The Ugly Side of our Hobby....How to turn a $20 dipstick into a $450 fake.

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71TexasBoss

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I purchased my 71 B351 four years ago from a retiring co-worker who bought it as a trade-in at a Chrysler dealership in Jan 1976. For the next 42 years that car was his baby and I felt privileged to be the next owner. Now I'm in the middle of a full-blown, rotisserie restoration and trying to obtain those Boss-unique parts that were lost over the years. I rely on the sale items in forums like this or eBay; assuming I'm dealing with others who also love the Car and the Hobby.

But recently I've been the victim of expensive counterfeit Boss parts; distributor, vacuum advance, carburetor, and dip stick. I want to share my story and bring to the surface the ugly side of our community.

First, I'm a man of modest income. I don't have a stable of 429s or B351s and it's been a financial stretch to fund this project. But I will step up to the plate and pay the going rate for some of the hard to find and unique parts like a D1ZX-6750-BA dip stick that I paid $450 on eBay. Or the D1ZF-12127-DA dual point distributor I paid $800 and a W6 vacuum advance for $400 that I purchased from another Mustang forum. Both are FAKES or "restamps" as I've come to understand the practice.

My first inclination was to "flame" these sellers in forums like this, but the purchases were made in the last year and I've only recently been told by experts of the forgeries. Secondly, I can't be sure the sellers were not victims themselves and selling items they thought were legit. So the best I can do is vent and send a warning...do your homework!

Here's the fake dipstick. I accidentally discovered the original part number had been ground off and restamped on the opposite blade. If you look at the picture with my yellow marking you can see where the original part number was not completely ground off. The restamped "D1ZX-6750-BA" was on the opposite blade and probably done at a jewelry store or Mall kiosk as the letters and numbers are stamped deeper than the original Ford markings.

I sent the distributor and vacuum advance to Tim O'Conner for refurb. He notified me that both were "restamps".

Fortunately the carburetor was included in a box of Mustang parts that I didn't pay much for, but you can see where someone has crudely attempted to turn it into a $5,000 D1ZF-ZA. The second "Z" appears to have been a "7" they tried to turn into a Z.
 

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71 convertible
Sadly this happens. There are things you can do to protect yourself that don't add to the restoration budget (much).

First, get all of the documentation you can for the car you are restoring. Assembly guides, parts manuals, identification code decoders, service manuals - everything. I have a folder full of photos I have saved from this site, eBay, google (I don't discriminate) of high level restorations and rare parts so I know what I should be aiming for. Educate yourself so you know what to look for, and most importantly how to look for it. If you are buying a rare part and the price is too good to be true - your spidey sense should be tingling. Ask for recent (dated) photos of the parts and part numbers/tags/casting marks - whatever you think you need to be confident the part is accurately represented. Upright sellers will comply. If they don't - walk away. Unless you can afford to take the risk.
Second, find and support vendors that support you. You may pay more, but they have a lot more access to stuff than you do and are motivated to do things right. I would maintain you won't pay more overall because you most likely will only have to buy parts once, even if the per part price is a bit higher.

Third - network. Use sites like this to let people know what you need. You'd be surprised what falls out of people's garages when asked. Don't be just a taker either - share your experiences and the knowledge you will gain about your restoration and your parts finding experiences. The more we know as a group, the less the more unethical vendors can take advantage of us.

Fourth - don't be afraid to ask the stupid question. If you don't know, you don't know and if you don't ask you'll never know. A corollary is don't be shy. Nine times out of ten, there are others on the sidelines who also have the same questions but are afraid to ask. Do them a favor.

These steps work across the automotive restoration spectrum. I am active on other sites and in some cases I have had people approach me with hard to find parts because I have been able to help them in the past. It takes a village...
 

giantpune

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I got my car as a roller back when I was in high school and knew very little about cars. This was when everything was still dialup internet and everybody was still using those AOL CDs, so information was not as readily available as it is today.

I put an ad looking for a 351W in the local paper. Some meth heads slapped a coat of ford blue on an old 302 and got me. I didn't know enough at the time to tell them apart on the spot. That was one of my welcomes into the real world, realizing that not everybody out there is honest.
 

Hemikiller

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On the flip side, circa 1993, I run into a guy I knew at the parts store. He sees my 71 sportsroof outside and asks if I need a parts car. Well, of course I do. Says to me "how much you got in your pocket?" I pulled out $75, gave it to him and he says the car is over in my lot at xxxx street. You can have a week to drag it out of there or take off any parts you want, then it's getting scrapped. Sight unseen I had bought a 73 Grande' with a 70 M-code 4V engine, C-6 trans, 9" rear, disc brakes, etc. My buddies and I stripped everything off that car we could drag out of there. Turns out it had a D1ZX-DA intake, D1ZX dipstick, Holley 750 DP and bunch of other great parts.
 

Ron Tanzi

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1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1 bright red, standard black interior,pb,ps
gauge package.rim blow steering wheel,15" magnum 500s,351 C 2bbl running a 4bbl Holley 600,MSD 6a with stock distributor and Pertronix,Comp cam mild grind, The Engine(rebuilt by me in 2002 for the second time the first rebuild I did was stock in 1995) made 305hp and 358 lb ft on the dyno. 9" 2.75 rear end,Global west sub frame connectors,620 front coils.Rear defroster. My parents bought my car brand new the year before I was born. I cherish it like my child.
On the flip side, circa 1993, I run into a guy I knew at the parts store. He sees my 71 sportsroof outside and asks if I need a parts car. Well, of course I do. Says to me "how much you got in your pocket?" I pulled out $75, gave it to him and he says the car is over in my lot at xxxx street. You can have a week to drag it out of there or take off any parts you want, then it's getting scrapped. Sight unseen I had bought a 73 Grande' with a 70 M-code 4V engine, C-6 trans, 9" rear, disc brakes, etc. My buddies and I stripped everything off that car we could drag out of there. Turns out it had a D1ZX-DA intake, D1ZX dipstick, Holley 750 DP and bunch of other great parts.
That was a score. I had a similar experience. That is how a got a spare FMX and 2V motor plus a bunch of other parts. I am still friends with the guy who sold me that car for $150.00.

Ron
 
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71 conv,429cj, 4spd 3.5 N-case, it's not an original but the running gear is correct.

69 Fastback, it's a project. going to be a built BBF with a Lenco 5spd. Looking to get the car in the mid 8 to low 9 sec and still be streetable. I just hope I get it done before I am too old to drive it. lol.
Maybe another thing to watch for is reproduction parts made with original tooling. They can be placed in an original Ford packaging and sell for much more than what it would cost as a reproduction.
As always, it’s buyer beware!
 
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