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During the years of classic car restoration, I have always been aware of the high cost of genuine NOS parts, particularly when the parts are almost “non-existent”. To the rescue, comes the manufactured replica part, available either over the counter or within days via the internet. These suppliers and manufactures have enabled many classics to remain on the road, at a more reasonable cost in both time and money. The standard of these parts, in most cases, is satisfactory, if not equal to the originals they are replacing. However, every now and then bad examples surface, creating disappointment, and even frustration for the purchaser especially in fit and performance. When replacing seized spring shackles, that required grinding off the vehicle, purchasing "new 'aftermarket items were a viable alternative to S/H parts. When fitted to the springs, and torqued to the correct tightness, one of the welds gave way. photo 2Inspection of the fracture When removed, showed a possible “cold weld which proved to be too brittle. (See photo I top left with inset of actual fracture). Considerable cost and time eventually found NOS replacements. In another vehicle, continued rear brake cylinder weeping and seizure even after several replacements by the workshop, lead to exasperation, and a post-mortem of the offending cylinders. Investigation of the culprits, revealed inferior castings, and misalignment of the 

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interior honing, leading to piston jams and fluid loss. (See photo 2 bottom left and 3 bottom right showing side and end view of cylinder) Further research on the Web showed 2 qualities of wheel cylinders, “budget' and “best. The costing and immediate availability in stock of the “budget cylinders makes their
choice understandable, in view of the "best cylinders that are 2/3rds more costly and are often a "special orders' requirement, or even "Out of Stock'. Fitting of the “best cylinders has resulted in a reliable system and over time, financial savings. Of particular note, the “best cylinders are supplied by the original brake equipment maker as genuine "classic replacements'. Barry Gilbert



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