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Grilles and Doors



The chrome work around the outside really helps bring out the personality of the car, the grille being the centre piece. The T-bolts holding the chrome pieces at the end points were so rusted that they were no longer usable so I had to make them up by welding little bolts to pieces of drilled metal plates. There are also 2 hooks on the side of the grilles next to the headlights which pull the grille flush, one of these was missing and the other was broken so more fabrication. The spares car is a 74 model so I couldn't raid that for these parts, looking at the parts in the different year models I came to the conclusion that for the later year models they've done things to make assembling the cars quicker but not necessarily making them stronger and longer lasting.



Then I started on the doors which actually have a fair fews things on them which need to be adjusted properly. Up to now I've had this big box of all the window winder pieces, locks, door handles and quarter windows sitting in the corner of the garage and finally I've got to the stage of looking at all these pieces and trying to make some sense out of them. The previous owner of the car took it apart to restore it and that's how I got it 12 years ago and now it's all coming back together, I'm so thankful of the PO who sold me the parts car as well, so I have not only spares but also a reference to work with. This was invaluable with the doors because there is a lot going on.


I started with the passenger door, mounted everything on it before mounting it on the hinges, but for the second one I put the empty door on the hinges first and then added things as that made it easier to first adjust the position of  the door before all the other things go in. The window winder mechanism has a lot of adjustment points and took some fiddling to get the window to go up smoothly and stop at the right height, I should've read all the books before I started but eventually I got the passenger-side door closing and the window winder working.



Thinking now that I'd done one, the second one should be easier but it wasn't to be. After mounting the driver door it became clear that no matter how I adjusted the door hinges, the door would not open properly because its edge would collide with the edge of front side panel. I was getting so frustrated that I was considering sanding down the edges of the front panel, luckily I didn't do that as I noticed that the edges were folded over and sanding them would open them up. I had a closer look at the passenger door and noticed that the door was about 1-2mm in from where the front side panel was and this allowed it to slip past the edge as the door was opened. Somehow the driver door hinge mounts had deformed over the years and the door was flush with the side panel and as soon as I tried opening it, it would collide with the side panel and not open. 

First thing I tried was undoing the bolts for the side panel to see if I could make it sit a mm or two out, but there didn't seem to be anyway to adjust things there so the next idea was to insert some shims between the hinges and the door mounts which would make the door sit in a bit. I used 3mm pieces of aluminium with holes drilled for the mounting bolts. This worked great and the door opened and closed properly but not before I had chipped a fair bit of the paint off the various edges and corners, so out came the brush and the touch up paint.




I missing one of the door mouldings so I have to see if I can buy one locally, or I might have to go with the stick-on stuff, wonder how noticeable it would be to have different body moulding on the two sides of the car?


There are still lots of things to do on the car but they are getting held up by the headlining. The headlining was unusable out of both cars so I am going down the path of making my own one! The material has been ordered but has been delayed because of all the lockdowns, might be a good time to get the sewing machine working.



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