Hard parts hunting

Hard parts hunting

Image caption: The diagram representing results from the 2022 Transmission Digest survey of retail shops tracks the various sources those shops rely on for acquiring hard parts. The results don’t provide a breakdown of the original source of the parts. Here we show where the order is placed by the rebuilder.

Every April we tend to cover issues facing the hard parts segment of our industry. Hard parts are distinct from soft parts (kits) in that used and rebuilt parts make up a portion (often a significant portion) of what retail shops purchase to repair transmissions on their benches. Traditionally, there has been a patchwork of sources that took in scrapped transmission cores and tore them down to harvest parts that then were available for purchase, either directly from the parts supplier or via parts distributors. One of the trends we’ve seen over the years is distributors harvesting their own parts.

Like seemingly everything else in the world, hard parts are subject to current supply chain shortages. Not only do the OE new parts suffer from insufficient availability, so too do the alternative aftermarket new parts that are often manufactured overseas. With a shortage of new parts, there is increased demand for cores and used parts, resulting in the shortages being reported throughout the industry.

As shops seek parts to repair the transmissions they’re seeing in the bays, the transmission remanufacturers are scrambling to find those same parts. Purchasing large quantities of parts in bulk, these volume builders often get first access to what is available. As would be expected, constrained supply leads to backorders and higher parts prices.

Most industry suppliers expect that the supply chain issues will gradually be solved as the world catches up with demand in the current Covid-recovery economy. Until the easing of supply shortages becomes reality, builders who have been accustomed to ordering hard parts with kits are finding that they are having to look far and wide to purchase necessary hard parts.

Hard parts ‘Transcabulary’

OE New: A part purchased from the OEM transmission manufacturer, mostly though new car dealerships or from contracted aftermarket distributors. These parts are typically the identical part used to manufacture the unit, occasionally upgraded to address wear and/or failure issues.

Aftermarket New : A part most often reverse-engineered to be identical to the OE part. Occasionally these are upgraded to address issues that are recognized after the unit has been in use for some time.

Remanufactured: Also known as reconditioned or rebuilt. These are parts that have been returned to near OE specification. For instance, pumps are often resurfaced to remove the effects of normal wear.

Good Used: Parts that have been visually inspected and sometimes measured to eliminate those parts with excessive wear or that are otherwise unfit for use in a rebuild.

Used: Parts that have been harvested from torn-down transmission units.

Core: A transmission that can be torn down to retrieve needed parts.

You May Also Like

Shop profile: Virginia’s AAMCO Transmissions is built on life lessons from a family of industry lifers

Mary Gentry has been around transmissions and automotive repair all her life. Her father ran a shop, her brothers are all in the transmission business; she even met her husband in her shop. It pretty much runs in the family. Growing up in the business, you learn a lot of lessons. Mary, owner of AAMCO

AAMCO-Profile-1

Mary Gentry has been around transmissions and automotive repair all her life. Her father ran a shop, her brothers are all in the transmission business; she even met her husband in her shop. It pretty much runs in the family.

Growing up in the business, you learn a lot of lessons. Mary, owner of AAMCO Transmissions in Roanoke, Virginia, remembers three in particular that her dad imparted on her.

Shop profile: Small-town RAMM Transmission puts family first

When you spend time talking to transmission repair shops, you’ll hear a lot about the importance of family. Transmission shops, after all, tend to be small and specialized, so it follows that many of them are family-owned and operated. Related Articles – Customer-focused approach: American Transmission specializes in automatics and customer service – Nominate your

Customer-focused approach: American Transmission specializes in automatics and customer service

“We only specialize in transmissions in this shop; this is not a one-for-all shop,” says Bo West, owner of American Transmission in Louisville, Kentucky. “We only do automatic transmissions. No general repair, no tires, no engines, no tuneups, no oil changes. None of that. Just transmissions.” Related Articles – Shop profile: The success story of

American-Transmission-1400
Nominate your shop to be featured in TD’s shop profile series

Our best wishes to you all for a successful and happy new year. I know we’re all trying to overcome the challenges of supply chain shortages, inflation and the pandemic. But, every time we see January roll onto the calendar, we have the opportunity to take a fresh look at what we do and quite

Shop profile: AJ’s Transmissions has made a name for itself with customers and technicians alike

Al Varner Jr. was “born with transmission fluid on his bib,” according to those around him. Hanging around his dad’s shop, he had an early introduction to the industry, tearing down transmissions at age 8 and building his first transmission when he was 14. Related Articles – Following The Supply Chain – Canadian Shop Specializes

shopprofile-1400

Other Posts

Complete TD’s shop survey for a chance to win a gift card

Every year, Transmission Digest conducts the Retail Shop Survey. This survey will take five minutes or less. The results of this survey will appear in the March edition of Transmission Digest e-Powertrain Bulletin, and should serve as a valuable benchmark for your business. Related Articles – BorgWarner’s Tom Hardies passes – Schaeffler releases technical and

Shop Survey 2023
GFX adds new hard part for JF015E, REOF11A

GFX has introduced a new hard part for Nissan and General Motors transmissions.

A part for every need

One of the earliest signs that an industry was forming was a transition to specialty transmission hard parts suppliers emerging from general salvage yards, to create the efficient flow of those parts to every shop in the nation. Related Articles – Valve body and component suppliers: A comprehensive list – Are you ready to rock

Clean Cars 2030 signed into law in Washington state

Repair shops in Washington state might be facing big changes sooner than they expected, as Governor Jay Inslee recently signed a bill into law setting a date of 2030 for all new cars registered in the state to be electric. The measure, known as Clean Cars 2030, sets the most aggressive state target in the U.S. for

electric car generic