By Eric Brisbon
Always do the hard side first. As a weekend warrior of project vehicles, it’s always a good idea to keep this philosophy in mind when venturing into some new replacement part that comes in multiple components. Overall, this motto does wonders for the psyche. More importantly, it can aid in not throwing tools when you would rather being drinking a celebratory brew.
Case in point is my old Ford pickup that is in need of new motor mounts (at least I hope it does or that vibration I am chasing is something else). I purchased the mounts online and received delivery in a timely fashion. With my hard-side-first mentality in mind, I started on the right side mount. The motor is a 300 CID six cylinder but has headers, new induction, and a host of other parts all making that side harder (I know you were thinking, “What is so hard about six banger?”). Nonetheless, I loosened all the bolts, jacked up the motor, and with some cajoling, removed the motor mount. So far so good. And the entire project was moving faster than expected. I am thinking it’s “Miller Time” in about another 20 minutes since the left side is wide open.
Taking the mount to the bench, I compared it to the new one. I should point out that I bought the most expensive set of motor mounts offered. After all this truck is my toy and deserves the best (plus I had some odd thought that more expensive might mean better damping, wishful thinking perhaps). A quick side by side comparison squelched my 20 minutes theory instantly. While the new mount sort-of resembled the old, it was very different. The most striking difference, however, was the fact that the mounting point to the chassis was at least 3/8 inch further forward in relation to the engine mounting points. Since it’s a very odd shape I tried to install it anyway only to verify that indeed the mounting point is too far forward (I just should have trusted myself). Now what do I do? Do I put the old mounts back in or leave it that way and wait for new ones? After an expletive or two I put the old mount back in sand let the motor back down on the chassis.
Many aftermarket part websites offer a myriad of different makes and price ranges on parts. Much of the OEM tooling is long gone and many companies, especially out of China, have reversed engineered parts and offer them to the market place. All too often they do not fit. I should have known something was up when the box my mounts arrived in was well used. I was not the first to figure out the mounts did not install as advertised. And remember, they were the most expensive option. So much for the price vs. quality conversation.
AMBAC International offers a large variety of diesel engine parts. Since AMBAC has over 100 years of experience as an OEM producer of fuel systems, they understand the need for parts to fit, right out of the box. All products are made to OEM specifications and installation and operation is of paramount importance. If something should slip through the cracks it will be corrected, not put back on the shelf for sale to someone else who needs motor mounts. If you need a replacement part for your diesel fuel systems give them a try.
The sad news here is I went back to the same website and purchased a less expensive version of mounts from a different manufacturer. We shall see is the first set I received was an anomaly or if I am a glutton for punishment. Next weekend will tell the tale, but this time I might have scotch.