Creating my own replica plastic parts for my 1977, FJ55 (1 Viewer)

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Sydney, Australia
I thought I might start this thread to share my journey recreating the plastic parts for my truck, Goliath.
I know that there are still OEM parts out there, but they are getting harder to find, especially in good condition. I'm kind sick of finding listings that are 'out of stock', and have no intention on being in stock , well ever. So, it's down to DIY.

I decided many years back that keeping my FJ55 original, was not for me, largely the decision was forced by the need to replace the engine as the original 2F was flogged.
So, loosing the need for it or be original, I feel a little more free to use modern process and parts. But I really don't want to loose the uniqueness of the amazing FJ55's.

This thread is to share my journey recreating the various, non structural parts.

Goliath, as it was named back in (around) 1998 is in a constant state of change as I fight off the rust and search for a balance of function and form.
I want to treat him to a new paint job as soon as I can but for now its do the best I can with what I have.

I'm happy to help others with custom parts and guidance as well, also not just for FJ55's for any car.
I did some parts for my sisters 1964 Corona last year.

I hope you enjoy the thread.
I'd love to hear any feedback and supportive comments.

P.S. I'm based in Sydney, Australia.

A couple of pictures on Goliath to start.
ANC Load 1 045.JPG

fraser 004.JPG
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 8, 2014
Messages
21
Location
Sydney, Australia
Replacement Dashboard centre padding panel. I thought this was a good place to start, as it was one of the first pieces I have tried to replicate and it looks great, while being a little complex.


The Padding on Mine had fallen off. . . well longer than I can recall ago. I had found other in wreckers yards, but they were all in terrible condition.
I resolved to reproduce it, and after a fair amount of research into the possibility of recreating the foam moulds etc. I determined that was unlikely to ever be an option. Especially for a one of part.
After much thought and cogitation on the options, I decided to try 3D printing the the shape and wrapping it in some marine vinyl (I have some lying around).

So I 3D modelled the part as closely to the original as I could. I included the metal backing as a matter or record but also so I had it should I need to get a new one made.
2019-07-19_07h59_14.png


The 3D print of the padding (shown in black above) is done in two parts and joined with pins and glue.
I used a filament material PETG, as I do for most of the vehicle parts.

While that was printing, and setting, I got onto refurbishing the existing metal backing. I cleaned all the existing foam and any rust off, treated the rust and prepared it for painting. Some undercoat and a matt black coat of paint later and it looks as good as new.
20201020_191059.jpg


When the Glue on the 3D printed part was set, it was ready for the vinyl.
Note: I have blanked out the glue in this photo as it was not a successful result. I use two part epoxy on the final version which worked really well.
The aluminium bar helps to keep an even pressure on the vinyl while the glue sets. It also help to stop clamping marks, which do eventually relax out of the fabric.
I also use some cardboard or wads of paper later on in the process when the other side of the clamp is on the vinyl as well.
20201020_191444.jpg


When the main part is glued I trim the ends and fold over one section at a time for gluing. This does take some time but ensures a clean edge and presentation.
When that is all done the metal backing can be added.
I have allowed three screw holes in the print to accommodate some small screws in place of the original rivets. I now use some easy to find 12mm long timber screws. These hold the metal backing in place very well, and with that it's ready to be installed in the vehicle.
The folds on the end are a little sharp at the corners, but I don't notice them until I'm scrutinising the work, and it looks surprisingly so much better with the padding in place than it did for years without.

This is what it looks like in Goliath.
20201110_115659.jpg

20201110_115646.jpg
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
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Thanks for the encouragement @Shark56. I'll Post that in a different thread, and link it here for you.
@Shark56 This is the Corona Thread.
 

PabloCruise

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Messages
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Replacement Dashboard centre padding panel. I thought this was a good place to start, as it was one of the first pieces I have tried to replicate and it looks great, while being a little complex.


The Padding on Mine had fallen off. . . well longer than I can recall ago. I had found other in wreckers yards, but they were all in terrible condition.
I resolved to reproduce it, and after a fair amount of research into the possibility of recreating the foam moulds etc. I determined that was unlikely to ever be an option. Especially for a one of part.
After much thought and cogitation on the options, I decided to try 3D printing the the shape and wrapping it in some marine vinyl (I have some lying around).

So I 3D modelled the part as closely to the original as I could. I included the metal backing as a matter or record but also so I had it should I need to get a new one made.
View attachment 2491122

The 3D print of the padding (shown in black above) is done in two parts and joined with pins and glue.
I used a filament material PETG, as I do for most of the vehicle parts.

While that was printing, and setting, I got onto refurbishing the existing metal backing. I cleaned all the existing foam and any rust off, treated the rust and prepared it for painting. Some undercoat and a matt black coat of paint later and it looks as good as new.
View attachment 2491125

When the Glue on the 3D printed part was set, it was ready for the vinyl.
Note: I have blanked out the glue in this photo as it was not a successful result. I use two part epoxy on the final version which worked really well.
The aluminium bar helps to keep an even pressure on the vinyl while the glue sets. It also help to stop clamping marks, which do eventually relax out of the fabric.
I also use some cardboard or wads of paper later on in the process when the other side of the clamp is on the vinyl as well.
View attachment 2491128

When the main part is glued I trim the ends and fold over one section at a time for gluing. This does take some time but ensures a clean edge and presentation.
When that is all done the metal backing can be added.
I have allowed three screw holes in the print to accommodate some small screws in place of the original rivets. I now use some easy to find 12mm long timber screws. These hold the metal backing in place very well, and with that it's ready to be installed in the vehicle.
The folds on the end are a little sharp at the corners, but I don't notice them until I'm scrutinising the work, and it looks surprisingly so much better with the padding in place than it did for years without.

This is what it looks like in Goliath.
View attachment 2491136
View attachment 2491137

This looks great!

If one wanted to fill w/ foam, they could use that spray insulation from a can and trim w/ a knife/saw, yes?
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2014
Messages
21
Location
Sydney, Australia
This looks great!

If one wanted to fill w/ foam, they could use that spray insulation from a can and trim w/ a knife/saw, yes?
Interesting thought. I guess yes. but you'd need to create a mould for the foam to settle in.
That would be easy enough to 3D print, (or create some way).
I'd be a little concerned about how to get the right look on the outside of the foam. I guess you could 'cast' the foam then stretch the vinyl over that but I don't like the chances of success.
I'm doing some testing for other parts on manipulation of the vinyl.
I have also preferred the plastic frame as I think it will last longer. It's my guess that the original is made with the foam and plastic skin for production and volume/cost reasons (and no structural need) while maintaining look rather than any need or want to keep it actually soft.

But it could be an interesting test.
 

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