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The Chinese rely on the customer doing the QC, it's that simple. They are prepared to punch out vast numbers of the product, with the accent on total production numbers, rather than the consistent quality of the product.

 

You will see the Chinese manufacturers offering their goods on websites such as Alibaba, and typically, an MOQ is in the thousands. They don't want the buyers who only want a dozen or three dozen items.

 

There's a good book available, written by an American, who worked in Chinese manufacturing for a long time. The book is called "Poorly Made in China", by Paul Midler.

The book was originally written around the late 1990's, and Midler produced an updated and revised 2nd Edition in 2009. It makes good reading, and it should be compulsory reading for every Westerner.

 

In essence, Midler outlines how the Chinese specialise in "Quality Fade". They will produce an initial product that meets specifications, but once in production, the specifications will be lowered, due to corruption and profit-chasing.

Midler points out that the Chinese place profit much higher than any consistency in product quality, or in producing products that meet exact (Western) specifications.

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I use Permatex anti seize on my plug threads. One $15.00 tube will last a lifetime. US made and combines copper, aluminium and graphite lubricant blends so is electrically conductive, corrosion, salt,

Having looked at costs to own a plane (shouldn't really do that anyway) The Rotax whilst higher initial outlay works out cost effective. It doesn't require a top end overhaul at 1000hrs, which fo

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You are right on, onetrack You look at the object and it looks spot on and beautifully finished. At some stage (if not already) someone in the chain will cheapen the metallurgy a tiny bit or short cut some check. They then produce tens of thousands of bit's with a dimensional error. ALL done TO CUT COSTS and UP profits. Making MONEY is the sole aim of this GAME. Give you a new one (that costs F/A.) Reverse engineering doesn't take heed of how critical some designs already are using a high spec metal in some critical part to cover the need for a redesign of the whole thing.. That situation is found by testing or watching in field service/failures. Reverse engineering doesn't get that essential knowledge. or care till it affects the sales figures, and then you will probably be accused of being anti-chinese. People buy mainly on price and are ill equipped to know the difference in what they are buying. The sales outlets don't worry as the mark up is out of this world on this stuff. Nev

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The Chinese rely on the customer doing the QC, it's that simple.

In essence, Midler outlines how the Chinese specialise in "Quality Fade". They will produce an initial product that meets specifications, but once in production, the specifications will be lowered, due to corruption and profit-chasing.

I've been following this for about 20years now, ever since I had to equip a flat for myself with a few basics. In short order, I learnt that people were making can openers that won't open a can, electric radiators that cannot dissipate heat, toasters that take 2 cycles to even slightly brown skinny white, irons that periodically spit varying amounts of water when turned to steam, and vacuum cleaners that look right and even sound right, but don't actually pick up much dust.

 

And it's now so pervasive, it's hard not to follow it: yesterday I set about scrubbing back a deck here in preparation for staining or oiling. Within a couple of hours I was in the workshop, replacing the pitifully small screws securing the head of the deck scrubber I had just bought.

No problem...but lots of folk don't have assorted screws and screwdrivers.

 

I've wondered, from time to time, whether there might be a business opportunity in an outlet that stocked only things that actually work...

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Where a brand name meant something? . Even good stuff can be demolished by barbarians but bad stuff does it by itself if it EVER worked properly at anytime. Lots of US and Japanese (even) include parts made in China. . I'll say it again.... People buy only on price Paid.. IF they won't pay any extra who'll be able to sell stuff that's better (but more expensive)? Nev

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I think the saddest thing is the good name Western and European manufacturers who have prostituted themselves on the altar of Chinese manufacturing.

 

1. About 20 years ago, I went to a hydraulic jack repair shop and spotted a pile of almost new Snap-On hydraulic floor jacks in the back of the building. I asked the owner what the story was, and he said, "Oh, Snap-On went and got all these floor jacks made in China. The Chinese substituted all the specified high-grade rubber and synthetic seals and o-rings in the jacks, with cheap, hard plastic seals and o-rings!

They've all started leaking like sieves within 6 mths of purchase! These are all warranty repair jobs, it has cost Snap-On a fortune!"

 

2. The missus wanted a domestic high pressure washer to clean up the paving around the house. She wanted to buy it herself, and didn't want to pay too much - $200 maximum.

We went and bought a (Chinese-made) Ryobi pressure washer - single phase, reputedly 2000 psi output. First, the hose coupler (that held a water filter), exploded after the machine ran for less than 20 minutes. I replaced the coupler with a brass coupler. After another 20 minutes, the thread on the inlet housing stripped clean, and the brass coupler blew off.

