It turns out, getting started is pretty hard. For the past couple of weeks, I have been doing all kinds of research into the suspension and various little side projects I can do in parallel. What I have learned so far is that every project is going to get interrupted by a missing part. I need to make a project plan, look into the assembly manual for all the parts, see what I have to restore, and order what I need to order. Only then can I hope to feel the satisfaction of completing even the simplest of projects. There is ALWAYS something to buy. even if its just the hardware set. It’s not that its expensive, its the time waiting for delivery, thus the interruption.
So, from there, the first thing I bought was what I refer to as “The Big Book Of Projects”, or the assembly manuals.
I initially thought I could get away with just the electrical and chassis manual for now. Then I started looking at side projects, like the 67 quarter panel ornament assembly. That brings up another good point. The names of things is a research project of its own. The ornament is the fake intake looking things behind the door. I have the parts, but I cant find the nuts. They are something odd, so I need to order them. It turns out they also have a gasket, so I need to order those too. The assembly manuals help figure these things out up front, accompanied by a plethora of parts web sites to see who may have them in stock, and of what level of quality.
That takes me to having to figure out who I prefer to order parts from and how to tell what is quality and what isn’t. In the past several months, I have come to the opinion that Dynacorn is solid sheet metal. So when I have an option for those parts, I choose them. For general purpose parts, I see Scott Drake as a reputable name in reproduction parts of all kinds. So far so good. If the part doesn’t have a name on the site, I am skeptical that its going to be the right gauge, finish, or quality for my project. I like to say that I cant afford cheap.
For a parts vendor, I started with CJ Pony Parts. I find they often have the part I am looking for listed. This is not the same as having the part in stock or available. I have a few hard to find parts I need that are listed on their site, but on back order. Other vendors don’t even have the part listed. I purchased parts from them in the past, so I have been getting email for a while. I have come to the conclusion that they have a 30% off sale every 4-6 weeks. If you can, wait for the sale. The cost of the good selection, and very usable web site is cost. They tend to have many things more expensive than others. Their shipping is either free, and a week out, or too expensive to justify paying for it. Free means I need to plan ahead. I am an instant gratification kind of guy, so this whole project is an exercise in patience. One reason they continue to get my money though is the good videos. They have high quality videos on how to install the parts on many of their selections. I could watch the videos and buy cheaper, but I would prefer to keep having access to quality resources like that where the price is reasonable still.
One vendor I have purchased a few things from as well is Virginia Classic Mustang. Their web site is clean and easy to navigate. I wish it would remember that I have a 67, but its easy to filter down quickly regardless. Their prices are good but their selection is not as extensive as CJ. If I have a common part and I know what its called, I start here currently. They don’t include the price of shipping, and you don’t get options. Once you have purchased, they just add it to the charge to you credit card. On the up side of that, you pay for shipping, not a shipping fee per part. And you don’t pay much for shipping. Things get here faster than CJ, and they are a similar distance from me.
I checked a few other sites I have visited back when it was all catalogs, not web sites. I found that the sites are difficult to use and hard to find things that you don’t know what they are actually called. There are some good prices and it’s often worth looking if you know what you’re looking for. One big help there for smaller parts is looking at Scott Drake first. You can’t buy parts there, but you can get part numbers and see if they produce a part, which I expect will be the one I am looking to buy. You can then just google for the part number or at least look for it on your favorite site. As a bonus, they also have an MSRP so you can get an idea what you should be paying for it.
So, with all of that out of the way, I started buying some small project parts while I was doing research on my suspension. I started with the trunk and quarter panel ornaments. I thought it may be nice to have the whole back end done so when I open the garage, at least it looks like a nice 67 mustang from the street. There are a lot of little things to do there. For organizational sake I will start a new entry that just covers that.
UPDATE 4/14/2018: Now that I am nearly done with buying parts, I have to say National Parts Depot is by far my preferred vendor. Their web site is not as easy to navigate, but the virtual catalog is cool and helpful to see related parts easily. They give good suggestions on part quality, often listing good repro, and best repro, etc.
Also, Scott Drake seems to have become more of a low quality brand name lately. I mostly just trust NPD to tell me what they think the highest quality part is and go with that. SD tends to be more of a detractor at this point.