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Aftermarket Seals vs. OEM?

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by etd66ss, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. etd66ss

    etd66ss Well-Known Member

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    I have to reseal the boom and bucket cylinders on my CAT 225. I priced out all the parts online via a few different methods:

    1) CAT Parts Store via my local CAT dealer. ("High" quality, I assume all made in the USA/West)
    2) Online using Amazon & eBay only. ("Aftermarket" quality, some made in USA/West, some Asia)
    3) Cheapest prices online via https://propelparts.us/ ("Lowest" quality, I assume all made in China)

    Here are the results of the pricing analysis: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gIPorXAd9OlhiPX-uHidM8R5G5TmZhVs/view?usp=sharing

    This is a hobby machine and not a production machine. I may use the machine another ~1000 hrs or so. (Never know however, as once you have a machine like this you "find" more projects that requires its usage etc)

    What is everyone's thoughts regarding buying the cheapest seals possible vs. the CAT OEM?

    I have resealed just about all the cylinders on my Ford 575D TLB with eBay/Amazon "cheap" seals, and have not had any issues yet after about 300-400 hours of use.
     
  2. skata

    skata Senior Member

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    I would not pay those cat prices.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  3. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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  4. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    Hercules/bulldog is another.
     
  5. etd66ss

    etd66ss Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the vendor suggestions, I have used Hercules in the past, will look into them and the others mentioned.
     
  6. etd66ss

    etd66ss Well-Known Member

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    Well, I tried Hercules, Baum & Bulldog. Only the Hercules website returned any results on the part numbers (new or old).

    Hercules is more expensive than my local CAT dealer... As an example, seal 8J-8767 is a piston seal for a 5.50" bore cylinder. CAT dealer wants $53.23 ea., Hercules wants $155.48 ea. What???

    I may order a few samples of the really cheap ones from PropelParts to see the quality first hand.
     
  7. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Do the cylinders in question have Part Number tags on them.? If so a seal kit (if available) might be cheaper than buying piece parts. Kits are generally available for most Cat cylinders from around the time frame your machine was built.
     
    Vetech63 and Jonas302 like this.
  8. etd66ss

    etd66ss Well-Known Member

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    I will look for tags, have never noticed any. If there were kits I figured the parts book would list them...
     
  9. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    Yeah, Baum has kits for most Cats quite reasonable. Look up the machine first, then the cylinder, then get into cyl. numbers and machine serial number breaks.
     
  10. etd66ss

    etd66ss Well-Known Member

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    I do not see any tags on the cylinders, but my parts manual has part numbers for the cylinder assemblies, so I'll try looking for re-seal kits for those.
     
  11. heymccall

    heymccall Senior Member

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    That 8J-8767 becomes a 4T-5173.
    Serial number on machine?
     
  12. heymccall

    heymccall Senior Member

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    I just Googled "3g-2996" seal kit and got this. From here
    https://hwpartstore.com/products/cat-225b-excavator-boom-seal-kit
    Screenshot_20200916-192751_Chrome.jpg

    Myself, I stick with Cat as mine are production machines and downtime hurts.
    Had a 322B that swallowed 2 sets of Bulldog piston seals on the arm cylinder in 3 months, after a rechrome (electric wire strike). Put Cat seals back in and never touched it again.
     
  13. etd66ss

    etd66ss Well-Known Member

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    51U2607
     
  14. etd66ss

    etd66ss Well-Known Member

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  15. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    from baum:
    51U2034-2831, 5.5 3.25 525347 AA20664 110.87 MC 4-SWR SBR Without Stop Seal
     
  16. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    Oops, that didn't come out right, but, it's their part number 525347, fits 51u2034 through 51u2831, 110.87 is my resale price, I don't know what your price will be if you call them, but it will probably be less.

    I like them because you are dealing with a 140 year old company who WILL make it right if need be.
     
  17. boone

    boone Senior Member

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    I second the suggestion of buying the kits instead individual parts. Much cheaper. We resealed some tilt cylinders on a farm use track loader about 8 years ago with Baum seals. They are still dry. Granted they only have about 450 hours on them.

    I recently bought some swing cylinder seal kits for a JD 310 SE from HW Parts. They are clearly from China or Korea based on the writing on the package, but they appeared like quality seals. One of the inner seals was individually wrapped with with a little bag of silica. The kits went together so well, I just bought two more kits from them for my loader curl and the stabilizer. They are about half price of the dealer.

    Baum doesn't list the 310 SE on their price list, otherwise, I'd probably have bought from them.
     
  18. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    This is what’s listed for the 225 (20S, 51U, 61X, & 76U prefixes) in the Cylinder & Seal Catalogue. You can see now why I asked if you could find Part Number tags on the cylinders.

    upload_2020-9-17_9-41-15.png
     
  19. sfrs4

    sfrs4 Well-Known Member

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    To answer the original question asked about genuine v's aftermarket v's cheap source.
    As a parts sales guy I don't mind which way my customers want to go so I am none biased in this, but with the lucky position of seeing products from all sides.
    Genuine parts are a plain rip off, no two ways about it, you are paying more for the brand name and convenience of having the manufacture on hand to help.
    Aftermarket, now here's where it gets tricky, there are oem and cheap suppliers. We have a supplier of parts who are as good if not better than genuine products (normally oem products) at a lot less in price, we also have a supplier who provides a more "cost effective solution" for the customer with a smaller budget, but the product isn't always as good, not wrong or anything just isn't finished as well, and may not last as long.
    for my personal money knowing what I know, unless I cant buy it i'd buy aftermarket from a decent oem supplier over genuine every time.
    The problem you guys running CAT stuff have is CAT make an awful lot of stuff in house under patient or oem under licence and so you just can't get oem aftermarket. and those instances where there is an oem supplier they know what they have and will make you pay for it anyway.
     
  20. etd66ss

    etd66ss Well-Known Member

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    Now I understand what you were getting at. Hmm, I have always just used my parts book. My Parts book only lists the 8J-1698 and 3G-2996 boom cylinder groups. And for the 3G2996, it only lists two serial numbers, neither of them mine. So theoretically I use a kit for 8J-1698.

    However, I can understand on a machine this old that the CYL's could have been swapped out... Do we know if the cylinders would have a tag, or would it be a stamping?

    And if I may ask, where is this seal catalog? It's a catalog I can buy? Are those seal kit numbers CAT part numbers?

    The seal kit from the CAT dealer is definitely much cheaper than buying individual parts:

    [​IMG]
    Though none of the kits are "verified" matches to my machine, likely would need the exact cylinder assembly part number and call the dealer...

    I agree with you completely about paying for OEM name, that is not something a CAT hobbyist (like myself) can usually afford/justify, but a large operation can. I'm fine with well manufactured aftermarket components, I just don't want "Chinese" aftermarket quality. I figure the super cheap seals on eBay and PropelParts.com have to be the Chinese variety? Leading me to look into the direction of Baum and the like as suggested in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
    sfrs4 likes this.