View Full Version : Reproduction Door Scuff Plates

12-29-2016, 05:35 PM
Do I have to say many reproduction parts are a huge disappointment? Mac's, Larry's, The Bird House, Dennis Carpenter: Do you guys hear us? I replaced the door scuff plates on my 1960 with Mac's version of the Taiwan reproduction. These are not an exact, nor even a 95% replica of the originals. The piece is much more shallow and wider front to back. It fits after re-drilling the non-matching holes with a 11/64 bit to fit the new larger diameter screws (extra cost). The same goes for door weather stripping. It doesn't matter if you purchase the USA made rubber or not. The dog leg is unacceptable.

We would gladly pay for quality parts if you buy these for re-sale. If not, how about soliciting and publishing reviews of the part so we don't waste good money on stuff Ford would have rejected.

I know I'm going to get a lesson on why I voted Trump here, but in this computer age this shouldn't happen even if these parts were made in Timbuktu.

12-29-2016, 07:53 PM
My problem is with Ford. If you are going to force manufacturers to pay you to reproduce parts at least make sure those parts are acceptable and not junk.


Dan Leavens
12-29-2016, 11:21 PM
John I agree you are right on the money ( no pun intended ) with your statement.

12-29-2016, 11:46 PM
To prevent from having that problem when I was doing the restoration and customization of my Yellow Rose, I took those door scuff plates off and had them chromed along with other interior parts I was having chromed. When I got them back, I covered them with a clear sealer tape so that when I stepped on that area they would not get scuffed. They look great still...

12-30-2016, 11:19 AM
First, anyone know where I start at FoMoCo to get someone to listen to us? When I owned nothing but Chevys and Pontiacs, I read Ford and their dealers were superior with helping owners restore their vintage Fords. I walked into a large dealership who asked me for a vin number when I needed seat bolts. Silly me headed to Lowe's.

Second, I still say the retailers need to offer reviews on parts. I think these scuff plates are sprayed with silver paint at best. These don't look that bad, just the fact that the outer edge sticks out away from the rocker by 1/2 or 3/4 of an inch.

Lastly, I like the idea of chroming or re-finishing my old plates if I could restore all the dings, dents, and screw-ups in the first place.

12-30-2016, 12:25 PM
I doubt you'll get anywhere with Ford. In this age of cost cutting I'm pretty sure Ford isn't going to pay someone to make sure the quality of 60 year old parts meets anyone's expectations. Your only hope was to send them back to the vendor and tell them the quality is unacceptable. If they get enough complaints they will either get the manufacturer to correct the defects or get a new manufacturer.


12-30-2016, 02:19 PM
John, you're right and I feel obsolete. No wonder some people don't retire. It looks like it's up to the retailers to make a difference, which is where I started.

I love old cars, old music, and old movies because these still have value and substance I can't find in today's products. Oh, I know modern car's quality and thrift can't be beat, but I decided to sell my 2000 Corvette and buy a Squarebird because transportation alone never fulfilled my desire in cars. I like 1953-82 Corvettes because of their personality. That encompasses styling and performance. The same applies to 1955-67 Thunderbirds. Did I say I like making them better when I can? And that requires good parts.

I put over $5,000 into my car in the first year. It was easy and the car was in good condition to start. Some bogus parts couldn't be returned as there's some destruction during the fit process-like the weather stripping. Lessons learned.

I'll let it go now. Thanks again.

12-30-2016, 02:58 PM

I've used quite a few reproduction parts over the years and it's hit and miss regarding the quality. Some parts are equal or even superior to the originals in some cases. When it comes to the scuff plates I was appalled at how poorly they were made. In all the cars I've redone I've either reused the originals by buffing and hammering out the dents or I've found good used ones.

I don't consider myself obsolete because I enjoy old things as you do. To me it's all about style, whether it's cars, music or movies. It either has it or it doesn't.


12-31-2016, 11:09 AM
One last question is are the 1960 originals anodized? Or polished aluminum? I've read some controversy posted in the "Vintage Thunderbird Club International" about when Ford actually started this process on door scuff plates.

Joe Johnston
12-31-2016, 11:30 AM
A quick check is to take a bit of car wax or polish on a cloth and lightly rub on the part in question. If the cloth quickly turns black the part is not anodized or coated.

