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Where Have All the Engine Parts Gone?

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Does this sound familiar? “We are experiencing issues within the supply chain that has created manufacturing delays, temporary stock-outs, longer lead times and increased cost. You may experience delays in shipment and product shortages. We are committed to working through these challenges and thank you for your patience and support.”

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I have had countless conversations with engine builders over the past year and they have all told me their lead times have gone out the window due to longer waits for parts, and it seems there’s no end in sight. From the oil pan to the valve cover and every component in between, the wait for parts has gotten longer due to a number of factors. Whether its OEM or Aftermarket, it doesn’t matter – lead times for parts went from just days to weeks and even months.

With parts materials and sometimes the parts themselves coming from different places all over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a supply chain mess, plain and simple. It’s not just the automotive industry seeing these issues either. 

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Our industry’s manufacturers are doing what they can, but unfortunately, there’s little that they can control in all of this. To make matters more complicated, the pandemic has actually boosted business for many manufacturers of performance engine parts and for engine builders alike. 

“The industry seems like it’s booming now,” says Carmen Trischetta of CT Performance Machine. “Everybody into performance is just going nuts. Unfortunately, no matter where you go, stuff is out of stock – whether it’s valves, gaskets, pistons – all kinds of stuff. The demand for the parts is there, but we have to be able to fill that.

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“It’s caused me to have to go to different distributors and different manufacturers in order to get parts. Things got busier with the pandemic in the performance world. Everybody got that stimulus check and they’re spending it on their cars.”

People have been devoting their spare time to their hot rod, their race car, their vintage project that had previously been neglected until the COVID pandemic gave them the time, and in some cases, the money, to focus on it. The result has been more engine builds!

While the boom in business is very welcomed, the supply chain has brought frustration to all those involved, and all we can do is wait. However, while we wait a little longer for parts to show up at the shop, we can breathe a little easier knowing that 2021 is seeing a more ‘normal’ return to motorsports and industry events so far this year.

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Fans are being allowed back to the track in larger numbers, events that had been cancelled a year ago have been occurring once again, and as we look to summer and fall, there’s plenty to fill your calendar with. I know the Engine Builder team is excited to get back on the road to take in some events this year.

Speaking of being excited, our May issue is chalk full of exciting diesel content! From features on Powerstrokes, Cummins and Duramax engines to a look into the 2021 UCC, diesel turbocharging, injectors, and much more, what’s not to like?! Keep up the good work, and hopefully we’ll see you in person at an event soon.  EB

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