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Old 12th February 2021, 10:31
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I'll explain below in more detail, but the long story short is that my rear hinged doors aren't going to work. I'm not too worried as it wasn't a 'must have' option on my build, just something I fancied having a go at.

I have a plan B waiting in the wings, which is front hinged doors as Erwin Komenda intended. Should that not work (see below) then plan C is to fix the doors in place and jump in over the side, Le Mans style. Doors can be very overrated anyway imho.

It started well, it was very straightforward to shape the finger slots to match the curve of the door skin, bolt them to the hinges and 'glass them in place -





But after leaving them overnight to harden, an attempt at a grand opening of the driver's door resulted in the rear of the door hitting the body before it was anywhere near out of the aperture

I had an inkling that this might happen and it's down to a small, but significant defect in the way the door was moulded.

To start at the beginning, my bodyshell is probably a Banham New Speedster, intended to be fitted to a Rover Metro, and is now about 22 years old. When I got it, it had been through the hands of several owners but had never been on the road as neither the front hood or engine lid were even close to fitting in their openings.

Being meant for a Metro wheelbase, it was too long to fit a '356' shortened Bug chassis and too short to fit a standard Beetle chassis. Someone had taken a saw to the driver's side front wheelarch in a clear attempt to stretch the wheelbase to fit a Beetle floorpan, but that just left it in a bit of a mess.

The doors had also been bolted in place, the space between doors and body filled with builder's expanding foam and the door gaps filled in with filler. It was when I broke the doors out of the bodyshell that I noticed the issue which means my rear hinged doors won't work, well, not on the driver's side, anyway:

I found that there was about 5mm of filler along the mid section of the rear of the driver's door which was necessary to bring that part of the door flush with the body. If you look at this picture you can see the difference in colour and the remnants of the filler where I've chipped and scraped it off -



Looking more closely, the driver's door skin is profiled to match the curve of the body along almost its entire length, but then flattens as it gets about four inches from the body, with the flat area being about six inches high. This leaves that section of the door below the surface of the body by quite some margin, enough to lose a 2 coin in anyway -



The passenger side door doesn't have the same issue, it fits flush all the way around the opening. It's that gap that means no amount of adjustment is going to allow the door to open backwards while still fitting in the rest of the opening. I could cut out that section of the door and reshape it to fit, but that would be quite difficult to get right and might not work anyway.

So, it didn't take long to decide to scrap the suicide door option and go for front hinged doors instead.

Only I've now taken a look at the front of the doors and the recesses that they swing into, and the recesses have been moulded too small to allow the fronts of the doors to enter them.

So, more work required. Much more work...

Looks like a couple of my pics have corrupted and aren't appearing - I'll take some more this afternoon.

Last edited by Mister Towed; 12th February 2021 at 11:03..
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