Page Title: Parts Info

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TERMS and ABBREVIATIONS about PARTS
Below are the meanings WE USE

New? "New-Old-Stock?"

Parts in the NEW sections include a mix of New and "New-Old-Stock" (NOS) parts. (Some people feel this abbreviation means New Original Stock). With the exception of fast moving parts, seventy percent of the part numbers made for any car are made when the car is in production, and cars exist on that oversupply until it is exhausted. Parts we describe as "new" may be last month's production, or may actually be "NOS" parts that have not been on a car,; but have sat in a box or bag for many, many years. We have "new" parts that are a month old and some "new" 1500 parts that are 50 years old.

Keep in mind that NOS parts whether they were made yesterday or 50 years ago are just parts that have not been installed on a car. Nissan is not in the business of making hand made works of art; they make assembly line mass produced vehicles. No part is necessarily immaculate or perfect; the cars weren't either. If you want a perfect part; you'd need to take a NOS part and recover it; replate it; repaint it;. For instance; currently it may take $200-$300 to rechrome a bumper; it will look shiny. If you want it SHOW CHROMED it make take $1200-$1500. Anything out of the ordinary with NEW NISSAN parts is noted; or photo'd and usually ends up on our "ODDS AND ENDS" page. Are you "restoring" your car or "over-restoring" your car? People do both.

Rebuilt, Remanufactured, Restored? 

These words have never meant anything without an accompanying description. One guy puts new brushes in his starter and calls it "remanufactured." Another replaces almost every single part in the starter and calls it "rebuilt." If it is a part that we ourselves dismantle and "repair" we will describe what has been done. Our feelings are that the part should be brought back to serviceable life. There is a line between cutting corners and reworking the part to the point it is not sellable pricewise. Again, wherever possible we will describe exactly what has been done.


Reproduction , "OEM", Aftermarket, Nissan

Over time there will be a column on each new parts section page on the website that has a 3 letter code indicating each part's source.

NIS = Nissan
OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer
AFT = Aftermarket
REPRO = Reproduction
RB = Rebuilt; typically by a shop in USA

 

NISSAN

A "Nissan" part is one that Nissan designed and built, or was built for them by another manufacturer to Nissan's exact specifications in fit, function quality of construction and quality of materials. The part was then delivered to Nissan. I would estimate about 90% of the part numbers we carry are of this category. This percentage is dropping as time passes.

Sometimes people will ask us if something is an "original" part. You couldn't even necessarily get an "original" part if you pulled the part off of the assembly line when the roadsters were going down it; let alone 40-50 years later. Nissan and all car manufacturers constantly find different ways to make a part better and/or cheaper. Manufacturing technologies change constantly. Suppliers come and go. Manufacturing jigs, forms and tools wear out and in some cases have to be completely redone.

Someone once said they wanted the parts they buy to look JUST LIKE the old ones. If you could find a car that was wrecked in 1969 you might be able to find an IDENTICAL part; but maybe not. Or maybe the Nissan part we have that was made in 2003 looks close enough. We look at the technical aspects of a part; how it functions, durability, how it fits; how it looks is the least of my concern if the original or the old style part is not available. If it IS wildly different; we usually mention it.

OEM

An "OEM" part ("Original Equipment Manufacturer") is part from one of the same manufacturers that produced parts for Nissan. There aren't many parts available from these manufacturers that haven't gone through Nissan's hands. The majority of the parts that were assembled to make your roadster were "OEM" really; when you consider Nissan does not make clutches or gauges or wiring or carbs or bearings or wipers or lights or timing chains, or exhaust, or radiators or starters or brake parts or switches or most of the other components; but they CAUSED them to be made; and set the specs.

An "OEM" part differs from a"Nissan" part in that an "OEM" part originally was not sent to Nissan. It just means it was produced by a company that Nissan used; or recently is produced by the company or a SUBSIDIARY of that company. It may or may not meet the manufacturing/material specifications and storage specifications Nissan laid out. There is no way to know. It was very difficult to become an "OEM" manufacturer for any of the Japanese car companies; and these relationships were many times more like father and son instead of company and supplier.

An "OEM" part may only be a similar (but workable) part. In the "old" days a part from the same manufacturer for the same application was most likely identical. As time passed and soulless bean counters took over the world there is no guarantee of this and some cases the manufacturing may now be in another country with or without ANY of the original controls. It depends on the ethics of the people at the companies involved.

