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mroman59

obsolete parts, what exactly does that mean

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mroman59
I just ordered a steering shaft part no. 1673008 from a supplier of Simplicity parts online. They had it listed on their website. After ordering I received an email from the supplier stating that the part is obsolete. What exactly does obsolete mean? I know that Simplicity has obsolete parts and they replace the part no. with another number that supersedes it indicating there was a change to that part. The supplier did not tell me if I could get the shaft under another part no. When they say obsolete, do they mean no longer made and that I could not even get it from a Simplicity dealer?

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goatfarmer
quote:
When they say obsolete, do they mean no longer made and that I could not even get it from a Simplicity dealer?
More than likely. You might find a dealer that has one on the shelf, but the factory no longer supplies the part.

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mroman59
I went back and checked the order and it was actually listed on their website as 1673008SM and not 1673008, but in the email the supplier stated that part 1673008 was obsolete. So I am assuming that 1673008 is obsolete also.

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Chris727
Yes it appears to be NLA, that number doesn't even come up on Jack's database but partstree gives a price and lets you add it to a cart. Usually parts with an "SM" suffix are still available but they may have just recently exhausted their remaining supply. The SM suffix stands for "Simplicity Manufacturing" and was added to part #s after Briggs acquired the company.

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mroman59
I will call my local simplicity dealer and partstree tomorrow. My original order was from Small Engine Parts Warehouse. They also let me put it into my shopping cart and order, but emailed and said "obsolete". There was a member in a previous topic that said he had an extra shaft and steering box, etc. , but it was not determined what kind of shape the shaft was in yet. I remember my Simplicity dealer, last summer said Simplicity (Briggs) was trying to phase out the 3000-7000 series parts and it would be harder and harder to get parts. I replaced the shaft in my BGB. I was able to purchase that from the dealer, but he mentioned a welding technique that could make that drive shaft look new. He said I could try that if I didn't want to pay the high price of the shaft, however I figured the labor involved would end being more than the cost of the shaft. Does anyone know the welding technique that he was talking about, in case I have to do that with the steering shaft?

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mroman59
Great, I just received an email from partstree telling me that Simplicity is currently listing it as a "no sale" item. That probably means that my dealer will tell me I cant get it either. Any suggestions on what to do is appreciated.

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Al
Hi, Before Briggs, Simplicity was the best in the industry for old parts. Briggs bought Simplicity and a number of parts became obsolete, or NLA No Longer Available. When Briggs took over Port Washington was closed manufacturing was spread all over and parts were moved to the Milwaukee area. A lot of stuff died for the move. Next the goal was to have one number for any part used in any 2 or more brands. Simplicity became a nightmare for dealers. First Briggs computers couldn't handle 6 digit part numbers. So any 6 digit number got a 2 in front of it. Like 108202 bearings that we had sold for years became 2108202 so the computer could handle them. Then came the SM and SMA on the end. Kits have always started with a 168 number. A kit may just be a part plus a sheet of paper, or several parts. Now lets take a number like 108202. Next it became 2108202, on many parts it could then change to a number like 2108202sm. Now you are a dealer you might have the part on the shelf under any of the numbers. Next we are going to do a spring parts order. Under a 108202, we could go to the number and look at the last 5 years of sales and the last 2 years by the month and print out an order recommendation report. But 3 years ago it became 2108202, one year ago it became 2108202sm, NOW all of the SMs have been removed. Instead of printing a sales summary report, you have to manually go back and check 3 or 4 part numbers to find out the history is on some of these parts. I don't think that 2108202s ever had SMS, but it illustrates the problem and how much it costs us to go in and manually update and change all of the min/max and locations and quantities of all of the parts to current part numbers. Every time I think of all of the hours we have spent on these parts issues, I almost sit and cry. Then when you get a new price load and the obsolete numbers are purged, you can have issues with the old obsolete stock that you need to sell. I personally think a lot more numbers will die shortly. Any other dealers agree with me? Al Eden

