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Discussion Starter #1
I am constantly on the lookout for NOS parts to put my car back together. My car is not a numbers matching car but I try to purchase the highest quality parts avaliable. I read a post yesterday that has me wondering if there are in fact some reproduction parts that are superior to NOS (factory original/fomoco) parts. Does anyone recommend reproduction on specific items such as trim pieces, emblems, sheet metal ect? Thanks for the knowledge as usual guys.

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I am constantly on the lookout for NOS parts to put my car back together. My car is not a numbers matching car but I try to purchase the highest quality parts avaliable. I read a post yesterday that has me wondering if there are in fact some reproduction parts that are superior to NOS (factory original/fomoco) parts. Does anyone recommend reproduction on specific items such as trim pieces, emblems, sheet metal ect? Thanks for the knowledge as usual guys.
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Had my car built from the ground up. Although it was built using mostly all reproduction parts, we found none of them to be equal much less superior to NOS/original. Were they "good enough" sure... but it seemed most all of them needed some "massaging"
 

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rdnck1
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I've thrown a lot of new repro parts into my car and for the most part, they worked but needed massaging. There were a few parts that did not work at all though and I switched to a different brand, even if I had luck with that brand on other parts. Granted, I'm working on a 50+ year old car but some parts are way off and it's not brand specific. My advise would be only replace what you had too, if it can be made to work, keep what you have. As for recommendations, would need to know what specific item you are referring too. Good luck, Jim
 

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This is a tough topic to "generalize" with... Because you're talking about thousands of parts, each with a list of pros/cons, be it repro or NOS.

Where NOS is typically superior is in the fit/function/build-quality/sturdiness of the piece. This is a huge generalization.

But where NOS can often suffer is:

* Originality - Sounds ironic, but Ford wasn't in the business of supplying parts for concours restorations, so many parts were "service replacements" with incorrect colors, codes, fonts, and sometimes the whole dang part was "wrong", but would "work", as it was a more-modern iteration/replacement.

* Aesthetic detail/quality - Again, Ford wasn't in the business of supplying parts for concours restorations. So a ton of trim and gingerbread that is almost "jeweler-quality" in reproduction, can be fairly crude and rude in NOS. Usual suspects are die-cast chromed trim, handles, chrome bumpers (bar is great, but chrome-work is hideous), instrument bezels, knobs, or any part where what was mass-produced back in the day, is reproduced today with more of an eye towards perfection.

Reproduction parts often suffer from fit issues, function issues (solenoids that stick, door handle kits that bind, etc..), and longevity issues (chrome looks like show-quality, but pits within a year or two of use).

So it's a mixed bag, all over the place. One thing's for certain, you can NEVER do better than NOS for your moldings, be it windshield, nose of car, wherever.. But for a lot of chrome-diecast, the reproduction is typically "prettier" from a craftsmanship of the deburring/polishing/plating aspect. NOS rubber/weatherstripping is prone to not last long from shelf-life. Beyond that, it's a case-by-case thing.

Rick
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Discussion Starter #5
My car is a 68' GT 390 4 speed car which was factory Raven black with dark red deluxe interior. I really like the way it was set up from the factory so I plan to keep it mostly stock with performance upgrades. While this car is a low mile car, a lot of pieces were taken off and lost or ruined by the weather. All of the interior is there but every inch needs redone. The PO removed the windshield 25 years ago so all of the dash needs redone also. The car is near rust free though. In a nut shell I am purchasing/reconditioning almost every part of the car. Right now I am looking at headlight bucket/extension assemblies, new complete GT grill, all the trim.

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rdnck1
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In my experience, sheet metal is the worst part for finding what works so you should be in good shape. Rick from NPD, a supporting vendor, should have you covered for most of your items in your list of things to get. If your looking into suspension performance then John from Opentracker or Shaun at streetortrack, both supporting vendors, would be good contacts. You can also shop the mustang parts sites and look for reviews on the parts you are looking at. Sounds like you have an awesome car! Good luck, Jim
 

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Rick echo's my thoughts on NOS vs repro.

One good example is the NOS turn signal harness I installed 20 years ago. Functionally it is fine but the wires were the wrong colour causing a lot of trial and error in repinning it to the connector. Put the left turn signal on and get honk for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This was the car in 1973 in it's prime. It's along ways off now.


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I have a lot of NOS parts that are absolute JUNK.

Poor fit, poor finish, especially chrome type parts.

