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.