Supra Restoration/ Reproduction Parts - Has anyone thought about this?

Chambers

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#1
Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone has thought about contacting companies that make resto parts for other cars and see if they would play with the idea of making resto parts for the Supra. It would probably take many of us contacting companies to get the ball rolling, to show there is interest. I know any MK3 owner I meet would love to be able to order a new set of mud flaps or new window trim. Yes, as of now we can still order some things from Toyota, but what happens when that is gone? We will be left with next to nothing but dropping a lot of money on a clean parts car to get three things off of it... Personally I would rather have the option to buy repo parts.

Does anyone know how the repo companies make the parts that they do? Do they buy molds from the manufactures or make their own?

The idea of making resto parts for just the Supra would probably be difficult to do on its own, so getting other Toyota groups involved may be what we have to do to get the ball rolling, like the MR2 or the 86 crowds.

Thoughts?

I have found this:

http://toyotageek.com/links_vendors.html
 

Silver MK3

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#3
I think it's a good idea as well. I often wonder what is going to happen in 5, 10, maybe 15 years when parts become no longer available from Toyota. There are already more and more parts that are being discontinued. You have to think about it too that the youngest mk3 is 22 years old and the oldest is 28 years old. Soon it will no longer make sense for Toyota to stock parts for such a small market unless the parts overlap onto other cars.

My dad has a 69 Torino that we have been restoring for a while now and there are all sorts of companies that reproduce things for those cars, like arm rests, buttons, wiper blades, interior kick panels, etc. I feel like something like this will be needed once all the parts cars have been exhausted and at some point the parts cars are going to have parts that aren't in any better shape than whatever part it is that is already in your car.

I think it's a great idea, but have no clue how one would get it started.
 

JDMMA70

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#4
There is a small restoration community building with the AE86 guys. As well as the older Celicas, and Starlets. I would be down for restoration pieces as I think now is a good time, that more and more MK3 owners are willing to pay for parts they once thought weren't worth it. Like Dashes for example. If we can get enough interest and support to buy in I am sure companies would be willing reproduce parts. They will need good existing pieces however. If we could get the older Celica groups, MR2, Starlet, MK1 and Mk2 Supras, we could definitely get something rolling. The S30Z guys have plenty of reproduction parts.
 

hvyman

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#5
The only issue is everyone will want to get parts but who will actually.

But it is a good idea. Especially on interior parts and moldings.
 

Backlash2032

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#6
I'm going to school to be a precision machinist and after I graduate I want to start up my own tuning / performance shop with a buddy of mine.. I would definitely be able to make dies to stamp out replacement quarter skins, inner fenders, blah blah blah. It would turn rust repair into a simple cut and weld situation. Who would be interested in something like that? Shit, I could even make some say, S2 replica widebody replicas out of steel and replace the whole quarter and inner fender and such. That way it really is a complete wide body.. that's what I always hated about the wide bodies, they just don't fit right in the wheel wells..

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Chambers

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#7
Yea, I think we need to try to coordinate with other Toyota owners to create a valid "need" for repo parts for the older cars. A friend of mine just got done restoring a 77 Celica lift back last year, he gobbled up many of the last OEM Toyota parts available for the car. I'm guessing that there are others out there who would love to have access to the parts he got, even ones that are repo. I feel like we will be in the same boat in the coming years.

I imagine there were many people in the same position with the domestic cars years ago, many had a valid "need" for repo parts and the aftermarket started to meet those "needs". With today's technology (3d scanning/printing) I would think it would be a bit easier to reproduce parts, its all just a matter of finding the right manufacturer with the capabilities to create what we need in parts.

There is a local cars and coffee meet every Saturday, I think I will stop in and try to chat with some of the domestic guys and see where they get their parts and who makes them. Although its a long shot that a company who produces parts for domestics would try producing parts for imports I think thats where we need to start. If we all look around and chat with other car communities we will get closer to something tangible.
 

scottiedawg66

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#9
i think its is a viable business proposition at this point. If you look at the prices that classic toyotas are fetching now there is obviously strong demand.
 