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Chris727
Al, while I don't work for a Simplicity dealer currently I can relate to the supercessions. I work in a parts department for a Deere dealer. Briggs has their hands in too many ventures right now, IMO. Last year my parents purchased a new Ferris (formerly a Simplicity brand)and I hope parts will not be a problem down the road. Some of their products have diminsihed in quality, the low end Simplicity snow blowers are made of nearly all cheap Murray parts. These are also sold under the frontier brand at JD dealers, and getting parts is somewhat complicated since I have to get them through Briggs and a lot of them are chinese parts. Briggs is also making lots of products for Sears. You can order a Prestige badged as a "Craftsman Proffessional" through the sears website, but it has a non-floating deck. The worst part is that it comes with the deck for less than the list price for the tractor only at a dealer. How are you supposed to compete with mass retailers, when Simplicity was intended to be the "Dealer Line." Over the last few years I have been hoarding NOS Simplicity parts and keeping quantities of things I think I might need. Even bevel gears, shafts, and Simplicity-unique seals, and lots of NLA parts.

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thedaddycat
For shaft refurbishment he is probably talking about spray arc welding. The shaft is built up and then machined down to proper dimensions and if needed new keyways are then cut into the shaft. It might not be "cheap" but is probably less than a new shaft that may or may not ever be available again from a dealer....

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Allis_HB112
One of the things I'm trying to do is establish a base of new parts that have been obsoleted. I did this with the steering eccentric pin. I believe my next projects are new light brackets and BGB parts. I can make new shafts cheaper than welding them up, and they would be NEW. I don't have any to work with yet. I need a BGB to mess with. If anyone has one to donate to the cause, it would be worth new parts for another BGB. Other parts similar, I'm interested in. I'm not a sheet metal guy, I'm a "seasoned" toolmaker (seasoned = OLD. We just got our wire EDM up and running, so I now have SOME gear making capabilities, such as the partial gear that goes with the eccentric pin I made.

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mroman59
I will be calling my Simplicity dealer today to find out if by chance they have the part ... sounds like the odds are against me. I have a local machine shop near by and I think that they have the capability of making a brand new one if it goes that far. I will see what the price is and go from there. As far as the spray-arc welding method, I will ask the local machine shop if they can do that also or refer me to a place that can. Maybe the mechanics at Simplicity dealer can recommend someone. My neighbor use to be a welder for a living and maybe he can give me some advice. It's a simple piece to make IMO, for a machine shop, but the question will come down to the method vs the cost. Material are not much, but labor is where all the money will be. One of the forum members believes he has the part in good condition, so I am waiting for his reply. If parts are going to be harder and harder to come by in the future, it will not be economical to keep these old tractors. It will soon be the same as finding an old car to refurbish and having pay big bucks to have specially made parts. It's OK if you are a collector and don't use them too much, but if you use it for everyday use around the house, your asking for trouble and will be putting more money into the repair than buying a new or good used tractor.

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TimJr
Hopefully someone at Simplicity/Briggs is reading this. I have heard from good sources in the past that at least when they were in Wisconsin, there were people aware of us here. If anyone is still listening, keep the older parts available. I don't need a lecture on warehousing and the cost of parts etc. - I understand to a degree. I will not/can't afford to replace my 18hp Sovereign with anything you currently make. The cheap ones are too cheap, and anything that could come close to the quality of a Sovereign is worth more than the truck I drive. I will continue to buy new factory parts as long as they are available - if the tractor needs to be repaired, I do it right. If/when parts are NLA, there are used sources, or machine shops/welding if needed. We all can get by a long time like that. You would think that Simplicity/Briggs would be happy to sell all of us parts, seeing how the vast majority of us are not going to buy a new tractor in the near future. Am I right? Some money from parts is better than no money from the tractors we are not buying. Don't they realize that some of their most popular tractors from the past are just hitting the age where they are really beginning to need some new parts? Sell us parts already! Tim

