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.

Was this content valuable?

Thanks for your feedback!

You May Also Like

Shop profile: Colorado Engine has built a name for itself focusing on the whole powertrain

Colorado Engine may have “engine” in the name, but transmissions are also a key component of the business for a shop that deals with the entire powertrain. Started in 1983 as a wholesale warehouse distributor for factory remanufactured engines and transmissions, in 2000 they opened an install center, according to owner George Anderson. “So probably

Colorado Engine may have “engine” in the name, but transmissions are also a key component of the business for a shop that deals with the entire powertrain. Started in 1983 as a wholesale warehouse distributor for factory remanufactured engines and transmissions, in 2000 they opened an install center, according to owner George Anderson.

A long journey to success at New Jersey’s Wholesale Transmissions

“We’ve been family-owned since 1985,” Mike Nader says of his shop, New Jersey’s Wholesale Transmissions. Related Articles – Shift pointers: High-mileage transmissions and the aches and pains of age – Toyota/Lexus UA/UB series: Critical wear areas and vacuum test locations – Looking for the cause of repeated 6T40 torque converter failure Mike’s father started off

Kitting keeps us profitable: Aftermarket kit suppliers listing 2023

The kitting of transmission parts has made profitable shop operation possible. When a kit with 100 parts is necessary, a distributor has already assembled all the important components into the kit and it is typically sitting on the shelf ready to be delivered. Kitting saves time and effort for both the shop and the supplying

California’s Rohnert Park Transmissions is a multi-generational success story

Fernando Gomez’s dad got into the business after being in the Army. “It was what he always wanted to do,” Fernando says. But that wasn’t the case for Fernando at first. Related Articles – 6T40 delayed engagements after overhaul – GM 6T70/75 slips and delays in first – How to fix GM 6T70/Ford 6F50 rattling

Doing the little things right at Habby’s Transmissions

Habby’s Transmissions started as a radiator shop. When Warren Frie bought it in 1975 (keeping the name Habby’s from the previous owner), it took until the mid-1980s until he saw an opportunity in the transmission repair market, and transformed the business. Related Articles – The importance of the follow-up road test after transmission replacement –


Other Posts

GFX introduces two new filters, two new hard parts

GFX has announced four new products: two filters and two hard parts. Related Articles – Gray Tools releases insulated socket sets – RatioTek introduces new tuner kit for Ram trucks – Sonnax highlights GM 4L heavy-duty input shafts The first filter (pictured above) is for Ford models from 2017 and on, and is designed to

Vehicle average age hits record high

The average age of cars and light trucks in the U.S. has risen again this year to a new record of 12.5 years, according to the latest analysis from S&P Global Mobility. Related Articles – Al La Rocca passes away – HECAT to cease operations – Allison Transmission honors tech competition finalists The growth is

The transmission repair industry: Globally integrated

I recently read an article reported on the Global Newswire that finds the world’s transmission repair aftermarket is continuing to grow. In that article, the authors found that what was about $188 million global industry was expected to approach $235 million by 2028. There are certainly differences among the various nations in the units in

Can the U.S. electric grid power Electrify America?

As the world becomes increasingly conscious about the environment, electric vehicles are becoming more popular. Related Articles – Freudenberg Sealing Technologies opens battery testing lab – Report: U.S. EV investments rapidly increasing – Report: Inflation Reduction Act sparks surge in EV investment In 2022, more than 750,000 new all-electric cars were registered in the United