Quality of Rubber: Tires up, Seals down

MomoJeep

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
Seattle
State
WA
#1
Regarding a different thread about whether to get new spindle seals or not: https://www.cj-8.com/threads/spindle-seal-dana-30-replace-dilemma.50793/#post-428220

I got the following info from my local 4x4 shop:

TIRES - have gone UP in quality due to federal regulations. Also, the technology of tire rubber compounds has gotten better. Rules saying tires are only good for 10 years came from an industry liability situation.

SEALS - My old Spindle seals from 20-30+ years ago look fine. People on the thread above say re-use them. My shop concurs, they explained that my old ones where probably made in USA and really good quality from back then. Today's seals are made overseas and are cheap (both cost and quality) in comparison.
 

MomoJeep

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
Seattle
State
WA
#4
I dont believe for a minute that the quality of rubber seals has gone down in the last 30 years its just that some (or maybe all) aftermarket parts like that are just complete and utter. :poop::poop::poop:
So you're saying that high quality rubber is available (seems to make sense), but that (a) the quality of rubber they use in aftermarket/imported seals is crap or (b) they use good rubber but otherwise the quality of the manufacturing is down... or both?
 

93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#7
Today's "parts store" seals may be mostly junk given the economic solution mindset of that industry, but that isn't the only option. Honestly, you can spec out whatever seal you want; just go to a good bearing and seal store, spec your ID and OD, spec your material, and then see what quality, long lasting seals cost nowadays.
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#8
Today's "parts store" seals may be mostly junk given the economic solution mindset of that industry, but that isn't the only option. Honestly, you can spec out whatever seal you want; just go to a good bearing and seal store, spec your ID and OD, spec your material, and then see what quality, long lasting seals cost nowadays.
Is there a national one, name brands one that might be in most mid to larger cities ? Even 2 of my 4 tie Rod ends from NAPA last week were made in Turkey :banghead:
 

HighSierra CJ

Scrambler Enthusiast
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Ducor
State
Ca
#10
I have always used Timken bearings and seals.

It looks like they’ve been manufacturing in China for the past few years. That’s new information to me
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#11
... then see what quality, long lasting seals cost nowadays.
Exactly, simple economics and goes across basically any consumer product where there’s multiple manufacturers

if it can be made cheaper, it will becuase people are cheap on the whole. This is the same thing as everyone saying “buy American” and/or “buy local”... right up until they have to actually pay for products made here over those made overseas and/or sold locally over what they can buy online.

doing my 401 swap in the midst of this mess, I made a decision to buy all I could through my local part store (great independent shop). That meant that I had to pay a good bit more than if I sat on my browser and did amazon/jegs/summit/rock auto/quadratec, etc. I knew it and it hurt, but that’s what I decided and I did it. The typical consumer buying day to day stuff is never going to do that in any significant proportion.

Budweiser and InBev (their foreign owners) are a perfect example. One of the most iconic American products made in the US? Buy it up, cut every possible corner while accepting a small decrease in product quality, fire as many US workers as possible to make production as cheap as possible, slap “America” on the label and keep selling the hell out of it to ignorant buyers who only care about the name
and don’t realize it’s no longer the oldest American brewery because it’s foreign-owned and those foreign owners absolutely gutted one of the great American companies. :shrug:

If that doesn’t stop people buying Budweiser, what hope is there?
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#12
Unfortunately there are no independent small guys in the auto parts around here anymore that I'm aware of. Years ago just down the hiway there was a guy in business that seamed like he always had what you needed when you needed it, and was open until midnight 6 days a week and 10 pm Sunday. Long gone now!
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#13
Unfortunately there are no independent small guys in the auto parts around here anymore that I'm aware of. Years ago just down the hiway there was a guy in business that seamed like he always had what you needed when you needed it, and was open until midnight 6 days a week and 10 pm Sunday. Long gone now!
Which is precisely why I did what I did. I don’t take him or his shop for granted.
 

