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AACA Parts Reproduction Offer

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Has the club decided which parts they are considering to reproduce ?  Have the members been notified?

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Well, it is not AACA that will be producing the parts but a "friend" of the club.  They have identified at least 90 that fit their parameters to start.  However, everyone who applied is going to get something in the mail that will be super unique.  They are working diligently on the communication back to the chosen 100.  

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Kudos to him/her and a big thank you to him/her for being so generous for doing this project for the chosen ones.

 

Will we be shown the type of projects that were chosen?

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I'm sure they will make good choices but I was somewhat frustrated that I could only send one picture .I had searched the internet for pictures of various Chrysler products of different years that used the same part in a much deteriorated state.

Also, I'm not sure if my whole narrative of why I thought it would be a good part to reproduce was seen.

 

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A couple of things, on this website a new forum will begin.  Strictly limited at this time to those that were chosen and those that expressed an interest.  It will be a community that can discuss the projects, show pictures, etc.  Once that is on the way I am sure there will be some type of communication about the program and items chosen.

 

Sorry about any frustration but everything that was sent in was turned over to the project managers. 

 

It appears to me that they have started with smaller parts, not large items like manifolds, etc.  They also chose people who gave them a lot of information and some of you even had CAD drawings.

 

We were visited by the project managers last week and they really have a cool idea for a gift and they are moving forward on that.

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Being strictly limited will us peons be able to at least follow these discussions?

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No, at the start they wanted to keep the type of discussions among those that expressed an interest in the project.  This is sort of like a focus group (a large one as we had 400 or so people apply).  Eventually I would suspect they will make the information available to the masses as I stated in my post. 

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Steve, any updates since your post almost 5 weeks ago? Is the new forum up and running and I missed it?

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I'm sorry but the secrecy behind this whole endeavor still bothers me. I am sure I'm not alone.

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Sorry guys, all I can say is that  the company involved is definitely following through.  The secrecy in stating who is the benefactor is for what they feel are good reasons and we have to respect that.  The are willing to do thousands of dollars of work for free.  The new forum for those folks has not been done...just way too many projects in the way but our feet are churning just as fast as they can.  As Orson Welles said, "No wine before its Time".  Only you guys would get that!! :)  or get who Orson was!

 

I am emailing those involved right now asking them for a formal update.

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13 minutes ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

As Orson Welles said, "No wine before its Time".  Only you guys would get that!! :)  or get who Orson was!

 

 

Ahhhhh, Orson Wells... 😁

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The Parts Reproduction Forum sounds great. I remember the Orson's commercial well.

 

You could call in Justin Wilson, too:

Image result for I gar on tee chef

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)
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Guys I got an answer today!  Stay tuned...I've asked them to put it in a "language" we all can understand.  In the meantime, they are mailing out a letter and gift to the 300 folks who raised their hands.  The gifts are made!

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Ok, I was supposed to have a full letter to post here about what has transpired but have not received it as of yet and tired of not giving people answers.  The consulting firm that was working on this realized after all was said in done that our members here did not have the data necessary for them to easily accomplish the task.  Apparently they were looking for very specific data that would allow them to reproduce the parts easily.  Most of us just had the part, pieces of the part and rudimentary drawings.  They ultimately decided that model was not going to work.

 

They have produced a unique gift and are in the process of obtaining boxes to send them out to all three hundred hand raisers along with a letter that hopefully will explain their new idea on how to offer parts reproduction.  At this point I know little more and personally am embarrassed that we had such high expectations and such a poor end result.  I am told the new program will be terrific but I really do not know what that means.  Sorry, we tried to take advantage of a generous offer but it did not pan out as of now anyway.

 

I will post more if and when I get the promised letter. 

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On the bright side, at least for them, they got thousands of dollars of free advertising.  Sometimes if it looks too good to be true...

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So after almost 50 years in the hobby........and having worked on countless cars from the pre war era, there are only three different suppliers/people who have made reproduction parts that I trust to be correct and direct bolt in replacements. Most all others are usually so cheaply or poorly done to such a low standard I don’t even bother looking at what is available. Sad but true, it is easier to just do it yourself....at least it comes out right.  The not so long distant past a guy was making hard parts for a high end car..........and they didn’t fit, as usual. He has never owned or serviced a car, he was just trying to figure out how to make money and was copying an incorrect part. Over the years I have done at least a 100 projects, tested and installed them on my own or customer car, and them marketed and sold them. Over the years we tried to get people to buy and stock the part on the shelf for future use.......99 percent were just too tight to spend the money ahead of time.........and they they whine when ten years later that can’t source parts. We now do projects, and pre sell everything and make no extras. We advertise it and still we get calls years later looking for the item.  Now people are just starting to face the fact that anything they may need will have to be designed and manufactured on an as needed basis. It’s very expensive and time consuming. Half my time is spent making parts and components for the cars in our collection..........half my time. Twenty five years ago it would have been ten percent at best. The talent, abilities, and willingness of craftsman today are 90 percent eroded from age, burn out, sickness,ect. Even with laser scanning and 3D printing, it takes time and money.......and talent. There is no substitution for craftsmanship even with modern technology. I try and explain to the younger generation that working with your hands in a trade is rewarding, interesting, diverse, and a good way to make a very good living. They look at me like I am insane. All the while I have a much better than average education and find working with my hands is more rewarding, less aggravating, and much better paying than 99 percent of the people in the field that I received my undergraduate and post graduate degrees in. Hopefully the people trying to do the project succeed in their endeavors and it pushed the ball further down the field for all of us in the hobby. Just remember......there is no free lunch..........unless you listen to politicians toying to get your vote. 