Quality was NOT job 1 for a long time at Ford.

The other problem is that NOS often means old, and many parts have not aged well in boxes. I would not try to install 50 year old weatherstrip, for example, and Ford stopped making most of it many years ago.

Later NOS, things like bumpers with popping chrome or finish like sand, SS wheel hub caps, etc.

The other thing is quality on mass produced parts versus aftermarket engineering. Things like bearings, valve, rings, etc. were not designed for the aftermarket world, on a car with a 12K mile warranty. I would use aftermarket all day long on most of that stuff.

This is a link to one of my junk NOS parts. It has a lot of friends in the junk pile.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/303060506916
 

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True, even with NOS you have to be careful. For example, the last few years of Ford bumpers showed grinder marks under the chrome. 4-speed shift levers toward the end of availability were awful compared to the better repros. The later the sheetmetal part, the worse they got. Ford tended to use the heck out of the dies. And Rick is right on the mark concerning Ford's habit of using "Service Replacement" parts. If it fit and worked, Ford sold it as the correct replacement part, even if it looked nothing like the original part.
 

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Shouldn't we, as owners, drivers, restorers and collectors of arguably the most well-known and beloved car nameplate in history demand better quality reproduction parts than tail light lenses that turn pink, mirrors and locks that fall apart, chrome that bubbles and spiders in just weeks, hit-and-miss sheet metal and interior part colors so far from original and even from identical parts in the same lot? If I had the money to get started, coupled with the passion, I would make lifetime quality components. If someone else would please do it, I would gladly pay double current repro prices to have stuff on my car that would last and I wouldn't have to buy again and again. At least if I swap in a vintage NOS or original, I can expect gradual wear and age with grace... rather than wondering if the POS is still under warranty...
 

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My parts preference falls in the 3rd category. Generally speaking, I prefer good used parts made by Ford.

Usually more difficult to locate than reproduction or even NOS parts, but often better quality than reproduction parts and less expensive than NOS. In my case, parts are always going on a car that is driven frequently. So a used part blends in better something "fresh" looking.

Z.
 

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Shouldn't we, as owners, drivers, restorers and collectors of arguably the most well-known and beloved car nameplate in history demand better quality reproduction parts than tail light lenses that turn pink, mirrors and locks that fall apart, chrome that bubbles and spiders in just weeks, hit-and-miss sheet metal and interior part colors so far from original and even from identical parts in the same lot? If I had the money to get started, coupled with the passion, I would make lifetime quality components. If someone else would please do it, I would gladly pay double current repro prices to have stuff on my car that would last and I wouldn't have to buy again and again. At least if I swap in a vintage NOS or original, I can expect gradual wear and age with grace... rather than wondering if the POS is still under warranty...
I used to sell Mustang parts. Catalog sales, phone sales, internet sales. the vast majority of buyers shop price, price and price. Our parts were screened by the restoration shop for fit and quality, avoiding the lower quality parts. But, we lost out to lower prices. What was particularly galling was they'd buy the lower priced crap from some other seller, then call us to find out how to make that lower-quality part fit or function properly. If you asked them why they didn't call the seller, they usually had done that, but the seller didn't know.

Until people, in large numbers, demonstrate they will actually pay more for higher quality parts, the manufacturers will keep providing minimum quality merchandise.

This is a national phenomenon, by the way. One of the biggest national department stores sells major brand names at cut rates. What people don't know is they have special cheaper-quality items (clothing, etc) specifically made for them. Price, price, price.
 

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One part of the "hobby" for me was always scouring the swap meets and craigslist for gems, original equipment in great shape. Finding that trinket in the bottom of a box for $5 was a big high for me. One of my biggest scores was a "Bonneville" Indian Chief engine in a pile of Harley parts. 80" flywheels with cams and even the carb in a very early set of cases. Very hard to identify but the cam profile is distinctive if you know what you are looking at. $40. I skipped to the car pinching myself, original Indian performance items rarer than hen's teeth.

I don't do it so much any more as I frankly don't need too much any more but its the best way to experience "what you see is what you get".. Ebay can be a good source, I've been pretty lucky getting what I purchased so far.
 

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I wanna swap the wheels I've had on my '66 since 1993. I love the vintage look of the styled steel wheels. Found a nice set of five originals with trim rings, no outside rust, about 300. Better to get those than repros at twice the price? Or are the repros sooooo good and safer for a driver since they are welded?
 

