I've been looking for a pair of these for my Navigator so was delighted to see a pair offered on Ebay. Not so delighted at the price, I dropped out of the bidding at £200, the bidding finished at £523.
It was mentioned on the forum that the club have had them made in the past and a possibility they could be in the future. A price of £350 was mentioned, a bargain compared with the Ebay offering!
Flipping heck! I have a pair and am thinking about making a fibreglass mould, but they do need a bit of work first.
Hi John, Dan, I saw the offer on ebay when it was £86. I thought I would bid £100 but when i looked later it had already reached £200. Way above my budget hence the advert I have placed in the classifieds. Unfortunately no elves have been in touch yet although I did get a nice note from Uli Hoffman.
Whilst producing a new batch of parts is a great idea £350-00 is still beyond my budget even if a bargain. So, Dan let me know if you succeed in making a mold and fibre glass copies.
Dan, I would be interested in a pair of fibre glass panels if you decide to go ahead with the project. Is it something the club could assist with?
I think that £350 for a (steel) pair is a lot of money, its not unrealistic for the amount of work that needs to go in to the manufacture. Don't know if I would pay that much for a pair, depends if I can live without them!
If it wasn't entirely clear in Roadholder, the place to voice your need for a part is on the parts commissioning forum. Or on the paper form in Roadholder a few moths ago.
If you need some styling panels add a comment to the Styling Panels thread on parts commissioning.
Better still, fill in the form at the first heading on this forum and send it in.
To my knowledge there is one NOC member who has indicated this way that the club might consider manufacturing a batch of styling panels. I note that he/she has not thought of placing a 'Wanted' advert in Roadholder and this is my recommendation.
There are members out there with the panels, who could and may wish to help another member. I know Dan would see a request on the Forum, but the majority of members never use or watch the forum. Perhaps won't respond to anything more teccy than a good old landline number.
So, with only one member requiring styling panels I've hardly got a mandate from the membership to pester the Directors to stump up money to get a batch made.
Why not make it two, John.
Are there any more who are prepared to pay realistic money? Or do we all think a pair of fibreglass items will do? Colour? Thickness? I have pair of fibreglass panels, not much thicker than the metal items, and my only reservation is that while glossy (black) on one side they are glass mat on the other. When bolted in place the pressure face is very small, especially for the top 5/16 nut fixing. A small irregularity in fibreglass density/thickness at the two mountings translates to quite an effect at the gap between Left and Right panels.
Not a problem with sheet metal items. The metal is uniform thickness and incompressible. And the gap between panels can be tweaked with a bit of bending/fitting. And you can get a decent pressure under the securing nuts/washers of a metal item. Generally fibreglass mounts into/between compressed rubber.
You can't bend fibreglass unless you really know what you are doing with a heat gun.
I should just add that the damage on the original metal panel set, used to provide glass fibre moulds, is beautifully reproduced.
NOC parts commissioning
Flippin eck - at that price I’d flog mine off my Jubilee to recoup some of the cost of rebuilding it (not!)! I appreciate ebay items can be “expensive” as it’s what someone is prepared to pay, but that figure is just eye watering!
Surely the end value of a completed rebuild isn’t increased by £500 just by having an original pair of “styling panels” fitted - can it?
Controversial statement here - I think some perspective could be called for - a complete new exhaust system works out around £300, I paid £200 for a complete NOS (6 1/2”) headlamp (complete with lense, switches & ammeter), £100 for a NOS correct “grey faced” 120mph speedo. I know I paid over the odds for some things but I certainly don’t think I’d pay that much for “originality”.
I’ll be working on my Navigator after Christmas and will have another look at the styling panels and see how difficult it would be to make up some fibreglass ones, I need a set for my Jubilee. My tongue in cheek mantra, is usually “what I lack in skill I make up for with filler!” This may well be tested. If I was really committed I could try pre preg carbon fibre, it’s easy to work and if you buy date expired stuff it’s not too expensive. I suspect the hard work will be making decent moulds. Do we have any leads about who made the fibre glass ones that are already about and if the moulds are available?
Another thought - 3D printing, if it can be painted.
Peter, I'll try the parts commissioning form on the forum, when I first tried it, it didn't work, always intended to have another go but forgot, thanks for the reminder. I have a couple of other requests I'll send as well.
I like the idea of fibre glass, clearly some thought needs to given to the mounting points.
3D printing has possibilities. The way I would see this working would be for someone to create the 3D model. Then, once proven, arranging for the panels to be printed as needed/ordered, thus avoiding the need to produce "stock" that might be hanging around for a long time. The initial costs should be low in comparison to having a batch made by conventional methods.
Any club members familiar with 3D modelling, I would have a go but I've got plenty on plate at the moment.
If originality is the important thing here, then disregard my comments regarding plastic panels!
We do have a member who has done the 3D drawing to produce 3D printed panels. At the moment I think I am just hoping he bought himself a Christmas present of a 3D printer in order to have a play. To have them built in a suitable material will probably require a 'professional' printer.
