Sunday, September 24, 2006

Project 15 - Doors and Modifying the Fiberglass

What is it about car doors? There's no motor in there. There's nothing that should be spouting grease, yet, lurking inside every car door I've ever seen is the nastiest, stickiest, blackest goop I've ever seen. Hence, there are no pictures of me disassembling the door.

I'll summarize the operation for you. The Haynes tells you how to do each of the tasks associated with disassembling the door, but it doesn't tell you what order to do it in, in the event you are actually removing the door.

First, before you remove the switches, lower the window to half mast. Second, remove the window frame. Third, remove the bolts that hold in the riser mechanism and slide the window down. Next, remove the door trim, the outer and the inner squeegee. The outer squeegee will need to be popped out with the tip of a scraper.

After that, remove the window (you can get the window out first but you'll likely end up with a bruise on your chin when it pops free and smacks you - fortunately, I have a goatee so no one will notice). Disconnect the riser mechanism from the motor and remove them separately from the inside of the door.

Disconnect all the electrical junk, snip off the tip of the biggest plug - it goes to the power door lock and it won't fit through the hole. If you have one of those fancy shmancy baum tools you can use it but otherwise, I figure this is exactly the sort of thing they make heat shrink tubing for.

Remove the door check pivot. We cut it off with a whiz wheel then pounded the remainder out with a punch. Afterwards, take a short pry bar and a big dead blow hammer and press out the pins. Have one person sit on a rolling stool and prop the door on their knee while the other person fishes out all the wires.

Question: would it have hurt to make the holes just a little bit bigger? heilige scheiss fledermausmann...

Repeat as necessary and remember, installation is the reverse of removal.

Here we've DA'd and prepped the door for painting.

Doesn't look like much was accomplished does it? Well it took all day... The biggest hint I can give you is not to remove all the bolts you can find on the door at once. That's bad. The second biggest hint is to roll the window half-way down before you disconnect your battery and remove the switches. Don't think that just because you have the car mostly disassembled that you can skip this step. You can't. Don't try. Trust me.


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