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1959 356A S/R coupe project chassis # 108625

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  • #16
    Absolutely Bruce, there is always the Sculpting option.

    9/8/17

    New door skin Top cap discrepancies.
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    At its widest point the original is coming in at just shy of an inch.
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    The new one by contrast is a full quarter inch wider.
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    The entire run in general is wider than the original. I've been down this road already when I reskinned the door on my coupe. The new one was also wider and by the time I had the skin seat properly that additional width was encroaching into the glass, not to mention you'd never get the Chrome base trim to fit. I had to section it and remove the excess which means this will be an exact repeat if I decided to use the new skin as a whole. Preserving the original top section was now beginning to look like the best option.

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    As the comparison went I also began to notice that the trough contour just below that ledge runs very crisp and defined all the way across the door.
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    I noticed that Trevor's trough contour washes out at the middle.
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    Looking for more confirmation I set the skin in there to see how well it aligned and if was really short or too tall in there. It actually fit pretty well.
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    Here's that trough profile that washes smooth highlighted in green. Its a very subtle detail and most people would never catch it but once its in paint that's going to give a humped profile in the paint reflection. If anyone did catch it they'd probably chalk it up to a swatch of bondo that wasn't carved out completely. Anyway, its no big deal but it was another reason to preserve the original.
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    Measured and compared the handle recess and it seems to be fine. This gives me the green light to cut higher eliminating more old damage.
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    Preliminary cut line is about here. What I like about it is its on a crowned face which will end up being much more stable without the risk of oil canning. The weld joint is also high enough and will be hard to detect from the back side but still low enough to get at and work from behind after all the welding. Most importantly this will preserve all those original contours and details that already fit this car. The factory rear view mirror placement also left alone. Again, either way I go I am still suck with a long seam weld down this door skin so why not save as much original metal as possible and save some aggravation along the way.
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    This approach will also saves me the additional work of file shaping this tiny closing pieces around the door frame.
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    Let these sleeping dogs lay.
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    Doesn't get me completely past all the old sin but what remains above that line should iron out fine.
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    Melting away the lead in preparation. Not a lot used here surprisingly .

    Thanks for looking!
    Justin
    Justin Rio

    Comment


    • #17
      I feel your pain Justin. I'm going through the same thing right now on a car. I haven't "committed" yet to welding because I want to put the lower skin on and start splitting the differences.



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      trevorcgates@gmail.com
      Engine # P66909... are you out there
      Fun 356 events in SoCal = http://356club.org/

      Comment


      • #18
        Justin,

        This top width dimension is interesting to say the least. I think you have made for sure the correct decision to leave then top section as it is. The fact the welding of the 3/4 section will be difficult is for sure but you know every trick in the book now to stop distortion.

        For many years well over 40 of them I have been intrigued by the fact the original drivers door on my car rusted on the bottom section enough form me to cut it off and form a repair section. It was small perforations only the car was only 16 years then. BUT... the passenger door was almost perfect and still is? I had the number on the drivers door but never looked or needed to regarding the other side.

        Now after you experience..... I went out today to measure that top flange which meets up with the glass. The drivers side still factory had a dimension of about 3/4" if not a little less and the passenger side over 1 1/4" I could not believe it!! Never noticed it before.
        So this door must have been repaired at some point in the early 60's.


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        The blending though on both doors looks perfect.

        Roy

        Comment


        • #19
          That looks like quite the project cab Trevor. yeah, you just have to feel your way along as to the best approach. I tried to flip that photo for you but even after I saved and rotated it on my PC it still displayed upside down. Some glitch with it being a photo from a cell phone?? I don't know but we can still make sense of it. Thanks for sharing them.

          I've found several with varying widths Roy so I can't say which is the "correct" one other than to say it just has to fit the car its going on. The fit and finish is very nice on both sides of your car.

          Thanks Guys!
          Justin

          9/12/17
          Door skin peeled.
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          Old skin removed to reveal how far the rest of the rot goes.
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          No great surprise this layered corner is pretty well advanced as the outside gave a good indication.
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          It'll need a new lower rolled flange for the inner closing wall.
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          Constructed a little different from the T1's I'm used to seeing but nothing that can't be copied.
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          I'm going to try my best to avoid removing the hinge and stopper assembly as I have a clear shot at it from the other side with the skin removed.
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          It appears solid just under the upper rivets so no sense disturbing all of that if I don't have to.
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          Starting with a conservative cut line. I'll have a better idea once I get this corner out of the way but hopefully I won't have to go much further than this; famous last words.