4U2QUIK

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#11
Just saw this. Definitely a good idea. I'm starting to get into aluminum casting and plastic molding and 3d printing lately so I figure this will help a lot. if anyone makes a model, or any model I come up with, can be rapid prototyped and then once completed to satisfaction it can be sent to production.
 

Chambers

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#12
Awesome, I really do think the time is now to start discussing this. Especially with the capabilities we have with 3d scanning and printing, repo parts should be on table along side performance parts.

I think we should all decide on a handful of simple parts that we all need, something to get the ball rolling and pilot the whole process.
 

JDMMA70

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#14
start with exterior trim, like windshield cowl, b pillers, etc.

Replacement AC buttons, door lock bezels.
 

Silver MK3

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#15
Window trim, if possible a black / shadow grey interior would be amazing.
A lot of times when they make reproduction interior parts they come in black only and if you want a different color you have to paint them to match. At least that's how it was with my dad's Torino, and that's why we converted the interior to black instead of the dark green that it was from the factory.

start with exterior trim, like windshield cowl, b pillers, etc.

Replacement AC buttons, door lock bezels.
These are all great. Even people like myself that have low-mileage survivor cars need little parts like this every now and then.


I also think the TOYOTA badge on the grille would be a good part to have reproduced. It's simple enough, and I don't think it is available from Toyota any more. I would assume that most peoples are torn up from rocks and road dirt like mine is.
 

steveyblack

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#16
Rear quarter/spare wheel-well sheet metal replacements would be a good starting point. +1 on window trim, iirc its 1300 for the window trim all around, if it goes to the 400-600 range I would highly consider buying.
 

Backlash2032

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#17
Honestly.. if I can afford the mold steel and such.. you'll see it haha

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lithium14

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#18
Do it. I need new trim all around. haha. I was mentally prepared to dish out over $2k for that shit.
 

IchibanEye

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#20
Another great idea and I'm going to try is track down the machine that actually produced the exterior trim pieces and what materials are needed and the process. Then pool some money together and buy that damn window trim machine. It'll just end up wasting away someplace most likely. It actually saddens me to think about this happening.
 

te72

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#21
Count me in for support on restoration products. Personally, my list of things I see as problems on a lot of cars:
-Window trim
-Side / belt line trim
-Window seals
-Tail lights and gaskets
-Hatch gaskets
-Cowl panels
-Dash and all other interior panels

I would seriously put mine back to mostly OEM using quality reproduction parts. Some aspects of my car won't allow everything to be 100% OEM, but what I could, I would.
 

IchibanEye

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#22
Count me in for support on restoration products. Personally, my list of things I see as problems on a lot of cars:
-Window trim
-Side / belt line trim
-Window seals
-Tail lights and gaskets
-Hatch gaskets
-Cowl panels
-Dash and all other interior panels

I would seriously put mine back to mostly OEM using quality reproduction parts. Some aspects of my car won't allow everything to be 100% OEM, but what I could, I would.

Here, here oem for the win... well besides some things...ehhheeehm like under the hood. As in built....ohhh yeah! Where are all of our mechanical and what not engineers here on the forum? Plus lets pool our money together and just buy the damn machines that made these parts or something, there has got to be a way.

By the way...barn find. A pristine 1983 Toyota SR5 longbed will be mine in about 3 months. It'll look great next to the 88' Supra. Go figure there's a nice aftermarket and reproduction for the truck parts.
 

destrux

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#25
After watching a set of new side door window lower trims go for 68,000 yen (almost $800 usd) today on yahoo auctions japan I think there's a worldwide demand for restoration trim for these things.

I need all the window trims and the side gutter trim (especially that thing!) because it is cracked to bits. I haven't seen a hard top with intact gutter trims in ages. Almost every car has little chunks missing from those. Almost makes me wish I had bought a targa.

I've recoated my rear window trims several times but I'm thoroughly sick of doing it every three years when the sun eats the plasti-dip off. If those were available under $300 I'd buy them.
 
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suprarx7nut

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#27
I'm going to school to be a precision machinist and after I graduate I want to start up my own tuning / performance shop with a buddy of mine.. I would definitely be able to make dies to stamp out replacement quarter skins, inner fenders, blah blah blah. It would turn rust repair into a simple cut and weld situation. Who would be interested in something like that? Shit, I could even make some say, S2 replica widebody replicas out of steel and replace the whole quarter and inner fender and such. That way it really is a complete wide body.. that's what I always hated about the wide bodies, they just don't fit right in the wheel wells..

