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  #1  
Old 03-18-2013, 01:05 PM
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NAPA Crap

I just thought I would share my recent experience with rebuilding my front end after 130K miles of reliable operation. I figured I will have the WK for a little while longer and it would be worthwhile to fix all the rattling and clunking in the front end.

After replacing the upper and lower control arms (balljoints were bad), hubs, halfshafts, swaybar links and bushings, (I replaced the shocks at 115K), and inner and outer tie rods, I decided I might as well replace the calipers as well (they had ripped boots and seeping pistons).

So, off to NAPA I went and sprung for their "Eclipse" series, semi- loaded remanufactured calipers. They came with 'new' hardware and looked great. Everything went fine on that install - except a bad sealing area on the casting for the banjo bolt copper washer. A little creative 'machining' and all was good. No leaks.

So, out I take it for a test drive and all seems well....except I hear some rattling (metal on metal) in the front end over smaller bumps. Rechecked EVERYTHING, including all torques. All good. Nothing obviously loose or left off.

Took it for alignment and all seemed good, but annoying rattling was still there. Thought maybe the rack was loose, and I ended up adjusting it just like written up elsewhere on here. The rattle got quieter (especially in turns), BUT still was there.

So, I jacked the front end up, took my 4lb sledge, and began hitting the LF tire to see if I could hear something. Boy did I! I also heard it on the RF side as well, which was worse. WTF!?

I ended up tracing it directly to the new NAPA reman calipers. Took them off and took out the guide pins from t he brackets....HOLY COW!! The idiots who put the calipers together actually CUT the $0.0001 bushings in half. The pins and bushings on the left are new. The other side was the same thing. The pin tips were hitting the inside of the caliper support.

Replaced all 4 pins and bushings with brand new Raybestos parts, and QUIET at last!!

NAPA SUCKS! I want 4 hours of my life back!
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:36 PM
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Re: NAPA Crap

Napa is actually one of the better aftermarket companies. Yes I now work for a Napa Service Center, and yes my first job on the books years ago was at a Napa distribution center, That said I have dealt with MANY parts store parts and many suck. Such is life, unless you spring for OEM you cannot bitch too much. You can get OEM quality parts and PAY for them or you can get less than OEM quality parts and your upfront cost is down but as you found your labor can go up.

Another downside to OEM is not only is the cost higher but typically a "caliper" comes with new banjo bolt seals, new slide pins, and anti rattle clips... from a PARTS STORE, but if you buy a Mopar caliper for another 90 bucks you get none of that, its all extra.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:45 AM
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Re: NAPA Crap

I know NAPA is one of the better aftermarket companies, which is why I went there for many of my replacement parts. However, I am now convinced that they have lowered the bar for quality to meet that of Autozone or Advance auto parts. Heck, I was buying Echlin (NAPA brand) 20 years ago and I always thought it was better than AC Delco or Mopar.

This whole thing is just a sad state of affairs when you have a HUMAN being intentionally not following simple assembly procedures. Not what I expected from NAPA, at all. They keep this up, they will lose a bunch of commercial business. Who wants callbacks for this kind of stuff??
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:18 PM
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Re: NAPA Crap

More NAPA Crap..Tie Rod ends only one month old. The boots each have two rips . One of them is also a bit loose. They were greased right after installation.

I replaced them with MOOG, which were slightly beefier. We will see how we'll they hold up. The MOOG boots seem better too.

As of right now, I will no longer purchase NAPA brand product. Between the caliper issue and now this, what a waste of time and money.
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