I presume your pulling of molds from the lenses also included removing of the DOT stamp, as you don't have the original molds (which were apparently destroyed), and your lenses have not been DOT approved?
New to the forum but not new to Fieros. I haven't had one for many years and when I joined the forum after picking up another, I found that GT lenses are no longer being reproduced and are highly sought after
With materials being supplied by Curbell Plastics and built by RT Machine, we will be manufacturing exact replica tail lights for both notchback and fastback Fieros. We acquired brand new lenses to pull molds from and have finished the tooling just this morning. Without going into detail about the process, I will say that these lenses will not suffer from delamination, are impact/UV resistant and will be crystal clear.
Expect them to be for sale mid-June/early-July through our website that is being constructed specifically for these AND a large vendor most of you are already familiar with.
Wow, thanks for doing this. Truly appreciate it. Slammed, you might also want to look into making Reatta taillight lenses. They are also hard to find.
I would love to believe this outright, but I remain a bit skeptical at this point, and really, really hope to be proven wrong. There have just been so many broken promises in the past both for quarter windows and tail lights. None to date have produced anything. I hope this is the time that this changes. I think it would go a long way if you could post a couple pictures of the tooling, or molds, no exact details of course.
You keep mentioning printing on the inside of the lenses. There is no printing on the originals, unless you are going a different route. I just mentioned the other day, in another thread before seeing this one, that I thought that would be an alternate way to go. Manufacturing an inside piece (The black plastic insert) and the outer clear layer would require 4 molds. It would not be OEM in the manufacturing style, but dying / painting the inside of a clear lens would cut down on costs significantly.
Check out the GT tail light restoration thread here on the forum for another way to approach it. Painting and clearing the exterior of the tail light.
I do hope this works out, and wish you the best of success in the endeavor!
[This message has been edited by JohnWPB (edited 04-23-2015).]
I got some great sail pannels for my GT from someone in indiana that wasmaking them 4 years ago.. So I don't know what you mean by broken promises with the sail pannels.
To Date: Ken Hines has made sail panels, not offered with the dot matrix printing Chris Cook has made them, but can have fitment issues
Both options are virtually flat. Slight curves, but no where near the original front to back, and top to bottom complex curves. It is much appreciated that they have provided them to the Fiero Community, but no one has yet to nail down the process to make them as good as the originals.
Nothing will be posted until they are ready to ship. No pre-order, no teasers, no anything. The forum, while large, is only part of the community. It isn't as if people being skeptical affects the project. When they are ready to go, that won't matter anymore. This was just a way to announce outside of the other 3 or so threads, that hey, we are doing it. We have guys with decades of experience working with thermoforming/injection moulding and they'll get it done right.
We have an idea for a date, hopefully we make it. If not, later, it'll happen. We have already spent a SIGNIFICANT amount of man hours and funding on this project.
The lenses will not have black inserts like the originals. Silly design honestly
Not a joke, sail panels come next. I have an original no spiderweb set sitting on the shelf right now waiting.
[This message has been edited by Slammed (edited 04-20-2015).]
Thanks for doing this... the other taillight threads were headed for the trash can as people beat each other up over the "impossibility" of reproducing these lenses. Honestly it's just plastic, but some go on as if they were magically produced in a unicorn factory.
This will be one of the greatest adds we have had in our community in a long while. Wishing you guys great success!
+1. The comparison to a unicorn factory is apt, as the parts are not just plastic. The surface quality of transparent parts (two surfaces) is many times more difficult to achieve than molding an interior part with a pebble surface. The difficulty translates to expense, and that is what Mr. Slammed is working with. When you get all done and look at it, they don't pass the 'eye test'.
I've often wondered why GM used the laminated film process on the Fiero tail lights. They continue to use the process today. I remember my wife's Grand Prix tail lights and how they began to delaminate and the man and woman next door each had Grand Prix's and their lights were delaminating. I'm sure there are other GM cars with the same problem but the Fiero and Grand Prix are two that I know about.
Printing the inside masking would be the ideal way to go. Except for the pad printing process, the pieces would need to be printed in the flat and then formed. Pad printing is more versatile for curved or irregular surfaces.
Since I know nothing about Slammed or his associates, I'll have to assume and hope that they will succeed. I know it's doable.
I believe Pokeyfiero has the mechanism in place to produce high quality windows, but I think the process needs to be refined a little. In my opinion, the molds he made were a bit over-engineered but they should work very well for that step of the process. The order of process in the manufacture might need to be modified, but I believe it's doable for him, too. Hopefully Pokey and Slammed both succeed in producing the quarter windows. Competition and availability from a variety of sources brings prices down. Supply and Demand. Supply exceeds demand, prices go down. Demand exceeds supply, prices go up.
Originally posted by fierofool:Printing the inside masking would be the ideal way to go.
I have serious concerns about any sort of ink or dye- it is extraordinarily difficult to make them light-fast and the last thing I want is an expensive new set of tail lights that fade from black to gray in a couple years.
There are UV curable inks used for printing on polycarbonates, polyester and PET type plastics that will withstand the exposure. I printed with it on various plastics used in the chemical plant and refinery industry where they needed to label the piping. Some of the pipes are outside and many are exposed to some pretty horrific chemicals and gases. The ones used for outdoors had to withstand both chemical and UV exposure.
When sub-surface printed, meaning printed on the back side of a clear substrate, the ink has an even greater life span because it's not exposed to the elements other than UV. This is a description of some of the products I printed when I worked for Panduit Corporation.
Indoor/Outdoor Sub-Surface Printed Polyester (Type PPS) High quality signs for use indoors and outdoors Excellent resistance to UV light, chemical atmosphere, and abrasion Excellent life and adhesion properties
Slammed: If they turn out reasonably good but not as nice as OEM do not let anyone that bashes you discourage you. I would hate to see these be made and then quickly dropped because some people attack you on them for not being as good as OEM. If someone actually makes these and they are reasonably good quality be happy for that instead of bashing this guy because they are not as nice as OEM. This may never happen again.
------------------ Rodney Dickman
Fiero Parts And Acc's Web Page: All new web page!:www.rodneydickman.com Rodney Dickman's Fiero accessories 7604 Treeview Drive Caledonia, WI 53108 Phone/Fax (262) 835-9575