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Hot Rods Repro Parts. Some Things Never Change

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by krylon32, Mar 1, 2024.

  1. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 9,477

    from Nebraska
    1. Central Nebraska H.A.M.B.

    I'm such a dumb shit assuming new parts from name brand manufacturers should fit? Bought a pair of Rootlieb Gennie Henry 25 louver hood sides that were advertised to fit original hood tops. My early build deuce pickup has the hood tops it was born with. Stupid me painted the sides then spent over an hour per side carefully grinding the hood hinge loops to fit the stock tops, after about a 3 hour struggle the hood was on the truck UGH. Then I turned to the Mack Hils tailgate, didn't think to do any measuring, everything looked good. Again, painted the tailgate, hinges lined up perfect with the old 32 female hinge pieces on the truck, rod went right in, shut the gate and had this little less than 3/16th gap on the left and the same excessive overlap on the right. Problem, when the hinges were installed they were 3/16th off center to the left which shifted the tailgate to the right. Also the latch holes also didn't line up.UGH. Parts painted, tough shit for me. Maybe some day after over 50 years of doing this I'll get smarter but I doubt it.
  2. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,320

    from VA

    In my thinking , with all the Technology now adays
    Why parts can not be duplicated to
    originals spec's ? !!
  3. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 20,504


    Probably can’t build to original specs because they couldn’t find the original CAD file.
  4. 05snopro440
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,577


    This junk we're working on is 90+ years old. Not only were manufacturing tolerances wider at the time, but things have moved, twisted, and changed. Plus (the big one) people don't want to pay what it would cost to have precision parts.

    It's a little from column A and a bunch from column b.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2024

  5. Yep, in today’s world, close is “good enough” to some of these repro manufacturers.
    But we don’t pay them for “close”, do we?
    Those screw-ups make them “blems” imho.
    Where is the QC, on break?
    “Some fitting and modification may be required” would be nice.
  6. "Maybe some day after over 50 years of doing this I'll get smarter but I doubt it."

    Some of the things I learned 50 years ago, I find myself learning them again....Damn getting old.
    X-cpe, warbird1, mad mikey and 3 others like this.
  7. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,671


    they cannot get late model repro parts to fit correctly and now you want them to be able to make perfect fitting parts for 70 year old stuff that been used and abused that wasn't perfect to start with?

    i get a kick out of watching those youtube videos of them doing repairs in places like pakistan. they repair damaged lorrys outside in the dirt with no machine shop or big factory building to work in. mostly hand tools bending frames back into shape, pulling cabs back together with chains. a few of them have presses but not all of them. they do this in sandals and flip flops too. some of them are just kids doing the work. sometimes they fix them right on the road where they ripped the front axles out right in the middle of traffic and work thru the night until it is done. they rebuild engines right in the dirt too. sometimes they will bury the block and build a fire on it then pour metal in the cracks and redrill the holes where in this country it is deemed junk when we have cracks in our blocks. amazing what they can do without factory spec specialized tooling to do 1 job. they grab their prybars, chisels, hammers and get to work, doesn't matter what the project is, they use the same tool not waiting for a special tool to show up.

    i have actually learned a few tricks by watching them though even if i think it is comical/amazing how they do it. i also like watching how they recycle scrap over there too, those videos are quite entertaining too.
  8. lilCowboy
    Joined: Nov 21, 2022
    Posts: 70


    yes, and its also frustrating when you buy a high dollar kit and have to modify it to work, or the new parts are defective :(
    Tow Truck Tom likes this.
  9. snoc653
    Joined: Dec 25, 2023
    Posts: 194

    from Iowa

    Is the problem a now problem or a then problem? Buy another tailgate and see if the hinges are in the same place. If they are, it’s a then problem not a now problem. The precision control when your truck was built was how the workers felt that day. Do the manufacturers have a way to control what was done 90 years ago? 3/16 inch variance from guys assembling 100s of trucks a day 90 years ago was quality control as long as the finished product was good.
  10. I fully understand what Gary was saying. A lot of this is about ageing and what we do but maybe shouldn't. :) When I built my 32 years ago, I called Dee Wescott and asked questions, trying to find a definitive measurement. He told me that there were 6 plants that made 32's. He said the door off a body from one plant wouldn't fit one from another plant. They used drawings with wide production tolerances. I have found this to be true of vehicles all through the 50's. That being said, we should test fit everything. With age, we don't always do what's best. :)
  11. hepme
    Joined: Feb 1, 2021
    Posts: 523


    I fully understand the grief, having just paid over $300. for a repo that i'm sure will need mods to fit and perhaps need painting to match. But, i am ancient and remember a time when there were no such things as repo's-anywhere. We made "Saturday junkyard trips" to try and find anything that was even close off anything-tractor, dozer, dump truck, etc. Then we modified the hell out of it, ball peen's, sledge, glue. Now when i pay the piper, i remember those days. When you find a 90 year old hot rod with license plate patch panels, rebar brackets/bracing, etc. remember how it got there.
  12. ..Not just on a break, often non-existent.:mad:
    mad mikey, '28phonebooth and hotrodA like this.
  13. bschwoeble
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,017


    That's why I charge by the hour, when using repro parts on customers cars. Absolutely nothing fits as advertised. Maddening.
  14. Tow Truck Tom
    Joined: Jul 3, 2018
    Posts: 1,932

    Tow Truck Tom
    from Clayton DE

    We need to accept Krylon's opening line.
    He said it first
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  15. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 17,195

    from KCMO

    “Some things never change”

    oddly one of my favorite things about the American Hot Rod Foundations podcast “the rodcast” is when they interview these guys who have been making aftermarket parts and using them since the very start they ALL say they needed some grinding and tweaking to work.

