39. 1 step forward, 10 steps back

Now that the rear end of the car’s just about wrapped up it was time to shift my focus back on the center.  I needed to get the doors hung and the striker pin installed so I could get another rough fitting of the door, this time with the spider on the car – recall I had already verified the door operation in post 31 (Roughing the body).

Upper door hinge:

Now that the resin’s fully cured on my door upper I can install the upper hinge hardware.  There are slight circular depressions where I believe you’re supposed to drill through for the hinge hardware but I didn’t trust them (and I’m glad I didn’t, they didn’t line up with where I ultimately put my holes!).

I sanded the resin flat and used a template to locate the hinge hardware.  The hardware is secured to the door and roof structure via 2x 1/4-20 bolts for each piece.  The hinge has a neat ball/socket assembly that allows you to adjust length and offset independently.

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Resin sanded.
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A couple of 5/16″ holes give me a little wiggle room and allow for any discrepancy between door and hardware.
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Hardware installed.  I powder coated these using Eastwood’s semi-gloss black.
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Both pieces installed; the way I’ve oriented them, they’re at a slight misalignment instead of being inline when the doors are closed.

Bear claw:

The locking mechanism that’s supplied as part of the bear claw can’t be used – there isn’t enough space for it once it’s installed onto the door.  You’ll need to remove the locknut and cap screw to remove the lock.

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Silver and metal bolts need to be removed.  Per Allan’s door latch video, a portion of the assembly needs to be cut away so it doesn’t hit the nearby spider during door closure.  The sharpie mark is my guess at how much material to remove but after studying Allan’s video a little more carefully I removed a bit more.
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A slot needs to be cut into the door skin to allow the T-bar to pass through.  The slot should be cut so it’s a little offset.  Trying to push the hinge straight down won’t work because it’s too wide.
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Insert the bear claw at an angle; the slot needs to be large enough to pass the small attachment plate (hidden in this view).
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Slot looks something like this; on my first try at installing the bear claw I used a template and drilled the holes/cut the slot at the same time.  It didn’t work out so well, even tiny differences between the template and the bear claw result in slotting of the drill holes – and there’s not much material to waste.
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I found it better to cut the slot first, then drill the holes using the actual bear claw as the template.
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There’s very little material between the slot and two of these mounting holes!

I couldn’t come up with a good way to locate the door lock striker pin so I went way basic.

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I set the bear claw in its closed position (2 clicks toward closed).  I then marked the approximate center of the hole …
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… and drilled it out large enough so I could pass a pencil through the door skin.  Once the door is mounted and positioned, I’ll mark the striker pin location from the inside.

I placed some blue painter’s tape on the spider about where I thought the striker pin would go.  I then closed the door after adding pieces of weatherstripping to help simulate how the fully completed door would sit in the frame.  I also taped a few popsicle sticks in place to help set a consistent door gap.  With the door now closed, I could reach inside with a pencil and mark the location of the striker pin.  The pin requires a 3/8″ hole; if your hands are small enough you can reach in from the engine section and secure the pin by installing a nut from behind.  Lucky me I have small hands!  Otherwise you would have to remove the spider completely to secure the pin well enough to test the fit.

Drumroll …

The doors fit and the latches worked well with almost no massaging needed!  What a relief this was, I was really dreading having to massage the heck out of the doors to get a good fit and to make the latching mechanism work.  Using the method above, I was able to get the door striker pin location correct without having to Swiss cheese my bodywork.

One thing to note – I will have to shave my door striker pins down just a smidge.  They’re a bit too tall right now and they rub on they *just* rub on the doors.  I expect over time, and with vibration, the pins will leave rub marks on the door.

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Reach for the skies mister!
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The Mesa Mod is really the way to go, the near vertical opening of the doors makes for awesome access.  You can see a few of the popsicle sticks I used to help set door gap in the above photo.
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Gratuitous shot from behind.  I’m really digging the way these doors open.
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Another cool shot.  It’s super satisfying to see things really starting to come together now!

1 step forward, 10 steps back – what does that mean?

So now that I’ve got the doors sussed the next thing I need to do is to get the roof intake tunnel installed – and to do that, I’ve got to remove the spider.  To remove the spider I had to …

  • Remove the hood props
  • Remove the rear clam
  • Remove the front clam
  • Remove the doors
  • Remove the rear lower wheel well liners
  • Remove the spider

With all this bodywork removed it was a good opportunity for me to get some of the larger pieces sent out for powder coating – namely the rear wing stanchions and the rear diffuser.  To remove the rear diffuser I had to …

  • Remove the lower center “wing”
  • Remove all the diffuser attachment brackets
  • Remove the rear clam hinge assembly
  • Remove the center brake light

1 step forward, 10 steps back!

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