View Full Version : Unusual RockAuto Usefulness

09-11-2013, 09:00 PM
We are all familiar with the webstore RockAuto.com. They have an astonishing number of parts.

I found something useful about their web store last evening that helped a bit. I needed a new wheel cylinder for my 1956 Packard Clipper's LR brakes (yes, it is different than the RR!). I might have been able to rebuild the old one in terms of honing the casting, but the pistons were too badly corroded to reuse, and pistons no longer come in rebuild kits.

RockAuto showed that they had new wheel cylinder assemblies, much to my surprise. Then I noticed why. In the RockAuto listing for a given part, they give you competitor brand part numbers, so you know what other makes the part you need will fit, if any. In this case, I recognized the part number for the Packard wheel cylinder as also having three different Ford applications. That confirmed, thank goodness, that it was not Packard-exclusive.

RockAuto had the wheel cylinder assembly if I wanted to order one. But I took the numbers up here to AutoZone and they were able to get me a wheel cylinder by noon the next day, for only $11.19! That was about the Rock Auto price with shipping. So the job was all done and the car was back on the ground with the brakes bled, within 24 hours of when I determined what was causing that wheel to hang up.

So RockAuto's website is handy even if you don't buy anything from them on that visit; it can tell you if the part you need is common to other applications, and thus more readily available. :D BP

09-11-2013, 10:23 PM
Have heard from some of our local club members that have used Rock. If you can wait and shipping isn't bad their okay.
Never have used them myself but would be a good reference source. I mostly use our FLAPS, taught the girls and guys about Studebakers and Packards.

09-11-2013, 10:26 PM
Most parts places list the wrong applications and parts for older cars, sometimes you get lucky. I'd say 5% list the correct rear wheel cylinders for a Disc brake Stude.
Many other errors too. If you have the part numbers..... buy from Stude Vendors!!! If you don't have the part # then get the books from guess where???? That's right , your Stude parts vendors!

09-12-2013, 08:35 AM
Rockauto ships from many different warehouses and vendors, and you pay the shipping from wherever your parts are coming from. If you order three parts, and they come from three different sources, you might have to pay three different shipping charges. Those can add up quickly. They do show you when that happens, but you need to look carefully for it. That said, they carry a ton of stuff, and usually have closeouts at super prices, and several Vendors parts to choose from.

I recently replaced the entire brakes system on my 1976 GMC motorhome, master cylinder, all rear wheel cylinders, shoes, front calipers, pads, hoses, etc., with parts from Rockauto, for less than $200, (all 6 wheels), with shipping. This was a real bargain compared to the over $1200 the GMC MH vendors wanted. So while I agree it's important to support the vendors, they have to be at least competitive for me to do that, and frankly, I've recently had some bad luck with some Stude vendors not even responding to my inquiries for parts, and one even saying he would check stock, but never doing it after 3 different inquiries. Support them, YES, but only up to a point.

So, what would SI or a Packard vendor ask for a wheel cylinder? I bet way more than $12.00, and in this case, NOS is not desirable either. My opinion, it's not being CASO, it's being smart. JMHO

09-12-2013, 08:57 AM
I have ordered parts from Rockauto in the afternoon and recieved them to my door the next day almost as fast as going to parts store which may or may not have parts in stock.

09-12-2013, 11:53 AM
Yes speaking to interchanges-whenever I get parts at my local NAPA I ask what else the part fits. I had a need for rear wheel cylinders on my '81 Avanti and found they fit Fords. The ODD thing was that the left was for the right, etc. due to the stabilizer bar. I'm looking through some SDC posts now for brake parts as I'm finally getting my '64 GT back on the road after 24 years in storage. Yes Bob it too is Astra White.
Rob in PA.

09-12-2013, 01:17 PM
As long as I can wait a day or two, I have purchased many non-Studebaker parts from Rock. Most were larger parts that were a big saving, even with shipping. My most recent case was the opposite. I needed a small light bulb for the cargo area of a car. I went to the local Advance. They had the bulb, but it seemed expensive to me. I went home and ordered from Rock. I got two bulbs, including shipping, for less than the one bulb locally. I just recently received an e-mail from a friend that thanked me for telling him about Rock and that he told a coworker that just saved about $300 on front suspension parts by going to Rock.

09-12-2013, 01:46 PM
Sometimes Rock Auto will have SO many listings for a part that I become skeptical. On the other hand it is good to have choices. I have found for single items shipping negates the lower price. But, when buying numerous parts the prices can be lower than buying local. Turn around time has always been reasonable and I have always gotten what I ordered.

BTW, here in So. Cal I have have ordered from Summit at 3:15 in the afternoon. Before that time the next day the item was at my home. It seems most things that comes out of the Northern Nevada area are getting here in 24 hours.