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mroman59
LOL, how true, how true! I am also concerned about the pricing though. I feel they may be charging to high of a prices for older parts simply because they know they are phasing them out and they know that those of us who need them are at their mercy. For example, a ball joint for my tract cost about $40 and I see them online for $5. There ball joint/tie rod bar has special treads and you cant just go out and buy standard parts. Oh well, wouldn't you do the same if you were running a business? LOL If I become a collector like some of you guys, money should be no object. I am curious to know if Simplicity mfg. are still doing this with their new tractors. I was always told that Craftsman does this also and I am thinking John Deere would be one also. It is important to me because I thought I would be in the market for a new lawn mower soon. However, my brother is giving a 2006 Craftsman 19HP hydrostatic/automatic lawnmower that still paint on the bottom of the deck. I will let my wife use that for mowing and I will use my 7117H for its attachments mostly. I put a 21HP Kawasaki engine in that sucker (now its a 7121H,LOL), rebuilt the BGB , new PTO clutch, belts, bought a tiller and now I am refurbishing the deck. I did not know that I would have to do all that when I bought it on eBay for $275. I have to get my money out of it now, no turning back! I am planning on running that Craftsman in the ground and when it dies park it on the curb with a free sign. So the question for me becomes, what mfg. makes a tractors with standard parts that are not so expensive to replace and you can buy without going to the dealer all the time? I am noticing that MTD parts seem to be cheaper. For example, I needed a idler pulley for my tiller belt on the 7117H. Price at simplicity was $40. I found a MTD pulley with the same dimensions for $13. I am making my own bracket, they wanted more for a small bracket then they wanted for the MTD pulley, geez! I know that most of you are thinking that if you were to buy a decent lawn or garden tractor made buy MTD you may be wrenching on it all the time because it is not the same quality and you will be paying more for parts in the long run. You may be right.

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RayS
I don`t see to many 40 - 50 year old MTD`s around. I have enough spare parts, engines and new parts here that I would be dead before I run out. A BGB that is maintained properly should last 20 years plus. $40.00 for a tie rod end may seem high but I never had to replace one either so they must last awhile.

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RayS
Not sure what these people charge but they probably supply the OEM part. http://www.midwestcontrol.com/series.php?id=4 looks like $7.22 a piece. http://www.midwestcontrol.com/part.php?id=22

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mroman59
You have a point. I expect that my 7117H was about 20 years old when I purchased it on eBay, so I am thinking that the new engine, BGB rebuild, and deck refurbish should last me 20 years. However, I am now worried about that hydraulic pump/transmission on it and when they may go. I should probably pick up some spare parts on the items that I think will go bad in the future and keep them for a rainy day, before they become hard to find. I am counting on eBay and the guys in this forum to keep me in parts for at least the next 10 years.

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RayS
I think the threads are 1/2-20 on the tie rod but not positive. They look like the carry any size and look like they have other stuff used on these tractors. Simplicity may use them as an OEM supplier. Not sure if that has changed since Briggs bought them but I bought parts the other day from a dealer and they were in a Briggs bag that stated made in china.

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mroman59
Thanks for the website Ray. If they carry the ball joint for my tie rod or drag link bar, then there should be a local shop where I live that will have them also. I will save the website in my favorites. I think the the 1/2-20 thread size is correct.

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TimJr
Just to add again - I am not saying we all need to open our wallets up to the OEM's for their parts, but the fewer parts of any type an OEM sells, the shorter amount of time they will be kept available. It's a fine balance to not overpay on parts that are of the same quality, but buying cheap knock offs that wear out rapidly don't do anyone any good. You'll spend the same amount in the end, have repeated inconvenience of failure, and not supporting a local dealer and manufacturer. A complaint can't be made about a manufacturer dropping part numbers if the owners of their products refuse to use OEM parts - why sell them to people who won't buy them. The "standard parts" comment is what gets you a junk tractor. Ya think Cadillac uses "standard parts"? - no, each manufacturer - at least the better ones, will use parts made to their own spec. It's not done just so you have to buy their parts. (Although there probably are exceptions to that). It's to build a machine that matches their specs and expectations of quality. Off the shelf parts sometimes just won't cut it. There are usually very real reasons why one part costs $40 and another costs $13, and it's not just because of the brand name on the tag most of the time. That being said, in a perfect world, there could be a better balance of the OEM's using quality off the shelf stuff, and the OEM's using their own oddball parts. Like the bearing inside the PTO cone clutch on the RBT's - the bearing itself is common, but the sleeve inside that bearing was for Simplicity only, as far as I have ever found - why not pick another bearing?...... Tim

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Tarheel
Mroman, Not to beat a dead horse but how did things turn out for you on finding or having a shaft machined ? I just did a search for this shaft and found it listed as NLA, doing a search for the part number led me to this thread..LOL Small internet ! This 7117 H is one of those the trees fell on. Steering wheels and shafts broken and bent. I can (I believe) repair the broken wheel but I'm not so sure I can get the bent shaft straight enough to ever suit me.

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