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Eastern European Parts

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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Eddystone
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Eddystone

Eastern European Parts

Post by Eddystone » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:16 pm

When it comes to my old Volvos, I am increasingly becoming convinced that parts from eastern Europe are generally of pretty decent quality. I notice that many Volvo parts and other "brand name" supplier parts are made in places like Slovenia and Poland. When I buy parts these days, I generally try to determine country of manufacture and stay away from China as best I can. This is particularly true when it comes to suspension or other parts containing rubber. I am much more trusting of parts made in Taiwan than those made in China, since most Taiwanese stuff seems pretty decent. I NEVER buy brake rotors from China because I have been burned more than once by rotors with inconsistent hardness in the metal.

These are all generalizations but they seem to be borne out by experience. Generally, I try to buy parts made by the same company Volvo originally contracted with for the parts and trust that they will be of quite acceptable quality. I've also bought a number of parts recently where it is obvious that the manufacturer's part or casting number has been ground off.

Of course, the best advice on parts comes from MVS and other reviews from Volvo aficionados. I know some of you say, "Always buy OEM Volvo parts" and that's okay for people who don't have to watch their spending. What I find helpful are people who say, "Aftermarket parts are fine in many applications, but always use an OEM Volvo part for THIS particular thing."

I also try to stay away from well known parts suppliers (like maybe Beck Arnley) who package parts that are sourced from wherever they are cheapest at the time they buy and you may never get the same part twice even if you order the same part number.

Just running my mouth here...
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scot850


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Re: Eastern European Parts

Post by scot850 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:05 pm

All fair and reasoned thinking. I use Volvo OE where I can but will occasionally stray to OEM (Like Bosch/Hutchison/Lemforder) where the OE price is stupid.

Neil.


2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
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2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
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Re: Eastern European Parts

Post by Eddystone » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:22 pm

Neil, I may be wrong but it seems as if OEM prices for these older cars are coming down, at least from some dealers who sell online. Someone recently questioned whether Volvo parts for these old cars are coming from the same original sources and whether they are of the same quality.

Not to hijack my own thread, but I just bought another one of those $29.95 Swedish Car Parts heater cores from Illinois. I have had one in my V70 for over a year with not a hint of a leak or a problem, and good heat. Supposedly made slightly differently so as to eliminate the OE design issue that leads to leaks. Comes with a lifetime warranty, for what that's worth. I think this is a good example of a part made in Slovenia that works at a fraction of the cost of OEM. I've seen one or two reports of problems but many more positive reviews, and whether or not you have issues often depends on how you install it and what condition the associated parts are in.

I got caught in a bind a week or so ago after finding two seized rear calipers on my S70 T5 and had to pickup a pair at the local Pep Boys. I hope those are better than one would expect them to be. So far, they work just fine, but God knows where they were remanufactured and by whom.


1998 V70 Non-Turbo/Auto
1993 945 Turbo/Auto
1999 S70 T5 Turbo/Auto
All U.S. market models.
All on the road and running.
PM me if you are near Philadelphia.
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Re: Eastern European Parts

Post by abscate » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:02 am

The rebuilt parts supply chain is very hit and miss.

I have two Cardones calipers on my front of my T5 which are 5 years old, 50 k miles

My rear caliper from cardone was pot metal and seized in 20 months.

The rubber and plastic parts from Eastern Europe do seem to be OEM quality compared to Stuff from China


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Re: Eastern European Parts

Post by Sommerfeldt » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:52 am

I have to agree with Eddystone on this one... Easter European parts are usually good quality. To Volvo, these cars are way outdated already, and most of the "blue box" stuff has to be ordered from something Volvo calls "classic parts", at least over here. From what I've seen, a lot of that stuff is long-warehoused stuff that in some cases have degraded. I'd rather have a new, aftermarket part than an old and degraded blue box thing.

I usually try to find OEM things - buy Bosch parts for those sensitive things that only Bosch does right, or use VParts.se for the little things. do88 for hoses and RIP kits and whatnot, and brakes from ABE or ATE, from resellers that are way cheaper than Volvo dealers. A lot of the stuff on my car comes from everywhere from Germany to Japan by now, lots from Eastern Europe.

I'm usually only extra careful with (and to avoid, usually) things from China, and from the US, sorry to say.

- S


'96 855 T5, R bumper and spoiler, Koni Yellows & blue H&R springs all 'round.

