Restored parts... What are they and what does "Restored" mean? It is a good question, but hard to define. There are many levels of restored parts, A, B and C grades. "A" level restoration is the highest level of quality, and expect to pay a premium for this level of restored part. If it truely is a "A" grade restoration, it will be worth the price! This part has been completely disassebled, properly preped and cleaned, any flaws have been repaired or corrected, original finish is reapplied, plated or painted to original OEM specifications. Then the part is reassembled to exact OEM specifications. The part is as "good or better than new" condition. This part is the proper part for a high end, high dollar restoration.
"B" level restored part is disassembled, cleaned and preped, flaws are partially repaired or corrected and an original appearing finish is applied and the part is reassembled. This part is a good quality part for an average restoration project. In addition, some reproduction parts may be used to complete a "B" level component restoration. These are good items and sell for above average prices, but if they are done well, they are worth the extra investment.
"C" level restored parts are in most cases, substandard. The processes used and lack of proper prep of the part in addition to proper repairs being performed make "C" level restored parts a questionable investment. Be careful when buying "Restored" parts, ask questions! Make sure you are satisfied that the part is what you are looking for, not only in application but in quality.
Many people do not understand what the true cost is to properly restore a part. If you think you can buy an "A" level restored door lock latch for a American Muscle Car for $50.00, you are fooling yourself! Think about it... How much time would it take to disassemble the part? Since it is plated, all the old plating has to be striped off the part, all the connections, rivits or press pins need to be repaired or replaced, how much are those items? All the bushings and guilds need to be repaired or replaced, the components will need to be replated, that is not a cheap process! All the clips and retainers will need to be replaced. How much time does it take to find all these little parts? How much are all these little parts going to cost? Real Numbers: Labor 10.0 hours or more, parts, $26.00 or more, plating, $50.00 or more. So you should expect to pay over $400.00 or more for this part. If you do not, you are buying a "B" level restored part and you should not expect it to be flawless.
The old saying... YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR... Oh so true...
By: Gordon Peterson
Funk Brothers LTD
Automotive Component Restorations, Eugene, OR 541-683-7244