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1959 356A S/R coupe project chassis # 108625

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  • #31
    Two more. Man that was a painful cut!
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    trevorcgates@gmail.com
    Engine # P66909... are you out there
    Fun 356 events in SoCal = http://356club.org/

    Comment


    • #32
      Trevor, very nice work.

      One thing to remember: A 356 is widest at the upper door hinge areas of the door skins and gently curves to the front and rear.

      Thus, I trust your level is not being used as a straight edge, as the door skins are a mix of high and low crown compound curves. The inner top edge next to the glass is the only straight edge on any 356 door as far as I know. I see no light at either end of the level in the shadow picture...and I worry. Hopefully to no avail. Please tell me that you have that covered......

      As posted before here and in another life, on the R forum, I copied (and like to think I improved upon) an idea I borrowed from the late Harvey Smith. A seam form I made from a good door as an example comprised of slightly arched steel bar stock on either side of the seam, bridged by ever-so-slightly bowed rod stock across the seam of the "usual" distance up (which is lower on a typical rusty door than what you, Justin and I have been trying on this thread). I use an old aluminum yardstick and some big customized clamps squeezing inside to outside with the aluminum on the inside as a weld control and heat sink and then just make short beads (more like a longer tack weld) and lace it up end, middle, end, back and forth until the seam is solid. Not much distortion and a good subtle curve locked in.

      Or I use a whole door skin.......

      -Bruce

      Comment


      • #33
        Hi Bruce - Good eye! No worries, I have that handled. The level is about 1" thick, so difficult for light to get through on the ends. Here's a few more pics where the light passing through at the front and back is more evident. Still needs a touch more crown in the middle which will return when I planish out the weld.
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        trevorcgates@gmail.com
        Engine # P66909... are you out there
        Fun 356 events in SoCal = http://356club.org/

        Comment


        • #34
          Thanks again Bruce I really appreciate the nice words and of course the warnings of the pitfalls that are ahead. As I was comparing the new skin the thought of door handle mount height discrepancies did creep in for second. Thanks for highlighting that detail. Well, if Trevor builds his skins for T2 I'm safe but I will most certainly double check as its being fitted. Your horror story of repeated attempts to get that door right make my head swim. Though very costly you certainly got fitting beautifully; if that's any consolation.
          Thank you once again!

          Your skin repair is coming along great Trevor! Its a luxury having Bruce here to help illuminate our paths forward.

          Justin

          10/5/17

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          Acid bath
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          Most of the old rust dissolved but not all of it, Needed another dunk.
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          Clean and prepped for the new patch. I thought about a quick sealer coat but there is too much welding and torch heat yet to come so it would never survive. Black oxide was the best I could do here.
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          Begin stitching in the new patch. So far so good and continuing on tomorrow.

          Thanks for stopping by!
          Justin
          Justin Rio

          Comment


          • #35
            Thanks Justin for the "illumination" reference...but let's remember we all learn from each other, help each other.

            You wrote; "I thought about a quick sealer coat but there is too much welding and torch heat yet to come so it would never survive."

            Justin, you are so correct....plus any coating makes for difficulty in getting really good welds. TIG is particularly effected by ANYTHING and wants absolutely clean metal! The door skin I scrapped had not been cleaned well enough in the close forward area and my TIGging was hampered by dirty welds that MIG would have ignored.

            Trevor, I like that word "planishing." It is so much more elegant than "beating the snot out of a weld, metal-to-metal, hammer and dolly, to make thinner metal take up more space and thus raise the low crown."

            BTW, What I've been told by 'real' welders and for those who may not already know, planishing a MIG weld is risky, as the process happens too quickly to allow a normalization of the weld and welded metal and even though while covered by a shielding inert gas while melting the metals, molecular crystallization from oxygen absorption can form while cooling (as the shielding gas stops when the wire stops), so striking can fracture the perimeter of the actual weld. TIG and gas welding allow a forging of the weld without the jeopardy. Oxyacetylene is best for the forging of a weld in sheet metal... but is most difficult to control unless the welder has experience and quickness, a rhythm.

