The Noble parts database — why and how

I created a database of Noble parts which can be found here at www.nobleparts.info

There is already a “wiki”, which is a Word document and is available for download from the Noble owners Facebook page. However, this isn’t structured in any way, and so is difficult to determine the compatibility of the parts mentioned with any particular model, supplier, or whether the part is OEM, equivalent, upgraded etc. There was opportunity to improve upon this and to provide a tool that’s much more useful — and crucially — more collaborative, so that breadth and depth of parts is massively increased

The parts database allows owners to find the parts they need to keep their cars on the road — parts are categorised by type (eg, engine, suspension) and can be filtered by model of car, so it’s easy to find the part you’re looking for

Parts are also categorised as either:

OEM — this is, from Noble Automotive, or the supplier that originally supplied Noble Automotive

OEM Equivalent — usually the same part as OEM, but from a different vehicle (eg, door handles, window regulators etc from the original car). Also, different equivalent part numbers from the OEM manufacturer (eg, alternator). OEM equivalent parts are often cheaper than OEM parts

Upgrade — aftermarket supplier that provides a part that is an upgrade over the OEM part (eg, exhaust manifold). Often, these parts are cheaper — or not much more expensive — than the OEM parts

Alternative fitment — a part that WILL work, but may require some modifications to make it work (eg, an air conditioning radiator that will fit, but will need different mounting brackets to be fabricated). Where alternative fitment parts are listed, I’ve also tried to provide a link for “verification” — this is a blog post/facebook post or some other proof that this particular part does work. This could also be a cheaper part from a budget supplier that is neither an upgrade or OEM equivalent

I have included prices wherever possible, and whilst these aren’t expected to be kept up to date regularly, it is expected that they’re indicative enough to allow side-by-side comparison of the required part in all 4 of the above categorisations to determine the best part for each individuals needs (eg, if an upgraded part is cheaper than OEM, why wouldn’t you upgrade?)

Wherever possible, I’ve tried to include a link to a WORKING website, where the part can be ordered directly — this is much more convenient than simply stating it’s available from a supplier, and providing a phone number. It does mean that the suppliers I’ve listed aren’t necessarily the best, or the cheapest — but certainly are amongst the most convenient (this also allows for prices to be kept updated automatically at a later date)

Ideally, the database would have the cheapest source for each part, which is readily available to order online — that’s something of a lofty goal, so more of a long term aspiration

Part of the reasoning for creating this repository was to allow potential purchasers of these cars to see that they don’t necessarily need to cost a fortune to keep running — and that the cars can still be maintained to a very high standard on a very limited budget, but also to provide information to existing owners so that they don’t need to waste money on expensive OEM parts when the same part is available much cheaper from a different source

There are around 500 parts currently listed, and more parts are being added every week. It really is a massive task to attempt to list every single part on the car (and to find equivalents), and so any and all help is appreciated — the default view of the database is read-only (to prevent vandalism from bad actors), but I am happy to provide modify access to anybody that is part of the Noble community, so that they can help to keep the database maintained

There is still plenty of work to do to cross reference parts (unfortunately, it seems that this needs to be done in both directions — part A is equivalent to part B, part B is equivalent to part A) — so this takes a LOT of time and effort

I should probably point out at this point that I don’t make any money from this, but equally it doesn’t cost me anything either (beyond time) — the database is hosted on a free database service named AirTable (Thanks AirTable!)

If the database is successful, future improvements could include “kits” — eg, “in order to replace the floor you’ll need these items…” and the ability to create a “quote” of parts so that you can cost up your project or planned upgrades before embarking upon it — however, these kinds of features would likely require migrating away from AirTable

The information in the database is free for anybody to copy and use/abuse (they’re own copy) as they wish. I had a conversation with one of the Noble specialists recently who said they’d likely use the database as a starting point for their online store — this is the kind of win:win that I had planned, the specialist gets a head-start on their store, and the community gets a single supplier for many of the parts that at the moment need to be sourced from many different suppliers

If you’d like to help out, know of any parts that are missing, or have any suggestions for improvements then please get it touch :)

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Half Technical Architect, Half adventurer, Half not good with fractions

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