 1st car. The rise in popularity of Classics means they are too expensive and the L320s and L322s are still a bit beyond her price range. P38's fall in the sweet spot but lack desirability ( and economy, and reliability......)

    Regards,
    Tote
    Go home, your igloo is on fire....
    2014 Chile Red L494 RRS Autobiography Supercharged
    MY2016 Aintree Green Defender 130 Cab Chassis
    1957 Series 1 107 ute - In pieces

    Assorted Falcons and Jeeps.....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    558
    Having owned several japanese cars over the years and owning one now that has developed "the blister" around the rear wheel arch, (t)rust me I know what they are like. Rust in the brochure is it?

    I get the consumer part you are referring to and I guess I want something out of the ordinary, "consume" my vehicle ie daily driving it and such whilst it is heading in the realm of a collectors item.

    American brands do seem to have a lot of spares but even there the signs of cheap chinesium are on the wall. Even reputable brands that made replacement parts are now run by the bean counters and the quality is dropping. What is left seems to be quite expensive. Still, I'll take expensive over not available...

    3D printing is fine and dandy but I do not see a VCU being printed in, like, forever? That is quite the complex unit to build. The parts -maybe- but metal 3d printers, with a choice of metal type and hardness are some time off I think.

    Regarding tesla and the likes being driven away from your front door (silently 'cause electric) I can't say much because NDA but I used to work for BMW and know a bit about their autonomous driving and car "it". All I can say is: this should be fun to watch from a "dumb" vehicle

    Finally I do agree that the P38's popularity is waning. When I started there still was some activity around the vehicle but these days there is not much. Still, a decent one (like in the state I bought mine back then) will cost up to 4x as much these days! And that with parts availability drying up... ouch.

    In any case, with modern cars stuck solidly in the "never to be repaired" category due to all the proprietary electronics the maintainability issue is only bound to get worse. At least them new mongrols are good for the environment, right?

    -P

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Brisbane West
    Posts
    24,214
    Honda is one of the worst offenders for poor part supplies and built-in obsolescence, particularly the motorcycle division.
    If you don't like trucks, stop buying stuff.
    http://www.aulro.com/afvb/signaturepics/sigpic20865_1.gif

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    3,370
    Quote Originally Posted by prelude View Post
    ...

    Finally I do agree that the P38's popularity is waning. ....

    This is good to know!
    I'm going to look into buying up as many as I can afford then.

    It's the least popular vehicles that appreciate more so than the popular ones.
    Cheers,
    Arthur.

    '99 D1 300Tdi Auto
    '03 D2 Td5 Auto

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    1,765
    Quote Originally Posted by Tote View Post
    Off Topic, ....youngest daughter wants a Range Rover as her 1st car.........
    Regards,
    Tote
    What a well educated, switched on daughter you have raised. Good on you both.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Adelaide Hills
    Posts
    13,307
    Quote Originally Posted by V8Ian View Post
    Honda is one of the worst offenders for poor part supplies and built-in obsolescence, particularly the motorcycle division.
    bmw and ducati come to mind.

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Search AULRO.com ONLY!
Search All the Web!