Reproduction (replica) lenses for the Patrol...

Original and compatible parts

Postby moore_rb » Thu May 14, 2015 12:05 am

Prices and ordering information:

*Please contact me via PM or email - This thread is over 3 years old, and several of my original silicone molds are no longer usable, and making new molds is the most expensive aspect of this project :(


----- Original First post of this thread follows below ----

I have a new project underway... (Yeah, because I really needed another project... :roll: )

It seemed as though no one had the lenses their Patrol needed - glass lenses all end up in a million pieces on the ground, tail lights get bashed while backing into trees, and the last NOS tail light and marker lenses left the Nissan parts-department shelves about 600 years ago...

As some of you know, my only other non-family related pastime (besides rusty old 4x4's) is deep sea fishing down in Baja Mexico, and for the past 5 years or so, I have been casting my own trolling lures and casting jigs out of lead and clear plastic, and when Keith (Zed) posted that he was looking for someone to replicate the Patrol's marker lenses, that got me thinking.

So I asked Zed, and EricB to loan me some of their 69 lenses to run some tests. My first attempt to take a mold from the 69 front marker light was an abysmal failure:

CAM00869.jpg


So, I tossed that 30 bucks worth of RTV silicone into the trash can, and decided to scale back and concentrate on the smaller reverse light lense. I figured out how to pour the mold compound without leaving air bubbles, and after the mold cured I was ready to cast my first test reverse lense out of clear plastic:

CAM00879.jpg


(the factory reverse lense is on the bottom, my replica is on top)

Not a bad first attempt - still a couple air bubbles and voids, but it's usable.

So, feeling more encouraged, I went ahead and took another large mold from the 69 tail light lense - this time it turned out really well, no air bubbles, and it captured all the ridges, contours, and lettering perfectly:

CAM00877.jpg


Next, I had to try to figure out the colors for the red and amber lenses. Since the reverse lense takes exactly 1 oz of resin, I decided to use it for my color tests, in order to save on materials. First, I mixed up some red, and lucky me- the first test was a home-run: (this is 40 drops of red coloring, and 10 drops of amber, per 1 oz of resin):

CAM00881.jpg


(color test casting on left, original 69 tail light on right)

My test casting for the amber color came out too dark compared to the OEM 69 lense (but it is a pretty close match to the early Everwing lenses, so I will remember this color formula :geek: - I will do another amber test tomorrow using less dye to try and get closer to the 69 lense color...

CAM00883.jpg


I am also waiting for an order of mold compound to arrive, so I can make molds of all the earlier model year Patrol lenses, especially those fragile pre-68 Everwing lamps, as well as the dash light and dome lamp lenses.. and I still have to re-mold the 69 style marker lamp.
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Postby darren » Thu May 14, 2015 12:08 am

Very cool
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Postby zed » Thu May 14, 2015 7:49 am

Beautiful.
1969 Patrol L60
1965 Patrol L60 (parts provider)
1966 PL520
1970 240Z
1990 300ZX (sold 10/04/13)
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Postby rjiggy » Thu May 14, 2015 7:50 am

Rob,
Those look fantastic! Please put me on your list for one of the reverse lamp lenses. I have had a bent up mounting bracket and good lamp base sitting in a box for the last 15 years, but never ccould find a lens to go with it. It's a happy day for us true 69' owners, yeah the ones with the "Fisher Price steering wheel" :lol:
Really nice work and thanks for your efforts and the results of bringing skills from your two hobbies together!
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Postby moore_rb » Thu May 14, 2015 8:10 am

rjiggy wrote:It's a happy day for us true 69' owners, yeah the ones with the "Fisher Price steering wheel" :lol:



HEY...! that gives me an idea - with about 2 gallons of RTV silcone, a half-gallon of 2-part urethane, and an example 69 steering wheel to take a mold from.... :think:

;) ;) ;)


(No, I'm not casting steering wheels- I'm joking. JOKING.)

Thanks everyone for the kind feedback -

Rick- I've got you down for a reverse lense. I'm still doing the math on how much I will need to ask for each part to make this effort self-sustaining, but it won't be outrageous. Stay tuned.
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Postby RiverPatrol » Thu May 14, 2015 9:11 am

Amazing results on these. I think you found a new hobby. ;)
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Postby moore_rb » Thu May 14, 2015 9:31 am

RiverPatrol wrote: I think you found a new hobby. ;)


I was looking at the red and amber color tests, trying to figure out what I could do with them (since no one is going to want a yellow or red reverse light ;) )

then, I realized that I could hang a treble hook off one end, and a split ring at the other, and I could make a slow trolling spoon that the roosterfish would probably find very tempting.... :lol:
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Postby moore_rb » Thu May 14, 2015 10:20 am

This morning I snapped a photo as I de-molded the first "full test" 69 tail light...

CAM00885.jpg



Now it has to sit for a week to reach full hardness, and it will be ready to trim, buff, and be put to use... 8-)
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Postby jwgreen » Thu May 14, 2015 11:03 am

Rob, Those are awesome!!! I will be needing a set of those so I will be in contact for sure!!
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Postby RMP&O » Thu May 14, 2015 3:04 pm

Slayed it Rob, well done!

Soon as you make some for a 68 I would like a set very much. Rears on 68's are small round plastic, like the glass ones but plastic.

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Postby moore_rb » Thu May 14, 2015 3:08 pm

For the amber lenses, I think color test #3 is about as close as I'm going to get- Please ignore the wavy surface on these pieces - since they're going in the trash, I'm not taking the time to prep the mold to do a "real" pour on them

CAM00887.jpg
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Postby moore_rb » Thu May 14, 2015 3:10 pm

RMP&O wrote:
Soon as you make some for a 68 I would like a set very much. Rears on 68's are small round plastic, like the glass ones but plastic.



Yup- I have a set of the 68-style round Koitos with the 2 screw holes- I will definitely take a mold from those as well.. :handgestures-thumbup:
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Postby moore_rb » Fri May 15, 2015 9:49 am

Well, my replica tail light lenses have at least ONE thing in common with their OEM couterparts... They HATE concrete floors :angry-screaming:

CAM00890.jpg


This was the one I de-molded yesterday morning. I was planning to do break tests with all those color test lenses before I scrapped them- I didn't really want to waste one that was good enough to use on a Patrol :cry:, but at least I got to take a good look at the cross-section and see how thick it is:

CAM00892.jpg



Waiting on supplies to arrive, before I can get another one poured... :roll:
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Postby RiverPatrol » Fri May 15, 2015 10:11 am

Interesting. You wouldn't think plastic would be that fragile. :think:
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Postby moore_rb » Fri May 15, 2015 11:26 am

RiverPatrol wrote:You wouldn't think plastic would be that fragile. :think:


Well, don't drop any of your plastic OEM lenses in the driveway to test that theory... because I'll bet they'd have similar results.


This resin I'm using has a very high shore hardness when it cures- it will be harder to scratch, but the flipside is that it is more brittle than softer plastics...
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