12-31-2016, 06:52 PM
That's an interesting test. I'm going to check my old plates next time out working on the car. I also was not impressed with the repos, but was able to make them work.
I would bet that the original plates were anodized, as it is a little harder coating, considering the wear on these plates. I was going to throw my old ones away, but now may keep them and see how well I can do in refurbishing them.
Happy New Years, everyone

01-01-2017, 12:21 PM
Nyles, my original scuff plates aren't coated unless that finish was "polished" off through the years. I tried buffing wheel polishing and you can see wonderful improvement to about 70-75%. The serious dings and corrosion will remain. This is a lot of work and I don't think I'll be satisfied in the end.

Now, when I showed an old professional mechanic the new ones, he suggested placing some rubber sheeting under the plates to take up the play in the area that do not meet each other. It's got to be non-moisture absorbing material. He suggested optional clear coating the new ones, also, to improve the luster to make these more comparable to the originals.

I would have paid for some correct replacements in the first place.

Richard Honeycutt
01-04-2017, 10:18 PM
I bought a set of scuff plates to replace a set I had previously bought only to find they were still the same poor quality. I was tfrying to get ready for out KC International judging and thought they would at least hold up that long. Boy, was I wrong. The holers didn't match up, the plates were not the right size and the first time I closed the driver's door the plate bent like it was Reynold's Wrap. I took a hit in judging, nothing I could do about it. Talking to the vendors did no good they all said these were the only ones available. I wonder if VTCI could have any pull with the vendors? I don't mind paying for good quality, but these don't come close to being anything but junk. Anyone know "Th Donald's" tweet? LOL

01-04-2017, 10:44 PM
Hi Richard, I assume that these reproduction door scuff plates are either being manufactured by Tbird Hqs or the Bird Nest these days. They have told me that between the two of them, they make 80% of the reproductions being made today for us. I have not talked with them about this product, but I have about other parts problems, like door panels and other parts. The response I get is that often these are not big selling parts, and to fix any problems they have would be cost prohibitive.. I will find out who is making them and bring the problem with these scuff plates to their attention and let these people know that their scuff plates are not up to OEM standards. I will see what they have to say about that. I can direct them to this thread on our Forum so they can see what is being said about this. There ARE Tbird Hqs and Bird Nest personnel who are on this Forum.... In case ya'll don't know that... They may not be that active, but a few have joined in the past.

01-05-2017, 08:18 AM
I bought a set in '07 (probably from Mac's) while prepping for an AACA National show. They didn't fit right. Still on the car, but I kept the originals so maybe I'll try buffing them out this summer. Didn't think of that.

01-05-2017, 01:16 PM
I just talked with Tbird Hqs and the Bird Nest. Tbird Hqs does not make these plates, but the Bird Nest does. They said they are not aware of any problems with fitment, hole punches or size of these Squarebird door scuff plates. They said they have been making them for years from the masters they obtained from another company who was making them, without receiving any complaints. Like many reproduction parts, there are often only one or two, or so companies now making these parts today. Anyone who might have filed a complaint about these plates with the company they bought them from, might not have had that complaint passed on to the manufacturer. It could also be that someone else other than the Bird Nest is making these plates. They do not know if they are the only one. They take pride in trying to manufacturer these reproduction parts in the same manner of the OEM parts and do their best to do so. They are going to check into this and I will get back with them.

Furthermore, I will say this. From time to time, we receive comments regarding reproduction parts not meeting OEM specs. I would suggest the following to you when that happens. Contact the Tbird parts house that you ordered the parts from. Inform them of the problems you are experiencing with those parts. Ask them to notify the company that is making them to let them know that their product is not up to standards. OR... ask them to tell you who the manufacturer of that product is and YOU contact them to let them know directly what is wrong with their product. In that way, you put it directly in their hands, and they will know that people are reporting problems with their products. What they will do about it depends on a number of factors, one which is how many of those parts they sell, and whether or not it is financially viable for them to re-engineer and correct those problems...

03-20-2017, 10:27 AM
I'm still not happy with my new ill fitting scuff plates from Mac's. These are to shallow and too wide for the jam. I am considering either contacting Bird's Nest to see if theirs is different, or buffing and refinishing my dented originals.

What paint can replicate the original finish?


03-20-2017, 02:34 PM
I got mine from Larrys, maybe it was a good batch but they actually fit fine.

