The rad' was £65 inclusive, from www.buypartsby.co.uk
. It's allegedly a Valeo part but it has no stamps, marks or stickers on it that say so, so I'm not 100% convinced. I just had Valeo in the past and they're as good as you can buy, I reckon.
Still.. this fellow is aluminium/rot-proof(?) and now I've fitted that alu' mesh behind the bumper grille, I'm not expecting any radiator issues until 2012 at least. The old radiators (Genuine Parts) got shot to buggery by stone damage, rather than rotted away but a new Genuine one is getting on £200 and the cost/quality difference didn't seem worth it.
I don't religiously buy genuine parts. I try to consider the value in doing so. A lot of the parts I'm changing now are 12 years old, so I don't need to replace them with parts that last another 12 years (I just won't have the car that long). E.g. a Genuine rad' lasts me 90,000 miles. The beast must surely die before it racks up another 90k..?
Mostly the "consumables" are after-market (brakes, exhaust, clutch, dampers, radiator) as they're often half the price of Genuine and not half as bad.
"Service" parts (tubes, pipes, gaskets, fasteners, filters, clips etc.) are genuine as I don't often have the opportunity to go hunting about for an alternative and they're not overly dear, compared to an OE replacement, once you factor in the time and effort involved compared to going to the dealer.
Other parts, like the door lock, screen washers, gearbox etc. are only available as Genuine/recon'd, or second-hand. If I can afford to put a new or factory recon'd part on the beast, I will.. as I reckon one day there will ONLY be second hand parts, so I'll make use of the supply of new while there still is one.
I don't think it's too bad... I think the beast looks pretty standard under the bonnet at least, with no bodgery, odd or mis-matched bolts, missing pads or washers, or anything like that. Whenever I dismantle something I put it back to how it was when it was new, not just back to how it was. I bought an air intake trumpet (£11) as someone had not bothered to re-fit it once. And the little rubbery mount for it. Had to be there...
Every time I see the Jubilee clips holding the hoses tight I think.. "those aren't right" but I think they look better than the tensioned wire bands the beast had when it was new, so I leave them. I think Mr Romeo knew best, so I just want to keep my fella more or less as it was when it left the factory.
And I would say, don't over-estimate the price of genuine parts. Some are pretty reasonable. My windscreen has been bugging me for ages, as it has a slight mis-shape in the bottom right corner that lifts the wiper off the screen down there. And a couple of nasty chips. It's an after-market screen of unknown provenance that someone paid £80 or £90 plus excess to fit. A genuine part one is £100 and I know it will be top quality and it will fit. Doesn't make sense to go "after market".
Anyway, I'll take some pics this weekend, so you can all see how it's going..