    Something kinda funny about being connected to the original hot rodders in our shared bitching about parts not fitting.

    that being said sorry man, I know how “right” you want that truck and that’s super frustrating.
    mad mikey likes this.
  16. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 19,238

    from oregon

    Dee was most definitely a pioneer!

  17. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 6,743

    from Berry, AL

    One thing I don't think most people consider is how good was the pattern used for that reproduction part? If the pattern was flawed, every copy will have the same flaw. Maybe they didn't know their pattern was off 3/16", it fit whatever they fitted it to, so they assumed it was correct. Like was stated above, each plant had the same drawings, but didn't use the same tolerances like they do today. So a part copied from a part made in plant A might not fit perfectly on a vehicle made in plant C or D. No way to know the origin of the original pattern part in most cases, so they figure it fits one, it will fit all. Add in years of use to both the pattern and the vehicle the part is supposed to fit and you can easily have a mismatch.
    The Chevy Pope likes this.
  18. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 9,477

    from Nebraska
    1. Central Nebraska H.A.M.B.

    I'm just a cry baby. Was talking to the guy that tig welded all my chassis together after I fabbed and tacked welded them. He said he finally got around to totaling them up. said over 1500, more than I'd thought. I'm sure everyone wasn't completely happy? Never had hardly any negative feedback. Same thing with T5 kits, lost count after almost 30 years. I suppose if there was a problem most customers just made do? Life goes on.
    bschwoeble, jimmy six and olscrounger like this.
  19. Have you ever bought the smallest condom produced and still find them too loose to use? Now THAT is an issue that can't be fixed. A little welding and some fresh paint ain't gonna fix my issu .... ahhhhhh ... my friends cousins issue :oops: so I'd say "count your blessings big fella" ;)
  20. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,041


    we used to know that we had to test fit all parts before applying finish to them.

    But as we get old, we forget....
    1oldtimer, TagMan, TERPU and 10 others like this.
  21. 05snopro440
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,577


    There are different expectations with detailed fab work or trans work than reproduction sheet metal.

    You're right, a good percentage of the "bolt-on" parts I've bought in the last few years need at least something. Threads need to be chased, spacers made, parts completely modified, parts missing, sheet metal arrives bent, incorrectly assembled, or dimensions are wacky.

    If I paint anything before trying to assemble or install it, I usually regret it.

    I was trying to assemble my straight axle for my A two years ago. One side you could throw the spindle on the axle, the other side no go. Turns out the bearings were 0.035" difference in height from side to side. Swap the bearings side to side and voila, everything fits.
    Tim and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  22. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 12,664

    Johnny Gee
    from Downey, Ca

    “They” messed me up. But who put the carriage before the horse?
    Fogger and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  23. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,079


    Still, a part that is ninety percent of the way there is better, in many cases, than a part you have to completely fabricate yourself.
  24. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,204

    from Houston

    1970's BODY SHOP 101 Test fit every OME Part before sending it to the painter
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2024
  25. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 12,363

    Bandit Billy

    It's not just recent repops either, this was 2009 when I was finishing a OT. Bolted on a brand-new comfort grip wheel, went to climb out of the car and....As an added safety feature you can steer it by the spokes.
  26. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,700

    from Denton

    Ah a Fat Man’s Steering Wheel I have seen these in Model T’s
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 5,403


    The biggest problem with using the part that is 90% of the way there is that you have to complete the renmaining 90% of the work to make it right.
  28. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,700

    from Denton

    Did it come with the Oklahoma Guarantee “If it breaks in half you get to keep both pieces”
  29. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 12,664

    Johnny Gee
    from Downey, Ca

    My son had one of the those wheels do the same but not instantly like yours. It was black as well. He contacted the seller about it. They told him there was a bad run of them. They replaced it along with the whole kit even though it was just the wheel that failed.
    mad mikey, jimmy six and Bandit Billy like this.
  30. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 4,076


    Wait! You thought repo body parts actually fit your ride?

    I'm a Mopar guy. Back in the 60s, the body tolerance was "With in a 1/4", + or -, side to side."

    When ever I bought a repo body part, I had to figure out which end of the 1/4" + or - the part was made to. Those slotted mounting holes may not have been slotted enough to bolt onto your ride. Some sort of modification was probably going to need to be done.

    When that car was rolling down Henry's assembly line in 1932, it just had to look right at the end of the line. It didn't have to exactly match the car ahead of it or behind it on the assembly line, they were not going to swap parts from one car to the next. Quality control was to pull the cars that didn't look right off the line to have whatever was incorrect modified so it looked ok parked next to the others on the parking lot.

    If I was making a repo part for one of those 32 Fords, I might have one or maybe two cars to compare the part to. If both cars had the same part screwed up, guess how those repo parts are going to fit everything? They will fit all the cars that got the same screwed up part as the two examples I had to test fit them on, the others would have to be modified.

    A sure sign of old age is when we forget things we always knew, then bitch when we rediscover the things we have forgotten.

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