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'73 Interior trim and door panels
#1
1) I am undertaking a full restoration of my '73 vert interior and while I saw a great thread about the how to (thanks 72HCode), I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on the repro trim parts. I know Dan from Ohio posts here. I have seen the parts on CJ pony and a few other sites as well. Are all the repro parts the same? What are the best places to buy? Are they as good (or close to) originals. My originals are in good shape, but the chrome is gone. Rechroming and detailing seems to be quite expensive over repro parts, but am I missing something?

2) Also, my vert has the center instrument cluster w/ the dash light. It looks like all the repro parts don't have the map light option. Any suggestions on how to make that work? Do I just go to work with my dremel tool?

3) Lastly, I have read about the door panel issues and how they are tough to fit on. Again, are they all the same or are some better than others. There seems to be some price difference out there. I have the deluxe interior. Luckily my inserts and chrome are in good shape, cuz they seem EXPENSIVE. Although the pull handles certain aren't cheap and I need those Sad

Thanks for the assist! Advice, suggestions and support are welcome as I move down this path. I am sure I will have more questions.

Mustang Bob
Burbank, CA

'73 Mustang "Q" Code Convertible
'68 Pontiac GTO
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#2
1) the molded and precovered reproduction parts all come from the same manufacturers, either through scott drake, TMI or dash direct or other parties.

The only difference between some parts that is when they claim they used original tooling.

anytime you get a reproduction see if it is ford licensed and or claims original tooling it will be more expensive but usually a better part.

for example Dashes direct makes the reproduction dash pads for 71-73 cars, however they offer it in 2 different ways.
one is the cheaper, the other claims uses original tooling and is about 100$ more expensive.

and yes it is possible to get a original tooling dash that is total garbage so don't be shy about returns or exchanges, the quality inspectors in china do not exist.

the dash panels are all made by the same company and the door panels and handles are the same no matter where you go.

the seat Upholstery is another story. there are a few places that make that. they all have there own patterns and differences, TMI is thought to be the better one. Color varies Greatly lot to lot and also cover to cover depending on whom stitched it there can be major differences that you may need to work around.

another thing the tolerance of parts and lots varies wildly.
example: you buy a reproduction fuel sender, and it has major problems. you return it go somewhere else and buy the same fuel sender from another distributor and have no issues, so you conclude on distributor has the correct part the other does not, the reality is the parts came from the same manufacture one was made on friday afternoon at 3:30pm the other was made tuesday morning and put in a different box for shipping.


as far as carpets same thing 3 or 4 companies make it, none of them are any good to be honest i've switched carpets 2 times from different manufactures and they are all garbage.

as far as chrome dash board panels the reproductions are very good with some minor variation from originals.

as for the rest of the interior in a 71-73 many parts are not currently reproduced, and some of the stuff out there is really bad, Stay away from any reproduction interior Quarterpanels for any body style they are pure junk.

as far as other interior chrome parts they just started to make reproduction Deluxe door inserts and lower door carpet trim.

other parts can be hit or miss and can come defective, so basically if you buy something and its wrong try exchanging it, or return it and wait a few months for the next lot to come out.

one company makes the gas fuel sender. a few years ago they made it with the outlet tube going in the wrong direction, they finally fixed the problem after 3-4 years and the same company now makes the part correctly.
although you may get one that leaks its hit or miss.



2) the repro parts have the spot for the map light just take it off your old console panel and install it on the new one.

make sure you buy the correct part, they make 3 different models for the center console.

there are 2 different styles for the passenger side also, with or without seatbelt light.


3) same company makes the door panels, they suffer from a plastic shrinkage issue, its honestly not that bad. the first time you install them stucks because that is when you do all the cutting to fit the clips so they hold the panel to the door properly, after that you can pull them and slap them back on no problem if you did the fitting correctly.
again lot to lot there is variation with the mold lines into the door handles so you have to fudge everything a little to make it look right to the eye. just take your time cutting out the panels and cutting in the reliefs you need and alignment for drilling holes for the handle, treat it like a revell plastic model Big Grin.

and yes the panels are expensive, but still cheaper then trying to locate a set of 40 year old OEM panels that are not total junk.


  Reply
#3
72HCODE;10879 Wrote:and yes the panels are expensive, but still cheaper then trying to locate a set of 40 year old OEM panels that are not total junk.

Weren't the original Deluxe panels made from some kind of pressed fiber / cardboard material?

Jeff T.

Low buck, touring style, '73 Convertible "rolling restoration", 351c, 2v heads with a shave and a haircut, Performer intake, Holley 650(ish), roller rockers, screw in studs, guideplates, stainless valves, Duraspark / Motorsports MSD, T-5 conversion. 1-1/8" front, 3/4" rear swaybars KYB shocks and some home brewed subframe connectors. Future plans; JGC steering box, Cobra brakes and... paint, interior, etc.

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passenger.

[Image: 1_12_09_14_10_15_11.png]
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#4
Yup the originals used a pressed fiberboard material that was punched out for all the holes needed.

There are some people that collect old doors that are falling apart for the backing boards then recover them.

Because they were made of a paper product and the doors remained wet most of the time the backing material aways molded, and rotted, and warped.

I've never seen anybody successful in reusing the door backing panel and having it recovered.
Usually when I go over to people that collect the original panels that are all ripped and ruined they sit in a huge pile of "I'll get to it one day"


The deluxe panels always rip on the lower arm rest, I've seen people recover that area either with a patch over or they cut the panel on the lower mold lines then stitch in a new section.

It always looks terrible, these reproduction panels really are pretty good compaired to other options other then NOS
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#5
Great advice. My door panels are the original fiberboard ones, but the drivers side is rotted out. The passenger side backing seems in better shape, but I want them to match and the covering is cracked/repaired and looks pretty poor.

Thanks for the quarter panel advise. Mine are in pretty good shape but just need to be painted. I was debating replacement, but noticed the repros didn't have the same seat belt slot so I think repainting is a better option.

You mentioned three different center consoles. I know there is without gauges and with gauges. Is there another AC option that you were referring to? I have AC.

Mustang Bob
Burbank, CA

'73 Mustang "Q" Code Convertible
'68 Pontiac GTO
  Reply
#6
I just replaced my deluxe door panels on my 72 sprint. I got them from Mustang Market and they are not as good as the originals. It took a buddy and me 8 hours to remove the old hardware and install it on the new panels. It takes so damn long because there is a lot of cutting and drilling of holes and lining up to get them to fit. My main complaint is they are so thin near the front edge that the clips protrude into the cover. They are plastic and form and they just do not measure up in my opinion but like many repro parts there are not any other good alternatives. I'll post some pics of the completed project.

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