All vehicles require repair from time to time. Across the life of a car, 4WD or truck, the cost of repairs and new parts is minimal compared to the amount of work the vehicle will do. Investing in OEM and OEM-quality parts can not only keep your vehicle alive for longer, they can improve the way it drives and significantly expand its capabilities.
But what should you do when new parts are no longer made for your vehicle? If you are struggling to find replacement parts, there is no need to retire the vehicle straight away. With help from aftermarket manufacturers, machinists and parts suppliers, it’s possible to repair your vehicle and keep it on the road for years to come.
Check With Aftermarket Manufacturers
Aftermarket manufacturers are the simplest place to source replacement parts that are out of production with the OEM.
OEMs are required to produce thousands of parts to service all of their vehicles. For most manufacturers, this means they see a diminishing return on the investment of their time and money. As vehicles get older, the demand decreases sharply, and OEMs quickly find themselves losing money on producing spare components. To combat this, most manufacturers will only provide enough spare parts to see their vehicles through the initial usage period of around 10 years. After that, new components won’t be made, although many vehicles share common components (such as brake, engine and transmission parts) that will continue production beyond that point.
By comparison, aftermarket manufacturers support fewer vehicles for longer periods of time, meaning they often supply spare parts for longer than the OEMs do. Especially for vehicles in performance or high-demand environments (such as racing or off-roading), aftermarket manufacturers may provide spare parts support far beyond the OEM.
Repair and Refurbish Old Components
Depending on the new parts your vehicle needs, it may be possible to repair and refurbish existing components. Some parts can be brought back to life by a skilled machinist and items such as bearings and bushes that are readily available off-the-shelf. Items like suspension, drivetrains, mounting points and engine parts are typically suitable for rebuilding, although parts that have sustained accident damage should be evaluated for safety.
Any of the following components may be suitable for refurbishment or reconditioning by and automotive machinist:
- CV joints and shafts
- Shock absorbers
- Leaf springs
- Cam shafts
- Crank shafts
- Prop shafts
With computer-controlled equipment that can handle precise refinishing work, like honing, head skimming and shaft balancing, a skilled engineer will be able to repurpose a wide range of existing components. If your vehicle is old, imported, obscure or contains lots of custom parts, refurbishment is a cost-effective solution for repurposing worn out components.
Custom Fabricated Parts
If the parts you need are not available from manufacturers, and your existing components can’t be refurbished, it is often possible to source custom fabrication. An automotive fabricator will be able to create and modify custom-designed components for your vehicle. While custom fabrication can be an involved process of design, engineering and testing, an experienced fabricator can produce OEM-quality parts that stand up to any application. Whether you need parts for racing, off-roading or rare vehicles, a custom fabrication workshop can design the pieces you need.
The major benefit of custom manufacturing is the ability to tailor a part to meet your needs. You can have an original component duplicated exactly, or you can ask the engineer to update the design to improve its durability and utility. The sky is the limit when it comes to custom work, so it’s best to speak to a fabrication workshop and discuss your needs.
Investing in vehicle maintenance is a good defense against the rising cost of fuels. While engine maintenance is important, looking after vehicle suspension and drivetrain should also be high on your list. A properly functioning drivetrain ensures maximum driving efficiency by delivering more power to the wheels and reducing the strain on the engine.
Need Drivetrain Refurbishing or Custom Parts? Contact Driveline Today!
Driveline Services Australia specialises in supplying and fitting drivetrain, power transmission and underbody components for a wide range of vehicles. From passenger cars and 4WDs to road transport, mining vehicles and industrial equipment, we can source and service most drivetrain components. Driveline works with OEMs and high-quality aftermarket manufacturers across the world, so our shelves are always stocked with thousands of parts to suit almost any application. For those parts we don’t stock or can’t get a hold of, we also offer workshop services that include custom fabrication, parts repair and component refurbishment.
Contact us today and talk to our experienced team about the underbody and power transmission components your vehicle needs.