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Old 07-25-2020, 09:10 AM   #21
Kube
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

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Originally Posted by 19Fordy View Post
So, can we say that if American "producers" were willing to pay Chinese more for making high quality parts, the Chinese manufacturers would do so?
Without question.
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:10 AM   #22
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

I bought a pair of the headlight bezels a few years ago. I forget who they came from, but the tang at the top that goes into the slot in the bucket was too wide on both sides. I had to take a cutoff wheel and trim the tang so they would even fit on the car.
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:12 AM   #23
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

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Since those are junk anyway you might try something I read about years ago. If the issue is that they seem too "narrow". Somebody wrote that you could lay a towel down on a surface like a work bench, put the bezel on it upside down, take another towel and using both hands push the edges down which would force the bezel edges to become wider. I bet those things can flex out 3/32 on each side, maybe a bit more due to spring back.
I am wondering if during the chrome step if the machine that polishes or buffs them puts too much pressure on the sides or perhaps they are shrinking after being molded. See if you can make them fit.
I had 5 NOS in the envelope deluxe bezels that were raw pot metal that I had all chromed with the rest of my stuff and 2 of them as warned by my buddy at the chrome place said pocked up big time and half dissolved. I did get enough for my wagon and 1 spare. You have nothing to lose by trying.
I agree with you in a possible remedy. However, I am not fond of flexing chrome plating. Methinks that would come back to haunt me in the future.
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:16 AM   #24
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

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Understood that super tight tolerances raise the cost. But, from your experience, how much extra would it cost to hold, say, a 1/32" tolerance on those headlight bezels over the 3/16" tolerance accepted by Bob Drake?
In China where 99% of his parts are manufactured? ? Not much.
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:09 AM   #25
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

Taiwan manufactures a lot of the chrome plated parts that are used in the US whether for motorcycles or other purposes due to the chrome plating more than the metal forming. Plating processes are very expensive to operate here in the USA due to the EPA regs on heavy metals. There are shops that still operate here in the USA but they have to add all the overhead for the disposal of hazardous materials on to each finished part so it get more expensive every year.

The metal forming process can be expensive to get a good set of dies and they only last for so many blows of the press before they lose their tolerances. The presses are expensive too. There are still a lot of places here in the USA that could perform this type of manufacturing but I have no idea what the difference in price would be with offshore competition.
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:43 AM   #26
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

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Taiwan manufactures a lot of the chrome plated parts that are used in the US whether for motorcycles or other purposes due to the chrome plating more than the metal forming. Plating processes are very expensive to operate here in the USA due to the EPA regs on heavy metals. There are shops that still operate here in the USA but they have to add all the overhead for the disposal of hazardous materials on to each finished part so it get more expensive every year.

The metal forming process can be expensive to get a good set of dies and they only last for so many blows of the press before they lose their tolerances. The presses are expensive too. There are still a lot of places here in the USA that could perform this type of manufacturing but I have no idea what the difference in price would be with offshore competition.
China die making is a mere fraction of what it cost in the USA. As an example, a die I had built in 2000 or so cost a bit north of $200k when it was finalized and put in to production. The company I'd worked for, had received a bid from a company in China that did / does a lot of die building for US concerns. That bid was 25% - $50,000.
Fortunately the man that owned our company believed in keeping good paying jobs here.

With proper maintenance and repair, some dies last for 100's of pieces, some for millions. Many variables play in to the longevity. Design, quality of build and purpose being just a few.
I had built stamping dies that ran hundreds of thousands of pieces with only simple maintenance.
Form dies and deep draw dies don't typically last very long without some rebuilding involved. The stresses are too great on the die components.

Plating in the US? You are spot on my friend! I get my plating done in rural Wisconsin. The fellow that owns the place hired a person a number of years ago to ONLY deal with the EPA and DNR, etc. He'd told me they were so burdensome that it was cheaper to hire someone to deal with that specifically while he did manual labor.
His costs have reflected that. No complaints from me. The man does stunning work.
Still, there's good reason these types of companies are monitored so closely. Too many were "dumping in the night".
A local StripRite shop closed a number of years ago - the owner literally leaving the state in the middle of the night. Turns out the EPA had been "knocking on his door" for a while and he knew he was about to be "caught". Turns out he had 100's of barrels of toxic chemicals stored haphazardly on the property as well as the tons he had dumped to soak in to the ground.
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:23 PM   #27
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

I had a friend who owned a chrome shop in Portland back in the 90s. EPA (or maybe state DEQ) were on site every day for inspections! Proper handling and disposal was an expensive part of the process
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Old 07-25-2020, 03:22 PM   #28
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

I hate to be negative but, it seems that the cost of restoring old cars in the USA will soon be prohibitive for the average person.
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Old 07-25-2020, 04:50 PM   #29
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

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I hate to be negative but, it seems that the cost of restoring old cars in the USA will soon be prohibitive for the average person.

