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>Hi.   What does it mean when a part is OEM?  I've hear that term for a long
>time now, and I have no idea what it means.  Can someone please say what OEM

OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer
   This is a part made by the same manufacturer who made it for (in our case) VW

OE = Original Equipment
   This is genuine (in our case) VW, made to VW specs by the OEM

NOS = New Old Stock
   A part that is old, but never been used (not necessarily OE or OEM)

NIB = New In Box
   A part that is presumably old, never used, and still in it's original box
   (not necessarily OE or OEM)

RFE = Removed From Equipment
   A part that is used

Note that there is no hard and fast rule as to which is best.  It depends on 
the part.  Often OE is best and most expensive and OEM can be just as good 
for less money because it didn't come through the automaker's distribution 
chain.  In some cases, however, the OEM will make parts to two standards: a 
high quality part for the OE market and a lesser quality part for the OEM 
market.  In the end you will suffer a few setbacks before you learn when to 
buy what.

Cams and lifters are a good case.  You must buy OE or Eaton lifters, but any 
camshaft will do.

(BTW, what Gene Berg told me, if I remember correctly, was that there was 
one "small" manufacturer of VW cams, I think he said Iskenderian, who made 
the cam with the proper metallurgy, and all the others were OEMs which only 
made to OE standards, so you could use anything.  I have no doubt that Berg 
at various times buys their parts from various places, but you have to keep 
in mind that Scat and Bugpack aren't manufacturers.  Berg's only interest is 
in the who originally made the part and to what standards.)

I guess I must seem like a bit of an apologist for Berg, but I have been 
buying from them for nearly 20 years and their products have always been 
good quality. 

       Melissa Kepner                                    Jim Adney
       jadney@vwtype3.org              jadney@vwtype3.org
                             Laura Kepner-Adney
                             Madison, Wisconsin

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