03-20-2017, 02:36 PM
Dean, here is what I did with my door scuff plates when I was doing the restoration/customization of Rose. I took them off and had them chromed! They came back looking like new. Then I took a clear adhesive, cut it to the proper length and width and laid it down over the newly chromed scuff plates and they look brand new to this day. So I did not have any problem with fitting replacement scuff plates by going that route. I do not remember what it cost me to have them both chromed, but it was not that much, as a recall. It was worth it to me.

03-20-2017, 03:21 PM
I suppose I'll have to find a plating shop. The problem is my originals have many dents that I certainly couldn't get out before plating.

Bird's nest says they have the same Scuff plates as does everyone. It's such a large visible item and my frustration and money spent tick me off.


03-20-2017, 04:57 PM
As I have said before, the two main manufacturers of Tbird parts for all Tbird vendors are the Bird Nest and Tbird Hqs. So all the Tbird parts houses obtain many of their parts from those two companies. So when you buy something like door scuff plates from other Tbird parts houses, they get them from the Bird Nest who manufactures them. Unless... There is someone else out there who is manufacturing them that they or I do not know of... When you are ordering parts from any Tbird parts house, a question you should ask perhaps is... Who is your supplier, or who manufacturers this part? And see what they say. When I ask that question, the answer I get is Tbird Hqs, or the Bird Nest....

02-03-2018, 10:29 AM
I found a shop in NE Ohio that does chrome plating: Custom Chrome Plating. I inquired the cost to chrome door scuff plates which includes taking out all the dents: $400-$600 a pair.


02-03-2018, 01:34 PM
Dean, I can tell you exactly how much it cost me to have my two door scuff plates chromed back in 2009. $50 each, by Southwest Chrome Plating here in San Antonio. They shipped them to their chroming plant in Dallas, and a week or two later, they shipped them back here chromed. My contact would make a weekend run to Dallas with all the parts turned in for chroming. On Sunday, he would make the return trip with all the chromed pieces from previous turn ins. I have no idea what the cost would be now, but that cost quoted you is out of this world, compared to what it cost me. When I got mine back they looked great and still do because I laid down a clear plastic covering with a sticky bottom, over the entire length of the two steps. So when I step on them, I am stepping on the plastic strips...

Dan Leavens
02-04-2018, 10:10 AM
I found a shop in NE Ohio that does chrome plating: Custom Chrome Plating. I inquired the cost to chrome door scuff plates which includes taking out all the dents: $400-$600 a pair.


Dean I am with Ray on this quote,way too much:eek:Given it is only a pair of door sills,I would expect to pay someone between $80-100 each tops for the process. You would drop them off and pick them up of course but more than adequate for the time and process.

02-04-2018, 10:43 AM
Thanks gentlemen. The shop seemed concerned about the size. I can tell you they're the only game in town and 2 counties away. There's no one doing this in my county because of EPA rules.

Ray, for $50 each I get myself chromed.


Richard Honeycutt
02-05-2018, 12:40 AM
I have purchased repro plates twice before I caught on they come from the same source. I was very disappointed with them and I did complain to Bird Nest. They are so thin not much more than aluminum wrap, they are not the right size and the holes don't match up. I bought a new pair and waited until the day I took my car for judging at the International held in Kansas City to install them. Sure enough when the judge opened the pass door the plate was smashed. Seems the plate was too wide and so thin that closing the door bent it. I finally bought a used set from Carl. I'll check locall you for Chrome plating prices. I felt ripped off both times I bought repros, and when I complained I was told that's all that's available . My advice is to talk with someone like Carl and get a decent set of used ones and avoid wasting your money on junk.

02-05-2018, 02:40 AM
Richard gave us some really good advice. There have been problems with fit on reproduction door scuff plates. Carl can tell you if he has some spare sets or not. If not, there are several listings in the For Sale / Parts Wanted Forum. Ask the guys there if they have any for sale off their parts cars. I think Tbird Hqs, and one or two others have some parts cars. I think that Don told me they no longer have anymore. In my situation, mine were in good condition, without any dents or problems, just scuffed up a bit. So I opted to have them chromed, along with the bottom wrap around pieces of the seats. That material on those sections is the same kind of material on the center console as I recall. I had them take off the material and chrome those pieces also. It really sets the seats off, along with the chromed scuff plates, IMHO...