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Restoration parts shortage?


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I'm in the midst of getting my 1970 Chevelle body redone and  everyone of the suppliers has back ordered parts.

They say it's due to CoVid. With so many people not working a lot of projects are getting restarted and the off shore body panel factories are also closed.

  I tried to order a quarter panel for my 1972 Oldsmobile 442 convertible today and same result! Anyone else having this same problem?

 I'm in Canada and with the border still closed until who knows when I can't even go to the large USA swap meets. 

studboat442 036.jpg

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There are random parts availability problems in all sorts of places right now.  Restoration, aftermarket, insurance claims, everything.  It seems a little random though as to what is delayed.  I’m an auto insurance adjuster and restorer.

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Yikes, my next project (hope to start in the fall) is a 66 chevelle. It needs quarters, I suppose I better check on availability? Ive never had problems ordering parts for my trans ams, other than some small stuff every once in awhile, this may be a horse of a different colour.

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There are temporary shortages of everything as supply chains go through fits and starts to get back to normal. Took me a month to get rockers for my Squarebody truck project. The vendor called to apologize and said they had just gotten a new shipment in and they went right back out. It's not the end of the world. The fact that the border is still closed isn't helping.

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I am still waiting for a set of Raybestos brake shoes ordered in early May, and I had to cancel a previous brake parts order due to Canadian components not being available. We are not out of the woods yet.

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I think I got the last 4 Firestone 21x5.25 blackwall 's left in the U.S. 3 from one vender. A month later one showed in a vendors inventory on the other side of the country that was "lost in inventory", when I asked a month earlier.. I see they are now back ordering them now for delivery in 7-2022.. Tubes were a rough find also..  

 

 

Same old story, its covid's fault.

Edited by BHWINCVAP (see edit history)
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I was just reading some other posts on the Forum. Some might suggest you check the Walmart parking lots. Apparently they are full of post WWII cars. Least that's what they think.

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The most popular big rig windshields are back-ordered 4 months from overseas.  In some cases, this prevents the trucks from passing inspections to go to the ports of entry to pick up the shipments of new windshields.  Catch 22.

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I had a heck of a time finding suitable upholstery fabric for my current project.  One popular supplier told me they hadn’t been able to get wool fabrics from the UK for over a year.

 

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I ordered some piston rings for a flathead Chrysler & was told the factory was in the process of moving from the US to Mexico when Covid hit, and they still aren't up to speed. I found some NOS.

 

Like 39BuickEight, I'm in auto claims and occasionally get asked to research some part that's at zero stock. One thing when you can't find something for that restoration project, much different when you're daily driver is out of commission and you're watching your maximum rental days approach.

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I'll bet the major suppliers for restoration parts are struggling to get hold of things.  We've tried to get some MG parts and anything made in China (much of it is these days) is not available.   Makes me wonder if there will ever be a recovery for that part of the business.  I'm usually optimistic, but in this case, am concerned that some of the manufacturers might see it as too difficult or unprofitable to continue making unique stuff with only small demand.  Restoring a car may no longer be just a dial the 800 number, as many of our early car enthusiasts already understand.  Even the Model T folks are finding some things, especially tires and tubes, difficult to get.

Terry

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21 hours ago, Borough Essex said:

Luckily I haven't encountered any elbow grease shortages when working on my 1925 Hudson lately, but this is a good reminder to to us to think as far ahead as possible when sourcing stuff for our projects.

Exactly right. Start thinking today what you'll need 6 months or more from now.

I did that with 2 wiring harnesses. Most harness companies are now 12-20 weeks out on build time.

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I just order spark plugs today . They only had two in the store and only one at the other local store in town..

 

So I order 30 of them. It should be in the store by July 5th 2021.

 

Price was very high 2.65 each..  

 

 

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When doing a restoration I order parts right away, months and a year or more in advance. My wife thinks I’m crazy but when I go to reassemble a car, I want all the pieces I need on hand. A good example was I ordered my roof and interior kit from Lebarron Bonney for my Olds two years in advance. I picked up my roof and tonneau cover about ten days before they closed their doors. I also received two weeks ago a rear 34’ chevy pickup bumper that I had ordered 9 months ago. Always order early. I’m in the packaging business and I can tell you nothing is readily available. Parts for packaging equipment is back ordered months and many customers have machines down for weeks when a part breaks. Containers are at a all time low and truck drivers are retiring with no new ones taking their place. States like RI have imposed trucker only tolls which has  caused many private OTR drivers to quit because of the cost of operating. It’s so bad, Home Depot bought their own containers, their own container ship, and hired their own crew to bring in products from overseas. On top of all the shortages, costs are way up and inflation is at an all time high. For now, get used to it.

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I have tried to buy a tire for my Model T and there are non available anywhere. All of the vendors say "maybe August".  It has been like this since at least March.  Even at Chickasha, Coker did not have any Model T tires. 

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Same issue in the Model A world.  Better tires are backordered, etc.

 

While imported stuff may well not come back, I wonder if positives could be more parts made stateside and maybe more effort on rodders and estates to sell off unwanted stuff if it is worth the effort.  Given the choice between a little more cost vz. Unobtanium, most of us I think, would pay a bit more.  

Agree with the philosophy of ordering early.  Also, early in the hobby, with a corvette I was working on, the guy I got it from advised, buy whatever spares you think you will need when you can get them, and throw nothing out as long as you have the car.  He was talking vettes but it is applicable to all, I know the prewar independent guys get it.  

I think, hope this doesn't make life too difficult for all of us.

 

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Posted (edited)

Hearing about the tire shortage I'm glad I bought tires for the Ford Model A Tudor when I bought it several years ago. I installed them a month or two ago when I got it running. At the shop we ordered a simple roll of rubber fuel line. We were told it was on back order because the materials it is made out of went for the supply of covid shots.

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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Yea, I heard than anything with plastic and rubber is short supply and expensive now. I just looked at some romex wire at lowes and it was about $5 a foot!!! Heard it was because of the coating. They say that bx cable is cheaper now, but I havent had a chance to look into that.

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Waiting to get some upholstery done until the shop can get  foam rubber. They are not sure when that will be but estimate several weeks.

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