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Honestly.. if I can afford the mold steel and such.. you'll see it haha

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I was going to say... good luck affording the tooling.

I've worked most my career as a manufacturing engineer during which I've made parts and tooling. All my experience with dies is with physically small production punches and molds. The cheapest crap we had made that was intended for very short term use was still 5 figures and up. That was using the cheapest reputable shop in SE Asia we had and for very small parts. Tool steel is EXPENSIVE to have machined for reliable use in dies.

I would estimate an average die set for a fender to cost $10-100k. I think you'd be much, much better off from a financial standpoint to pursue carbon fiber. The "Cost of entry" for a well curved sheet metal die is enormous. AND, that's all assuming you can all the CAD and you know how to mold complex curves in sheet metal. Unless you've got a hookup with somebody that's done that before there's a good chance you could pay upwards of $10k for a die set that doesn't even produce a good part that fits.

I say screw the sheet metal and go carbon. Everyone wants carbon anyways and it should cost you far, far less from a homebrew standpoint. You can create a steel band on the edge of the carbon if you want to accommodate a weld on solution.

My .02 anyways.


Also: I just disassembled my doors. I'm going to try to recreate the window regulator with better parts. I think it can be done. Same goes for the alignment track in the door and perhaps even the window trim pieces themselves.

I'd also like to see window corners (side mirror supports) offered. The OEM ones are a flawed design.
 

Enraged

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#28
You'd be better off getting things like the side mirror support 3D printed. Printing in titanium and steel have come down in price by orders of magnitude over the past few years. It would just require a skilled 3D modeling person to reverse engineer the stock bracket and/or redesign it.
 

suprarx7nut

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#29
You'd be better off getting things like the side mirror support 3D printed. Printing in titanium and steel have come down in price by orders of magnitude over the past few years. It would just require a skilled 3D modeling person to reverse engineer the stock bracket and/or redesign it.
The bracket itself isn't the problem, though. It's the compliant rubber/plastic that is overmolded onto it. I could CAD the bracket relatively easily, but it's rather large and you still need to work out the plastic. The metal printing alone, even in Aluminum, is likely upwards of $250. Then you need to either make an overmold die for it ($5-10k on the cheap-end perhaps) and then partner with an overmolder or buy yourself a overmold machine ($50-100k?).

That damn mirror support is my #1 complaint with the MK3 as it ages. It allows huge amounts of wind noise and looks pretty bad. Unfortunately replicating it on a small scale appears very, very difficult/costly.

If anyone has "inside access" to a mold-maker or the molding machine I'd happily invest the CAD time and do a joint venture. Modeling it would be the easy part. I bet you could sell a few dozen at $500/pair, but to break even you'd probably need to sell hundreds at that price point. Alternatively you could charge $1k per set or something and only need to sell 50 to be profitable (assuming you didn't buy your own machine).

Realistically though, how much are people going to pay? I doubt much over $500. Even then, the buying crowd would be very small.
 

suprarx7nut

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#31
I was going to say we need to 3d print stuff and create a repository for free cad so people can get things printed. Too many people always looking to make a quick buck off their buddies.
I'd love to purchase parts or CAD files from someone that's done them well. No need for freebies, IMO. We simply need options. Currently there are very, very few high quality options outside marked up OEM parts, often out of Japan.

I think the desire for impractically cheap parts is precisely why there aren't good aftermarket parts on the market in the first place for our cars. I think that'll change as the chassis ages - or so I hope. There's never going to be more mk3's on the road. All we can hope is that there will be more owners that take it seriously and are willing to fund the vendors who can actually manufacture "better than DIY" parts. A lot of what we're discussing requires some big investment by the maker.

I'm huge into 3D Printing and I'm a huge proponent, but it's a terrible choice for trim, panels, durable compliant parts (rubber) and virtually everything else discussed in this thread. 3D metal has come way down, but the finish is still generally terrible and the price is still at or above the cost of CNC for most parts. The only place metal printing makes financial sense is for parts that greatly benefit from titanium AND that are suitable as printed without secondary machining. For aluminum, the 3D printing is probably going to be close to the cost of CNC so it'll only make sense where printing allows a design CNC would not. CNC will always provide a better finish.

