It's harder to fix a vehicle if you can't get the parts you need. Should there be an exception to the "shopping rule" for discontinued / hard to find / NOS parts?
I'm talking about manufacturer parts that are not stocked by auto parts stores. Parts you usually have to get from a dealer, when the dealer has them. The kind of question I have in mind is something like this:
I need this part (part #123456) for a year make model. It's been discontinued, there's not a single one in dealer inventory anywhere in the country. Anybody know of an alternate source (cough, Vintage Parts, cough)?
I've just been to the boneyard to get discontinued parts for one of my rides. I noticed some particular parts were missing from almost all the vehicles...luckily not anything I needed. If there wasn't a Pick 'n Pull in town I would have been reduced to hoping somebody would put a few up on Ebay (which is probably why some parts are in short supply even in the boneyard).
The enthusiast site was no help other than confirming that the parts were long discontinued and unavailable.
I just feel there has to be a better answer in some cases than "Hit the boneyard". Maybe "Part number #123456 from different Year Make Model is close enough so that you can make it work" or "Some other Make Model is basically the same as your vehicle in country X, and it was more popular there, part #456789 might work and it's in stock for purchase at web site Y, hope they ship internationally!"
Here's the sort of thing I had in mind:
From the second question, I grabbed the T-junction from the boneyard, but the clips are really single use, they don't come off the hood intact. I took some doughnuts down to the local dealer parts department and they found some clips that worked. With the way I've phrased the questions, are these OK? I'll give other folks a chance to answer, then I'll post what I've got. Oh, and I'll mention that the Contour Enthusiast Group forums at contour.org are down at the moment, making it really annoying to research the rest of the raft of issues this vehicle has. I'm only partially screwed since I've got the factory service manual from Helm, but there's a lot of good stuff in the forums you'd never find in a manual.