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Thursday, February 16, 2006 

Aftermarket Auto Body Parts

I've been repairing and restoring cars for about ten years and dealing with aftermarket auto parts has been frustraiting. Most aftermarket parts are ok but some of them just do not fit. It seems to me that at least one part for each vehicle that aftermarket parts are available for is going to be out of wack. The body lines don't match, the gaps between parts are wavy or bowed. I've seen a hood that was an inch shorter on one side, a fender that was too short and annother too long. Sometimes the headlights do not fit into the openning in the fender. This can be frustraiting, to say the least.

My brother-in-law (a bodyshop owner too) just finished repairing a 1997 Honda Accord. He had to use aftermarket fenders, hood, front bumper reinforcement and a cover. He did a perfect job on this car. The right fender is bowed though. The gap between the hood and the right fender starts and finishes with a nice 1/8" gap but in the middle it is bowed out to about 1/4". Nothign he can do. Beating it in will ruin the fender.

I am tempted to start a registry for messed up aftermarket parts so people can reffer to it and if they do not want to deal with these problems they can choose to buy an OEM part that is registered as bad.

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