 

We took it back to Bunnings and they gave us a new one, giving us the standard reply, "Oh, we've never seen this happen before! (Yeah, I bet you haven't). Took the new unit home, used it for half an hour. As the missus let the trigger go, the main pump housing exploded in a pile of shattered plastic, with water going everywhere. Took it back, told Bunnings we wanted a full refund, and No Thanks, we don't want any other Ryobi replacement model!

 

3. We went to Total Tools and picked out a domestic-grade Karcher. Made in China. Also single phase and reputedly 2000 psi. Used it for less than an hour, I let the trigger go to shut it off, and the main pump housing exploded apart on that, too!

Took it back and got a refund, with the standard response, "Oh, we've never seen this happen before!". Yeah, right.

I reckon none of these pressure washers even remotely reach 2000 psi output - except for when you let the trigger go, and the back pressure builds to 2000 psi, which their crappy plastic housings can't cope with.

 

4. I wanted a replacement good pressure washer for the workshop, so I said to the missus, "I'll go and buy a good quality unit, and you can borrow it any time you need to do something around the house".

So I went and bought a Husqvarna PW 450. Not surprisingly, not made in Sweden - but made in Italy. Three times the size and weight of the Ryobi and Karcher and still only rated at 2000 psi - but it produces a genuine 2000 psi, all the time its working. Metal housings and quality build all through, with thoughtful design.

 

The difference is, the Husqvarna cost me $899, the Ryobi was $139, and the Karcher was $199. But I'll wager the failure rate of the Chinese units is horrendous, and it's costing the manufacturers a heap of money.

Age old story, I guess - you want quality, you simply have to pay for it. You want a cheap outlay, you pay out your minimal amount of money, and you take your chances it might do the job.

Edited by onetrack
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So just browsing through the thread, but could not see it.... What is the price here for a 912ULS.

 

I have a VERY low hour 912 ULS, but it will be TBO 15 years in late 2021, and am contemplating what I do. My bird is 24 LSA, and I have approval to run on conditions as it's not online, but looking at all options. Engine has less than 350 hours on it.

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So just browsing through the thread, but could not see it.... What is the price here for a 912ULS.

 

I have a VERY low hour 912 ULS, but it will be TBO 15 years in late 2021, and am contemplating what I do. My bird is 24 LSA, and I have approval to run on conditions as it's not online, but looking at all options. Engine has less than 350 hours on it.

I'd probably replace all rubber components, and just fly it......

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I'd probably replace all rubber components, and just fly it......

 

Yep! That is my current plan. The Rubber replacement will be done next year as per schedule, and my LAME is telling me the same thing LOL! So far ( I have added about 150 hours) it has been rock solid. No leaks etc. All leak downs are perfect. Burns no oil etc. So plan A is to just fly it for sure.

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There's the 5 year rubber replacement, but there's alot more o-rings and seals that are not part of it that I would change as well.

The o-rings sealing the oil pump for example. They would be nice and hard for sure.

There's also the rear crank seal and water pump seal.

For the carbs, I'd send them to Floods for full strip/inspection and replace everything rubber.

Rocker cover seals.....

Inlet manifold o-rings to head....

Radiator cap....

Gearbox strip and inspection......replace front seal.

Oil can lid o-ring......

There's probably more.....

 

CPS have a good graphical breakdown of part assemblies to look at....

https://www.cps-parts.com/menus/rtx/parts_4.html

Edited by Downunder
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There's the 5 year rubber replacement, but there's alot more o-rings and seals that are not part of it that I would change as well.

The o-rings sealing the oil pump for example. They would be nice and hard for sure.

There's also the rear crank seal and water pump seal.

For the carbs, I'd send them to Floods for full strip/inspection and replace everything rubber.

Rocker cover seals.....

Inlet manifold o-rings to head....

Radiator cap....

Gearbox strip and inspection......replace front seal.

Oil can lid o-ring......

There's probably more.....

 

CPS have a good graphical breakdown of part assemblies to look at....

https://www.cps-parts.com/menus/rtx/parts_4.html

 

 

Naaa! Cant agree with you . Just spending for the sake of it. You are way overthinking/servicing it - my 2000 commissioned (purchased 1999), 920 hr, 912 ULS, has always been serviced on hobbs/calender time, using Rotax recommend fluids/products. No oil leaks, no coolant leaks, fuel consumption as terrific as always, plug colour nice & light brown, leak down/compression tests all within limits, runs like a sowing machine. What more could you ask.

 

Most of what you have recommended will not impact on safety and can be addressed, in the unlike event of there being some symptom, when it arises.

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ooooo - Just had a quote from Floods " $27,720.00" inc GST for a 912 ULS - within a few $$$ same price in Europe & USA

Sounds about right: 2 and a half years ago I would have paid A$25,708 inc Australian GST for the basic engine. That is, with Oil tank and voltage regulator, but no airbox or exhaust system.

