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Old 21st February 2005, 06:08 PM   #1
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Lynn Larsen
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\"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good enough\"

Well, I thought the laser surgery to remove the large scarlet "S" from my forehead would do the trick in keeping vendors from recognizing me as the "Sucker" they seem to think I am. Truth is that I am one of those silly people that, because I am honest, expect everyone else to be, as well. At least, I go under that assumption until they prove otherwise. But this time I even had it in writing (in an email anyway), but even this proved to be as worthless as the light emitted from the phosphors that formed the letters in the email on my computer screen.

I was in the market for the hardware to mount my toll flaps in the side windows of my car. I had a set of hinges and stays sourced from New Zealand, but upon discovering that my credit union charged $45 for an international wire transfer of funds, I decided to see if I could get them here in the States. I was told by the owner of, what I had always consider to be, the premiere GT40 constructor/vendor in the US that I could purchase the hardware for both side windows for $350. Since this was very near the price of the parts from NZ, I said OK. I contacted the GM of said GT40 vendor to place the order. About 4 weeks later, I was told they would be shipping and that I was being given a special deal of $300 since I had called once a week, had my name and phone number taken, only to not hear a thing until I called the next week. Great I thought! Rather than have them shipped COD, since they couldn't do a credit card transaction, I told them to hold onto them since I was going to be in the Boston area the next week and I would fly in early and drive to their shop and pick them up in person. This gave me a great opportunity to look around this operation that I and many others have thought so highly of all these years. Upon arrival, the owner handed me a sandwich size baggie with 8 oz. of aluminium parts in it and an invoice for $600! I had forgotten to get a check from my wife that morning, but had planned to get cash from an ATM to pay for the parts. The problem was, I can only get $500 a day from a given location, so I couldn't pay for them if I had wanted to. I declined to purchase the parts and when I showed him his email, I was told that he was sorry and there had been a mixup in the price somehow. He told me that he would see what could be worked out.

So, I had taken a half day off work, rented a car, driven nearly 3 hours out of my way and had nothing to show for it even though I had what I thought was a deal in writing. Nothing was worked out, but I was happy to hear (he says with tongue firmly planted in cheek) that the GM wasn't upset about my not buying the parts since they could be used in a car that would be shipping soon. This doesn't come close to Chuck's story about trying to buy one of the cars built by this vendor, but for sale by the present owner and not the builder. But the moral of the story is the same, unless you have a written contract --that should probably be signed and notarized-- don't consider anything a done deal until you have paid the agreed price and received/inspected the goods in your hand no matter who you are dealing with --even the owner.

Caveat Emptor,
Lynn
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Old 21st February 2005, 08:03 PM   #2
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good enough\"

Lynn, 350 dollars for little tiny widow hinges? Hey how about you call me each time you want to spend money and I'll be sort of your wallet guru. For a fee of course!

Sorry, but my wife calls me the cheep Italian and the whole friggin window costs less than that.
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Old 21st February 2005, 08:25 PM   #3
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good enough\"

Try John/Jean at Auto Futura... See what they can do for you. I buy a lot from them and glady pay the 45.00 wire fee because their prices are so fair & service is great!

Good luck Lynn...
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Old 22nd February 2005, 10:56 AM   #4
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Howard, not just the hinges, but the stay and locking mechanism too :-) $350 is still a lot of money, but $600 is completely outrageous!

I have spent several hours on the internet looking at various hinges and stays, but have yet to find the right prop mechanism to hold the flap in the open position. The hinges are not an issue, in fact, there are better hinges in terms of the swing arc and other considerations. These "original" style hinges when placed on the inside, require a fairly substantial gap on the hinge side so that the flap will open without binding. Putting the hinge on the outside almost eliminates the issue as the bind is transferred to the other side and the opening motion approaches perpindicular as the distance from the pivot point increases. The original style can be put on the outside, but they are somewhat tall in comparison to other hinges and would create a fair amount of wind noise, I am sure, along with poorer aesthetics.

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Old 22nd February 2005, 10:58 AM   #5
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Tom, thanks for the tip!!! I'll look into it.

Lynn
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Old 22nd February 2005, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Lynn,

Having never seen one up close I don't know exactly what you are looking for but check out this section of the west marine catalog. They have several options for hatches and movable windscreens

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/sto...tegoryId=24#147
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Old 22nd February 2005, 04:14 PM   #7
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

piper and beechcraft General Aviation aircraft use the opening windows in plastic just like the GT 40.

You might search there...

