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I was thinking the other day about a solution to the ubiquitous warped plastic dash panels in the 39 models - and others, too, I'm sure.   I don't own a Chrysler, but have read many posts about this problem.  Apparently, the plastic is molded onto the metal parts of the dash.  Anyway, if someone could provide good, unwarped samples of these panels, they could be 3D scanned into a graphics program and then produced through 3D printing.  Once the correct shapes were in the computer, any good designer could alter them to look the same and to fit over the metal parts rather than being molded on.  This would also allow you to choose the correct color for the plastic.  Once the initial scan and design was done, the printing of the parts would be simple and reasonably economical.  Initial cost might be too high if you went strictly commercial, but if you could find a graphic designer/programmer who was interested in the hobby, you might get them to do the project at a reduced rate or even gratis.  As I said, once the design work is done, the printing is the easy part.  If enough 39 owners got together they could probably split the cost among the group.  Maybe the WPC club could get involved.  Or maybe someone has already done this and, as usual, I'm late to the game.

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Posted (edited)

I have seen very few of these dashes that are in good original condition. I know there have been a couple of people who have redone them and the results were excellent...but again, few and far between. I painted mine an ivory colour and they look good but certainly not as good as the original ivory plastic. I bought some ivory plastic sheeting and was going to try and melt it down in the oven so the shape would conform to the shape of the metal glove box door and the speedometer and gauge surround. This is a project I have not gotten to as of yet! 

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Edited by John Loney (see edit history)

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They could probably be vacuum formed over a mold from sheet styrene or some other type of plastic. Making the molds would be the costly part.They might also be resin cast if one could find good, undamaged originals, but again, making the molds can be rather expensive, but once the mold are made the cost per piece will drop.

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I'd be interested in discussing this with anyone.  We have the capability to do this but must have almost perfect pieces to make the molds from.  If the molds are made we can cast in the original colors, including the marbles used in the early forty's cars.  Castings would match the steering wheels and knobs.  Parts would be cast in UV stable urethane.  

Dave@danddautomobilia.com

704-650-4632

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8 hours ago, Taylormade said:

Anyway, if someone could provide good, unwarped samples of these panels, they could be 3D scanned into a graphics program and then produced through 3D printing.  Once the correct shapes were in the computer, any good designer could alter them to look the same and to fit over the metal parts rather than being molded on

I think this may be a good way to make a core for a mold, but I don't know how UV stable the printed plastic is.

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But then it would be very authentic and disintegrate just like the original!

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For 1940 there has been maybe two providers of reproduction plastic. I bought a set as advertised in the WPC News for my 1st NewYorker in the late 90s, but never got around to mount it as the entire interior was sort of blended into a patinated look and to fix the plastic the entire interior had to be renewed. When I replaced the Coupe with another restored car, that car had already new plastic in it, but the plastic texture indicate it was a different supplier that my first set.

 

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Posted (edited)

I don't have any skill in plastic molding or 3d printing but would like to help out in some way with this project if I can.  I just picked up a 39 Chrysler Royal needing these repairs.+  Could a spare glove box door, etc.. be used in the mold process?s-l1600.jpg

Edited by Brooklyn Beer (see edit history)

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The best piece available should be used for the mold.  The less hand finishing required after the part leaves the mold reduces the final cost significantly.  A piece that is warped or has significant shrinkage is not usable for a mold.  

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