          Thanks for looking!
          Justin
          Justin Rio

          Comment


          • #20
            Justin,

            Looks a good decision the top of that skin looks fine. By the way must have been tired when I typed one inch and a quarter for the top flange dimension on my passenger side door skin. I should have put 3/4" as the value but still a good 1/4" over the drivers side though.

            I will be so interested to see how you proceed with this door.

            Roy

            Comment


            • #21
              Thanks Roy!

              9/24/17
              Cleaning out the stopper housing.

              I've only been able to afford a couple of hours a week to this door as I'm desperately trying to finish off the coupster project first before I can really focus clearly on this one. Besides I'm not a very good multi-tasker to begin with.
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              Begin grinding and peeling the two sandwiched layers of metal inside this housing.
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              Also began squeezing it back out square.
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              A lot of spot welds holding these in but the rot helped the removal along.
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              Housing peeled clean and ready for an acid bath once I remove the rest of the door bottom. That next.

              Thanks for looking!
              Justin
              Justin Rio

              Comment


              • #22
                Justin,

                Gotta love a new project to keep us off the streets! The door and needed repairs looks very similar mine. They do get beat up.


                JP
                jjgpierce@yahoo.com

                Comment


                • #23
                  Yes, this should keep me off the streets for a while John.

                  9/26/17
                  Left Door bottom.
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                  Drilling out the old spots for removal.
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                  Removed exposing a very crusty inner flange.
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                  Old and new: relief shapes are a little tighter on the new one.

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                  Same with the center.
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                  I'll add in other correct details as it goes but I'm sure if I'll soften the shoulders because once these are mounted and finished they'll be hard to see.
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                  Wasn't sure if I was going to just clean and save some of this flange but its too far gone.
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                  Needed to come up with a hammer form to make that sweeping turn. This old piece of tubing had just the right OD,
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                  Cut free except for that shaped relief center section. I have to figure out how I'm going to replicate that later.
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                  New forward section.
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                  test fitting and fine trimming now.
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                  All stitched in with new access hole punched. Some excess yet to trim on the edge but not ready to commit.
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                  Rear section next then onto that center relief shape.
                  Thanks for looking!
                  Justin
                  Justin Rio

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Remaining lower flange repair
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                    Rear section
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                    trimmed and all tacked in.
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                    Now to figure out how to copy this portion.
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                    Lower flange rolled first then the hunt for a hammer form with just the right width. As luck would have it the angle iron on my table base was just the right width.
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                    After a few rounds of heat and doming ends with my ball ping a promising shape was starting.
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                    Next was to pound in the arched relief found in the lower flange for drainage.

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                    New and what was left of the old to copy from.
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                    Basic part complete.
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                    Now to begin working it in by heating and welding as it went.

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                    All but stitched in here.
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                    The arch flares a bit so I wanted to make sure the eventual door bottom flange will clear represented by this piece. No issues.
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                    Excess flange trimmed.
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                    Will finish stitching it all up next.
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                    More bending and manipulation as the bottom goes on for sure but this new flange at least exists now.
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                    Several more repairs yet to go but its a little closer as of tonight.

                    Thanks for looking!
                    Justin
                    Justin Rio

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      What beautiful work....Old Skool! John in CT

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Thank you for that John! Maybe more like an Old School "Poorboy" I don't have the space or the money for a lot fancy tools I would like to have so I just have to make do with what I've got. Thanks again!
                        Justin

                        10/3/17

                        Begin repairs on front and rear closing walls.
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                        I was going to replace this lower wall section as a complete run but the inner rot is very localized so I decided on just small repair patches to save as much of the original as possible.
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                        Tiny patch tacked in. The outer shoulder will need a bit more replaced.
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                        New outer run in and ready for final trimming and stitching.
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                        Onto templating new forward closing wall section.
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                        Once I get that section built I can begin fitting the new bottom.
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                        Fresh steel sure changes my mood.
                        Thanks for looking!
                        Justin
                        Justin Rio

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          To show a parallel project, here is a bare door ready for a complete outer skin.
                          The repro skin was made for a Coupe but it's been found acceptable of an early Cabriolet....with the "sculpting" I mentioned earlier. The top ends were easily created and then leaded.
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                          More lead to go but a close base, The skin is from Restoration Design and for this use it was a little deep on the front end double bend, but that was ("creatively") held and bent in on itself with a chisel to make the dimension better. The rest was more like the original or in need of filler a la the Factory and lead is the best for this where torquing and slamming is in it's future.
                          The door was OK in it's upper contour areas, but it had been sprung and over-worked in it's prior life.
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                          -Bruce

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Beautiful door reskin job Bruce! I have to admit I'm hard pressed to find the difference between a coupe and a Cab door. It must be so slight that the alteration must be very straight forward if a conversion is needed.
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                            As for that forward double bend you spoke about, I too found Trevor's flange to be a few mm's wider than the original. Several shims could be removed to compensate for this but...
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                            I left the original intact just to keep my options open for now.