Mike
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Old 24th February 2005, 03:49 PM   #8
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

I believe helicopters use the same parts.
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Old 24th February 2005, 04:48 PM   #9
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

I've been searching for acrylic hinges like these but all the ones I've seen are rather large at about 2" square. They need to be 1" square or less to look like the ones used on original GTs. I thought Roy Smart may have had metal hinges made up at one time.
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Old 24th February 2005, 05:50 PM   #10
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Heck fellows - we've a lot of people on this forum that need them. Anyone with machine shop connections that could talk to someone about making a batch? All you'd need are a set of originals to go by. I imagine in lots of 100 or so they wouldn't cost much and there would be enough people here to take them.

R
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Old 24th February 2005, 05:58 PM   #11
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Been thinkin' about it. That's why I ask for the dimensions of the window in an earlier post, but no one answered.
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Old 25th February 2005, 09:40 PM   #12
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Lynn

Here's the one DRB sells...as I recall about $ 350.

MikeD
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Old 25th February 2005, 09:44 PM   #13
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Another view
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Old 27th February 2005, 03:25 PM   #14
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Mike,

These look very similar to the ones ERA has and the ones I ended up ordering from Dave Harvey (fka GT40NZ). It looks like you put the hinges on the outside as I can't see the screw heads. This is the way I plan to mount mine as well. This will allow me to maintain the extremely tight gap that laser cutting provided (I also bought the windows and flaps from Dave Harvey.) Dave claims that the gap is so tight that the surface tension of water doesn't allow it to enter the gap. Having a self sealing flap window is the ideal in my way of thinking since it provides as close to an uninterrupted view as possible. Do your toll flaps open and close smoothly and with no interference? Did you have to bevel the edge of the flap to clearance the edges as they swing through their arc?

I can't wait until my furniture (Southern Cross speak for hardware:-) arrives and I can get them mounted; the toll flaps are the last bits to do to finish up the car. My wife has gone to get film right now so I can take some pictures, but it'll be a couple of weeks before I can get them developed, scanned and uploaded. (Work's getting in the way of my car building again :-( Look for them in my build thread in the Builder's Forum.

Regards,
Lynn
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Old 28th February 2005, 02:12 PM   #15
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Sorry Lynn

These are shots of John Tierman's car, and I failed
to give proper credit (sorry John).
I wish mine were that far along !

I think Bill Bayard also bought a set from DRB...don't know
if he installed them.

MikeD
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Old 1st March 2005, 11:14 PM   #16
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Ron,

""Heck fellows - we've a lot of people on this forum that need them. Anyone with machine shop connections that could talk to someone about making a batch? All you'd need are a set of originals to go by. I imagine in lots of 100 or so they wouldn't cost much and there would be enough people here to take them.""

what about E machine? http://www.emachineshop.com

If someone else was willing to do distribution I would be willing to do the R and D.

Looking at their pricing page I'm guessing you could come in significantly less than $300.00.

What about the ones on Neil's car? He's close by, I could go over and get the dims and draw them.



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Old 2nd March 2005, 01:50 AM   #17
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Even at $350 + funds transfer I would find it difficult to afford these fittings at the moment. Looks like I'll have to make them for myself. Fortunately, I have a good mill with a DRO.

If there was evidence of interest at $325 per set, I'd build the jigs to make more than one set. Will use 7075 where possible, but will likely use buyable knobs and finding ones made of metal seems unlikely.

Lynn has seen my work on sway bar fixtures, perhaps he'll choose to comment.

Understanding that I've not made a set yet, might there be any interest if the parts were good and available in the US?

Input would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 2nd March 2005, 03:16 AM   #18
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

I've caught the flu that's going around, so I'm kind of out of it today. My price estimate is for only one side, dohhhh.

Looking closer at Emachine, it's sort of problematic for multiple machining operations on each piece. I think it would be closer to the $300 range. The R and D and legwork on sourcing/distribution would quickly make that not worth it.

Let's say you even came in lower at $250 a set and you just were going for 25 sets, that's an initial investment of $6,250. And 100 sets? $25,000. ouch.

30 minutes later....

Wait a minute, changing the machine operation brought a considerable savings, the jury is still out on this one I'll have to update later.
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Old 2nd March 2005, 10:19 AM   #19
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

[ QUOTE ]
Will use 7075 where possible

[/ QUOTE ]

Would 6063 be better for something like this? They're not highly stressed parts, and I would think corrosion resistance would be a more important factor.
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Old 2nd March 2005, 10:28 AM   #20
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Re: \"The Scarlet S\" or \"Getting it in writing isn\'t good eno

Here is a web pic of the separate parts if it would help you machinists out there. It seems that you could estimate the sizes and close would be good enough. I think the length of one side of a hinge should be around 5/8" to 3/4". They really should be mounted on the inside to look right IMHO.
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