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Old 12-21-2004, 04:48 AM   #1
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Has mail order Murdered the industry.

I pose this question cause I am not new to the world of car customizing. My dear old dad has had me around cars since i can rember. My focus however being the first Sport compact car i really messed with (well i had contours but there not as much cool stuff for them which kinda of brings me to my point)I have noticed the injunuity seems to be lost.

Ill tell you a little story. When i was in High school a 4 banger (honda or not) was just not cool. They were just cars nothing more nothing less just got you back and fourth. The real cars were the camaros, mustangsm firebirds, and pretty much anything with a V8 now here i am with a ugly ass 1977 ford pinto. I hated this car till i found this cataloug and i went down to my local speed shop(which almost doesnt excisit anymore) It was Grand Prix motor sports in Tulsa OK. I asked the gentelman at the counter about these parts. He had them there. They were for dirt track racing. Now the pinto as race car seemed funny to me but it had a good suspension motor and trans and rear end so why not.

By the end of my senior year only the really bad V8's could keep up with my little cammed up, 4 barrell, race exhaust, race ignition, modfied rear end, shift kited pinto. It was a bad little beast.

Now this would have never happned had i not had the advice of the guys at Grand Prix.

They showed me what worked best waht was cheapest and what was both in alot of cases. They also showed me how to due things myself. Not order a part in some cases or pay some one to do it like P&P'ed my intake on that thing.

I am on alot of boards and most about my focus. It just seems like theres a if you cant buy it it cant be done or if your into spending stupid amounts of money you shouldnt do it.

I will use intakes as example. Now lets think about intake. Its tube with a fliter on the end. Seems pretty simple right. So why pay 250 bucks for one. Its just tubbing. Oh well those cheap 50 dollar ones have a bad weld on the lower braket, crappy filters, and week rubber parts. Ok point taken so streghten the weld (if you know how to weld nothing) that may cost 20 bucks at wleding shop. Replace the filter lets say 40 bucks and thats extreme(K&N arent the only ones out there) and get new ruber pieces. Ive seen these on the web fo 15 bucks. So we are now under a 150 bucks total and that being real geneorus on some things.

Now after all that (all which is real easy by the way) is still not worth it. Of course its worth it its now no diffrent and in some ways better than the Name brand part. For 100 bucks less.

See thats the world i grew up in. Were you could go to a shop and look at the products side by side. Im telling you right now. No one back then would have spent a dime on either one of these they would just made one them selves for a grand toatl of 50 bucks including filter.

Have the youth lost there invotaion. I remeber when pepole bulit there own intake manifolds not because of money but because they needed certain things aftermarkets didnt supply.

The sad part about all of this. IM ONLY 28 hell i would rather bulid some of these parts than ever buy them although i did by the generic intakes because it was easier for me at the time but you all should have seen my contours before the focus came out. I was the heat wrapped PVC king im telling you.

And thats just one part. there must be at least 100 parts on the focus i know i could get made or make myself for hundreds less than what some of these comapines charge for them

Anyone know why Edelbrock and Holley doesnt have such the extreme price diffrence anymore.Cuase edelbrock was kicking holleys ass. they had to come down to compete. Thats somehting i dont think these compaines have to do. I blame that largley on the fact we dont get hold each product in our hands inspect them thorughly and make a decsion. We have to order through internet and get our inof from pepole who have no real bassis for it other than i bought i this and i like it. Havent tested. I have yet to see a dyno test between a Name brand CAI and Generic CAI. You wanna know why theres no diffrence. Thats somthing the name brand guys dont want to get out and somthing the generic guys cant afford to do.

Is all about the show in the sport compact world? does know body want to try there hand at making there own parts? does anyone really know how to anymore? what has happened here?

Its not only in the sport compact world but its really prevlant in the realm for some reason.

Ok im done this is just a thought i had pop through my head and wanted share.


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Old 12-21-2004, 07:20 AM   #2
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I can understand your reason for your ideas on this.

But times have change and so do some people...
THe ecomony (if i spelt that right) is now basically supply and demand. People want it )the demand) and The supplers supply it.

ANd also it all about conveinence, people dont have the means to go to a welding shop or muffler place to get tubing. Its a hassle in some cases. IF people can save themselves sometimg and just order a part that means a great deal of satifaction because they got what they wanted without the hassle and time even the it is costing them some $$$$.

BUt if i have one car and i wanted to improve my car but that car was my only means of transportation. I couldnt deprive myself of my vehicle being out of commishion. I rather would pay to have it done by somebody that knows what they are doing.

And i also agree that edlbrock and holly should post results of their products that show they are better than other brands. edlbrock is an american and takes pride in his products like he says in his commericals AND EDLBROCKS PRODUCTS ARE MADE ,HERE, RIGHT IN THE USA
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:51 AM   #3
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One can argue the Internet has made it better for small aftermarket companies. It would be a lot harder to Marcy Motorsports parts since he is a small shop in the mountains of Kalifornia. Also, without the internet, his reputation wouldn't be what it is today without bunch of people praising his parts.

Now regarding custimization. It has gone down, but it also hasn't gone away. I've made my own intake using scrap aluminum parts, and other stock that I bought (on the Internet). After all was a said and done, it was still more money than an aftermarket one, just because the welding laber killed me in price. But I still enjoyed doing it. I've also fabricated my own tray for a lightweight battery. Looks like poop, but it should work just fine. However, I really can't go much further than that because I live in an apartment. I don't have any good tools, nor a suitable workplace of my own.