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Re: Eastern European Parts

Post by Eddystone » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:08 am

Sommerfeldt wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:52 am
I'm usually only extra careful with (and to avoid, usually) things from China, and from the US, sorry to say.
- S
I'm not sure how many Volvo parts are actually made in the USA. I live there and don't see much. I will say that I'm not afraid to buy TRW suspension parts and (usually) Moog. I bought Moog sway bar links for my son's S60 that had a grease fitting. I thought that was a nice feature until the fitting was immediately sheared off by interfering with other suspension parts. Generally speaking, I have no problem with parts made in the USA, but just because it is an American brand doesn't mean it was made here. If they don't list a country of origin, I generally assume China.

By the way, not everything made in China is junk. I have a number of guitars and ukuleles made in China, and the quality of those has risen sharply over the past few years. That quality varies by brand and what the quality standards are of the company that pays the Chinese factory to produce the guitar. Ironically, some of the worst inexpensive musical instruments I have come across are from Eastern Europe.


1998 V70 Non-Turbo/Auto
1993 945 Turbo/Auto
1999 S70 T5 Turbo/Auto
All U.S. market models.
All on the road and running.
PM me if you are near Philadelphia.
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Re: Eastern European Parts

Post by Rattnalle » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:19 am

After having two sets of German made Zimmermann brake discs warp on me I bought a set from Bosch instead. Made in China. They've been excellent so far.

I'm more concerned about the brands reputation than country of manufacture personally when it comes to parts that unlike for example oil don't have a clear specification to adhere to. If you do your QC properly the location of the factory isn't as important.
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Re: Eastern European Parts

Post by Eddystone » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:28 am

"After having two sets of German made Zimmermann brake discs warp on me I bought a set from Bosch instead. Made in China. They've been excellent so far."

I've got Zimmermans on my cars, and they've been fine. I guess individual mileage may vary, as they say.

The Chinese (PDR, Taiwan) discs I have had on both Fords and Volvos have had "hard spots" in them that didn't wear evenly with the rest of the disc. I guess what I said about guitars may apply to brake discs, as well. You would certainly expect Bosch to sell good stuff. I used Bosch for the rear brake pads and am very pleased with them. Still no issue with the Zimmerman here, though.


1998 V70 Non-Turbo/Auto
1993 945 Turbo/Auto
1999 S70 T5 Turbo/Auto
All U.S. market models.
All on the road and running.
PM me if you are near Philadelphia.
;-)

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Re: Eastern European Parts

Post by Rattnalle » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:33 am

Eddystone wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:28 am
"After having two sets of German made Zimmermann brake discs warp on me I bought a set from Bosch instead. Made in China. They've been excellent so far."

I've got Zimmermans on my cars, and they've been fine. I guess individual mileage may vary, as they say.

The Chinese (PDR, Taiwan) discs I have had on both Fords and Volvos have had "hard spots" in them that didn't wear evenly with the rest of the disc. I guess what I said about guitars may apply to brake discs, as well. You would certainly expect Bosch to sell good stuff. I used Bosch for the rear brake pads and am very pleased with them. Still no issue with the Zimmerman here, though.
All with in the first few thousand kilometers, progressively getting worse from there. Really annoying to have to do it all over again twice. First time I've had any issues with a brake job that I've done too.

The Bosch pads I got were made in Spain though.



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Re: Eastern European Parts

Post by scot850 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:13 am

It is true to say that I also believe that some of the Volvo supplied parts are junk. I have now fitted Brembo calipers to the front of my sons XC70 as the Volvo OE ones have either warped or worn out very quickly (3 sets in 35,000 miles). We will see if they fair any better. Some of the rubber engine mounts now have 'Rein' on them. Not a companies rubber parts I would knowingly use due to past experiences.

Like many things in life it can be a crap shoot and can also be what is available to where you live in the world. Volvo has had many parts made in Eastern Europe for many years and the parts have been very good ( the quality control issue is very true).

I have had Volvo OE brake pads that are made in India and they were typical Volvo (dusty but work really well). I don't believe they are made in India any more.

I know that there are many complaints in UK by the classic car movement where parts that are sold are not just junk but in many cases just down right dangerous.

If you find something works then go with it!

An example of suspension/steering parts is Lemforder who we all know and love. As I understand they have been bought by TRW and they are slowly changing the name tags over to TRW.

Neil.


2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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