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Buyer Beware

In these days of instant internet access, one can easily drift into a state of complacency when it comes to finding and ordering parts for once common, now rarer cars.

When cardboard packages arrive, the time set aside for completing whatever task it may be, can be expected to be spent productively, that is unless the package's contents are not quite what one expected.

Truly, the parts might be the correct ones for the car and indeed made to original specification in every way. But problems arise when the vendor's description has been less than accurate, misleading, or in some cases, downright dishonest.

I'll admit that I'm writing this missive having been annoyed by what was delivered to me today. I have little spare time for messing about and so, when I order new or used parts, I expect them to arrive at least almost ready for use, especially if that is how they have been described.

Mentioning no names and not even positively identifying the parts supplied or car to which they were to be fitted, I should like to set straight the differences between the rust types - 'surface' , 'deep' and 'terminal'

Surface rust means that there is a light dusting of rust on the surface of the steel, which would easily remove with a light sanding. Components in this condition may be used almost immediately, unless the rust is within critical areas, such as inside brake piston bores and the like.

Deep rust is when oxidation has penetrated deep into the steel, lifting flakes of oxide in a puff pastry-like fashion, but leaving a serviceable amount of steel. Components in this condition are likely to need a lot of deep cleaning, often by blasting, and then inspection for perforations, before surface protection and re-use. This can be time-consuming.

Terminal rust is when the component has been severely compromised in its function by the process of oxidation. In cases such as these, it's likely that the whole component will need replacing, or certainly, the worst hit areas will need to be cut out and replaced using fresh material.

I have been supplied some brake components described as lightly rusted, when in fact they were deeply affected, meaning that I will spend most of the day getting them to a reasonable condition. If they were as described, they'd be on the car and I'd have nothing to rant on about.

Hmmm, am I getting old?

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