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I want to thank everyone for all your advice and support. I never meant this to be an indictment of aftermarket panels (we all know they suck). What I was trying to convey was inability to solve this particular ill fitting panel, and how it stops you from advancing. It fits good on one end but not in the middle and I've not gotten to the other end yet. After retirement I took a collision course at Penn Tech in Williamsport PA. I understand measuring, pulling a panel back into alignment before anything can be added. I was just wondering if anyone else felt overwhelmed when in this situation.
Don, I think we all understand and feel your frustration .....
Isn't that ridiculous?? You buy a brand new sheet metal replacement part and it doesn't fit properly. You have to alter it somehow. Where in the hell is quality control?? Don't these people stamp out one part and see if it meets the proper dimensions?? Maybe a trial fit?? Make some adjustments before stamping out a couple hundred. I know we should be happy in that we can get a replacement part, but you have to stamp something out anyway, get it right the first time. How much more effort can it take?? This altering might be fine on metal parts, but what about chrome pieces and trim?? You're not going to cut a chrome grill bar that is too long or add to it if too short. Do it once. Do it right.
Making tooling that works as intended can be quite difficult sometimes.
When the manufacturer builds tooling for a repro part, there's only so much budget for the tooling - they aren't going to re-make it, start over, if the first parts don't match originals. Some adjustments can be made, others aren't in the scope of the business model. Likewise there's only so much they can do as far as process changes to improve fit and finish. So it's left to the customer to decide which parts to buy and what to do about making the fit or look correct at installation.
This is a dilemma in any manufacturing. Tooling and molds can be scrapped or reworked but it comes at a cost, including schedule. At some point the parts must be put into production so that the spending ends and the selling starts for the manufacturer.