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47 minutes ago, edinmass said:

there are only three different suppliers/people who have made reproduction parts that I trust to be correct and direct bolt in replacements.

 

47 minutes ago, edinmass said:

We now do projects, and pre sell everything and make no extras.

 

So to be clear, you are saying there is no way to be in the reproduction parts businees and make money doing it right, otherwise you would have taken your talents and made parts for stock to be sold later. I get it, in the fact that many items you made are for a limited number of cars still left that could possibly use a particular part. No use stocking 50 muffler bearings that only fit 1932 late year production Belchfire straight eights. Original production run of 500 of this model in late 32.

 

Steve,

 

You have shown that  there is a market for reproduction of many parts still. Maybe not in high quantity of one particular part.

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As someone who has spent the better part of a professional career in engineering and now teaches CAD, Additive Manufacturing with a bit of CNC etc. thrown in there, and has spent a lot of time reverse engineering and

fabricating quite a bit of stuff for clients, and my own projects using 3D printing, CNC Foundry techniques etc. I can understand and appreciate the problems they ran into in regards to info to work from. People tend to

underestimate the amount of effort and particularly time required before the button is pushed and the 3D printer does its magic.

 

Without a good 3D model or detailed drawings that clearly display design intent the task becomes doubly hard. A case in point - currently we are working to reverse engineer a very early impulse coupling. All we have

to work with is the patent drawing. So far we have approximately 12 hours just on identifying the individual parts, the design intent and modeling in CAD four out of the 12 + parts (not counting fasteners).

 

We still have many hours to go before we complete the initial 3D modeling, verify functionality, refine the design, develop the design documents (2D working drawings) before we ever get to produce a 

3D printed mockup or CNC ready files let alone a finished product 3D printed or otherwise

 

Below is a connecting rod we reverse engineered (and modified):

 

I greatly appreciate their efforts and hope they will keep moving forward.

 

 

791025847_Photo6.jpg.b00c9bfb7da456173d20ff3c8f53e0c0.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Frank the issue becomes a very high per unit cost and a very small market. When making special items that have a very low per unit cost like gaskets, springs, hardware, ect.......we now try and make a one time run that will last our lifetime. Items like manifolds and windshield frames that we did in batches of 25 now just don't make sense to inventory at 2k a unit. (In the past we had six figures in reproduction parts on the shelf, today we will not go over a certain number.)  If you sell parts that need work like machining, final finishing, and the like......often the people buying them don't have the skill too do the work, ruin the part, and then come looking for a refund because "it can't be done".......I have seen it all. We recently produced a billet reproduction oil filter, and they were expensive.......twice as much as the shoddy stuff being sold. Interestingly after we started shipping them, the used poor quality  units were being posted for sale here on this site. Some people thought they got a bargain on the used units.......the sellers thought they were lucky to get some money out of them........so YES, some people are willing to pay the price for correctly done direct fit parts. 

 

 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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As I see it there are a number of major obstacles for people who wish to follow in your "career path" .  The first is developing the skills, which is a long road . It is difficult to develop skills necessary to produce vintage parts in a traditional " apprenticeship " situation. Very few present day , USA or Canada based company's are  using methods suitable for small scale , specialised production.  A few art / sculpture foundry's are still around but much of the traditional tool and die / pattern maker / foundryman work has gone elsewhere. There are still numerous machine shops however even they often have a big emphasis on CNC production. No one needs 10,000 thermostat housings for a 1931 Imperial.

 Then there is the capital costs. For many people who might be interested in this kind of a career the thought of having to invest a substantial amount of money in up front costs is at least off putting and in many cases impossible. Shop space , tooling, material inventory and so many more things keep thoughts of small scale manufacturing a dream for many of the people who have pondered such a undertaking. I know in some locations low rent commercial property is available. But for some of us in certain locations rent is truly sky high. In my case rent even in the "blight" part of town is eye watering. And equally so for at least a 100 mile radius. 

And then there is the question of marketing and developing the reputation that a successful small business requires. As long as a older skilled person slowly applies skills to small scale projects over a period of years in parallel to a full time job that actually pays 99% of the bills, then over time a reputation for following through with good products can result .  People get to know the sort of quality and scope of work that person can undertake. And that person can possibly even turn their "hobby" work into a full time enterprise or possibly a decent retirement sideline.  For a younger person to take the plunge and launch a ambitious and in all likelihood undercapitalised venture, things often go off the rails at some point.

So all in all a potentially working proposition, but one with many potential pitfalls.

 

Greg in Canada

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