                            10/4/17
                            Left door forward closing wall patch.
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                            Paper template completed and now onto steel. I'm recycling portions of the original door skin and using it to make my repair patches when possible. I prefer making structural repairs out of this stuff not because its old German steel but because its 19 gauge and the new parts feel more substantial than the 20 gauge I'd have to make them out of otherwise.
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                            New section cut free, fine trimmed and now dialing in the bend points.
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                            After a few failed attempts I had all the breaks in but the outer flange bend. I can add that in later once its tacked into position.
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                            This outer corner is a very wide/soft bend so the handle of a breaker bar was just the right OD to fold it over.

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                            Acid bath coming up next to clean up the remaining surface just before I can glue this in.
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                            Before the session was over I started the templates for these flaps extended off of the bottom originally. The final layer layer of steel.
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                            I have this crusty door section floating around loose which helped me with the flap templates.

                            Thanks for looking!
                            Justin
                            Justin Rio

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Justin, you are "over the top" with your inner repairs (and I mean that in a good way)! I'm impressed to say the least! I primarily posted my current door project due to seeing the puller holes in the door you are working on, as those were present under the large amount of filler I found on mine.

                              First, the primary difference between Coupe and Cab doors is that the rear upper is wider and the contour as it goes down from the horizontal is different due to, I suppose, the need for top frame mounting clearance instead of the usual "B" pillar. Thus the need for lead, but it all looks good and works well in my case.

                              Months ago, I too tried to save the top half of the original door and wasted a LOT of time doing so. That's a lot of labor for which I could not charge.

                              Thus, the door here at BBE of which I posted pictures was a second effort with the whole skin. The door was obviously sprung forward in a big accident many, many years ago. It was not as rusty as yours but it was disassembled and the damage repaired. I tried to shrink the over-worked forward area of the door and had to stop due to the prior thinning and stretching of the original metal both by the accident and the improper prior attempts at repair. I am not good enough to rescue those butcheries from themselves.

                              The big question of a whole new skin was the measurement of the handle opening as this skin was made for a "low striker" (T-2 on) application. I had called Trevor and he had warned me of the differences. I measured a bunch of high and low striker doors and yes, they were all over the place, even 2 on one 356. "Made by hand" strikes again!

                              Still, I cut the original skin and wheeled a bigger-than-usual lower portion to apply a horizontal weld as high up as I could without getting too close to the handle hole and it's reinforcement.

                              MIG tacked on, all still looked good (enough) but when I began my TIG welds, it began to get weird. I have saved a LOT of rusty door bottoms, but this one was a special case.

                              I finished the weld but wasn't comfortable with the result. Still too many stresses making for more metalwork. Lesson learned, money lost and I went back to the whole skin I had from Restoration Design. So far, so good. Yes, I took a shim out of the hinge to make it all come together....
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                              Continued good results on yours and thanks for making my work better in a "kindred spirit" kind of way, as you and all on this site are an inspiration!
                              -Bruce

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                That door looks killer Bruce! Really nice!

                                I too am trying to save the original upper exterior door skin. I found that the door handle recess was in the wrong spot on the replacement door skin. Argh!!! I also wanted to gain a few mm's along the door bottom to make up for what I deemend an unacceptable door bottom/rocker gap, so I cut the replacement skin in half - that was painful! And potentially very costly if I F it up!

                                I decided to make my cut line 2mm away from the door handle recess on the original skin because it will give me enough room to run my bead. I placed the replacement lower door skin on top of the original door, scribed my line, cut it and began tacking the metal with my TIG. My trick has been to make the beads VERY small, as in no more than 5mm's long. So far so good, but I've still got another 2 hrs in finishing welding.

                                Oh, I also found a problem with the fold up front on the replacement skin. I think Justin, you and I are talking about the same thing. I am concerned about taking shims out at this stage, so I elected to cut the flange off, so the skin can relax down.

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                                trevorcgates@gmail.com
                                Engine # P66909... are you out there
                                Fun 356 events in SoCal = http://356club.org/

                                Comment

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