Piston Slap: No Bull on Sourcing a NOS Part vs. Refinishing the Original


Alan writes:

I have an original Ford Taurus SHO from 2010. Your recent comments on cheap plastic parts hit home. Within about three years, I noticed that the “chrome” surrounding both taillight lens covers were peeling.

On later models, Ford didn’t bother with this detail, apparently it just wasn’t worth it.

The chrome peeled about halfway around the taillights, then stopped. The part that remains sticks well and won’t come off, so I’m left with an ugly taillight that is rare and low enough volume as to be considered an orphan. Is there an option to re-chrome plastic?

Sajeev answers:

The short answer is yes, some chrome shops are equipped to re-chrome plastic trim. While you might not find one locally, there’s always the option to pull the offending item off the vehicle, stuff it in a box, and ship it off to a specialized shop.

But the short answer is also the wrong answer, in the case of a 2010 Ford Taurus SHO. I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer a better alternative.

Take it from this NOS Ford parts huntin’ fool with a Project Valentino: Finding Ford replacement parts online or from NOS parts vendors is a wiser move. Just because the dealership says it’s no longer available doesn’t mean the parts aren’t collecting dust elsewhere. They are hidden in remote corners of the internet, while the intended recipients are depreciating themselves right into the junkyard. It is the opposite of low volume, high demand vehicles like a Porsche 911: I still feel a smidge guilty for speaking this truth in another Hagerty article, as it feels like rubbing salt in their wounds.

The first thing you need is a part number, like BG1Z13404A for the right side tail lamp. Plop that into a search on eBay Motors. If you don’t find what you need (at a fair price) immediately, make that a saved search in your account and get notified for new inventory by email.

eBay screen shot car parts
I’d buy that one at the bottom, if I were you!eBay Motors

We got lucky with this particular part. Only $90 with free shipping for a bit that’s new in the box? Sign me up, and never think about re-chroming again. You can expect freshly plated chrome to be more than double the price, and that might be me being generous.

But let’s say eBay Motors brought you no joy. It’s then time to check the NOS vendors just waiting for you to Google them. Here’s the link, and you’ll find the most luck if you scroll down to Green Sales, Inc. first. They have the most stuff, and are a well-kept secret for Ford nerds. (Sorry about that, Ford nerds.)

1969 Dodge Charger R/T dashboard mecum
I bet that ‘lil bit of chrome up there is hard, hard, hard to get these days.Mecum

Here’s the important thing to keep in mind: This advice changes if Alan was restoring something like the little chrome strip around the top of the dash of a 1969 Dodge Charger. But for a 2010 Taurus SHO owner? The world is your oyster: The Internet will serve up just about anything you need. From there all it takes is a phone call or a few mouse clicks to seal the deal.

I’d wish you good luck finding new tail lights with fresh chrome, but I have a feeling you don’t need it!

Have a question you’d like answered on Piston Slap? Send your queries to pistonslap@hagerty.comgive us as much detail as possible so we can help! Keep in mind this is a weekly column, so if you need an expedited answer, please tell me in your email.


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    Searching for NOS parts is like panning for gold. Some times you get lucky often you strike out. But is is always worth a look.

    Just beware dealers will mark up these parts if they know they are in demand. I found a $600 power seat base for a Corvette. There was one in the country at a dealer they wanted $1500 for it. I just rebuilt my seat base for $200.

    Typically, NOS parts come from the parts bins of a dealer who went out of business or who decided it wasn’t worth keeping parts for a car more than 20 years old.

    Sanjeev, you say “never worry about rechroming again”, but isn’t an NOS part an OEM part that already failed after a few years?

    It may or may not fail, the quality could be better on the NOS part in the box you buy to replace the one that’s been exposed to the elements over the last 14 years. For the record, I doubt re-chromed plastic bits will last any longer than an NOS part at this point, and it will be a lot more expensive.

    Sajeev (or Sanjeev, as some phones like to call him) didn’t really write this article – his AI Bot did. Know how I can tell? He has cleverly programmed his word processor to randomly throw a “Sajeevism” into stories here and there. But since AI has not fully matured yet, those phrases can easily be spotted and debunked if you have paid attention. Here are a few of the telltale examples:
    – “Take it from this NOS Ford parts huntin’ fool with a Project Valentino” = the Bot is programmed to throw out a reference to Project Valentino every so often just to make we readers think there is something going on with that car so we’ll quit bugging him about it. The real Sajeev, if he even exists anymore, can prove it by writing an actual update on progress, replete with photos.
    – “I still feel a smidge guilty for speaking this truth in another Hagerty article” – this is false, because the real Sajeev is the type of person that, if presented with a reason to feel any guilt at all, will go all in and feel an amount of guilt that makes “smidge” seem like a drop of water in the Atlantic Ocean.
    – “Sorry about that, Ford nerds” – the largest giveaway of all! As one of the highest-ranking officials in the Nation of Ford Nerdism, a living, breathing Mr. M. would feel NO remorse in giving out information that would entice others to join his flock.
    There are other “tells” in this AI-generated piece, but I think you all can spot most of them. So join me in throwing out this challenge: Sajeev, prove to us that you are a real human by posting an actual update article on Project Valentino…you game, bud?

    I hope you are kidding. If not you will have to apologize to him.

    We have had conversations in the past on where to find some parts and on several cars. He is alive and well in TX.

    He also has been writing longer than Generative AI has been around.

    Besides only a true car lover would take on that Lincoln project.

    YOU FOUND ME OUT! Sanjeer hasn’t been employed with Hagerty since 2022, the AI Bot replaced him after we put a USB port in him and downloaded all the crazy-Ford-Project-Valentino stuff from his brain.

    And once again the AI Bot has tipped its imperfect hand: it typed out SANJEER instead of SANJEEV in a clumsy digital frenzy in order to cloud the fact that it had not accepted the challenge I laid out. You’re found out and exposed, 11010011101, or whatever your name is, Bud, er, Bot!

    (By-the-way, I’m not sure there is a digital repository large enough to contain ALL of Sajeev’s brain’s crazy-Ford-Project-Valentino stuff. That’s a lot of stuff.)

    I read this yesterday. On my way to work, I saw a Taurus. I looked closely, it had chrome tailights surrounds that were not falling off. It was a SHO!

    Just found 11 pieces with that part # using Parts Voice. Five at Green Sales and 6 at other Ford dealers.

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