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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This question goes out to the shop owners and regular guys who repair mowers for a living or anyone who has a long history with parts and mowers. BUT any comments welcome!

I know the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for!" but sometimes a part is a part.

So here is the deal,
Lets say I need a top seal for a TEC LEV115/120, same part#

TEC part 32600 $4.56
generic part 32-1038 $1.14

Is there really a difference? are they both made on the same assembly line?

What do the shops use? What do the shops and Pros prefer? Certainly no one wants anything coming back because they used inferior parts but, there needs to be a profit as well, so the less you spend the more you make.

So, what do you guys do? :dunno:
 

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I probably can't speak in terms of the quality aspect side of things, but what I can say from the experience working at a JD dealer is that you are provided with the benefit of a larger support network (..usually) from the dealer and or leading manufacture of the part if there is a malfunction. Buying a generic no name part is a little more risky in the sense that if something were to fail, there may not be as much support, or a warranty, other than from the distributer who may or may not be able to help you in that case.
 

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Assuming the L&G shops are the same as my line of work, if you are warranty authorized for a manufacture your supposed to be using their parts. If it is a warranty repair you have to either buy from the manufacture or a specific distributor of the manufacture to get your parts cost covered under the warranty.

It's to the point now we can't stock a lot of parts because they have to be ordered as needed, then when filing the claim with the manufacture the part order number is matched with the claim. In some cases we have to open a claim with the manufacture, order parts through the claim form on the web, and then close the claim once the repair is done. Through the website we can see if the unit was registered, purchase date, customer that registered it. If not registered we have to do that before we can order parts or file any claims. The electronic paperwork, parts returns, checking for core credits, etc to get paid now often takes longer to complete then the actual repairs. Some manufactures we have to send an electronic copy of the proof of purchase to the manufacture to receive payment. :(
 

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We are not signed with the major lines like Briggs, Honda Echo ect, but are an Authorized Service Center for minors like Poulan, Karcher, Worx, Pressure washers sold by Costco and Sam's etc. Most those parts are not available aftermarket. The warranty claims are a pain and usually lucky to break even, but it brings in walk in traffic that wouldn't know about us otherwise. Recently had a Greenworks electric tiller in for warranty. Bearing in the motor fell apart. Instead of ordering from the distributor I used one I had in stock. This got the customer out fast (usually takes 5 days for parts to ship to me) saved GW the freight on the part, and I only charged GW toe same price I would of paid for the bearing through them, not what I paid for it when I bought it elsewhere. I think they are going to turn down the claim because no part order is tied to it.
 

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IDK buddy, I bought a B&S replacement ignition coil for the YT12, it lasted 2 years before it started losing spark on one cyl on every other revolution, my buddy put a elcheapo on his twin L head and its running strong

I try to get Snapper, Craftsman, and Briggs parts if I can help it. Oregon parts seem to be good for a non OEM
 

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Also a lets say 50% cheaper part does not amount to a tinkers dam on a $10 part, but on a $100 part thats ALOT!!!!
 

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Also a lets say 50% cheaper part does not amount to a tinkers dam on a $10 part, but on a $100 part thats ALOT!!!!
Good point. Especially when talking about some brands in particular. Couple come to mind that are awfully proud of their products, and want top dollar for them. Are they better? Perhaps, but I've tried aftermarket replacements for some parts, and haven't been disappointed in their performance or longevity.

If there was a warranty issue, I'd definitely be seeking out the OEM from the dealer or place of purchase. The warranties have long since run out on anything I own or use, so the only reason I'd necessarily stick with factory is in the restorations of the vintage stuff. Mostly to say it's all original, but also because the hunt for original factory parts for vintage mowers is sort of satisfying in itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, lets change this up a bit, would you go for the cheaper $ parts on mowers you were just fixing up to re-sell, or for that free work that you do for a friend?
 

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OK, lets change this up a bit, would you go for the cheaper $ parts on mowers you were just fixing up to re-sell, or for that free work that you do for a friend?
resale cheap!!

depending on how good the freind is on if i get cheap or OEM :ROFL
 

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From the MTF thread:

In my experience, I find some things either are just as good, other cases only OEM should be used. Example: Briggs flat panel air filter base gasket, primer bulb style. Very rarely will I have a Rotary gasket work properly, but OEM Briggs works every time. Other side of the coin: Needed an Electric PTO clutch, OEM was made by Warner and about $300 list. Went with a Stens @ about $150. When I got the box, it was a Warner, EXACTLY identical to the OEM but cheaper. Did you know a coin sometimes has 3 sides? Yep, third side, at times I find aftermarket to be so close, or sometime even more expensive than OEM.

For me, I kind of decide on a case by case basic, but always inform the customer if it is aftermarket. Sure, I could use aftermarket and sell it at full retail of OEM and make more $$, but there is something about that truth and honesty stuff that lets me sleep better at night.

As far as quality, overall I think you do sacrifice a little with aftermarket parts in most cases.

________________________________________________________________________

Since posting that answer on MTF I have had 2 aftermarket parts come back defective. One was a impulse fuel pump, EXACT same mfg and markings as OEM Briggs. Pump was a month old. The other was a Briggs starter clutch about 6 months old. Split right in two, no evidence of impact, metal fatigue, or casting flaw.

That being said, blades I ALWAYS go aftermarket. The ones i use are made in the USA, same as the air filters I get, although the air filters are not always a perfect fit. They usually fit tighter which is good.

For personal use or a flip, aftermarket is usually my choice for economic reasons. If I didn't trust them, i wouldnt use them. Being a dealer for the big 3 I will tell you this. For pricing reasons the order is Rotary, Oregon, Stens. For quality it would generally be Oregon and Stens in a tie for first (as some of the Stens IS Oem stuff) then Rotary. As you can imagine, Rotary gets most of my business, and again, if I didn't trust them I wouldn't use them.
 

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My local Auto Parts store is a Stens dealer. Been using stens parts on just about everything I have fixed or fooled with as long as I can get the equivalent Stens part and they work great. My question would be who is the manufacturer thats making it for Briggs, Tecumseh, Honda etc anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thats the big mystery! I often wonder if the name brand parts are coming off the other conveyor belt....
 

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Thats the big mystery! I often wonder if the name brand parts are coming off the other conveyor belt....
:dunno:but I wouldnt doubt it
 
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