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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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2,881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am gauging interest in a production run of defroster vents. I would have to reverse engineer the parts and create molds before a production run. I have a particular set of skills that I am happy to use to solve automotive problems. In order to gauge this interest to justify the expenses and time that would end up having to be committed, I need to know who is interested. I also need to know the reasonable price limit at which you would purchase these and please, be serious. The feedback will help gauge the requirements but will not determine the price. If you respond with a "yes, I'm seriously interested" I would expect you to follow through and purchase the parts after they pass a trial fitment and go into production. I would try to go for the cheapest price point that still makes this a worthwhile venture and there would be communication with everyone about estimated cost before the molds are created and then prior to production. I'm not looking to get rich here, but I'm not a charity either.

Thanks :)

Also, if you can take pictures of your vents that are in bad shape that can be helpful information in knowing how they are failing. I've heard that the flow path within the vents sucks and as such, heat is not evenly dispersed onto the windshield. I can easily understand warping due to heat over time, older plastics tend to become brittle and warp over time with lots of sunlight and heat. I already have a material in mind that is very strong and can handle temps up to 250 °F before deflection / warping.
 

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Über Genius
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9,582 Posts
Let me lay this out there for you.

I can almost guarantee that you could sell 100 sets (full driver and full passenger) for $50 per set.

That's $5,000 in revenue.
Now figure out how much it would cost to do 100 sets.

Then see if there's a group buy interest (I'd buy 2 sets at that price).
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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2,881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your thoughts, lets see just how many are seriously interested. If you can help with any feedback about problems that a new design should fix, please let me know.
 

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Über Genius
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9,582 Posts
The current (40+ year old) design allows air to enter the defrost vent as a whole scream and then has diffusing veins about the last inch of the vent. As such the diffusion never happens and there's a small area about 3 inches wide that actually works, if you could call it that.

Ideally there would be diffusion starting at the very opening of the vent, where the air enters. That way the vent would work across it's full length.

The other thing that has happened is the materials used on the original dash and the original defroster vent were highly susceptible to UV rays and disintegrated in the first decade. That's why it's so hard to find good defroster vents.
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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2,881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the information. :)

Now we just need to see how many people are interested. I'm sure given enough time you might sell 100 sets but what enables production is being able to sell a large number of sets in a short time frame. Your highest number of orders will be at the very beginning of production and fall off sharply after that when producing a part that has been in demand without any supply.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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15,879 Posts
First Opel described the design inadequacies and the age problem exactly. As I see it, there's two ways for you to go: Remake the entire vent assy as close to oem as possible, with maybe some improvement to the design of the dispersal fins inside or just make new vent outlets that could be applied from the top of the dash with possibly a flange around the outside to cover upholstery gaps and provide an attachment point. I would venture to guess that most GT vents are "okay" below the dashboard, it's the vent outlets that have deteriorated. Theoretically one could chop off the vents outlets just above the mounting tabs, mount them, then install a new vent outlet from the top. This would be a vastly simpler and cheaper part to make.

Here are my only pics of defroster vents, I gave them to Knorm along with a degraded recovered dash, maybe he can send you the vents to work with:


Metal
Auto part



And here's some pics I found of wire looms available from Summit:


Hardware accessory
Gun Toy Firearm Lego Rifle
 

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Opeler
Joined
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1,131 Posts
If you are talking about needing commitment to a purchase within the next month, I couldn't, currently laid off. But if it would be 3 months or more before you'd have something done, OH HELL YEAH.
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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2,881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Production would be beyond a month out but hopefully within a year. I don't even have a set of vents on hand to reverse engineer in a CAD program. From here I would want to do a 3D printed, multi-piece part for a trial fitment before creating the molds. Then once the molds are done, I'd do another trial fitment of the finished part before starting production. I don't think people would have parts in hand before Christmas.

Gordo, while creating a simple trim piece would be easier and cheaper, it's also not solving the problem of dispersal. The cost to create the molds for a trim piece wouldn't be that much different than creating the molds for replacement parts. I'm also not a fan of half-azzed solutions to problems and while I don't own a GT right now, within a year I want to have changed that. So I'll likely have the same problems, needing the same solution. I have some other vehicle things I need to take care of before purchasing a GT. Thanks Gordo for the pics.
 

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Über Genius
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9,582 Posts
If nobody beats me to it, I will see if I can dig out an old set for complete pictures with a ruler next to them.
 

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Registered
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I'm all in. I'd pay $100 for a set, beyond that I would probably try to fix what I have.
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
Joined
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2,881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I would buy a set so long as they weren't more than 100.00.
Having created a whole excel sheet around the business side of producing these, with a few assumptions I'm figuring the price would be between $50-100 for a set. As long as everyone is happy with a set costing somewhere between $50-100, I shouldn't need anymore opinions on price. I will say that $100 a set would likely only happen if I don't see interest in producing more than 40 sets and I need to see interest in at least ~25-30 sets for production. The material to produce these is cheap, but creating the molds won't be. So the more interest I see, the smaller the chances will be of a set costing $100. I won't be outsourcing the production so that helps on price and quality control.