Ha.....! Better enjoy it while you can, 'cuz word has it that OLD CARS are on their way out! DD
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:13 PM   #30
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

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I hate to be negative but, it seems that the cost of restoring old cars in the USA will soon be prohibitive for the average person.
To truly restore an old car has been cost prohibitive for the average person for decades.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:43 PM   #31
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

These bezels are die cast and are not the best material to “bend into shape”. While I’m a drake dealer I do not typically stock these as I only stock items I’ve used. I’m gonna order in a set and try them on my 40 coupe and report back to them if a issue is present which seems to be the case.

As for those complaining about Chinese parts, believe me I get it; but go quote a simple part in the US and in China, and you’ll see...
I had 45,000 carriage bolts quoted just for the heck of it.... cheapest US quote was $1.18 each. Quote out of a Chinese plant through a broker was $0.16 each.while I chose neither option I just did it out of curiosity
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:48 PM   #32
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

I could not ever understand, if the manufacturer has an OEM part in front of them ,why make it larger or smaller, change the thread to metric, etc. make the damned part the same as what is in front of them! Is it cheaper to make it bigger, smaller or wider?
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:45 AM   #33
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

Is it easy to tell originals from repos?What should an original have as far as markings or part number on the back side?I guess it is better just to pay for rechroming some good originals than buy repo junk.
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Old 07-26-2020, 10:01 AM   #34
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

Die casting or any casting processes for that matter takes a lot of care to figure for shrinkage. Patterns are still involved to make the molds but the shrinkage has to be calculated in correctly or the part will never be the correct dimension. This also requires some confirmation testing to see how well the part will come out. If it's wrong then it's back to the drawing board. The trial and error nature of these processes leaves a lot of room for errors and expenses. It's up to the folks that do these processes to get it right. If they settle for less then it shows how much they care about their products.
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Old 07-26-2020, 11:02 AM   #35
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

I work in agricultural mfg. We make green, the amount of sub contracted parts is amazing anymore. Almost everything used to be made in house. You can really run into bad parts when the subcontractor subcontracts someone else to make the things for them. It's the almighty dollar and the guy's at the top are the ones that make the decisions to go with the cheapest bid. Then they let someone else deal with the oats that come out of the horse while they are off enjoying retirement.
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Old 07-26-2020, 11:25 AM   #36
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

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Originally Posted by deuce_roadster View Post
Since those are junk anyway you might try something I read about years ago. If the issue is that they seem too "narrow". Somebody wrote that you could lay a towel down on a surface like a work bench, put the bezel on it upside down, take another towel and using both hands push the edges down which would force the bezel edges to become wider. I bet those things can flex out 3/32 on each side, maybe a bit more due to spring back.
I am wondering if during the chrome step if the machine that polishes or buffs them puts too much pressure on the sides or perhaps they are shrinking after being molded. See if you can make them fit.
I had 5 NOS in the envelope deluxe bezels that were raw pot metal that I had all chromed with the rest of my stuff and 2 of them as warned by my buddy at the chrome place said pocked up big time and half dissolved. I did get enough for my wagon and 1 spare. You have nothing to lose by trying.

Several years ago when finishing my wagon I ran into this same problem with new Drake headlite rims. One would fit perfect on both fenders and the other one had the problem described above. I talked to Wes and he sent another pair which had one perfect one. Result is I have a perfect fitting pair and sent back the ones with the problem. I was told that the mold release process causes some to become mis-shapen. Better to try to work with your supplier and get your problem solved. Think about life without Bob Drake Reproductions and you will appreciate what they do for us..........40larry
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:32 PM   #37
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

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Several years ago when finishing my wagon I ran into this same problem with new Drake headlite rims. One would fit perfect on both fenders and the other one had the problem described above. I talked to Wes and he sent another pair which had one perfect one. Result is I have a perfect fitting pair and sent back the ones with the problem. I was told that the mold release process causes some to become mis-shapen. Better to try to work with your supplier and get your problem solved. Think about life without Bob Drake Reproductions and you will appreciate what they do for us..........40larry
40larry, Appreciate what Drake has done for us? Sure, on occasion.
What I don't appreciate is paying $175 for a pair of headlamp bezels that are crap and can't be utilized.
Here is a direct quote from Drake's website:
"A perfect fit every time! Better than original detail and fit with show quality chrome plating. Each pair includes stainless mounting screws."
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:40 PM   #38
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

"Kube", as usual, hits the nail squarely on the head with his practical experience plus knowledge. Just think how it would be if you paid for an expensive set of dentures, endured hours of pain, and rec'd the dentures only to find they didn't fit.

You complain and your dentist says, "Well, we came close".
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:32 PM   #39
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

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Just think how it would be if you paid for an expensive set of dentures, endured hours of pain, and rec'd the dentures only to find they didn't fit.

You complain and your dentist says, "Well, we came close".

Now Jim.....You're starting to make TOO much sense! DD
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:35 AM   #40
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Default Re: Drake 40 dlx headlamp rims (bezels)

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To truly restore an old car has been cost prohibitive for the average person for decades.
To quote my late father, "If it was easy everyone would do it."
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