Re: Rebuild parts... good/bad brands?
actually a lot of autozone high-end parts are as good as or better than carquest, napa, etc mid-grade. I got a set of mid-grade pads from cq. nice black finish on the backing plates with the outline of "DURALAST gold". For a different car, I got 2 sets of rotors from carquest that warped within a mile. got a set of top-line autozone rotors and there was actually more material on them. the faces were thicker/air gap smaller. threw them on and they were still great at the next oil change. Duralast chassis parts with the better warranty are made by Moog, a brand I trust.
That being said, I've met one person working at an autozone that knows enough that I'd trust them to get the right oil and filter to do an oil change on my car. I think they have a rule that if you know too much about cars they won't hire you because you'll tell people how to actually fix cars instead of just selling az's parts.
For gaskets I used to go with fel-pro (fairly good value/price) but lately I've been spending a little more for victor-reinz from carquest. they're noticeably better without even installing them.
bearings and seals: I like timkin. never really had trouble with National either.
1991 Toyota Pickup 22R-E 2.4 I4/5 speed
1990 Toyota Cressida 7M-GE 3.0 I6/5-speed manual
mechanic, carpenter, stagehand, rigger, and know-it-all smartass
"You don't get to judge me for how I fix what you break"