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Thread: 911 parts; better to buy original Porsche, or aftermarket a reasonable alternative?

  1. #1
    Member swisscheese's Avatar
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    911 parts; better to buy original Porsche, or aftermarket a reasonable alternative?

    As title says: What's the general perception on the quality of aftermarket parts , vs the "original" Porsche parts. Well worth the extra money, or is aftermarket a reasonable alternative? Specifically looking at quality and finish of deco (bumper, skirt) strips, rubber seal parts. I know Porsche doesn't make all parts themselves (but, which ones?).
    Thanks for any experience!
    Tom
    911S 1973
    Early 911S Registry #176

  2. #2
    Senior Member NorthernThrux's Avatar
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    It varies both in terms of quality and accuracy. Some aftermarket parts are rebranded by Porsche and just cost more. Others are Porsche unique but often generic to model year and so not always accurate. Repro parts aren't always accurate either for a given model year, being built to cover E,F and G bodies for example. Or superseded parts become exposed rubber hose instead of fabric covered hose for example. Some aftermarket reproductions are works of art (Soterik, jaudette3 as examples).

    This board is your guide, but even here, people's experience from 5 years ago may not be a reflection of what is on the market now. Suppliers change. Original is best if the original isn't worn out or can be reconditioned. At least in terms of accuracy and any market value associated with that adherence to originality. Does it really matter if the rubber band that holds the evaporative canister under the cowl is round or square profiled? Functionally no, but for accuracy, yes. Does it matter if the door plugs have 15 circles or 12? Only if top marks at a concours or top $ at auction are your goals. Does it matter if the turn signal and wiper stalks are stamped steel (original) or solid round (OEM since the late '70's)? Only you can decide. A new signal switch is likely to last longer, but an old one is correct but may be prone to failure.

    It also depends on how much you are willing to compromise on other things. I had a hexagonal pattern roof liner that looked to be the cat's meow but was actually too thick for the proper door and window seals. Some people seem to have managed to make it work. My restorer, who even advises Porsche on how to restore Porsches, was unable to do so without a poor fit at the seals. So I went with Porsche OEM.

    My own personal feeling is that a future buyer will be able to tell how much a car was loved by both the quality and accuracy of the parts that go into it. And that parts that Porsche would use to repair a Porsche are nothing to be ashamed of, even if they don't match how the car came. That said, I've tried to stick with original and NOS wherever possible unless an 8 month search came up empty at which point I buy what's available. At some point you have to get in the car and drive it (or get it out the door if you are a restorer).

    Ravi
    Last edited by NorthernThrux; 07-11-2019 at 08:54 AM.
    Early 911S Registry # 2395
    1973 Porsche 911S in ivory white 5sp MT
    2015 Porsche Macan S in agate grey 7sp PDK

  3. #3
    Senior Member moito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swisscheese View Post
    (but, which ones?).

    Tom
    none i guess

  4. #4
    Senior Member raspritz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moito View Post
    none i guess
    Has Porsche ever made its own parts? I believe not. At least, that is what the guide said when I toured the Porsche factory many years ago. Some parts suppliers were "OEM" to Porsche for long periods, whereas others came and went. So, "OEM" has always evolved over time. My observation is that, while the quality of current repro parts varies, that is also true of OEM parts, and the quality of at least some current repro parts is superior to even NOS OEM parts (e.g. some horn grilles).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Milou's Avatar
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    For parts, I usually follow the following order:
    1. NOS
    2. slightly used old original
    3. restoration or reproduction made by members here (Ie. John Audette)
    4. Porsche parts
    5. Chinese reproduction parts

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by raspritz View Post
    Has Porsche ever made its own parts? I believe not. At least, that is what the guide said when I toured the Porsche factory many years ago.
    Here is a video link below (although pre-911), the Porsche factory used to press their own body panels. I think Karmann did too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbFu1r_erw0

  7. #7
    when we first started business in 1978, we had no problem with parts variations. There was only the original equipment supplier and all were made in Germany. Hence we had only one part number and everyone could be assured of getting a top quality no excuses part. Much much later the Chinese and the global economy entered the picture, and there became a glut of aftermarket copies many of them total crap. We had to wade through the crap, redesignate every part number by a prefix so people knew what they were getting. Now even many genuine parts are cheap remade copies from china (porsche makes their hood badge in china). Bottom line, if you deal with a good firm you can ask them their recommendations and they will tell you. Also will ask you about how nice your car is as to what you should purchase.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 911T1971's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milou View Post
    For parts, I usually follow the following order:
    1. NOS
    2. slightly used old original
    3. restoration or reproduction made by members here (Ie. John Audette)
    4. Porsche parts
    5. Chinese reproduction parts
    Agree. In terms of repro products by Eric Linden, it’s probably as good as NOS.
    Karim / Registry member No.773
    www.karimnoureldin.net

  9. #9
    Member swisscheese's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response; In my (current) restoration process, I'm trying to find a way in the parts jungle and thought it was extremely disappointing to find that (even) the Porsche parts are not what you would expect for the money (i.e. dashboard) and the stature of Porsche Classic. As such, I'm baffled by the fact that you have to doubt every manufacturer until their parts are proven "correct" (as also mentioned, only for that moment).
    I understand that you have to balance (the type/state of) your car to decide what quality to choose, but how to know what quality those parts are? (of course, for the 911S, only the best will do ) I need new rubbers/seals, with prices ranging up to triple for the (seemingly) same part.. no clue on quality differences. Same for outside trim parts.
    At the same time (for other parts) happy to discover the forum members making parts available!
    The search continues...
    911S 1973
    Early 911S Registry #176

  10. #10
    If its rubber,,,Porsche only !!! Wait until you try and fit a repro windshield seal, or try and make the hood shut on an aftermarket seal.
    Early S Registry member #90
    R Gruppe member #138
    Fort Worth Tx.

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