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Aftermarket manufacturing

Aftermarket manufacturing

Aftermarket manufacturing

When a replacement part is manufactured, I bet it is not redesigned. Rather copied. Isn't this some form of infringement? Do aftermarket part manufacturers pay royalty to OEM?

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

I am aware of one specific situation where all of the parts with the vehicle manufacturer's name on them and a number of brands of aftermarket parts all come off the same line. I am sure there are licensing agreements involved but I'm not on that side of the business. I just see the boxes that the parts go into.

As for copying (often inferior) ... good luck getting certain other countries in the world to respect intellectual property rights.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

Copying is not illegal, unless the original is copyrighted, or patented _and_ the patent upkeep fees are paid.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

Actually, one approach that many auto OEMs employ is to design their products with certain proprietary/patented features such that replacement parts must be purchased from them or a licensed supplier.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

It depends on the commercial relationship the buyer has with the supplier.

Take a Diesel engine cylinder liner (industrial engine). This is a part often replaced as a spare since they are often not recoverable following wear.

The engine manufacturer has a choice, bind the component supplier into a deal to have exclusive use of the component, or a deal where the component supplier can supply spare parts unbranded. The component supplier does the second option at a lower price to the manufacturer, so the supplier can have direct access to the lucrative spares market.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

Thank you for the explanation. May I assume then a non-Ford ball joint for instance would provide similar performance?

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

Probably but no guarantee. After market parts are all over the map. Some are better than OE, some the same, many much worse. Ball joints are pretty low tech so I would not expect any problem. I bought aftermarket ball joints for my 350Z because Nissan doesn't sell them, they want you to buy complete uprights.


The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

I think Ford is notorious for crappy ball joints so any aftermarket may be better.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

Consider the parts market for old mercedes. Some of the parts like motor mounts can be big $ sold as mercedes original. Some other brands come in much lower, and you can see where the star was ground off of the casting. There may not be the same material control or composition though.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

When I worked in the aircraft wheel and brake industry, we sold lots of wheel tie bolts for around $10 each. Lower cost copies would show up from time to time, but our legal dept. would not institute action unless the counterfeiter put our part number the bolt.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

Don't forget that many OEM parts are made by an aftermarket manufacturer in the first place.
In the UK, the Ford OE clutches, the Ford aftermarket clutches (Motorcraft possibly, they were marked FoMoCo) and complete aftermarket clutches for the Fiesta (I think, maybe Ka, possibly the Focus) are all made on the same production line, using exactly the same pressings, castings, etc. Just to different quality specifications depending on their final use.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

I would not assume that a non-OEM ball joint or part would have similar performance. Manufacturers frequently use the same suspension parts and other parts over many model lines for many years. This results in a very large aftermarket parts market with parts coming from many non-OEM sources.

I once owned a 1977 Oldsmobile from 1985 until 2008 that had 350,000 miles on it before I gave it away (running) to the son of a friend who drove it for two more years (after that, the engine/transmission was pulled and placed into a lawncare pickup work truck and used one more year until the vehicle was wrecked). While I owned it I did all the maintenance. There were suspension parts and things like radiators, fuel pumps, alternators and the like that I replace many times. There were things like ball joints that I replaced when they got around 20 years old. The rubber boots were in bad shape, but had not split. The boots that came with the non-OEM replacement ball joints disintegrated within a year !!! I replace the ball joints a second time just because of this. The next set of ball joints wore and became too loose in 5 more years, so I replaced them a third time. There were similar issue with many other parts including non-OEM radiators that had a tendency to only last 2 years.

I replaced that car with a Saturn and experienced similar replacement parts issues. Now I drive an Acura and only buy OEM parts.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

5 years or so ago a friend bought A*t*z*ne atermarket ball joints for his 1996 Dodge Dakota pick up truck. I think they offered just one grade of replacement,
not a choice of 1 year guarantee or lifetime as is common.
We installed them in place of the ~ 150 kmile originals, carefully torquing the bolts and deformed thread locknuts used in place of the OEM rivets.

He was doing something under the truck about a year later and noticed the boots were deeply cracked, and one of the 4 retaining bolts was missing, almost certainly having broken.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

Quote (BrianPetersen)

I am aware of one specific situation where all of the parts with the vehicle manufacturer's name on them and a number of brands of aftermarket parts all come off the same line. I am sure there are licensing agreements involved but I'm not on that side of the business. I just see the boxes that the parts go into.

This is much, much more common than the alternative.

There are not 400 different plants in the world that make ball joints- there are a few. Same goes with clutches, or brake cylinders, or brake rotors, or whatever other highly automotive-specific part you can think of.

For something that is used in a car or truck but is common in other machines or industrial equipment- such as shafting inside a transmission, or gears used in transmissions and steering equipment, etc, there may be many sources. But a lot of parts used in cars are bought in VERY high volume and aren't widely used anywhere other than automotive; for these parts there are not an infinite number of sources.

For ball joints, for example, ZF is a major player and they sell to every OEM there is. So not only are the Ford OEM ball joints made by ZF on the line right next to the Motorcraft branded replacements, they are often made on the same line or 10 feet away on a slightly different line as ball joints for Toyota or Honda or GM or Fiat or whomever.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

Bear in mind that many suppliers make parts in more than one country. For example your shocks might be made in the USA, or Malaysia, or Poland, or Thailand, or China, or South Africa. They'll still be stamped "Good Ole Boy pt No. 1266".


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

I had the need to replace some wheel bearings on a Ford last summer, and thought I was doing the right thing by going with the more expensive and better-known 3rd party supplier. I had one fail within 2000 miles. When I ordered a replacement, the new part arrived incomplete (missing a sensor) which I set about to transfer from the failed unit - only to then discover that the manufacturers' marks were completely different on the two supposedly-identical units. Further internet searching revealed that the second unit more closely matched the lower-price aftermarket units than the higher-priced one, although the packaging had clearly been for the higher-priced one. Another curiosity was that the lower-price one had branding marks on the subcomponents from recognized suppliers (Timken bearings for example) whereas the higher-priced one had none (perhaps due to contract, perhaps due to differences in the supply base). Anyway, I sent 'em both back and the third bearing received matched the first & hasn't failed yet.

RE: Aftermarket manufacturing

"Anyway, I sent 'em both back and the third bearing received matched the first & hasn't failed yet. "

What "sigma" is that ?

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