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Steering Column Cover Reproduction


sippelcj

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I am almost finished with creating a reproduction upper steering column cover for 74-78 260/280z. Looking to gauge interest to see if this is something anyone would be interested in purchasing from me once I finalize the part. They are hard to find in good shape used and are often broken. 


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I had the idea because I wanted to make a integrated 52mm gauge pod that sat right between the Tach and Speedo, and the column cover I had was in pretty rough shape. I haven't decided if I would print the gauge pod version as a single piece or print them as two separate pieces and join them after. 


I will be 3d printing them in PETG and would plan on could either sell them raw, finish them in an oem like paint, fabric wrap, or flock. The prototype pictured below was printed at the lowest quality so the final products will just need to some light sanding and paint to look like oem. 

 

If you are interested let me know what you would want and how you might want it finished
Upper Cover

Lower Cover

Gauge pod to mount onto an existing cover

Upper Cover with integrated gauge pod

Finish options
Raw

Paint
Fabric Wrap (Vinyl would be easiest, leather/microsuede might not stretch enough)

Flock

Im thinking rough cost would be around $50-75 for the column covers, $25 for the gauge pod. Probably a little more for fabric wrapping. 


If I can cover the cost of the time I spent making these models I could start producing other small parts as well. I already have a rough 3d model for the lower steering column cover created. 

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On 3/15/2023 at 3:45 PM, ihavearustedz said:

i would be interested in a upper & lower cover, raw finish

Sounds good! The lower cover could take awhile to complete. I have not started working on that model at all yet, and I will have to recreate all the mounting holes from scratch. 


The upper cover is very close to done. Here is the latest print, just tweaking the alignment pins on the rear and getting the fitment as good as possible.
 

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I'll post updates to this thread when I have them. Thanks!

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It's not really thicker by design but it will definitely be more durable than the OEM piece. This plastic will flex quite a bit before it would break. Was also debating using heat set nuts to avoid plastic threads stripping which would require all new hardware but haven't gotten that far yet. 

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I spent a lot of time tweaking the model to get as perfect of fit as possible and am finally done. Really happy with how its looking so far. 

 

Next step is to experiment with the final print materials and then work out any printing issues and the upper cover is done. 


Here are some pictures of it fitting up with an oem lower cover on my car. 

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@mutantZ @ihavearustedz Also want to make sure you understand what the raw finish will look like. The final print will likely look the same or very similar to this piece, ill just be using a more heat-resistant plastic. 

But because of the way this piece is printed the faces that face the dash have some rough marks where the printer has to print on top of supports which is shown in these pictures. These could be filled/sanded and painted but I wouldn't be doing that with the raw finish option. 

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I'll start working on lower cover reproduction soon, but it could a month or two as its pretty time consuming and my time to work on it is limited. 

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13 minutes ago, fusion said:

What is that gold ring around your ignition?  Is that factory?  My car doesn't have one but I like it, makes for a cleaner look.


It's the factory trim ring that I powder coated candy gold from prismatic powders. I had an engine fire which is why I am now redoing the whole interior. 

I started a build thread here but I haven't updated it in awhile, should probably get on that.
 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Had some difficulties creating the model for the lower cover so took a bit longer than expected but but finally have the first prototype. Fitment is pretty good for the first print but will be making some tweaks to get it looking as good as possible. I chopped off some of the model to reduce print time. Heres how it looks connected to an oem upper cover. 

 

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Cool stuff!  Thx for putting the effort in to produce these.  Wouldn’t be surprised if vendors like MSA and ZCarDepot wanted to carry these as stock items.  (And at the risk of stating the obvious, don’t forget to advertise them on the Datsun FB pages!  😜).

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  • 1 month later...

Will definitely contact some venders once I have them finished.

 

I know It's been awhile but I have made some progress on the lower cover but that one takes a very long time to print and I'm trying to get the fitment as perfect as possible. I should have another revision printed in the next week or so which could be the final version.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Alright printer was backed up finishing other projects but finally had time to print a full prototype for the lower cover, fitment is looking good, just need to make one more slight tweak and finalize the best way to print such a large piece.

 

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Somewhat off topic but here is some of the other stuff I have been designing and printing:

Replacement fender grommets for headlight wiring, same style as OE. 

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Replicated all of the plastic pieces on the Fender mirror reproductions I had, and designed some TPU gaskets to hold new mirrors in place. The housings are powder coated black chrome.

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Edited by sippelcj
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  • 4 weeks later...

I am done printing prototypes, just need to finalize any print settings and I will have a few sets printed.

Also a few little things still to figure out such as the proper screws to use. The ones for the oem covers don't quite work as the posts on these are thicker and thus need a screw with a slightly smaller head. 

 

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I'll also be printing a gauge pod for a gauge I'm mounting between the tach and speedometer, the final version will mount the gauge slightly lower than this one. 

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  • 2 months later...

It's been awhile but I am working on getting some final versions printed. We ended up moving to a new house so I had a lot of other priorities.

 

Started a few prints last week but had a bad roll of filament that jammed on me multiple times and ruined some multi-day prints. The lower covers take 2 full days to print and the uppers are about 1 day so it might not be soon but I am working on it. 

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  • 2 months later...

Alright I have two complete sets printed. The finish didn't come out as nice as the prototypes because this material (PETG) is harder to work with but they are functional. I tested sanding and painting this material and it worked without issue but I plan to fabric wrap mine.

@ihavearustedz @mutantZ Feel free to send me a PM and we can work out payment/shipping if you are still interested. I was thinking $100 for the upper and lower piece, I'm not really making money on these considering how much time I invested getting them produced but they will be significantly more durable than any original parts. 

 

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Also if anyone is curious here is the gauge pod I designed to mount onto the upper cover. I just drilled holes in the cover to mount it. It's a 52mm gauge pod but the gauge I have has a 60mm face, but still does not block view of tach or speedo at all, even though it appears to in the photo.

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  • 1 month later...

Got around to making some vinyl covers for the set I will be installing to match what I upholstered the rest of the interior in. They aren't perfect but they will do the job just fine. It was a decent bit of work to get them sewn up and glued on, painting them would have been much easier. 
 

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