Missing Parts – An Exercise in Frustration

Missing Parts – An Exercise in Frustration

Missing Parts: The only thing worse than parts that don’t fit…

I’ve repeatedly expressed my dismay, discontent, and dissatisfaction over the quality of reproduction parts made “overseas.”  Lately I feel like every reproduction part I try to put on has something wrong with it, so I’ve spent a lot of time refurbishing and restoring the originals that came off the car.  At this point, if a part doesn’t fit right away, I don’t even waste my time trying to make it fit anymore.  Now I just go grab the original and start working on it instead.  But the frustration of bad reproduction parts pales in comparison to the excruciating agony of missing parts.

I like to call my storage system chaotic organization.  No one else would be able to find something in my system, but I know where everything is.  Yes, I realize that guy at the office with piles of paper on his desk claims the same thing, but in this case, it’s true.  With the exception of a few large, delicate items, every part I’ve taken off the Mustang is on one of two shelving units next to the car.  I’ve bagged and labeled screws and small items; those are in two boxes.  A larger box holds medium-sized items.  And I’ve got the largest (and dirtiest) items on a separate shelf.

Apart from the dash pad, the remnants of the old headliner, and the carpet, I haven’t thrown anything away.  Granted, I usually have to dig a bit, but everything I need should be there.  So you can imagine how frustrating it is when I can’t find something I know I should have.

The Case of the Missing Mounting Plate

I spent four and a half hours on Sunday searching for missing parts.  I couldn’t find the turn signal mounting plate…or the screws that hold it in, now pictured above. First I looked in my bag with steering wheel stuff in it, it wasn’t there.  I have half the turn signal switch, mainly the wires and the plug body.  But for the life of me, I couldn’t find the turn signal switch itself, the metal plate that holds it in, or the three screws that go with the plate.  I would’ve bagged the old switch and the plate and screws together.  And had I been thinking, I might have put that bag in with the steering wheel bag.  But no.

Monday I spent another hour and a half digging through boxes again, moving shelves around, etc.  Still nothing.  Eventually I threw in the towel and called Mustangs Etc. here in Van Nuys around noon to see if they had one.  They said they’d call back in a few minutes.  By Tuesday they still hadn’t returned my call, so I called again.  I got the same response.  So I called Mustang Service Center in North Hollywood.  Bo picked up the phone, confirmed he had one, and for $10 I could buy it.  I drove right over.  Problem solved…right?

Yes and no.  Yes, my immediate issue was solved.  With the mounting plate in-hand I was able to finish up the steering column, complete the under dash wiring, put in the cluster, and wire in the Rally-Pac.  But the bigger issue remains: where in the heck is the one I had?  Okay, it’s a $10 part, big deal, but I want to know where it is.  There are some other parts I don’t remember seeing.  What have I done with them?  And why did I do it?  We may never know.