Factory or aftermarket body parts
I was replacing font end parts on my 99 toyota solara. Hood, fenders, bumpers. etc. Its 50/50 some saying the aftermarket parts were ok and the other saying not to deal with it. Also if I use the capa ones are they any better. I can save about a third of new factory parts and finding use ones are hard to find. Vehicle has salvaged title so hate to get to much into it. Thanks
It depends where you get aftermarket parts from.
Some parts fit really well, and look good, some are just crap.
As discussed in another thread, Certi-fit is crap, but durt cheap.
I use www.usautoparts.com, you can actually pick them up yourself.
I noticed alot of honda parts are hard to fit, poor quality, but other makes are better. But none of them are as easy to fit as factory.
I would say, try aftermarket.
I would say you would be fine with the hood and front bumper cover. I have the most problems out of aftermarket lights and fenders. But even then you might have to just drill new holes in the fender or make the holes wider.
It's been my (extensive) experience that aftermarket parts are not made as well as OEM but if money is a big issue then you can save by using them. Most aftermarket parts won't fit as well as original and the steel is usually not as good as original.
As mentioned already, they DON'T fit, or perform as OEM, PERIOD. However, if you are really after saving a buck, they WILL do the job. We use them every once in a while at work (we do about 150 cars a month) and they WILL save a total for someone after doing just that. Sometimes with a little finess, massaging, begging, pushing, pulling, they look pretty good. Sometimes after a little finess, massaging, begging, pushing, pulling, they still look like crap and that is how they get it (You want it bad you get it bad ).
So yes, you can use them, most people will never see the slight differences.
I re-did my old F150 4X4 a couple three years ago and used all aftermarket parts ( bumper, grill, hood, fenders, doors, cab corners). I replaced with all aftermarket parts. Just for my own curiosity I weighed the old parts individually then weighed its aftermarket replacement part. ALL the parts weighted within 1 lbs of the original part. (so the myth that aftermarket metal is cheaper and thinner didn't hold water). The fit was as good as any ford factory part I've used so fit and alignment were not an issue. The ONLY real difference I could find is that the factory doors and the hood was seam sealed at the Ford plant while the aftermarket parts were not seam sealed. Other than that I could not find an real difference in the parts (other than the ford factory parts were all rotted out with big holes while the aftermarket parts were brand new).
I did an older Camaro a few years ago and the aftermaket parts for that car were terrible. Body lines were way off, adjacent panel gaps were up to 1/4" off. they were total junk.
I think as will all things coming out of Taiwan/China the quality of the parts continually increases with time. I remember back in the sixties when people used to laugh about the junk (and I mean junk) coming out of Japan. Now most things made in Japan are as good or better than anything made in the USA or even Germany.
I have to tell you, without weighing them, I will bet a crisp dollar bill most aftermarket parts are thinner. At the very least the metal is poorer because they flex much more.
Now, I did a 67 Mustang, that rad support was WAY, WAY weaker than the original. It was like tin foil compared.
As you say though, others like some Chevy pickups we have done with all aftermarket, I think the darn aftermarket fit better that OEM.
It is really a crap shoot.
bottom line is...theyre not the same quality of oem, how could it be at half the cost?
However you can get them to fit perfect if you take enough time. But then its the whole issue of time is money. If you waste 3 hours lining up an aftermarket fender...at 42 an hour...thats almost 150.
In most cases the 150 will cover the different between aftermarket and oem...not to mention the ease of installing oem parts.
I use aftermarket all the time. How can you not when customers want you to save 1k deductables. I have nothing against them, im just stating the facts.
If your in a bind for money...save your money and put aftermarket on... Just make sure whoever installing the parts will take the time to reem out the holes...and sit there for a while until its perfect, etc.
I haven't had and bad fitting aftermarket parts in several years. I use them a lot. I've worked at one time or another in the big three dealer body shops and I can tell you with direct experience that NOT all factory parts fit that good either. Most factory parts arrived with dings and dents, creases, corners buckled, bolt holes that were never thread tapped at the factory etc etc etc. A lot of the aftermarket parts were really bad a few years ago but the parts I've been seeing for the last couple years at least have been to my satisfaction.
Martinsr, Thats why I weighed the old factory parts from my truck then weighed the new aftermarket parts. The aftermarket doors, hood and fenders all weighed within one pound of the factory parts. I attributed that little extra weight to primer, paint, undercoating etc of the factory parts. So saying aftermarket parts are thinner and cheaper metal just doesn't fly.