I've contacted a European parts source to see if they are interested in this production or if they already have vents in production but don't list them. If there is a decent European interest, it would make sense to have someone (like a parts source) in Europe serve as a point of sale contact to cut down on shipping costs and overall price. For any European GT owners reading this, you should PM me on interest in production besides commenting below.
 

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Premium Member
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1,755 Posts
I am gauging interest in a production run of defroster vents. I would have to reverse engineer the parts and create molds before a production run. I have a particular set of skills that I am happy to use to solve automotive problems. In order to gauge this interest to justify the expenses and time that would end up having to be committed, I need to know who is interested. I also need to know the reasonable price limit at which you would purchase these and please, be serious. The feedback will help gauge the requirements but will not determine the price. If you respond with a "yes, I'm seriously interested" I would expect you to follow through and purchase the parts after they pass a trial fitment and go into production. I would try to go for the cheapest price point that still makes this a worthwhile venture and there would be communication with everyone about estimated cost before the molds are created and then prior to production. I'm not looking to get rich here, but I'm not a charity either.

Thanks :)

Also, if you can take pictures of your vents that are in bad shape that can be helpful information in knowing how they are failing. I've heard that the flow path within the vents sucks and as such, heat is not evenly dispersed onto the windshield. I can easily understand warping due to heat over time, older plastics tend to become brittle and warp over time with lots of sunlight and heat. I already have a material in mind that is very strong and can handle temps up to 250 °F before deflection / warping.
I asked Opels Unlimited about reproducing the defroster vents.They responded that they had good used ones, so it was something they were not interested in reproducing. It is interesting that OU thinks a vent that is 40 years old is something that can be used with some confidence.

I got the last ones from the guy that reproduced them probably 18 years ago. He sold the molds to someone, and they decided not proceed with reproduction. I believe they were like 60 dollars at the time, glad I decided to get the last set he had. I think there are plenty of vents that were like mine, cracked, powdery, crumbling etc. It's not a fun job to put them in, but in the end it is well worth the effort. The ones I have are a little thicker than the standard vents, and they are made from fiberglass.

50-100 dollars is a deal if someone can come up with a replacement for old crumbling defroster vents.

Bob
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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2,881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bob, the material I'm considering isn't fiberglass either. I'm looking at this material...

https://www.smooth-on.com/products/smooth-cast-onyx-fast/

It's a resin that can be easily mixed and poured into a silicon mold. From everything I can find on this material, it will suit the needs of automotive parts, like vents, perfectly. The tricky task will be designing molds that can allow full length turning vanes and still be removed after the part is done. My desire would be a 1 piece vent but I'll do it in 2 if I have no other choice.
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
Joined
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2,881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I'm going to list members who are serious about wanting a set below. I will add to this list as more members show interest. This will help me to keep track of how much interest there is. If I've added your name and you aren't interested, just let me know and if I didn't put your name and you want a set, let me know. This doesn't lock you into purchasing, this just helps get the ball going but should be considered intent to buy. There will be another thread created for ordering the vents once production is ready in the not too distant future, if production happens. Everyone will be able to see any updates on this project in this thread. I have a possible donor for the original vents lined up already.

1. Autoholic
2. First opel 1981 (2 sets)
3. The Scifi Guy
4. MikeNotigan
5. Yellow73GT
6. pherrley
7. kwschumm
8. slracer
9. krewzer (2 sets)
10. twisted stripe
11. opelgtboy70

Current number of sets: 13
Minimum Goal: 30
 

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Registered
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2,558 Posts
I'm going to list members who are serious about wanting a set below. I will add to this list as more members show interest. This will help me to keep track of how much interest there is. If I've added your name and you aren't interested, just let me know and if I didn't put your name and you want a set, let me know. This doesn't lock you into purchasing, this just helps get the ball going but should be considered intent to buy. There will be another thread created for ordering the vents once production is ready in the not too distant future, if production happens. Everyone will able to see any updates on this project in this thread. I have a possible donor for the original vents lined up already.

1. Autoholic
2. First opel 1981 (2 sets)
3. The Scifi Guy
4. MikeNotigan
5. Yellow73GT
6. pherrley
7. kwschumm
8. slracer

Current number of sets: 8
Minimum Goal: 30
Maximum price of $100, preferably including shipping, etc to Phoenix, AZ
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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15,879 Posts
I would strongly suggest calling Opel GT Source, our main U.S. parts supplier and large supplier to the European market, to see if they are interested in your venture. They will have tips and suggestions to give. They will also end up being your #1 buyer. Keep in mind that the core group on this website is only 35-50 people, but OGTS has hundreds of customers.

:veryhappy
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
Joined
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2,881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don't want to commit to anything in regards to shipping this early as the size of the initial production run will impact the price per set. Ideally, yes I would want the upper limit of $100 per set to include shipping to the continental US. The lower limit of $50 would be before shipping. It's in everyone's interests if there is a lot of interest and intent to purchase a set. First Opel claims ~100 sets could be easily spoken for, let us see how correct he is. 100 sets and we're really talking, that's around 200+ lbs of material and somewhere around 150+ hours of work with a possible production window of 2-3 months.
 
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