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Manufacture idea for GTReproductions. MF14 dash/cowl,bezel.

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#1 ncb OFFLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2011 - 03:13 AM

I used to race radio control offroad trucks and all the bodies were made of vaccum formed lexan polycarbonate ,tough as nails and easy and cheap to make . sandwich lexan sheet between outer frame at perimeter of the lexan. fasten original good shape or repaired cowl to flat base sheet on the bottom. you will need a pretty good seal between the two . add vaccum to bottom base sheet ,shop vac should provide enough vacuum. heat the sheet to lexan suppliers specs till it gets wobbly and saggs. fire up the vaccum and quickly slam softened lexan sheet to bottom mold section and the lexan draws down around the original cowl and cools in seconds . you may be able to mount 8 cowls to the bottom base and make 8 parts per molding if you can find 8 good original dashes[Good luck with that one] then just trim the extra lexan around the perimeter of the original dash/cowl. the newly molded part is painted inside leaving the lexan like a super tough thick clearcoat. depending on the shape aka weather any part curves under any other it may be able to slip right over an original cracked or broken dash like a new skin or lined with fiberglass as a complete replacement part you could sell raw clear part to be trimmed and painted by customer , trimmed and painted or trimmed ,painted and fiberglassed ready for install .several guys i raced with used to make there own bodies at home so it should be doable. if you mess up the sheet can be reheated and it returns to near original shape for a retry.check out a hobby shop to see what i mean. Cheers .

Edited by rexknightly, July 14, 2011 - 03:20 AM.

#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted July 14, 2011 - 10:29 AM

Sounds interesting but would the dash be too large and convoluted in shape to be formed from a single sheet. I think the main impediment in molding most low volume parts is the high cost of creating a mold. This process would avoid that. I would run it by someone in the plastics industry to see if they think it is feasible

#3 FirefyterEmt OFFLINE  



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Posted July 15, 2011 - 05:57 AM

What is needed, is an inner repair patch that can use the bolts for the metal dash plate and the mower bolt holes. Something that would take up the stress of the lower mounting, and allow for a cosmetic repair of the bottom.

#4 Gibby OFFLINE  



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Posted July 16, 2011 - 09:51 PM

Having at one time worked in a plastic fabricating shop, I see one problem. When you mold the part from an original dash, you'll have a negative. You would then need to make the actual mold from that negative, otherwise, you'll lose the details. Not a big problem, but something you may want to think about. If it works out for you, and you decide to start making other dashes, let be first in line to order one for a 1978 Sears GT 19.9!