            From the Nothing New dept.-
            When all is finished, my solution has always been to have a nice spot to lean the door up against some cardboard and on some double thick cardboard on the floor and just pour in some slightly thinned 1K red-brown primer and turn the door on each of the 4 sides for a few minutes each, especially the front, rear and bottom, the bottom bolt holes and drains and other openings tightly taped to contain the slosh. As the thinner exposed primer begins to dry, lay it on it's outer skin so excess can drain into the center where a rubber-gloved hand with some old cloth or paper towels can spread/mop it around everywhere, even the inside of the inside frame and remove what's absorbed. I do the same with lids and the whole chassis (seams, especially, when on the rotisserie) as well.

            Great work!
            Bruce

            Comment


            • #36
              Bruce,

              Most interesting comments about planishing MIG welding and being most careful!! This door repair thread is so useful and the photos have been really good. I have spoken too many times about my door and re-skinning half of it with gas welding. Enough to say its so interesting for me to follow this to see where I went wrong. However my drivers door nearly 40 years after I did the work, turned out well in the end, but is heavier than the passenger door !! I guess you all know why!

              Roy

              Comment


              • #37
                "However my drivers door nearly 40 years after I did the work, turned out well in the end, but is heavier than the passenger door !! I guess you all know why!"

                Supplemental interior sound-deadening made of thick lead/beryllium matting?

                -Bruce
                Hoping the 356 doesn't lean when the door is opened..... If it does and you used a gas torch and lead filler and filed until your arms felt like the lead you were filing....who cares, you did it yourself, 'way before sites like this could exist!
                You are to be admired. Most of us who had a 356 50+ years ago sold them and I, for one, cannot afford to replace my first $500 Speedster! I see "project" Speedsters start at a quarter-mil!

                Comment


                • #38
                  Ah Bruce,

                  Didn't take long for you to work that out Yes the old lead sticks came into play. From my memory I tried to use a dolly and the holes in the interior side of the door gave me little room. I can see why he is going to use that TIG in slow small sections. I tried that too, but it didn't work. However more than once, a person has told me how my drivers door has the same closing sound as a Rolls Royce, a real 'thunk'
                  I attach a pic of my door I took a week ago and I put elsewhere on this forum, I reckon I was lucky to get away with it.

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                  Comment


                  • #39
                    that's a cool looking car roy!

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      I think you're selling yourself way too short Roy. The very fact that your bodywork and paint are still intact and stable after 40 years is the ultimate test of time and a true indicator of the competency and level of work that was performed. Your earlier comments tell me that you are concerned about the thicknesses in some areas but its obviously not a factor. The age of your finish I think raises the value of your car so those tiny blisters be damned I wouldn't touch it. Nothing more suspect and scary then a freshly repainted unknown 356 up on the market. God knows whats under that new paint and what gremlins are waiting to spring up; with your car, what you see is what you're getting. You did a commendable job on her and she still looks great!

                      10/8/17
                      Short session
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                      Just enough time to finish welding in the new forward section
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                      and to dress the welds.
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                      The exposed portion of this patch will clean up quick. Begin fitting the new bottom on next.
                      Thanks for looking!
                      Justin
                      Justin Rio

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        10/11/17

                        Prepping for new door bottom.
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                        Picking out the last of the original door bottom flange tucked under the vertical runs.
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                        Same at the rear
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                        All clean and the last of the bits that needed removal.
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                        Officially touched bottom as far as removal or deconstruction goes. Everything from here on in will be building the door back up.
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                        Begin locating and rough fitting the new bottom.
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                        To help me with the fore and aft adjustment I mocked up the door frame with the its footings.
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                        Also gave me a chance to figure out if Trevor's prepunched holes where going to work with this frame or if I'd be filling these and drilling new ones.
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                        The holes would work just fine and I now had my baseline orientation to work from.
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                        cautiously trimming back the excess.
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                        Rough cuts though as I left a touch extra for the unexpected adjustment as fitting continues.
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                        Inner flange not only too long but also too tall.
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                        Removed 20mm's in sections to more closely match the original.
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                        Initial trimming complete here and onto fitting the forward tray area under the hinge next. This thread is a little behind and will try and get it current by tomorrow.
                        Thanks for looking!
                        Justin
                        Justin Rio

