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Interior Panels

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I have been trying to find a solution to the problem the 71-73 community has with the interior quarter panels. There is no company that makes a good set of reproduction panels of the correct fitment and of a decent quality (especially for the fold down access option). 


I reached out to Speedcore about this issue and they can produce a nice replacement in a high quality carbon fiber. They would need a good mold to work with but the end result would be a carbon fiber panel with exact fitment. it would be up to the end user if they wanted to keep the carbon fiber look or paint them to match their interior color. 


my question is, would there be a demand for this? if so, what would one be willing to pay?

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I would doubt that there would be. Carbon fiber is sort of a fad thing for the street. Yes they do use in racing but getting away from it because it makes such a mess in a crash. Shatters into thousands of needles that puncture the tires. I think they outlawed it in Indy car racing and went to a material invented by a textile plant in Spartanburg S.C. Milliken. It is called Tegris. Stronger than carbon fiber and does not shatter. The front splitters on the NASCAR race cars use to be made using it, I do not know now. I did some development using it as a laminate between sheets of aluminum or steel that could then be formed in a die. They had a kayak made of it at the plant and you could pick up with one finger but stronger the the previous plastic model. It looked like the material the cheap tarps are made of.

Back to your question. It would require so much work and be so expensive I do not see anyone being able to make any money. Most want steel.

How would you apply it?

How to join to the steel?

Most of the plastic pieces in the past had to have a perfect sub structure to prevent warping of the panels so that they looked good. That would not be easy with out cars being so flexible. It would be a bunch of waves.

I did work in the automotive world for 25 years produced stampings. I worked with John Deere on replacing their plastic hoods with steel. Theirs were melting due to high heat from engines. Like so many they were afraid of change.

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P


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The texture would be wrong.


They would texture the mold to match but would still be super expensive. I looked at the A post covers and the tooling would be crazy expensive due the the slides that have to be in there to form the parts. Without Fords original wood pattern it is about impossible to make a repo that works. Now if someone did another wood model then you would have something to work with. Make it fit everything right and simply laser scan and make a CAD model and mirror it for the opposite side.

The least cost is probably a rotary molding process like they do some gas tanks.

The payback just not there.

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P


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Innovation is fueled by opportunity.

I for one, would love to see a quality reproduction unit available. While technology has been a barrier, the current capabilities of rapid prototyping and modern overlay methods make what used to seem impractical or just too expensive not only feasible but practical for low volume custom parts.


pwnedurass- We're all enthusiasts here so we're always looking for a good value. When you say carbon fiber it rings of high performance & big bucks so maybe we need to approach Speedcore to understand their tiered pricing structure and what detail level they can provide, then what's the minimum order qty and see what kind of price point they provide.


Keep us updated!

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If you could find a set of inside rear quarters that are as close to NEW condition as possible, they could be 3D scanned and Possibly 3D printed using the carbon fiber type 3D printing materials. It would produce a very strong stiff panel with proper design upgrades. A high end 3D printer MAY even be able to replicate the surface texture as well. Hell I would take one that's even just smooth and cover it with vinyl to match the seats. BUT if your wanting to do it to make money you will have to make it as factory correct as possible. Then approach a vendor or vendors like NPD or CJpony and see if you can get some kind of commitment from them. I Doubt if sales would be enough to justify the development expense though. Give it another 5 years for technology to advance a bit more and maybe the price will come down enough to justify it. Doing it the old way with molds and tooling will be cost prohibitive unless your making 100k units or more.


I think a acceptable price point would be under $300-$400 a set. Much more than that and you would exclude a lot of potential buyers. IMO.

"I drank what?" - Socrates

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Even if you had a pair of NOS panels scanning them would be worthless. Without the check fixture to put the part in the correct position it could be off inches just laying there. I was automotive tooling engineer for many years. Every part on the car had a check fixture that nets the part and locates it in body position for inspection on CMM, Coordinate Measuring Machine. At the assembly plant they also have a Buck that allows mating parts to be put together in a Screw build to check fit and function.

The printed prototype parts are super expensive and very slow process and not very durable. More for show and tell than anything.

The reason most of the stamped repo parts do not fit is because they did no have a check fixture to position the part correct and get a good scan.

I worked as tool & die maker for years it is not an easy thing to do without the original wood patterns or in today's world the CAD data for the parts.

When they only had prints you received a full size print of the part in body position with a 100 mm grid all dimensions were given off the zero body lines and not just the part itself. If you were awarded the part Ford would send you the wooden mahogany pattern to tool the part by.

If you had a part in position you can do a plaster off the part then you can cast zinc tooling from that. The problem then is there is no compensation for shrinkage of the plastic which is considerable on a big part. With CAD data you can expand the part for the shrinkage % easily.

If someone had the time to do the leg work and contact the original mfg. of the parts they might have tooling in back yard. We scrapped tooling for Ford's in the 60's in the 1990's. I sent the 1966 Chevelle grill tool to the scrap yard in the 1990's. Daniel Carpenter found the tooling for the 72 & 73 Mustang grills and got them and makes parts off the original tooling so some is still out there for sure.

Here is a picture I took in Dennis Carpenters private museum in Charlotte of the original mold for the 1951 For hood ornament. The tail light mold inserts were for 51 Ford and probably 53. I was shocked at how good it looked. They still makes those and sell.





When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P


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