Making sense of new, rebuilt, and remanufactured.

Making sense of new, rebuilt, and remanufactured.

March 24, 2020 0 By Ray Bohacz

Words have meanings, and though life has become more complicated today, that simple fact remains the same.

When exploring a part purchase for your farm equipment, you are often faced with the decision of new, remanufactured (reman) or rebuilt.

New is self-explanatory. Still, many often get confused or use synonymously the terms reman and rebuilt. They are different, and you need to know why.


This describes a part or component that is manufactured using no parts or materials that were previously in-service.

New original equipment (OE) parts often incorporate any updates or modifications the equipment manufacturer has deemed to be of benefit.

Not all new parts come from the original manufacturer. In the marketplace, you will find new parts produced by an aftermarket company alongside new parts from the original manufacturer, such as John Deere, Case/IH, Ford, etc.

New parts from the OE will most likely incorporate any updates while that may or may not hold true for the aftermarket.

New OE parts are considered the premium choice.


This describes a part that shares some used components but enjoys most new parts along with any updates/changes.

For example, a reman alternator will have an in-service case. Still, the diodes, brushes, voltage regulator, bearings, etc. will all be new. Traditionally a reman alternator will employ a rewound stator and rotor also.

Most OE companies offer an excellent line of reman parts that do not compromise quality and provide substantial cost savings over new.

OE reman programs boast of quality. Most, if not all, instances (depending on the application), the internal components used are the same that would be in a new unit from the assembly line. Besides, the OE traditionally operates the reman line in-house, or it is trusted to a highly vetted supplier of new parts to their assembly lines.

As the author, a farmer, and an engine guy, I would choose an OE reman program over a new aftermarket part since there is such a variation in quality from companies.

Many new aftermarket parts are from China and have poor quality and performance and are usually not designed to the factory specifications.

This is not to be confused with that they do not fit. The performance is often compromised. This is especially prevalent with high tech electronics such as engine sensors, control units, ignition coils, and modules.


This is the wildcard since there is no real definition of what needs to be done.

A rebuilt part from a poor-quality supplier will usually have all old internal components. The only new thing may be the part that failed, and that may not even be new but a used piece.

A better rebuilder will install new but inexpensively sourced consumable parts but will still be of questionable quality and reliability.

I have disassembled some rebuilt parts and was in horror of what I found while other brands pleasantly surprised me.

I have also found that price is not a legitimate qualifier either.

The warranty the parts man tells you it has is worthless when you need to do the job twice or miss an opportunity to get work done due to a failure.

Smart money

A friend of mine has a saying that goes something like this, “I am not rich enough to afford to buy something that cheap!”

The farm is your business, and the machinery is the workers.

On my farm operation, I first look to use new OE parts, but if the cost is too high or not available, I buy the OE reman program with 100% confidence. I want to farm, not fix!