I guess my point is that free CAD and a library only get you so far. Most what we want made is not practical for 3D printing and we need investment from some commercial-level manufacturing outfit to maintain quality and cost.
 

JDMMA70

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#32
Well said Suprarx7nut, I think it will change. All the we need is for someone to take the initial step. I am decent with Autodesk Inventor and can potentially model parts in it. The hardest step is manufacturing, tooling, etc. Plastic parts are going to be easiest to reproduce thanks to 3d printing. Metal parts especially stamped ones are going to be iffy. However once someone does take that step and can produce replacement parts say a fender for example and sell them for $300. I think we would get somewhere. The Datsun guys are getting reproduction parts. I think we can learn from their example and keep these cars on the road.
 

Enraged

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#33
Just thinking about that side mirror support, that might be a good part to make from OOA (out of autoclave) carbon fiber rather than 3d printed metal.

For the seal, what about a poly mold, like bushings? Given the right type of poly, it might work well. The mold wouldn't need to be that heavy duty, just machined with a good surface finish.
 

suprarx7nut

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#34
Just thinking about that side mirror support, that might be a good part to make from OOA (out of autoclave) carbon fiber rather than 3d printed metal.

For the seal, what about a poly mold, like bushings? Given the right type of poly, it might work well. The mold wouldn't need to be that heavy duty, just machined with a good surface finish.
I'm not really familiar, but my impression is that the DIY or low-cost moldable poly materials are far too stiff for a compliant seal like what you need on the window corner. If there is a DIY-moldable method I'd be quick to model the part and 3D print a casting to accept the metal bracket and overmold a new seal.

Perhaps Piratetip would know? @Piratetip
 

Piratetip

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#36
Yup.
Lots of different urethanes available for a part like this.
Would be good to get urethane with some kind of fiber reinforcement impregnanted for that type application. Also would need UV compliant or at least a UV coating.

The mold can be machined from multiple types of materials, does not need to be metal. Probably the quickest way to get parts like this. Might even be able to use the existing OEM part to make a reverse mold. Always remember to use a vacuum chamber for degassing these 2 part urethanes though, have to get the air out after mixing.
 

suprarx7nut

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#37
You can get urethane rubber in a huge variety of strengths/stiffnesses https://www.smooth-on.com/applications/industrial/
Well I'll be... Thanks!

Yup.
Lots of different urethanes available for a part like this.
Would be good to get urethane with some kind of fiber reinforcement impregnanted for that type application. Also would need UV compliant or at least a UV coating.

The mold can be machined from multiple types of materials, does not need to be metal. Probably the quickest way to get parts like this. Might even be able to use the existing OEM part to make a reverse mold. Always remember to use a vacuum chamber for degassing these 2 part urethanes though, have to get the air out after mixing.
I have a quick, cheap fix to try on my window corners. If that doesn't work, I may need to consult with you on some mold-making. Getting the window corner noise eliminated is a top priority for me. It's been the biggest detractor from an enjoyable highway cruise for the last 10 years. I think there's a real market for it as well because every single mk3 has a failed window corner piece. I've owned/driven some low mileage mk3's, but never seen a fault-free corner piece.
 
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IchibanEye

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Well I'll be... Thanks!



I have a quick, cheap fix to try on my window corners. If that doesn't work, I may need to consult with you on some mold-making. Getting the window corner noise eliminated is a top priority for me. It's been the biggest detractor from an enjoyable highway cruise for the last 10 years. I think there's a real market for it as well because every single mk3 has a failed window corner piece. I've owned/driven some low mileage mk3's, but never seen a fault-free corner piece.
This exactly. Drivers side no noise while speaking to a fellow passenger in my car.... they be like what did you say?! We all are crazy about the love for our mk3's. I mean who else gets into a ride like these knowing the battle ahead and all with the hard to find oem goodies and numerous quirks she has and so on! You've got to love that love hate relationship for sure. Cheers to my fellow crazies like myself!