Antje’s T panel  


During the grueling task of adjust the doors on Antje’s car, we discovered something terrifying underneath the T panel. What follows is what we found, and how we fixed it.

Note: You can view the larger pic by clicking on these thumbnails.

This is what we saw when we pulled the T panel off. Notice the bolts pointing at strange angles. The force of the spring and the rust caused the holes for the bolts to give way. Any more time like this, and the spring could have given way possibly causing serious damage.

In an attempt to remove the spring from the door hinge, I nicked the window with the tool that I was using. The tempered glass cracked for a good half hour.

Finally cleaned up the glass a little. That was a very time consuming procedure. Here are also some good pics of the "door construction kit" underneath the T panel. Click the pictures to enlarge and get a good look.

We pulled the doors off. Now we can work on putting the shims for the front hinges in. However, since the back part of the "door construction kit" is damaged from rust, we may have to replace this assembly. Look further down the page to see some detailed pics of the "door construction kit" off the car.

Now that the doors are off, this is what we found when disassembling the "door construction kit". In the first pic, we had already removed the rear piece, and the middle piece.

The first pic is of the "door construction kit" as it sits in the car. The second is the 3 pieces separated. All 3 are completely rusted out.

The task of removing the old resin was very laborious. We probably spent a total of 6 hours removing it. Once it was gone, and all the cleanup was done, we set to the task of fitting the new parts to the roof. Here you can see that we had to use a bottle jack, and a custom made brace to get the roof to line up with the new “door construction kit”.

The next task was to fit the new pieces into place and prepare the surfaces of the fibergalss to adhere to the new resin. The first picture is of the rear door construction kit being fitted and anchored into place with clamps. The second picture was taken after the first layer of new resin was applied and allowed to cure. Then sanding the surface is necessary for applying a second layer of resin.

This is the new piece fitted into place and bolted down. It will have to be removed to have holes drilled in it for the self tapping screws that will be added for more support. The picture you see here is of the front piece.

Here are the holes being drilled by a drill press. Stainless steel is a very hard metal to drill, so a press is the best way that I know how.

Then more resin is applied, and the pieces are set into place and anchored down.

Next we cleaned the hinges to prep them for installation. Also we put silicone around the bolt holes for the center piece, and then bolted it down.

Next, it’s just a matter of reassembly. The hinges have to be bolted down, the doors have to be fitted. Then comes the task of adjustment. Shims have to be applied for the proper alignment of the doors. Every change in shims required us to remove and reinstall the door until we got it just right.

So far so good!!!!