The above is the older definition of OEM and is the one we subscribe to. Some people now consider an "OEM" part to be a part ONLY from Nissan; even though Nissan may have acquired it from some other manufacturer. Some call a part "OEM" from any reason they deem valid. Remember; the fact that a parts producer is not or was not an "OEM" has ZERO bearing on the quality or accuracy of the part; and vice versa.

AFTERMARKET

Parts made by someone other than Nissan's known suppliers; and usually not sold through Nissan's system. Such parts were many times sold while the parts were still available through Nissan for the purpose of competing with Nissan. The company making the part may or may not be an "OEM" supplier to Nissan. The part may or may not meet the same specifications as the part they made for Nissan. Quality wise it may be worse, the same or better than the original "Nissan" part. I have seen bearings that are "sort of" the same; but NOT the same.

The aftermarket company may be a major automotive parts manufacturer; or just a guy in his garage making up parts. Neither the former or the latter has necessarily any advantage over the other quality wise. I have seen parts of superb quality coming out of the smallest lowest key shop or individuals out there. I have also seen complete garbage shipped from major automotive suppliers that know better. Same thing goes for country of origin. I've seen excellent parts from China and I also watched a large vise from China break in half like a wax candle in front of my eyes while a friend just twirled the handle to close the vise with the vise empty. Supposedly the current state of the art bearing plant is in Turkey. Who would figure?

It is extremely rare that I see an aftermarket part that appears to exceed the Nissan part's quality; and many times they do not even MATCH the original part's quality. An aftermarket part may solve a cost problem; may solve an availability problem; or it may be from a company that just didn't manage to get the original contract for the part; was an excellent manufacturer; and CONTINUES to be so... Some of this we see in other areas of manufacturing as well.

I think it comes down to attention to detail, individual work ethic, company morals, caliber of people doing the work and capabilities of the plant. All of these can change at any time; so it is a constant concern no matter who the company is. It is the "global" economy and hardly any "rules" these days resemble what my memories of the late 1960s and auto parts were. When the Japanese automotive industry exploded in 1973 and again in 1979 it quickly made everything "better" while in many aspects made the parts side of it "worse". You just cannot say a part made in a small village in Pakistan is by location better or worse than one made in Texas. I tend to like OLD parts; as these days you have to scratch around to find actual "made in Japan" parts. A lot of Japanese companies have also gone out of their own country like we do here. Most of this applies to newer cars than the roadster. Many of the European countries seem to be holding much of their manufacturing in-country; or maybe that was LAST WEEK! ...:-)

REPRODUCTION

"Reproduction" or "Repro" are parts which are made usually after the original supplies (both Nissan and aftermarket) are gone. They also may be produced to take advantage of more modern less expensive production methods, or because the "original" design or materials can be improved in quality or economics of manufacture.

The lines can be somewhat blurred. At times Nissan will have a different manufacturer reproduce the part, in a different format than it originally used. Is that a "Nissan part" or an"OEM part" or an "Aftermarket Part" if Nissan itself contracts for the new production? If a repro part is manufactured while the originals are still available is it a "repro" or an "aftermarket" part?

So none of this is cut and dried; we are just trying to be as clear as possible with you as to what's what with parts even if all can seem a bit confusing.


How We Store and Ship Parts

Regardless of source; once parts come into our active warehouse; where parts are ready to be pulled for shipment; they are typically stored under our own part numbers. These shortened versions of Nissan's part numbers date back to when our first computer system struggled to deal with more than a 6 character number in the early 80s. We started out using Nissan part numbers in the 70s but soon realized their propensity to change part numbers for no apparent reason was an extreme hassle to deal with. We list them by our number; you order them by our number and we pull them from the shelves by our number. The Nissan number is irrelevant to us as is the part number the manufacturer for Nissan used. We examine each part before we tag it, bin it, bag it or box it with our own part number and examine it again before sale.

