By drronaldf20719687, May 20 2016 04:33PM
One of the more difficult aspects of restoring older cars is parts availability. We are currently working on a 1927 Chevrolet Coupe for some minor mechanical issues and complete paint job.
When dealing with a nearly 90 year old car, Auto Zone isn't going to have too many parts on the shelf. Even several specialty parts companies on line don't carry all the parts needed.
Our problem was the ingnition switch. Absolutely no one carries this part. A bakelight "box" with a slot and two brass contacts. A slide with two contacts opens and closes the circuit. Over the years, the bakelight had become brittle and cracked, making the contacts out of line. Needless to say, the switch would only work when things were "just right." Someone at sometime had tried to glue it back together. But, with wear and tear the switch was still intermittant.
Welcome to the 21st century.
There has been some incredible advances in technology over the last couple years. The one that caught my attention was 3D Printing.
Using a computer, three dimensional parts can be "printed" in various plastics.
Here was a great test. We gave the original switch to Rapid 3D in Appleton to see what they could do. Ina couple days they came back with an identical part, brand new exact match down to the mounting and contact post holes.
We will use the original slide.
After the coupe comes out of the paint shop, we'll install and test if for function.
Hot Rodding meets the 21st Century!