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79-86 Outer Belt Mouldings (aka outer dew wipes)
My first honest to god product REVIEW!!!!
The set of mouldings I am reviewing came from:
Fox Mustang Restoration
Supplying all your fox body needs.
Phone # 772.834.8905
eBay ID: foxmustangrestoration
Current price is $99.99 + $11.99 shipping from ebay or $104.49 shipped directly from his web site
I have purchased stuff from him in the past and have talked with him about things that would be nice to have reproduced. He is a great guy and seriously cares about the parts he sells.
We have emailed back and forth in the past about reproduction parts for Mustangs. As you know the new dew wipe repros are now out. I have matched these up to NOS wipes that I have. Over all these seem to be damn close to the O.E's. The wipe itself seems to be exact. There is some slight differences in the metal trim though. I have installed these on 3 of my Mustangs and think that they are acceptable repros. They are definitely not show quality but what repos are?
The reason for this email is that some at foureyedpride.com are curious about the quality. It has been suggested that someone do a review on these. I thought you would be a good candidate for this. You are well trusted at these sites and seem to be as meticulous as I am about your parts. If you are interested I will send you a set for free to review. I want the review to be unbiased (not from a business) and honest. If you think they're crap let people know.
The mouldings came fairly well packaged. They came together in a single sealed bag. I think if they were separately wrapped, it may avoid any damage from rubbing, etc. However, in this case there was no damage due to shipping that I could find. Matt included a prepaid return shipping label for returning them after review.
ONTO THE WIPES!
The "Outer Belt Mouldings" or "Outer Dew Wipes" are made up of two pieces. There is a metal trim piece which runs along the top edge of the door and curls up and under the mirror, and the rubber "wipe" which has clips attached to it to hold it into the metal trim. The rubber "wipe" is easily removable.
I happened to have a set of NOS mouldings to compare against. Part numbers:
The first thing I noticed when unwrapping my NOS mouldings was that the Left Hand moulding's rubber had come detached. I had to work a fair amount to get it attached and looking correct. The Lesson you need to learn with NOS parts is that they are not perfect either. They can have shelf wear or some other problem like this one. Sometimes they are actually "service" parts and are not 100% exactly the same as what was installed on your car.....in this case the NOS mouldings are black when they should be charcoal grey.
However, in general they usually are the best fitting and are worth procuring.
Unwrapping the reproductions yielded a similar experience. The Right Hand moulding looked "iffy". The rubber part was not fitted well to the metal trim and the "felt" that is on the underside of the rubber was up and over onto the outside...which should be smooth. The LH moulding, though was nearly perfect. It fit well to the trim and looked like a nice piece.
When comparing the NOS pieces to the Repros, here's what I find (Please note! I did not have the older style (79-82?) dew wipes to compare. They are different in that the rubber part sits lower. These repros will fit back to 79...but they will only truly match the later cars):
The rubber looks IDENTICAL. It is moulded with the same grooves, dimensions and the felt is on the inside just like the oem ones (in the first picture below, the NOS mouldings are in the center and the repros are at the edge).
The rubber is EXACTLY the same length.
The clips on both are in EXACTLY the same places. PLEASE NOTE! The rubber is NOT INTERCHANGEABLE FROM SIDE TO SIDE! The clips are in slightly different spaces on each side.
The clips on the rubber are EXACTLY the same.
The repro's metal trim is thinner and feels "flimsier". As such I think it causes a couple of problems. The first is that the rubber fitment can potentially be loose It was fine on the LH but is not good on the RH repro I received. The NOS part is on the bottom.
The bends at the front near the mirror are not the greatest. You can get a feel for what I mean by looking at a close up of the back side. Also note the NOS parts' metal trim folds over cleanly in the back while the repro part does not and has a ridge in it.
The repro's metal trim has numerous very minor dings in it (both sides shown are repros).
The repro's rubber can be (what I consider) defective. I WOULD HOPE that this is NOT common as the LH side was PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT. The problem "felt" (repro is on top):
Some final comparison shots of all pieces. The NOS parts are in the center and the repros are at the edges.
Back (notice the bend at the rear tip of the one NOS moulding - DOH! - It bent back ok.):
I wasn't able to put the repros on my car. My OEM ones are in good shape and I didn't want to take off my nice NOS mirrors to do it. I'm hoping somebody can send me pictures of their installation job.
As to evaluating the value of these reproductions.... On one hand you have a part that has been out of production for quite some time and has been desperately needed. The rubber is the real winner here and it is beautiful. On the other, this part as a whole is not perfect and falls short of its intended purpose.
The way I would look at this product is that you are buying it for the rubber. Take your good belt moulding off your door (nearly all belt moulding metal trim is in fine shape). Remove the old, cracked rubber and replace it with the repro rubber strips. Toss the repro metal trim in the trash. Simply having the OPTION to fix the outer belt moulding to keep water out of your doors is worth the ~$100 price. Rust free doors are NOT cheap and neither are good door panels. I just got the following from a guy who I know here in NC which did the rubber swap:
Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 4:50 pm
Subject: Re: Dew Wipes
Mike, got the dew wipes today. Aside from the damage from shipping (both ends of both wipes were bent back), here is what I found. They were not properly assembled, as the rubber separated from the aluminum and basically came apart while handling. Also, the aluminum part is substandard and is very easily bent.
However, I was able to put the rubber portion on my original aluminum parts with great success. In other words, I am well pleased and at that price, I couldn't go wrong.
Thanks for the tip, Bruce.
The alternative would be to fork over $120 per side from Ford (that is if they have them) or from obsolete parts houses. And even then you are NOT guaranteed perfect parts. The repro rubber is SO exact, I would not hesitate to do the swap...but the metal trim is definitely lacking and I would only use it for a driver where you really do not care. One final piece of advice....make sure the vendor you purchase them from checks the rubber for defects before shipping....I am ASSUMING that the RH one I got was a fluke since the LH one was SO perfect without ANY problems.
© 2003-2005 Michael Negus All Rights Reserved.
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