Maybe he will comment.
3D printing - or - Why a Metal Magic fabrication looks like a good option
Apologies for the lengthy note but as you’ll see its been a bit of a saga. I was going to hold off writing until I had something positive to say but with Tony's prompt above here goes.... especially in case any one else is tempted to try this route.
Like many Navi/Jubilee/Electra renovators I need a set of styling panels to complete my Navigator renovation during lockdown..... No problem, just order a pair through NOC spares - how naive !
I started by “fashioning” a pair from alloy sheet using tin-snips, hammer, photographs and cardboard template. They’ll keep the rain off the electrics and they’re visually passable from anything more than 100 yards but just not good enough.
What about fibreglass? - I have no panels to use to create a mould.
Why not 3D print? So ….with nothing else to do during lockdown and with no desire to learn the trumpet, bake, or exercise in front of the TV, I taught myself CAD.
(If anyone fancies trying I can recommend Freecad on a Mac. Its a bit temperamental but it costs nothing but time, its reasonably intuitive if you understand conventional drawings and modelling, there are lots of on-line instruction videos and a there’s a help forum).
After some basic self-learning on the CAD tool and with help from Tony Ripley, Andy Sochanik and Peter Holland I started on the panels. The complex curvature of the panels quickly became apparent and explained the reason for the cost of new manufacture in sheet without the original press tooling. I could appreciated the skill of the original designer as I tried to recreate his curves digitally. Hours became days and days became weeks but, after plenty of false starts, I managed to create a pair of STL files to send off to the commercial 3D printing firms for quotes (see gif). It turns out the panels are too big for conventional printers so only the specialists would quote and unless you want to spend over £1000 for a pair this isn’t the way to go. With hindsight, I suspect controlling distortion when printing full size panels will mean this is not a viable option anyway.
At this point I split the models to fit in conventional printers to see whether I could get the cost down and sure enough I could get a lowest quote of £120 for a pair but I didn’t want to spend £120 to produce a prototype in PLA (a material which won't be suitable for a final manufacture) which may not fit and would probably need the model changing to introduce stiffness etc.
Not wanting to give up at this stage, Black Friday and Christmas conspired to tempt me to buy a printer. To keep the cost down and to give me some insight into the process I went for a kit. Imagine a combination of an Ikea shelving unit, a bumper set of Meccano and the inside of a digital TV and you’ll know what the box looked like when I opened it.
Anyway, the printer’s built, the LCD control panel lights up when I turn on the power and if I can work out why the extruder goes down when it should be going up I’ll be able to try out some printing and let you know how I get on……Update - it prints ! … see photo (anyone want a keyring?) .... a few changes to the styling panel model and I'll see what happens when I try to print something serious.... I'll keep you posted and if I have any success I'll pass the models onto the club.
While I was writing this an old story came to mind. There was a biker who got lost while out on a Sunday ride. He stopped and asked a local how to get back to the A1. The local replied …..
“The A1? Oh if I was going to the A1, I wouldn't start here…….”
Thats impressive Tom. Did you have a pair of panels to use as a pattern to create the CAD model?
I hope you can bring the project to a successful conclusion. If you are looking to recoup some of the cost of this I'm sure you will find customers here!
You mention distortion if printed as one piece, I've seen larger components printed with extra bits to support the part during the printing process. These extras were cut off afterwards.
My original 1961 Navigator styling panles do not show the slit for the alternator cable, only a hole for it Everytime I have to take off the panels I have to disconnect the cables from my electronic regulator/rectifier.
But good work. I guess you cannot print the panles in reals size on your printer. :)
I had the same problem in my first Navigator. It is a great nuisance to have to disconnect the three bullet terminals before you can remove the left hand panel.
A good modification is to cut a vertical slit, 3mm narrower than the diameter of the hole, in the panel. The grommet and wires can be squeezed up the narrow slit and the circular hole will hold the grommet in the top position.
In 1962 Norton put a vertical slit the same diameter as the hole. So the circular grommet has no incentive to stay at the top of the hole. One of life's great questions - Why did my first Navigator, a 1965 model, only 3 years old, have a hole not a slit?
For the Electra with two heavy duty cables plus the three alternator cables it is best to adopt the full width slit and line the metal edges with 'continuous' grommet.
Happy New Year
That guy at TOWDESIGN looks to be a real possibility. Issue seems to be how to get him the specs to print from. Any ideas?
From my limited experience, 3D printed stuff is very sturdy.
I would definitely be interested in a 3D printed pair of panels for an Electra.
Following my advert in Roadholder I am now the proud owner of a right hand panel. Therefore 3D printing would be an ideal way of acquiring just a left hand panel.
So, I also would be interested in supporting a production run.
Of course if anybody has an original right hand panel going spare I would be very interested!
Would you share the code to download? I'd like to give it a try or two, or more