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Shouldn't we, as owners, drivers, restorers and collectors of arguably the most well-known and beloved car nameplate in history demand better quality reproduction parts than tail light lenses that turn pink, mirrors and locks that fall apart, chrome that bubbles and spiders in just weeks, hit-and-miss sheet metal and interior part colors so far from original and even from identical parts in the same lot? If I had the money to get started, coupled with the passion, I would make lifetime quality components. If someone else would please do it, I would gladly pay double current repro prices to have stuff on my car that would last and I wouldn't have to buy again and again. At least if I swap in a vintage NOS or original, I can expect gradual wear and age with grace... rather than wondering if the POS is still under warranty...
22GT is correct, in that the majority of Mustang restorers/hobbyists buy on price. This is why we've become known to offer choices where they exist, so that people who truly are budget-challenged are still able to play in the hobby, but also to make it EXTREMELY obvious that better-quality reproductions exist, we try to carry them, and they are priced accordingly. Caveat Emptor.

Determining what is "best" in the market is an unending challenge, and I never would be arrogant enough to claim that we have it nailed. It requires constant effort and vigilance.

But the supplier you choose is indeed important. Everything is not "the same" out there, and buying just on price and price alone will accomplish nothing but ensuring that your Mustang is a compilation of the shoddiest products available. I see all too often people complaining about the overall poor quality of the reproduction parts they've been buying. And digging deeper, reading further, I discover that their buying habits is a mix of small shoestring eBay stores, and whatever web-oriented supplier they deem to be "easiest" or "cheapest" or both. And all I can do is say "Mmm-Hmmm..."

There are good reproductions out there. Some are flat-out brilliant. And some fall hopelessly short. Where and when we can find a superior mouse-trap, we source and carry that superior mouse trap. If it is considerably more expensive than the other available reproduction, we carry both, allowing you to vote with your wallet. And it's amazing/discouraging at how many vote to buy the cheaper part.

I'll make one last point.. It's a double edge sword, and watch out for what you wish for.. One of the reasons that the 65-73 Mustang hobby is so robust, and so popular, is because it's so affordable compared to other makes/models. And because of that robust market, you can literally buy every last widget, nut, bolt, bracket panel and piece of trim for a classic Mustang. Which also makes the hobby popular and robust, because it is EASY to restore a Mustang compared to other makes/models.

All this synergy works together... And the affordability of parts has been a huge contributor to the size of the hobby. And the size of the hobby is what finally allows us to feasibly invest in better-quality toolings, better-quality craftsmanship, and make available all of the previously hard-to-find and obscure details. Without the volume, there's no feasibility.

So it all runs hand-in-hand. Just like society, just like religion, it all can't be Utopia. It all can't be heaven, without some hell to balance it out. Hence the reason that Socialism always ends badly.. ;)

(Sorry so deep! LOL!!)

Rick
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I read a post yesterday that has me wondering if there are in fact some reproduction parts that are superior to NOS (factory original/fomoco) parts. Does anyone recommend reproduction on specific items such as trim pieces, emblems, sheet metal ect?
The one item that comes to my mind is the "heater plenum chamber". The reproduction plastic piece is far superior to the original.
 

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How true ! In durability. As a faithful reproduction for the purist? Meh. I just took an intact original out of the 66 I'm working on. Kind of like door handles and bumpers, though, nothing lasts forever. I would just feel a lot better when I buy a reproduction if 1) OEM is not correct or unavailable 2) NOS is cost prohibitive or unavailable 3) the original lasted 25, 35, 55 (!) years, SURELY when I buy the "Concours" and "best available " the lens doesn't fade, chrome isn't spotted, or electrical burned up in a few months. We certainly have a voice and can use it with the manufacturers. I would like to see MCA or another sanctioning body really work on that.
 

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How true ! In durability. As a faithful reproduction for the purist? Meh. I just took an intact original out of the 66 I'm working on. Kind of like door handles and bumpers, though, nothing lasts forever. I would just feel a lot better when I buy a reproduction if 1) OEM is not correct or unavailable 2) NOS is cost prohibitive or unavailable 3) the original lasted 25, 35, 55 (!) years, SURELY when I buy the "Concours" and "best available " the lens doesn't fade, chrome isn't spotted, or electrical burned up in a few months. We certainly have a voice and can use it with the manufacturers. I would like to see MCA or another sanctioning body really work on that.

how would you suggest mca 'work on that'? are you a member?? do you show in their classes??
 
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