Cost is relative. I constantly get the question why do your kits cost so much? Can I buy just the brackets and do it myself? If I buy most of the kit from you can I just buy my own rotors and calipers? Can you just sent me the parts list so I can save some money? Well I have one question before I answer these questions. Do you call a major manufacturer or parts house such as Moss Motors or Wilwood Engineering and ask these questions of them? I would love to know the answer.
Answering these questions in the manner that I learned from a former boss, Kas Kasner, why would you want to do these things? See, Kas never answered a question that you had but rather asked you a question or maybe more until you answered your own question. That is called making you think. Think about all of the questions that I posted at the top of this blog. Most you will be able to answer them yourself if you think hard enough without having to read through this complete blog. I will answer them in reverse order scenarios.
First, I can send you a list of parts? You can purchase it for the same price as the kit. It also comes with the kit. Now you do not need it.
If I did just send you the list and you chose you can go buy all of the parts in the kit. First question, how would you install it without instructions? But you have chosen to go on and do it yourself. Suppose you drive a daily driver that gets 15 mpg and suppose the local hardware store is 5 miles away and your local auto parts store is 5 miles in the other direction. Sound about right? The wrecking yard for the real cheap guys is out of town and 10 miles from either store. How am I doing? Do you as a home tuner have grade 8 bolts on the shelf in a variety of sizes, grade 8 locking nuts and both in metric and standard threads? I doubt it! So you need 1-1/4" long bolts grade 8 with a grip instead of all thread ( qty 12), what does your local ACE Hardware charge you for them? $1.25 each (or more) for a total of $15.00 and you drove 5 miles to get them and back. Gas here (CA) is $3.00+ a gallon. So you spent $3.00 to get them and $16.00 to purchase them with tax. That $1.25 bolt just cost $5.00 ea. Now you realize that you need some other hardware that you did not think about, back to the store. The joke at Home Depot and Lowes is that any time you purchase an item to fix your electrical, plumbing or woodworking is that we will see you at least 3 more times. Ask any Home Depot or Lowes associate. Now for the big items, the calipers. Your local parts store does not stock them, what do you do? Order them and make a second trip to pick them up? Order them on line and wait a week to get them? Take a trip to the wrecking yard to purchase used ones, spend time finding the correct car, dig through your tool box for the correct tool (if you took it with you), spend time taking it off, now you find that it is no good; start all over. Frustration at its best. Time, money, gas equals $$$$.
When you buy my kit non of these trips are required.
Second, can I buy my own calipers and rotors? Sure, you can. We sort of answered the caliper question above. Getting into depth on caliper quality will be in our next blog. Rotors are most likely available at your local parts store so the first trip was not totally useless as you just have to wait for the calipers to come in but you picked up the rotors and pads. Lets just say you spent the money to buy the calipers from the parts store. Now you wait 3 days and they finally come in and the $175.00 that the guy charged you for "rebuilt calipers" turns out to be an additional $175.00 each for the core charge since you do not have a core to return. That makes it $175.00 x 4 or $700.00 plus tax plus 2 trips to and from the parts store for an additional $6.00 in gas. Plus you have now waited a week to get your "kit" done. (clock ticking) When you get home you realize the calipers do not have hardware for the pads and neither does your pad kit, so off to the parts store you go again. More gas, more time, more money and more frustration. $$$$
When you buy my kit non of these trips are required.
Third, can I buy just the brackets and do it myself? Well, I suppose I could just make brackets and you do it yourself. The big question here is would you follow my parts list or decide to make changes based on what you can find or what is cheapest? Now, when you finally get the brakes installed, the brakes do not function as they should. You call Ol Phartz Partz for help and we cannot provide the correct information you need since you changed our design. If you used a caliper too big and the rear brakes locked up, who is responsible, Ol Phartz Partz or you? Did this cause an accident? Where does the responsibility lie? Ol Phartz Partz or you? The answer to these questions is YOU but never once in my 50+ year career as a car builder, shop owner, parts man or executive at a major automobile manufacturer has a customer that made this type of mistake ever admitted error, the blame always points back at the seller. Now with social media, fingers are pointed rather quickly. Reason enough not to sell brackets only
When you buy my kit non of this will happen.
Do my kits cost so much in the end? No. All of the parts needed are in the kit and all of the correct parts are in the kit. The disc brake kits are engineered to work correctly if installed exactly like our instructions. A very complete instruction book and a very complete kit in the box. No trips to stores, no gas to spend, no wear and tear on your daily driver and best of all no frustrations on trying to figure out what you are doing. We are the "Kit That Fits"