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So is this even possible?
#1
We have a lot of members here, and we all have the same issues with the same kind of things. How crazy hard is it to make a small run of certain things that we could all use. Like for instance, the trims that aren't made or are made poorly, or the poly bumper that keeps coming up. It seems that with all of us here someone would have knowledge of casting, at least making the molds, if not permanent ones we could probably find a clean example to cast from between all of us. Once the casting is ready I'm brave enough to melt metal and then polishing is something we've pretty much all done. Just an idea, am I crazy?
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#2
Your idea sounds good at first sight.
But I think there is so much involved with all that.
The work, material, costs, time etc.
And my experience has shown that although you might come up with a great idea it's very hard to sell the product eventually.
Also many people will be going crazy for your part and promise to buy one and then they'll come up with excuses like this month's our anniversary so I gotta take the missus on a trip, money's tight and next month I gave some mortgage payments etc and you're left with cost, work and time invested.
It happens all the time and in every field.
People will sign up for something and never be heard of again.
Now you could go the other route and try and get crowd funding by anyone interested. You collect orders and down payments to pay for the materials and everything so that when the product is ready you only need to collect the missing part of the price. So basically buyers pay you to develop the part.
Weeeelllll, we all know how that turned out when a certain somebody who shall not be named did just that with his new taillight lenses. Many people lost lots of money.

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Mike

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#3
Hello,
I am a retired automotive process and tooling engineer. The rubber bumpers are not just rubber. There is a steel reinforcement inside the rubber. If you put a strong magnet on one it will stick. There is also the flat steel reinforcement that the rubber bumper bolts to to make even stronger.
When those were molded it is a pressure molding process for sure to make sure all air bubbles are out so the surface had a continuous skin. There are short run prototype houses in the Michigan, Wisconsin areas that will do the sheet metal parts but the initial cost is not cheap. Plastic and rubber is also available in prototype. Just taking an existing NOS part and using it is why none of the current repo sheet metal fits, lol. You can move a fender around inches with one finger. Where is the right place to cut the tooling. Without the original prints to go by you are lost or at best guessing. When the cars are first modeled they use clay. When they get what they wanted back in the day of our cars they measured the clay and produced engineering drawings that were actually drawn to scale and in body position back then. Now of course you use a computer and do a solid model but it is still modeled in body position so you can call in other mating parts to check the fit.
If our cars had been done on computer and the models still existed it would be easy to do temp tooling in zinc or aluminum.
When we would be doing a panel back then Ford would send us a mahogany pattern to use during the build of the tooling. You used tracing mills to cut the tooling following off the pattern. You made plaster cast to use when spotting or hand finishing the tooling.
Today you cut to the CAD and I have seen parts first hit have 95% of the inspection points right first time in the press.
In order to inspect the parts Ford would specify net and clamp points that located the part in the X Y & Z planes. Stamped parts usually have one round hole and one elongated hole to locate position and then surface nets to set the surfaces. Since the people making the repo stampings do not have all this info they are guessing at the parts and not doing very good either.
When the ISO and QS certifications came into play we were required to destroy all old non production drawings. We threw truck loads of old drawing out. Some were drawn on linen, some Mylar and some paper. We had drawings dated back to the Model A. The actually tossed the original linen drawing for the official soap box derby wheels that Firestone use to make. That was the company I worked for but name had been changed when Firestone sold out. I have a few old blue line prints of some of the Galaxie grills in the 60's. We use to make pretty much all of the aluminum grills for everyone. We did not destroy the 1966 Chevelle tooling until sometime in the 90's. I think one of the guys actually wall papered his garage with some of the T-Bird drawings. A full size drawing can be 15 - 18' long so not small.
So if you can locate a print or pattern or CAD model for any of the parts I can get you a quote on tooling and piece price. They will also copy an existing part but what will you get?
To let you know how cheap it is to make a car body today there is probably not a car made that the body cost over $1,000 when ready to go to e-coat and paint.
When making lawn equipment we would buy a competitors model take the engine, axle and wheels off and weigh all the stampings and figure $1.00 / lb. to stamp, weld, assemble and paint the parts.


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David
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