Vintage Mustang Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I noticed when questions about repo fenders or hoods one of the replies I tend to see is try to stick to the original one and
the talk goes to how bad the fit is and such. So my question is it this a BIG problem with aftermarket parts like this?
Or is it we tend to speak out when we have a problem and the happy folks keep quiet.
So are these parts bad because of bad casting, cheap materials.
Are some hoods and fenders better than others?
 

·
VMF Ambassador
Joined
·
6,613 Posts
The fenders are totally terrible. The standard repro hood is supposedly also terrible. The Ford Tooling repro hood fits just right, but the metal quality is garbage - I would know, I have it on my car and I've put permanent fingerprint dents in it when I close the hood. Last time I checked I'm not the Hulk, so... the metal is just really soft. The same is true for the Ford Tooling fastback decklid, which also doesn't fit quite right (too much curvature for the front line). Metal quality is terrible and I have fingerprint dents back there too.

The repro doors are not horrible, but they are prone to having the body lines stamped poorly - either indistinctly (not crisp compared to factory body lines) or placed where they will never ever quite match up with the quarters. You have to pull the door skin off and reshape it to fix that. Another problem is that the inner skeleton where the window assembly bolts up is frequently not done right, so when you install your windows they bind or are permanently stuck at an improper angle due to improperly placed mounting holes. You have to remove it, weld up the old holes, and change the mounting hole location if you want it to be right. Of the three repro doors I've had, all have had that problem to some degree or another.

Repro quarters fit reasonably well, although they sometimes are not long enough where they meet the rear valance (or at the jambs), causing you to have to add metal. They also suffer from garbage metal quality.

One-piece floor pans fit perfectly, and the valances are pretty close as well.

The remarkable thing about all of these parts is that they are the exact same thickness as the old metal - I would know, I've measured with a gauge. But when you pull off an original quarter, it bends very minimally. When you pick up a repro quarter, the thing flops all over the place. The same is true of fenders and floor pans. You can really tell that corners have been cut with metal quality, and the stamping is never as crisp as the original metal. I can spot an original-metal car from a mile away as a result.

So yeah, they're just bad. On the plus side, they're better than nothing. But if you can ever save your original metal, do it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jjfish

·
Spammer Hammer
Joined
·
9,649 Posts
I just purchased two “65/“66 fenders from NPD. Fit and form are very good...at least to my eye. Cowl areas lined up very well. Lines to the repro doors lined up very well.
 

·
Premium Member
1966 Mustang Hardtop 289 4 Speed
Joined
·
5,869 Posts
The owner of the first bodyshop I worked at saw me press on a hood to close it. He then showed me how to close them without pushing on them. Raise the hood, lower it a bit and let it fall. I make sure the latches and rubber bumpers are adjusted accordingly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Ok, you got us, we’re lying :)

Yes, as we stated in your other recent post, they are that bad. The same crowd will see both posts. So again, yes, they are that bad.

Kelly did a pretty good job of describing why. However, with all due respect, describing repop doors and quarters being “not bad”, but then explaining all the fab work you have to do is proof they don’t fit well. Doors are commonly too short end to end, and unless you like huge gaps at the quarter panel and fender, you’ll have to add metal. If you’re a novice metal worker, then get ready for loads of fun.

Quarters are commonly too long, so instead of adding, you’re cutting out and welding.

Then theres the fact that some 65/66 repop pieces fit better than 67/68 repop pieces. Then there’s the whole left side vs right side better or worse fitment.

Even owners and reproducers of original Ford tooling sheet metal will tell you that the dies wear out over time and that pieces produced today are not as crisp as pieces first produced by said tooling.

The reason you get the negative responses is mostly from trial and error. Everyone would like to replace panels with NEW pieces. So early on in the hobby we take that chance, only to find they don’t fit well. We then ship it back. Then we begin the hunt for NOS, then when we can’t find NOS or realize pieces are way expensive, we start scouring the internet for good used parts. When we can’t find good used parts, we try fixing our old pieces. When our old pieces can’t be salvaged, and all other searches have been exhausted we buy repop. Then we cut and weld and cuss and yell as we hack the pieces up to get them to fit.

Again, don't start your repair with repops. Last resort.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Israel

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
The repro hood that I purchased from CJ's was actually pretty good.
I made do with used fenders because I didn't want to take a chance with repro fenders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
As Kelly said, it's variable... My door is garbage on my 65... I have more hours trying to get the window to roll correctly than I have in the entire rest of the door prep, paint and alignment. My repro fender however fit perfectly, as did the cowl. For the 69 i'm about to start, I have hunted for OEM metal for everything...

I believe it was Rusty Gillis who pointed out that even OEM metal can be garbage, remember that these cars were mass produced with a sub 10 year service life expectancy.... 1960's quality control was "yup, that's a door, next."
 
  • Like
Reactions: areallifecowboy

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,070 Posts
My repop doors actually fit better than the factory 1970 doors. Of course, the repop doors still required some massaging, but they fit pretty well before massaging.

My repop front and rear valance fits better than the factory valances. Again, the rear valance required some massaging, but it was still better than the factory piece.

My repop cowl fit very nicely. No complaints there.

My repop battery tray fit right in.

I just remembered my floor pans were from Spectra Premium; made in Canada I think. Those pans are thicker than the factory metal. They fit pretty well.

My repop hood is of pretty good quality. It doesn't match a factory 1970 hood underneath and the "point" at the front is off center. Strangely, the repop chrome piece is also off center, so it fits. Apparently, those things are designed to fit repop hoods. (??)

