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where to find door panels?


saints

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SMS will make replacements for you. Just prepare to wait one year and to turn your wallet upside down and shake till nothing more falls out. But their work is near flawless............Bob

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Last time I had them done at SMS, they were around $800 to $1000 for the set, if I remember correctly. The thing that really frosted me, though, was that it took TWO YEARS, not one year, for them to do them! TWO SOLID YEARS! And you have to pay for it in advance!  I should have charged them interest on the use of my money! If you can get the correct material, a local upholstery shop can probably do just as nice a job in a lot shorter time.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

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I just had a set made for one of my '57's at a local shop and they were under $500. All he needed was a pattern. They were all vinyl and no special materials. Vinyls were a match to original.

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Local shops can be a viable alternative.  Getting the correct materials can be important, not just a "close match" situation . . . unless that's what you want.  Just be sure that when the seats are done, everything matches in color AND grain/texture.

 

Do some "due diligence" shopping, possibly checking out the local car show/cruises to see where others in your area have had good luck getting upholstery work done.  There CAN be some wide variations for similar money spent, so getting the best value can be important.

 

NTX5467

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If you buy from SMS, my son and I strongly encourage you buy everything all at once.  I'm talking headliner, door panels, upholstery material, EVERYTHING.  We got material samples from them and ordered material 2 years later.  They were slow in delivering but only a little painful.  All we needed was a match on the seat fabric and the polkadot pattern on the seat back.  When it arrived the dots were smeared.  They did not look like the sample.  We reordered and it took forever to get the replacement material.  In fact, we ended up not using it because of the timing.  The replacement was better but still not wonderful.  The sample showed well defined dots that looked like they were printed on.  What we received looked like they had sheet metal with holes drilled in it they place on top of the vinyl and spray painted the dots through.  SMS really needs some competition.

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From my short time in the drapery manufacturing industry, the issue of "dye lots" was something I had to deal with.  Although there might be a specification for color and fabric textures, there is still an acceptable range before things get "out of spec".  IF all of the job was done from one bolt of the particular fabric, then it all matched.  Should a drapery panel be damaged in the customer's care, then without a swatch of fabric to match, there was a good chance that what we sent out would not be an exact match with the original.  Perhaps that was what happened with the "dotted fabric"?  The swatch they sent for approval was not from the same bolt as the fabric you got (a good while later).

 

If the dots were "screen printed", the quality of the pattern on the screen will affect the end product.  When that process works correctly, everything is very well-defined, as it should be.  The screen is placed on the section of fabric.  The "ink" is placed on the screen and squeegeed across the screen, excess is removed, screen is removed, and the process repeats.  Ink dries and the material is ready to "bolt".  Poor quality control and/or poor machining can result in what you describe.  At least that's the way our screener did it, by hand, back in 1975.  Certainly, there's an automated process, though.

 

So, back to the "order it all together" orientation.  IF you get the swatches matched when they are requested, it might be best to order the fabric THEN so that the same bolt of fabric (which the approval swatch came from) can be used to cut your order from.  This makes the old "measure ___ times, cut once" very important, as is getting the total requirements for particular fabrics/coated fabrics (vinyls) correct to start with.

 

Unfortunately, I suspect there are a very limited number of mills that do automotive fabrics for older vehicles. 

 

NTX5467

 

 

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I can't argue with you on what you said.  I will say this though.  they obviously had poor quality control at the screen printing process but also the guy who cut the fabric and sent to me was also at fault for sending such poor quality out.  He could not have missed it unless he was blind.  BTW, they charged $50 - $75 a yard for the fabric/vinyl I ordered.  For that much money I expect good quality.

I worked in the plastics industry years ago.  If a customer ordered material with "hair-cell" texture, it had better be hair-cell.  True, one hair-cell may not be exactly like another but they were so close that most people couldn't tell the difference.

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