Current gray Nissan boxes are manufactured from a cardboard that appears to be from compressed dry sawdust; as some boxes you cannot even pickup without them tearing apart in your hands. The part may or may not still come in a "Nissan" box; depending on the part and its box's condition; that is the "Nissan" box holding the Hitachi, Koito, Aampco, Niles, Nippondenso, Mitsubishi, Tsubaki, KantoSeiki, Nachi, NSK, Koyo, Hashimoto, NihonRadCo, Teikoku, Nabco, Tokico, Nichira, Kyosan, Everwing, Torrington etc etc part inside. :-) More often than not we toss the garbage boxes.

Many items we store in new clear plastic bags; over a thousand different small parts are stored in plastic bin drawers; and bagged upon sale. I'm not a big fan of the poor excuse for boxes Nissan now uses; that crumple or tear upon the slightest force. I don't feel taping crappy boxes together a good use of my time. The grey is ugly as well. I have a far greater affinity for nice new heavy duty clear plastic. We also pack the part for economical, safe travel to you.


Gum on my Shoe...

I laid out all the "how we store and ship parts" stuff above as I've seen an individual insinuating that we have shipped parts "described as Nissan"; but because we may ship a part that doesn't have a crappy Nissan box or Nissan bag that it is somehow no longer a "Nissan" part. Does this mean that if Nissan removes the Hitachi or Niles box the part came to them in (which they do) the part is no longer a quality part from Niles or Hitachi?

If we list something as FROM Nissan it is FROM Nissan; whether it comes in a nice old Nissan box; an ugly new Nissan box; or clear plastic; or wrapped in lace and cabbage leaves. In reality it is almost irrelevant; as Nissan or any other car manufacturer make VERY few of the parts that go into their vehicles. It is a full-time job just designing; assembling; distributing and selling their vehicles.

Nissan specified parts are for the most part fantastic parts; but we have seen Nissan parts that have to be reworked to be even operational. It depends on how closely they are watching their many thousand suppliers. If we can get the genuine Nissan part we generally do; except in some cases when we know that NO ONE is going to pay the price. Sometimes we will offer an option; or multiple options on a part; and it does not bother me a bit to put "AFT" or "REPRO" or an extra bit of description so you know what's what. This business has been going full tilt with hardly any slowdowns for 40 years.

We started this business because the "hobby" we started in 1972 was out of control. We started it because we liked the cars and the people and it sounded like fun to go at it full time. We didn't start it to make money or because we couldn't find any other job. Most but not all of the people you will find in long time car businesses were car enthusiasts long before their business began and genuinely like people. We have been playing with these cars for over forty years; we don't have now and have never in the past had the time or inclination for finding fault with other's work; I wasn't raised that way. Ditto with misrepresenting something; I wasn't taught that way and have never understood the concept of doing such a thing and what benefits you could derive from it. We end up with or own kind of ethics and once you lose those...

Most of the fellows I have met with Japanese, European or American car businesses are really nice, open, honest guys. Unfortunately there are always exceptions; and I felt the need to answer the above mentioned foolishness; no matter how baseless, moronic and self serving the comments directed at me are. Life is too short for such idiocy.

I have also seen a few good decent fellows turn the other direction after decades of running a business; usually from sheer fatigue or the amount of hits their armor has had to deflect from the less than nice folks. This group is growing along with the internet; (even with roadsterites) as people will put things in an email and/or act in a way they never would on the phone or in person. I'm getting better at turning a deaf ear at them or rather a blind eye.

In some respects I plan my eventual retirement around the principle that if I'm still laughing; let's keep going! I have a lot of nice contacts with people or at least normal contacts so that allows me to patch any weak spots that are showing in my "armor".

Up until I began modifying the website to show EVERY new part's source I only had a few things listed as from Nissan; usually when I was ALSO selling an aftermarket item; to distinguish each from the other. As time allows we will be converting more pages to show this. It's probably still close to 95% Nissan.

I wish there WERE more quality sources of parts for these cars. The automotive aftermarket as a whole has pretty much ignored the car. When we find aftermarket parts that meet our quality standards we will continue to try to acquire and list them.

Oh, and in case anyone wants those junky Nissan boxes; we'll be happy to throw the scraps or the flattened boxes and put them in the same box if we can find some in the building(s) still. May make the shipping box bigger (which can means added shipping costs since the carrier are now charging by size as well as weight) and may delay the order. I like the new boxes as they are great for starting up the woodstove.

Or we can just do what we have done for over 40 years; stock the parts you need and send the best quality parts we can as quick as we can. ......tthanks; Dann

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