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Back on the 17th March a friend ordered a 912ULS from floods...it was $27,000 plus GST. So that is $29,700. There were 6 engines at the time left in OZ..and another friend of mine grabbed one of those 6 as well the next lot expected in were going to be 12.5% more

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Back on the 17th March a friend ordered a 912ULS from floods...it was $27,000 plus GST. So that is $29,700. There were 6 engines at the time left in OZ..and another friend of mine grabbed one of those 6 as well the next lot expected in were going to be 12.5% more

Yeah! they told me the same story when I phoned for a replacement engine - but when I asked for a written quote inc GST,what I got was $27,720.00 . As IBob pointed out that is for engine, oil tank (why I would want that when I already have one ) , at least part of the cooling system and stub exhaust pipes. There was the a long list of accessories 99% of which I dont need

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this is covered elsewhere on this forum....

- copies are cheap and they do not include any  of the know-how of the critical design and manufacturing points.

which is why the Chinese in general steal IP so they get some of that know how. If you buy this stuff you are COMPLICIT with theft of IP.

Chinese stuff is 90 % RUBBISH. There is SOME good stuff-  but even the good stuff is NEVER consistent. 

 

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Resale price is a good gauge or how the market regards the value. Reverse engineering with variable quality control is a recipe for disaster.. Just a small shortcut will give a disasterous result if critical parts are involved. Nev

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On 28/08/2020 at 2:34 PM, skippydiesel said:

Na! Na! - not what I was getting at at all.

 

Cost out a Rotax 912 ULS in the USA, Europe, Australia (Floods) basic all the same price (I allowed for exchange rate, GST, etc) - ergo price is rigged by Rotax. Open market/ competition would result in greater variation.

 

Kyle - I stand to be corrected but aviation products from USA & Europe do not attract Au import duty (other than handling/processing ) only GST (which is bad enough)

Manufacturers always set a RRP. The retailer can then either follow that or charge whatever they like. Charge too much and the customer goes to the guy who followed the RRP. You can't say it's 'rigged' unless there are say two MANUFACTURERS colluding to fix a price. 

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26 minutes ago, danny_galaga said:

Manufacturers always set a RRP. The retailer can then either follow that or charge whatever they like. Charge too much and the customer goes to the guy who followed the RRP. You can't say it's 'rigged' unless there are say two MANUFACTURERS colluding to fix a price. 

Can if the supplier has a monopoly - Rotax 912/914 & now 915 have no real competition - at least in my mind - being unique in the market place, with partially  liquid cooled geared & muffled engines.

 

Lycombing & Continental on the other hand are in competition over most of their range and at the lower end of the market competing with a host of wonabee's. There are also a number of uncertified competitors to LyCon in the 150-250 hp (a guess) range

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and if they have a monopoly with a great product- I say good luck to them.  You don't have to buy them....  They'll set the price at what the market will bear.

 

glen :-)

 

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, skippydiesel said:

Can if the supplier has a monopoly - Rotax 912/914 & now 915 have no real competition - at least in my mind - being unique in the market place, with partially  liquid cooled geared & muffled engines.

 

Lycombing & Continental on the other hand are in competition over most of their range and at the lower end of the market competing with a host of wonabee's. There are also a number of uncertified competitors to LyCon in the 150-250 hp (a guess) range

Nope. The manufacturer has made their money. Whatever someone wants to retail it at is another matter. A retailer can sell it under the RRP if they want, or even below cost, or give them away. What you are saying is that all these disparate sources, in unrelated regions around the world are for some bizarre reason colluding on the retail price of an engine. To what end? If there is one supplier magnitudes larger than the rest (and I bet there is) then why would they agree to fixing a price? They would just undercut everyone else and rely on higher turnover.

Edited by danny_galaga
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The history of aviation engines is littered with failures. You'd have to be crazy to go there. The RB 211 nearly sent RR and Britain, Broke. Anyone who survives at all is a success. To my mind, the Wright J5F and the later P&W R1830 are notable success stories. and the Gnome and Rhone Rotaries a remarkable and clever product at the time.  Nev

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5 hours ago, danny_galaga said:

Nope. The manufacturer has made their money. Whatever someone wants to retail it at is another matter. A retailer can sell it under the RRP if they want, or even below cost, or give them away. What you are saying is that all these disparate sources, in unrelated regions around the world are for some bizarre reason colluding on the retail price of an engine. To what end? If there is one supplier magnitudes larger than the rest (and I bet there is) then why would they agree to fixing a price? They would just undercut everyone else and rely on higher turnover.

Friend - your naivety is breathtaking to think that somehow the market will dictate in all situations. Commercial history is full of suppliers that dictate retail price (check out De Beers) - you just have to have a commodity that is sufficiently in demand that the retailers will agree to the suppliers terms.

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