As Rick from NPD is always telling us, the world of repop sheet metal is constantly changing. There's no way we can keep up. NPD does keep up. So, call them and ask for the best available. They will likely have it in stock.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,820 Posts
This is a really complicated subject, because every different panel (hood, fenders, doors, quarters, valances, etc. etc..) have their own different story, and their own list of different/competing manufacturers for the same parts.

We (NPD) have done everything we reasonably could over the years to identify which manufacturer is best for each particular panel, refining our sourcing, listening to customer complaints, to the point that we feel we've got our sourcing "dialed-in" as best as possible. There is no one single brand-name of sheet metal that you can hang your hat on. It's a piece-by-piece deal. So when people speak in "brands" on forums or social media in a blanket manner, they're not really of much help to you, and typically the brands they speak of aren't even manufacturers to begin with.

To the OP - The answer is YES, some hoods and fenders are better than others. But without knowing the year of your car, I cannot elaborate any further.

The biggest difference in the modern steel isn't thickness, it's carbon-content. It's a bit softer, but it also stamps more easily which is gentler on the toolings. It also makes "messaging" things into compliance a more practical chore. But yeah, you've got to be careful shutting hoods and deck lids. Before there even was such thing as reproduction sheet metal, my dad was always a stickler when it came to the proper techniques of closing anything on a car. 1957 T-bird hood was to be dropped shut from 20" up. 1967 GTO deck lid to be thrown down, not shut down. Never any fingers, never the heal of your hand, always spread the pressure. Even with original panels, the risk of denting it was always on his radar.

I wasn't allowed to wear shoes in dad's cars either LOL ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35,460 Posts
Even owners and reproducers of original Ford tooling sheet metal will tell you that the dies wear out over time and that pieces produced today are not as crisp as pieces first produced by said tooling.
True. If you can, sometime, look at the doors on an unrestored April 1964 car and the doors on an unrestored April 1966 car. You will realize very quickly that the tool was shot by late 66, and the doors were awful by then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,611 Posts
I can't speak to the hoods, but the fender fit is pretty bad where it meets the cowl. Of course, as with all metal, you can re-work it, but be prepared to spend some time doing so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,131 Posts
had to replace my PS fender when car was in paint back in 2014
im happy with it. looks petty darn close

my shop didnt give me any horror stories about bolting it in and except for not having date marks I wouldnt have known the difference
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,820 Posts
I can't speak to the hoods, but the fender fit is pretty bad where it meets the cowl. Of course, as with all metal, you can re-work it, but be prepared to spend some time doing so.
It depends on which manufacturer/tooling the fender is. There are at least three different manufacturers doing 65-66 currently, to the best of my knowledge. There may be more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,548 Posts
You have to ask yourself and answer a question.

Do you want a DD, garage queen or concourse restoration?

If you think your cars value is 20k + and you want to use it as a DD, then you are going to pay insurance based on the value and risk.

I want to be able to DD my cars with no restrictions so I probably pay more insurance than most of you pay.

Im most likely going to buy replacement fenders for my 67. Replacements have no bondo, rust, previous damage or holes. I want 68 emblems and no external antenna.

At $165 a fender from NPD, thats pretty low cost to start with a clean piece of sheetmetal.

I will bolt it on, line it up as best as I can and leave it alone. Its a driver car that will top out at under 20k in value regardless of how much I spend on it.

If it gets smashed in a WM parking lot or at an intersection, Im going to say, "Damn, $165 fender smashed to hell." Then Im going online and ordering another one.

Im a few hours away from NPD - Florida, so Im picking mine up. Everything sheetmetal that gets shipped ends up damaged.

I will put my originals in the attic with the rest of the Mustang that I am slowing storing up there.
 

·
Just some guy
67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
Joined
·
20,453 Posts
I took a shot at a repop '67-8 Deluxe hood that was a "scratch and dent" at a swap meet. My original hood fit great but let loose a shower of rust every time I opened it.
First thing I did was line up my original fenders and hood to as close to perfect as I could. Then directly swapped hoods. I was actually kind of surprised at how well it fit. And pleased. It seem to flex a little more at the hinges maybe. I can't swear to that and it's minor anyway. It does flex right behind the latch though. So much that it was hard to unlatch. After some diddling around I ground down an old shock bushing and wedged it up behind the latch mechanism with a dab of glue to keep it there. You can't really even see it and it gave the latch enough extra support that it works fine.

So the only issue I had with this particular hood is that apparently it was stamped from slightly thinner sheetmetal. Still thicker than that use din any Honda Accord ever though. I can live with it.

Word is that '69-70 hoods have the center crown stamped off to one side a noticeable amount. I couldn't abide something like that and so am rehabbing a used '69 hood.

I've been able to reuse original fenders so far and so have no opinion on repop ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,548 Posts
Ive noticed that repop hoods always bow in the middle. When looking at the side, there ends up being a slight crown 1/2 way down the hood where it meets the fender. IDK if that can be stiffened up or not, but it always ends up being there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
925 Posts
Sadly, this is a matter of human nature. If a person gets a bad/improperly fitting part they will tell 50-100 people. If they get a great part that fits exactly, they might tell 8-10 people. If everything on your car has never been damaged/rusted out, then your odds of most repop parts fitting are good. Go online and see how many people will say they got good parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,383 Posts
The way I like to think about reproduction metal is you're standing before a pool of **** and you know you have to jump in. You just don't know if you're going to land and it's up to your ankles or your neck.
 

·
Registered
1967 Mustang Hardtop
Joined
·
1,725 Posts
I'm not a material scientist, but could it be as simple as using different enough carbon content steels to save money? Someone break out the Rockwell tester.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top