MomoJeep

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
Seattle
State
WA
#15
Exactly, simple economics and goes across basically any consumer product where there’s multiple manufacturers

if it can be made cheaper, it will becuase people are cheap on the whole. This is the same thing as everyone saying “buy American” and/or “buy local”... right up until they have to actually pay for products made here over those made overseas and/or sold locally over what they can buy online.

doing my 401 swap in the midst of this mess, I made a decision to buy all I could through my local part store (great independent shop). That meant that I had to pay a good bit more than if I sat on my browser and did amazon/jegs/summit/rock auto/quadratec, etc. I knew it and it hurt, but that’s what I decided and I did it. The typical consumer buying day to day stuff is never going to do that in any significant proportion.

Budweiser and InBev (their foreign owners) are a perfect example. One of the most iconic American products made in the US? Buy it up, cut every possible corner while accepting a small decrease in product quality, fire as many US workers as possible to make production as cheap as possible, slap “America” on the label and keep selling the hell out of it to ignorant buyers who only care about the name
and don’t realize it’s no longer the oldest American brewery because it’s foreign-owned and those foreign owners absolutely gutted one of the great American companies. :shrug:

If that doesn’t stop people buying Budweiser, what hope is there?

AND... Here's the thing... I don't think most people realize it, but often it's called "False Economy". I would much rather pay the price of quality and know it's going to last. Junk is junk. I don't want junk. Example: I had an old washing machine going out. The repair guy said a new motor for $125, and I could get another 20 years out of it. Or a brand new fancy one with the "new look" and bells & whistles would last on average SEVEN years. When people buy junk, I don't think the are thinking it through. The replacement cost down the road probably does NOT make it less expensive. When I work on my jeep, I'd much rather have it stay on the road/trail for a long time before the next repair. I think it costs more to deal with a break down than it does to be preventative and do things right the first time.

Now with al that said, where do we go to buy quality parts? Specifically seals and bearings?
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
#16
You can't just buy a brand anymore. They're all getting bought, quality gutted, and sold to be the same, when they're not.

Look what has happened to Remington and Marlin after being bought out. Same guns, same name, quality is HORRIBLE now. Bought out by Cerberus Management, run into the ground. When people caught on, they changed the name and made out like Cerberus is out of the picture, but they just changed names and keep on selling crap under reputable names.

Optima batteries. Great batts. Sold to Johnson Controls, production moved to Mexico, and quality goes in the crapper.

Timken is made all over the place now, including China.

Hell even OEM stuff. New OEM Honda seals are now "Made in China". Even Honda does it.

So who makes good bearings and seals now? I look for stuff made in Japan. Their quality still seems to be good.

And momo, I'm constantly teased because I hold onto and fix crap rather than buy new. I just ordered about $250 worth of parts for my 1985 John Deere mower, that would likely bring less than $200 if I were to sell it. That said, it's lasted 35 years, and still runs like a top, so I'm going to fix it rather than scrap it and go buy a current production Deere that won't last 5 years.
 

MomoJeep

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
Seattle
State
WA
#17
You can't just buy a brand anymore. They're all getting bought, quality gutted, and sold to be the same, when they're not.

Look what has happened to Remington and Marlin after being bought out. Same guns, same name, quality is HORRIBLE now. Bought out by Cerberus Management, run into the ground. When people caught on, they changed the name and made out like Cerberus is out of the picture, but they just changed names and keep on selling crap under reputable names.

Optima batteries. Great batts. Sold to Johnson Controls, production moved to Mexico, and quality goes in the crapper.

Timken is made all over the place now, including China.

Hell even OEM stuff. New OEM Honda seals are now "Made in China". Even Honda does it.

So who makes good bearings and seals now? I look for stuff made in Japan. Their quality still seems to be good.

And momo, I'm constantly teased because I hold onto and fix crap rather than buy new. I just ordered about $250 worth of parts for my 1985 John Deere mower, that would likely bring less than $200 if I were to sell it. That said, it's lasted 35 years, and still runs like a top, so I'm going to fix it rather than scrap it and go buy a current production Deere that won't last 5 years.
EXACTLY!
 

barrys

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
East Norriton
State
PA
#19
I have a NOS yellow top from at least 20 years ago. Still wrapped in plastic in original box. What are the chances it would hold a charge. :shrug::crazy:
 
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