Finally managed to get out to the car today, after temporary fitting the doors a few days ago, I now have a pair of swinging doors among other things.
It took a little longer than I thought it would to be honest, but the gaps around the doors are fairly even and not to bad at all. I guess if you were getting the body sprayed you could improve this further by adding filler in places and getting it perfect. But I am happy with the outcome I’ve achieved on the doors. So to the process … of course I’d already fitted the hinges and drilled the holes for the door and offered them up to get a fairly good fit. The sills at the bottom of the door at this point remain ‘flexible’ so you can push them in or leave them out to basically get a nice fit around the door. Working on the drivers side first I manipulated the sill until I was happy with the gaps and then drilled the holes and using M8 bolts with load spreading washers locked it all down.
Here’s a view looking down the tunnel from the front of the car so you can see the bolt and washer holding the sill in place. Now once the drivers side was done, you can fit the body around the battery tray, I wasn’t sure on this as I knew I needed the body to move a little (sideways) to line everything up nicely. So I decided to look at the passenger side door and here is where it got tricky. Lining the door up with the sill I followed the same process as before but came across a few issues that had me tightening and untightening bolts. In the end however I managed to get a decent fit by not pushing the sill in quite as much as the other side. And as the manual says, you fit the body to the door, by doing this I pretty much ended up with a nice fit.
Once the sides where bolted down, I then looked at the battery tray (bulkhead) area and again here is where another adjustment is required. The bonnet has a slight warp in it so when laid flat there’s an obvious gap down the drivers side of the bonnet. The solution to this is to raise up one side of the body in this area a little which helps tremendously because as soon as you do, the bonnet lines up nicely with the rest of the car. So by adding several washers I was able to bolt and rivet battery tray area down. This is the last and final part of the body that is required to be securely fixed to the chassis.
Still staying with the bonnet, I decided it was time to fit the bonnet prop and handles. For the prop I had to make a small bracket out of steel that was bolted to the chassis which then extended into the engine bay in a kinda L shape. Easy enough to do and the prop is screwed into the underside of the bonnet and the bracket. Once that was done I grabbed hold of the bonnet locks, measured up where I wanted them, marked them up and drilled the holes. Nothing really difficult here, as you can use the gasket as a template on where to drill. On the bottom of the bonnet lock you have to attach little feet that hook under an L share bracket you end up riveting to the body above the bulk head. I used an aluminium L shape piece for this and will most likely end up painting it black so it blends in with the body (you can see it in the photos below)
With the bonnet complete it was time to move to the boot and basically do the same, you just need to make a bracket, fix it to the body/chassis and position the prop on the boot. It all takes time or I’m just really slow in the garage! I’m not sure which but again simple to do and I’ll paint this later as well, seeing as you’ll most likely end up seeing it in the boot.
SO there you have it, the body is finally bolted and riveted down to the chassis, doors aligned and fitted, bonnet and boot fitted and almost all holes drilled. I can now turn my attention to looking at the exhausts and fitting them and before I move on anymore I NEED to finished the body work now. Sort all the imperfections out, polish and take that big leap of faith and mark up the viper stripes I want to put on the car.
Full week of work coming up now so not sure how long the next part will take, but I’ll keep you posted with any progress. Even if I can only manage an hour here and there, at least thats a little polishing or painting etc (detailing makes all the difference) …. ha, hopefully