Another thing that kills customization for engine parts today is the complexity of systems found in cars. While the basic principles are the same, engines have gotten a lot more complex. Fabricating an intake manifold for my engine in a mild tuned state, that performs better than stock, would be near impossible. While making a header isn't as hard, not many people have mandrel benders or MIG welders.

But from what I have seen on the Internet, customizing is still alive, but in a different area. Every day I see kids doing a lot of home made stuff for the interior and exterior. From fiberglassing tricky sub enclosures and gauge pods to making custom hoods. While all that stuff is show and rarely go (and sometimes questionible in style), it still is hand made, with a lot of effort put into it.
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Old 12-21-2004, 10:09 AM   #4
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The internet has made it easier than ever for a person to get exactly what he or she wants in today’s marketplace. The internet has made it possible for a person to be informed about products that they never even knew existed. Do you think we would be able to get European parts if there was no Eurpeanparts.net or batnic,com? No way. The thing is that small companies need to have a niche in the marketplace. The old saying you grow or you die to still applies...
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Old 12-21-2004, 10:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hillyard
Do you think we would be able to get European parts if there was no Eurpeanparts.net or batnic,com? No way.
Um, yes you could. It wouldn't be easy, but you had to be resourseful. Back when the Internet was just getting started, my father has a 1951 Damlier DB18. Rebuilding it required some special parts from England. He still was able to find contacts over the pond, and get the items he needed.

However, the Internet has made it far far easier to do.
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Old 12-21-2004, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Egz
Um, yes you could. It wouldn't be easy, but you had to be resourseful. Back when the Internet was just getting started, my father has a 1951 Damlier DB18. Rebuilding it required some special parts from England. He still was able to find contacts over the pond, and get the items he needed.

However, the Internet has made it far far easier to do.
you took my sentence out of context...read the 2 sentences before it...I was referring to it in that sense.
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Old 12-21-2004, 02:26 PM   #7
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The internet is also a great source of cheap crap and hairdryer superchargers.
It's a good place to get informed, but not a good place to buy from if you live in Canada.
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Old 12-21-2004, 04:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hillyard
you took my sentence out of context...read the 2 sentences before it...I was referring to it in that sense.
Oh, sorry. Now I understand.

(however, one can argue that you have magazines for that)
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Old 12-21-2004, 04:59 PM   #9
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Oh, sorry. Now I understand.

(however, one can argue that you have magazines for that)
Yes I understand both sides of it...
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Old 12-21-2004, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrRay
The internet is also a great source of cheap crap and hairdryer superchargers.
It's a good place to get informed, but not a good place to buy from if you live in Canada.
Thats one of things im talking about. Internet has killed the Local speed shops. In turn you have pepole selling a resistor that gives 20HP for 10 bucks thats a complete rip off. Now if you still had that shop to go to. (and i know theres still some left but not near as many and most of the new ones seem to be ran by ricers) They would tell you that its crap and that would be the end of that. Becuse you got info with your parts.

It really irtates me that those mod ressistors are a blatant rip off yet places like e-bay still allow them to be marketed.

The other point i was tring to make. is that prices for this stuff are way way out of porpotion for what they do and more importantly what they dont do. I mean 250 for a intake that really doesnt do a hole lot at all. for less than 250 bucks i can get a intake manifold for my 289 and gain like 30 HP with just that. And its big chunk od alluminum were as the modren intakes are just tube. Headers has anyone asked the question why in hell am i paying 350 bucks for a 4cyl header when the V8 guys can spend less and get 2 headers? doesnt make sense.

And theres alot of stuff like that on these cars. These things i dont think would happen if there was (what it seemed like at the time) the holy grail of speed knowledge the Speed shop. Were you would get the info and options. Like header flanges to make your own or even have some else make it. Proabably still a little cheaper than aftermarket one. Not only that you could customize it to your needs.

Like every one says a shorty gives lowend a race header gives mid to high end. Well with a flange and little thinking you can have race header that gives both.

I just think that with out the knowledge selling the parts it leaves everyone including those that know open to getting ripped off.

Case in point exhaust. Everyone says get a Stainless cat back. Why? doesnt everyone realize that Stainless will out last three damn cars. Does anyone planing on keeping there car for 80 years. I dont. I just went to a shop and had them bulid one out of alumminzed steel for 120 bucks. Got it that day and didnt have to touch the damn car and they installed my flex for me.

I have had duals put on a number fo V6's and V8's and havent had one rust out yet. That goes for the system on my focus thats been there 1 year and half through Oklahoma springs and now Wyoming Winters. Still no problems. SS would have been a complete waist of money.

However still SS is recomended. Why? I dont understand. Yes its a wonderful material but overkill on the exhaust unless you Showing the underside of your car. Even if you do get a rust hole in your steel exhaust just cut the part out and weld a new section in. Simple fast and cheap.

I know the complexity of the engines today make some parts neccessarlly expensive. But i see pepole with 1500 bucks tied up in there exhaust and intake and they got a total of 15 more HP. It seems ridiclous waste of money. My entire exhaust and intake cost some where in ther neighborhood of 400 to 450 bucks. And i would put on a dyno agianst anyother similar system any day.

Im not being cheap here on these things. I just know what i need what i dont and whats a waste of time of money. Why spend more than i haft to just to do it. But that info is greatly here because of time expernice and previous info alot of which came from that Little Speed shop in Tulsa. I just dont think pepole get that advantage anymore and it causes the rest of us to get screwed.

I do agree tha internet had helped smaller shops and thats a good thing but it also has let the bigger shops go nuts and thats not so good.
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