Why I Do Not Use Import Reproduction Parts

Take a careful look at the two gears pictured below, they look pretty much identical don't they. They are both Ironhead Sportster countershaft second gears. The top one is a brand new made in USA Andrews gear, the bottom gear is made in some foreign country by some no-name manufacturer, and although slightly used, the gear, functionally, looks perfect. The Andrews gear cost more than twice as much as the no-name gear. So use the no-name gear and save some money, right? Not so fast.

The made in some foreign country by some no-name manufacturer gear came out of a trans that I had put together, the trans was popping out of second. No problem, I'd take the trans out, figure out where I screwed up and put it back together.

Anyway, took trans out (1st time), looked it over, everything looked basically OK. I decided the dogs on the countershaft third gear (which slides over into second gear) looked just a tad rounded over so I bought a new Andrews countershaft third gear. Put trans back in. Test drive... Still the same problem. Bummer. Same routine, took the trans out again (2nd time), looked it all over again, everything still looked basically OK. I decided that maybe the dog engagement between second and third gear could be tweaked a little so I put a +.005 shifter fork in to shove third gear into second gear just a tad further. Put trans back in. Test drive... Still the same problem. Bummer. Same routine, took the trans out again (3rd time, but who's counting anymore), looked it all over again, everything still looked good. What the fuck, now I am beginning to get pissed off. Why would a trans whose parts all looked perfect and whose clearances were all correct be popping out of second gear? It was time to get serious. After very careful examination I noticed that the ramps on the countershaft second gear were, ever so slightly, facing the wrong direction. The ramps and the dogs are supposed to be backcut ever so slightly so that when the gears are engaged the ramps and the dogs pull the two gears closer together. The ramps on the countershaft gear were shaped in such a manner that they actually forced second gear out of engagement. Could it be? For all intents and purposes the gear looked brand new. Nonetheless, I bought a new Andrews gear to replace the no-name gear. And guess what? Put trans back in. Test drive... PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

And that is why I will not use no-name import reproduction parts inside any engine or trans I put together.

The second morel of the story: if you try to save a buck by using those NOT made in USA parts and you are having trouble with whatever it was you were rebuilding, the problem may not be with what you did and how you did it, but rather with the parts you used to do the rebuild. Stick with Made in USA, it may cost more up front but will be worth it in the long run.


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