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Nice work Justin. I remember going through this on Foam Cars doors(much worse) and thinking how nice it was to be working on an assembly that you could easily orient, as opposed to my non rottiserie body.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Thanks Phil! I don't know, another door would be a better way to go on anything much worse than this. The time I have involved in it already is beginning to prove that out but it is after all the original door to this car. A rotisserie to me is like A/C you could certainly get along without it but life is so much more pleasant with, than without it.

                            10/12/17
                            New door bottom fitment continued
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                            While adjusting for lateral fitment I almost mindlessly set the bottom flange for level up front here like you're supposed to do at the back. Luckily I realized that there has to be a relief step in it to accomidate that leading edge flange in the skin. Metal ruler laying on top represents the eventual skin and how much the bottom flange must rise up to meet it.
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                            Relief isn't perfect but its close enough for now. Original section laid over top to compare that needed step.
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                            With the inner flange set I have an issue on the opposite side. The inner flange overshoots the door by about 6mm.
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                            At about the midpoint back the flange sits nice and flush against the door. This means that the trajectory of the bend was set just a touch too wide; at least for this particular application. Left it for now and will adjust later.
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                            Templated and folded the inner pan to further lock in the outer established lower flange.
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                            New mount flange a little short as this is where Trevor made the cut but I'll tack on a little more length later.
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                            Double checked my relief step at the lower edge and all is well enough.
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                            Again this forward overshoot will have to fixed but later.
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                            Length added and final tab shapes trimmed in to replicate what was originally there.
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                            After a bit more fine trimming I had the entire piece clamped into near final position. Time to add in a few set screws next.
                            Thanks for looking!
                            Justin
                            Justin Rio

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              10/13/17
                              Test
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                              Initial set screwed position. As tightening went some torsional force seemed present so I mounted it back on the car to see how much it was possibly changing on me.
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                              Also mocked up the window frame to see how it was still going to clear the opening.
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                              To my great relief it cleared and fit almost the same as before.
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                              This also confirmed that the bottom and the embossed areas are at the right height to work with the frame and its footings.
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                              A flush fit at the base with the right approach angle. Going a little too smoothly here. BTW: notice the right side door in the background. Its clearly going to be a repeat.
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                              Same at the rear mount as well.
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                              so far so good and now time to break it all back down
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                              and fix this fitment issue so I can get this bottom welded in for good.
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                              Need to quicken this bend about this much...
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                              Chalked up and ready to adjust. Thought about just cutting and welding it back up but I prefer to keep panels in one piece if I can help it.
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                              Used some heat so I wouldn't have to beat the holy hell out of it to get it to move; Easier on everybody this way.
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                              New bend line well established here but I stopped short as my initial hammer form is too sharp. The final bend is much softer so my search for a closer shape began so I could finish heeling this over.
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                              This length angle iron had really nice soft radius edge. Amazes me sometimes that I have just enough junk in this tiny shop to get me by.
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                              That turned the trick: DONE!
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                              Now onto finishing out the remaining loose ends so I can get this new bottom welded in.
                              Thanks for stopping by!
                              Justin
                              Justin Rio

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Justin, when you are all finished your exemplary work of rehab, mimic the old factory brochures with the "see-through" illustrations of the 356 and finish the outer skin with Lexan sheet so your work is always on display!
                                Better yet, color-code what is original and what is your fabrication and new work all over the 356 of your choice.
                                Hey...likely better to this audience than what Janis did with her Cabriolet!

                                -Bruce

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