Sunday, August 09, 2015

Doors fitted. Finally!

The gel and adhesive overrun was carefully removed from the bonded hinge fixing posts. The hinges were then fitted - two to each side. I filed the edges all around each door. I'll come back to the awful line along the door inner top edge and the gel coating later (you can see the grey line if you look carefully at the next photo).

The doors were offered up to the hinges and the slots marked in pencil. On a soft surface, I then marked up the hole positions using the correct handed anti-intrusion bar as a template. 14mm holes were then drilled using a step drill bit (you can drill up to 20mm holes if you have a big enough step drill). This gives a nice clean hole cut, but care is needed not to go through to the outer door skin (a block of wood would be prudent!). A section of the inner door was cut away (see photo below) for the remote opening mechanism to bolt in to place on the welded and tapped tags.

The hinges were fitted to the hinge mounting plate. The door was then bolted to the metal work (hinges and anti-intrusion bars). I thought that one of the holes was not fully tapped and then realised that the anti-intrusion bar was not fully extended, so it had blocked the tapped hole :) The hinges and anti-intrusion bar sandwich the inner door skin.
The hinges and anti-intrusion bar (sorry about the bike helmet which appears to be on the door!)
The door was adjusted by the bolts that fix the hinge to the anti-intrusion bar and by moving the hinge mounting plate. I had to remove some GRP from the holes in the door and a small amount from the scuttle area where the top of the door closes to allow for adjustment and closure. As both the hinge mounting and the hinges can be adjusted, there is no need for packing out.

Once the doors were fitted and roughly aligned, I had to fit the latches. Neither the leaflet in the latch pack or the build notes were a lot of help here and there were no holes or cut out markings on the doors. Keith Akerman kindly sent me some photos of the latch fitted to his car, along with measurements, so this made the job much easier/possible.
Mine doors had no markings.
Holes were marked using the opposite side latch, then drilled and an 'L' shaped slot was cut out and filed for the remote mechanism.
Holes and slot cut in door.
I fed the long arm of the remote opening mechanism between the inner and outer skin of the door. This allows the remote arm to be attached to the latch. The latch is bolted through the door skin to the end of the anti-intrusion bar. Then I fitted the triangular part to the pre-tapped lugs on the anti-intrusion bar and fitted the door handle. At this point the latch mechanism should work.
Latch fitted
The first door (passenger) took some 15 hours to fit. The second door less than 1 hour! The passenger door latch would not return to the closed position. I removed it countless times to enlarge the holes so that there was no fouling. It still did not work properly. After a lot of head scratching I noticed that some of the pink adhesive had formed inside the top of the door (concealed) and was rubbing against the remote door opening bar. After some careful tapping with the blunt end of a file the offending adhesive was removed. The assembly was put together yet again and it worked!

Although I was only trial fitting, this was quite time consuming. However, I took the view that if I couldn't get the gaps and mechanism working right now I would struggle later.
Door fitted with consistent gap and the latch works!
Before I put the parts away for painting, I marked up the metal work with file marks, so that once painted they would all go back in the same place. I used one file mark for all left hand parts and two for all right hand. The lower hinges were marked on their lower side and the upper hinges on, errrr the upper side! I also marked the position of the hinge mounting plate on the bonded hinge fixing post with a pencil so that I knew exactly where it fit.

The whole job took me around 16 hours in total! Normally it should take a lot less. But as it is something everyone could see or use when the car is complete, I thought that it was important to get it right.

No comments: