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Why Aftermarket Parts Exist?

June 1, 2018 1268 Views No comments

When we buy our vehicles new they come with original parts, made specifically for that machine and when they break, we generally want to replace these parts through an authorized dealership with authorized parts; however there is another option, one that if you’re reading this has already crossed your mind. Aftermarket parts are built to the specifications of the original part or built to exceed those original specs. Depending on what you need or are looking for they can also be made of a variety of different metals and compounds for added strength and performance.

Unlike a dealer who sells you an entire vehicle which works because of a collection of parts, Aftermarket dealers find success from the parts you buy. Repeat business and word of mouth matter to the big guys too (your Yamahas, Hondas and Polaris’ to just name a few), but the vast majority of them have diversified portfolios (ATVs, UTVs, Motorcycles, Snowmobiles and sometimes Cars), while Aftermarket dealers specialize in certain vehicle types.

Generally, aftermarket parts exist as an alternative to dealership parts for 4 reasons: Cost, quality, convenience and performance. Without these 4 reasons dealerships would have a total monopoly on these new parts.

1. Cost

Those original parts you’re looking for, they are usually grossly overpriced. Manufacturers make scads of money off parts at your expense, but they’re coming from a brand name. The brand name gives you the peace of mind and feeling that this part will definitely fit in your vehicle. Basically, it’s no different from buying jeans, you can spend $20 or $100 and the $100 ones should last for as long as 5 pairs of the $20 ones should, usually that’s never the case. The name, like with any product, is usually what ends up being the most expensive component when buying parts.

The added value gained by buying aftermarket parts can also make it cheaper to diagnose problems. Parts often wear down prematurely because there’s something else out of whack in the vehicle and with these cost effective parts it can be economical to buy two, sometimes three of them before they cost the same as a dealer’s part.

2. Quality

Parts can break quick or slow depending on the environment they’re in, the way they’re maintained and finally how they’re used or abused. If you’re parts keep wearing out because of how you’re driving then it may be time to look at something built a little bit more solidly. We talk about the various aftermarket metals and their benefits in this post. (link) Basically, these metals move against the old adage that aftermarket parts are cheap, poorly produced and likely to fail more quickly than the manufacturers’. Just because something is less money doesn’t necessarily make it cheap.

3. Convenience

We can only speak for Partdiscounter.com on this, but when we say we have the part, we do. Dealerships are not as predictable and don’t always have every part you need in stock and ready to go, which can lead to ridiculously long wait times leaving you angry and jealous of all your friends who are able to ride. We make parts, that’s what we do, and they’re in stock-ready to ship.

4. Performance

Dealers sometimes offer big bores and some other performance parts, but there’s no comparison between the variety aftermarket part sellers offer and a dealer. Aftermarket parts truly make any vehicle customizable from look and power to utility and stability, tailoring your vehicle to your needs. Farmers will likely need more power in the bottom end to tow and drag around cargo, where as a racer will likely need more medium and top end power depending on the kind of race. Based on which modifications you want, this can drastically change the performance of your machine which is sometimes vastly different from what the manufacturers had in mind.

In the end the choice is yours. Don’t fall prey to the idea that if parts are more expensive it will save you headaches down the road. Have any favourite aftermarket modifications you’ve purchased or any questions about aftermarket parts? Please let us know the comments.

Dangerous Engine Heat: 3 Prevention Tips After Installing Performance Mods

July 25, 2016 7235 Views No comments

Engine performance mods add more speed and make your vehicle accelerate quicker. It’s fantastic and exciting, but the extra performance comes with one major downfall; engine heat. Vehicles tend to perform sluggish and lose power when they overheat. When there's too much heat, parts also become more vulnerable which can cause them to warp and even break. We know that’s not exciting to hear, but there are a number of ways to prevent this like changing your oil cooler, adjusting your jets and even looking at using different oil.

Take a big bore cylinder for example an engine performance mod that would require more cooling after it's installed. A big bore gives your vehicle enhanced performance through power. More specifically, “when you increase the cylinder’s bore you increase the surface area on top of the piston…” which “… spreads the fuel/air mixtures workload and produces more power…” (Motocross Action Magazine). Now that we have an example, let's explore the different ways to keep the engine cooled after it’s installed.

Here's an example of a Big Bore Kit that fits Honda TRX400EX & XR400R

The first way you can improve your vehicle’s cooling is by changing the oil cooler. An oil cooler is a type of radiator already inside your vehicle if its liquid cooled. It helps cool surplus engine heat, but after new mods are installed the stock version might not be enough. If you're a one and done kind of person, a good fan placed in the oil cooler can do the trick. If you're looking to add tons of different mods then you might want to replace it entirely with a bigger version or even install two.

Another way you can help cool your engine is rejetting. After an engine performance mod is added, your engine will likely run lean. Running lean means your air-to-fuel balance is off and too much air is coming in and too little fuel is forcing the engine to work harder. This requires changing out the jets in the carburetor and making sure it has access to all the fuel it needs to properly power the new and improved vehicle.

Now if you finish that and you’re still having problems cooling your vehicle, can we suggest you make the change from regular oil to synthetic? Synthetic oil as the name suggests, is a lubricant consisting of chemical compounds made artificially and has been proven to handle the high temperatures coming from performance parts that would otherwise break down regular oil. It’s not a cure-all, but it certainly makes a difference. Synthetic oil is more expensive, that's true, but it also has a number of advantages to make it worth your while if you’re still on the fence.

  • Synthetic oil flows easier in cold weather and is highly resistant to viscosity breakdown (the ability of the oil to flow easily in all temps) from heat, friction and chemical contaminants. Synthetic oil also better lubricates the engine in very cold weather, meaning if your engine is having trouble starting, synthetic oil can help.
  • You don't need to change synthetic oil as often as regular oil.
  • With less oil changes you'll be helping out nature by lowering the amount of oil you dispose and let’s be honest we all use nature a ton so it's good to do what you can to keep it around.
  • Synthetic oil will increase an engine’s life because it protects against crud forming in engine hot spots and burns off less oil with reduced clogging in oil passageways, limiting potential damage.

We hope these tips help overcome engine heat and make your new mods work how you want them to. If you have any other tips or tricks to keep an engine cool please share them in the comments below.

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