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I'm almost scared to ask.. but what do you use to lotion the interior? Same stuff on everything, or different based on hard plastic, vinyl, etc.?
No need for you to be scared. Of course it's different cleaners, protectants, and conditioners for different materials. Check out Meguiar's or Mother's...they have a comprehensive line of products.

Did you think you're the only person who knows how to keep their exterior & interior in good shape?
 

· SuperNewbie
1995 Thunderbird LX Missing 4.6 MIssing Trans Red
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Thanks, Gordon. I'm always wary & careful with the plastics, especially in the cold, since interior parts are damn-near unobtanium these days. Surprisingly, all the plastics & rubbers on mine, even under the hood, are in remarkably great condition, probably because she's been garaged her whole life. Even the dash is still soft & supple...but I lotion the interior every month or two to keep things from drying out. But I know one of these years, I'll have to replace bulbs in the cluster, so I'm collecting all these notes & info now to be better prepared.

A couple weeks ago, I replaced the driver's door striker bolt's cylindrical bushing after discovering it had split and was missing a chunk.
Well Neuro, You have one of the finest examples of an unmolested 97 Sport I've seen in person. But age takes it toll too. So you are being smart. Your girl will be just fine. But we are entering the time of year in Vegas to not pull the trim. Just a fact of life.
 
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Well Neuro, You have one of the finest examples of an unmolested 97 Sport I've seen in person. But age takes it toll too. So you are being smart. Your girl will be just fine. But we are entering the time of year in Vegas to not pull the trim. Just a fact of life.
Oh, I know. Back in the 80-90's, I had a '74 Mark IV that had to be treated with kid gloves because the plastics & rubbers looked for any reason to crack or snap. Same with an '89 Bird that had to be parked uncovered outside for years...and the paint & interior plastics were destroyed by the weather here. With the Sport, her plastics & rubbers will eventually get fragile due to age, but I'm buying her a lot more years with proper care & feeding and keeping her garaged.

Damn, I miss seeing you on FB. I keep thinking you're still there, but you're not.
 

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1997 SPORT Laser Red. Restored May of 2020.
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208 Posts
Beware of buying used Bezels. They are all ready to crack due to age regardless of what sellers may say.

What we need is a 3D printer company to run a batch for us.
 

· Super Moderator
97 Thunderbird 4.6, 98 Mark VIII LSC
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I missed my consult with the makerspace the first time and they allowed me to reschedule to tonight. After almost missing it a 2nd time I hopped on 15 minutes late and the guy was still there waiting for me, fortunately. :oops:

In short he said it should be a scannable part, though he did express some concern that the smaller nooks-and-crannies might need some manual refinement after the scan. Obviously all the important dimensions and shapes would come through though. He also said the scanner isn't super popular, so I should be able to head in and scan away at my convenience. Hopefully by year's end; I've got the last 2 weeks of the year off so I'm thinking that'll be my window.
 

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I missed my consult with the makerspace the first time and they allowed me to reschedule to tonight. After almost missing it a 2nd time I hopped on 15 minutes late and the guy was still there waiting for me, fortunately. :oops:

In short he said it should be a scannable part, though he did express some concern that the smaller nooks-and-crannies might need some manual refinement after the scan. Obviously all the important dimensions and shapes would come through though. He also said the scanner isn't super popular, so I should be able to head in and scan away at my convenience. Hopefully by year's end; I've got the last 2 weeks of the year off so I'm thinking that'll be my window.
Good luck man. I haven't got around to actually taking inquiries on new replacements but I'm sure it's only a matter of time new fabrication shall start up again. I'm doing my part by creating content as soon as next year hit regarding the tbird.
 

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I'm doing my part by creating content as soon as next year hit regarding the tbird.
So you're going to be making some parts? Is that what I'm hearing?
 

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97 Thunderbird 4.6, 98 Mark VIII LSC
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Finally went up to get some scans. I have 3 or so different partial views, so I'm hoping I can composite them together for a single comprehensive part. Problem is I didn't have time to do that before I ran out of time and they closed, so I will need to either find someone with the expensive PolyWorks software to do it for me, or wait until after break (they are shutting down for the holidays).

They did say though that they had a new 3D scanner that was easier to use and less temperamental overall that they'd probably roll out in January. So I might head up there again anyway to try it out.

Little preview of one of the scans of the back (if you ignore the table that got scanned under it, anyway lol)...

 

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Finally went up to get some scans. I have 3 or so different partial views, so I'm hoping I can composite them together for a single comprehensive part. Problem is I didn't have time to do that before I ran out of time and they closed, so I will need to either find someone with the expensive PolyWorks software to do it for me, or wait until after break (they are shutting down for the holidays).

They did say though that they had a new 3D scanner that was easier to use and less temperamental overall that they'd probably roll out in January. So I might head up there again anyway to try it out.

Little preview of one of the scans of the back (if you ignore the table that got scanned under it, anyway lol)...

View attachment 46578
Wow...even with this rough 'prototype' scan, you can see the massive potential that's possible.
 

· Super Moderator
97 Thunderbird 4.6, 98 Mark VIII LSC
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I have the scanned model at home now in .STL format.

It needs some work... any volunteers? :unsure:


 

· Super Moderator
97 Thunderbird 4.6, 98 Mark VIII LSC
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Kind of. There's stitching and holes to fill along with the overall simplification of the poly model.
 

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97 Thunderbird 4.6, 98 Mark VIII LSC
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Making slow progress patching up the model. This will take a long time, FYI. At least 30-40 man hours or more, owing to a few factors.

1) my relative inexperience with the software
2) the complexity of the model
3) the sheer volume of corrections needed

Last night I smoothed out some of the front faces. I'll turn my attention to fixing the "holes" along the edges and some detail work after I finish the surface work.



All the blue indicates holes that need to be filled and smoothed.

 

· SuperNewbie
1995 Thunderbird LX Missing 4.6 MIssing Trans Red
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4,732 Posts
This is wild. I know 3D printing exists but I have no knowledge of it. Very neat to see the pictures. Heck of a thing!
 

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1991 Mercury Cougar LS 5.0 in restoration
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Wow, that's a lot of time invested, but worth it if you can print them for a couple hundred bucks. If I needed one to finish my car, I'd pay 3-4 hundred bucks for it. Sure it's a lot of money, but a heck of a lot cheaper than a new car.

I do wonder if you don't get it perfect, if it's at least solid, why couldn't it be smoothed with body filler before paint? Because I'd bet color will be next to impossible to match in the print, right?

Nice work!
 
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