Source: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems announcement

AVON, Ohio – When it comes to truck maintenance, choosing the right replacement part is an all-important step. But in the crowded commercial vehicle aftermarket, making that choice can be confusing, especially when selecting remanufactured and rebuilt components. And the wrong choice comes with the risk of part failure, as well as damage that can more than eliminate any savings from opting for the lowest-cost option.

The stakes are even higher when the parts are key to a vehicle’s safe operation – such as an air brake system’s compressor, calipers and brake shoes, and steering gears. This installment of the Bendix Tech Tips series will help equip you to make the right decision by offering guidance on what to ask suppliers when replacing these parts, and by being informed about the differences between remanufacturing and rebuilding.

Reman vs. Rebuild

Understanding the distinction between remanufacturing and rebuilding is key. A remanufacturer always replaces or repairs a core’s components to bring the part up to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specs. In addition, remanufacturers always replace certain components – referred to as wear components – with new versions. True remanufacturers never reuse wear components such as gaskets, washers, and O-rings.

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“By comparison, when a rebuilder disassembles the core of a product for reuse, they don’t necessarily replace the components of that product with new ones or bring the product back to its OEM specs,” said Richard Nagel, Bendix director, marketing and customer solutions – Aftermarket and Air Supply. “Rebuilders may simply clean or repaint components. And even if they do replace them, rebuilders may not have full access to OEM-quality parts – so you’re rolling the dice.”

Manufactured Again Certification can help you determine a true remanufacturer. The certification program, launched in 2017, is overseen by MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing. The criteria align with the internationally recognized quality management standard ISO 9001 and IATF 16949, one of the automotive industry’s most widely used international quality standards. To receive Manufactured Again Certification, remanufacturers are required to submit third-party evidence of conformance to the accepted quality standards. Nagel pointed out that Bendix was among the inaugural class of 14 leading remanufacturers initially approved for participation.

A Look Inside the Air Compressor

Be sure to ask about those wear components when considering a remanufactured air compressor, Nagel advised.

Pistons, connecting rods, and crankshafts undergo a great deal of stress, and the compressor’s head and valves experience carbon buildup. They remain failure points if they’re not replaced as part of the reman process – underscoring the importance of knowing whether the remanufacturer has replaced those parts with OEM components.

Also consider whether your remanufactured compressor’s piston has been re-honed and matched with a new piston to fit the bore.

Nagel explained: “Over time, the bore gets worn and scuffed, and it no longer shares its precise original fit with the piston. Re-honing a piston during remanufacturing restores that fit, which is key to ensuring the piston passes just the right amount of oil during operation. A small amount is necessary to lubricate the compressor, but too much, and you risk contaminating the air supply – and that can lead to huge headaches.”

To view the entire announcement, click HERE.