Does anyone make a one piece ALDL cover? I'm not going to use the cigarette lighter and I don't have the ALDL port (I have an OBD2 port under the dash). The screw holes are cracked (I'll be surprised if they last one more removal. I'm sure I saw pics of a new, solid plate.
There's a carbon fiber replacement on eBay. Expensive. Still has the hole for the lighter, but they're "real carbon fiber" and the seller has 2 left. Maybe they'll make one without the lighter hole if asked? Search "fiero carbon fiber" under best match. Imagine all the weight reduction
In one of my cars, I have a cap from a Dodge Dakota that keeps the lighter hole neatly plugged and has a caption on it that reads Accessory Power. The lighter socket is still there if I want to charge my phone or plug in a GPS. I can even plug in an inverter to run a video camera or lap top.
I have a couple reasons for wanting a solid piece. First, the PO installed a cig lighter/USB charging port charger under the dash (much more convenient location). Since I'll be adding that nifty arm rest eventually, I wouldn't be able to access the cig lighter plug anyway. Second, I have a 3800 so I don't have an ALDL to access (OBD2 port is under the dash). Third, the screw holes are cracked pretty badly. I'd at least need a replacement so it wouldn't fall off on it's own. More than likely, any NOS would have brittle screw holes even if they hadn't broke yet. Finally, I just think a 1 piece cover would look better.
Good idea but I think the stumbling block would be writing the programming (I assume you have to program it like you would a CNC or draw it in CAD). It's not a stressed piece so I think it would be sturdy enough.
There might be a surprising amount of demand, depending on the price. All of the iffy '80s plastic is getting brittle and cracked. If you could print an ALDL cover for $2 (in materials only, not counting the printer, CAD work, etc) and sell it for $15, that's a pretty good profit. I'll bet almost everybodys ALDL cover has broken screw holes. Then there's the center stack cover, GT and normal gauge covers, etc. Not sure if the center skeleton would be do-able on a 3D printer but the same principle applies. How much money do you think it would take to do the CAD work on an ALDL cover? What about any of the other things I mentioned? How much would it cost in materials to make any of the above?
I would consider my actual costs in money and time to be at least $15 and i would need to sell it over that to make a profit.
The software to draw 3d is free online and isn't super hard to learn. You represent the object using a combination of adding and subtracting 3D shapes. Once you have the item spec'ed out you can have a 3D print shop make a small run of them.
You could also purchase the carbon fiber one and paint it matte black.
The skeleton is too big for 3D printing in one piece. You would have to have it printed in parts and assemble it.
The real issue in 3D printing isn't the cost of the plastic. It is the cost of setting everything up and getting it to print right.
[This message has been edited by phonedawgz (edited 05-07-2015).]
I'll bet you could sell enough at $15 to make it worth your while. How many would need to be printed to make it worthwhile? Any idea what the cost would be to set it up and get it to "print right"?
If someone could reproduce the skeleton for a decent price, they could make a mint.
I can't see me buying the CF one. It's way too expensive for what it is, it has the hole for the lighter and I'd still have to paint it. I'd rather buy a printed one (or make one myself out of fiberglass) for 1/2 the cost that's what I want.
[This message has been edited by Monkeyman (edited 05-07-2015).]