Never mind the above question. I figured it out. Sorry!
For those that review this thread looking for the solutions:
The key is in replacing the references to the inserted part on the file open dialog.
You need to close the part file you want updated. Then in the file / open dialog select the part file you just closed and next click on the references button. The references dialog will show all of the inserted parts. Modify the file name and/or path to the replacement part you want inserted, click OK, and then continue opening the part file.
The inserted parts in question should now be the replacement parts. Save your file.
Doing it that way still leaves the name of the old inserted part in the feature tree. The inserted part physically changes, but the name does not.
I am using SW2013 SP3.
I am not seeing the same behavior as you.
- I created a new blank part and used the Insert / Part command to bring in another part file.
- I saved the new part (containing the inserted part) and closed the file.
- Next I used the File / Open command to launch the File Open dialog.
- I selected the new part file I had just saved and closed
- Before clicking the "Open" button I clicked the "References..." button
- I modified the inserted part referenced to another part file
- (Be sure the modified file name turns green by clicking outside of the file name text box)
- I clicked the "Open" button.
The re-opened file now showed the modified inserted part AND the feature tree correctly showed the newly modified part's name.
However, if you use the "Insert into new part" command by right clicking on a solid body in the solid bodies folder, save the new file, then modify the references with the file open dialog as described above, the part will be updated but the feature tree will still show the original feature name of "Stock-partfilename-1". RMC the feature and choose List External Refs... will show the correct modified references.
Daen Hendrickson is right that you need to edit the reference to the inserted part but his method didn't work for me. For me what worked was closing all the parts, opening the main part in SolidWorks Explorer ("Tools" -> "SOLIDWORKS Applications" -> "SOLIDWORKS Explorer" -> Select the "File Explorer" tab -> navigate to and select the main part), the on the right hand side, selecting the "References" tab, and editing the "Full Path" field so that it references the new to-be-inserted part.
It would be lovely if you could do this just by right clicking the insert part in the feature manager and selecting "edit feature" but I guess SolidWorks users (beggars) cant be choosers...