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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Part brand question

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1 reply to this topic

#1 Allpar Mod

Allpar Mod

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 08:36 AM

As my OBW is doing pretty good and isn't in need of much, but I am in the process of freshening up an engine to do a swap in one of my '97 Jeeps ( 235,000 and it is going south, but still runs), I thought of asking this after reading many posts since I joined this board.

I understand brand preference after being around cars most of my life as I am. I see a lot of brand loyalty toward genuine Subaru parts here, even though Subaru doesn't make much, if not all, of what is being installed. To the best of my knowledge, no manufacturer does. The same goes for OEM parts brands like NGK, etc. Now, I realize that it is true that in some occassions, some branded parts work better in some brands of cars, for example that some cars don't like some brands of spark plugs.

What I don't understand and would appreciate enlightening me of is that why there is some vehement insistance that only Subaru branded parts should be used, like for timing belts, spark plug wires, and numerous other components. There is a recent thread here that even recommends the original brand of motor oil even though there have been tests that show that even though Havoline, being an API approved oil, is good, there are other brands that out performed it especially on thermal breakdown. I've used non OEM brands on various cars I've owned over the years, both foreign and domestic, and have had , in some instances, better results with non OEM brands. For example, I use exclusively Bosch plugs in my vehicles including the Jeeps and my Ford truck. I like the way the vehicles perform on them and their longevity. They are never recommended for Soobs here.

I'm not being critical, to be clear here, but am trying to understand the rationale. There are only so many companies making parts and it is likely that some of the companies that make parts under other brands make at least some of the Subaru branded components. Clear up my confusion, guys.

#2 idosubaru


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Posted 24 June 2010 - 08:59 AM

sticking to OEM oil is absurd, though i can envision a very busy person that doesn't ever want to think about cars sticking with it for convenience.

in general there are some parts that are best to stay Subaru OEM on and some that don't matter. some folks are Subaru all (or almost all) the time, that's overkill but it certainly won't hurt you - it's definitely consistent and works, but it's too costly and unnecessary so for folks that don't mind asking around a bit you can usually find out which items you can vere away from Subaru with.

correct - Subaru doesn't manufacturer all parts but that doesn't mean Subaru designs freely move to the open market either. take head gaskets for instance - you won't find any aftermarkets that look like the Subaru OEM gaskets.

Are you familiar with EJ engine head gasket failures? Notorious Phase I issues, Phase II issues with a Subaru extended 100,000 mile head gasket only warranty. They updated the head gasket, that's the one to use. Fel Pro's are known to fail. That's one case where you can't get the Subaru OEM design in aftermarket and that happens a lot.

Just to muddy it up some more - just because the same company supplies Subaru and aftermarket doesn't mean it's the same part...though it probably is a high probability. If 50,000 Oxygen sensors come off the line, the ones with better QC (quality control) "numbers" could go to Subaru, the rest that pass the minimums to the aftermarket community. Or companies can follow Subaru's spec's for Subaru and change those spec's for aftermarket since there are no demands there - say open up the limits a little, not have as quite the same tolerances, etc.

Doubt that happens often and Subaru's are probably too small of a market for companies to pay as much attention too - they'd send that kind of process control to larger quantity markets where they stand to make more money.

When folks recommend Subaru specific parts like ignition wires (that's only on EJ engines by the way - older motors could care less, i think they'll run on co-ax cable!!!) are a great example, that doesn't mean aftermarkets are terrible. Aftermarket ignition wires cause problems 4% of the time (made up the number). That's very annoying to me given the quantity of stuff i'm doing and my time is too valuable for that 4%. Most folks probably dont' care - "sweet those wires worked, awesome". I have no desire to waste my time installing wires that might fail. So when some of us recommend not using aftermarket wires and axles - two parts prone to issues - it's because we've seen multiple examples of issues...but that still doesn't mean it's "common"...or "common" is relative i guess.

Edited by grossgary, 24 June 2010 - 09:09 AM.

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