Monday, January 23, 2012

Driver's Door Rebuild

It took me two weekends to clean, prep and install the driver's side door.  Here is the saga.  First, everything was a dirty, grimy mess, so everything you read below I cleaned with soap, engine degreaser, metal restoring fluid and fine-grain wet/dry sandpaper (to remove the inevitable silver overspray paint).

Then I started into the rebuild.  I wasn't sure of the best order to put the components back together, but a quick Google search on 914 window fuzzys led me to this page on Chuckles McGroover's web site.  It gives a high-level view of the process, but I crave detail, so I'll give you as much as I can here.

I started by positioning the door frame on a suitably-high cardboard box and ran one of the top bolts into the hinge hole by hand.

I then ran in the other bolts snug and checked the shotlines between the door and the frame.  I gently adjusted until everything lined up right and then tightened them all down.

The door had at least 6 holes and a couple of drywall plastic plugs in the mirror mount area due to the use of aftermarket mirrors over time.  Rainbow welded the holes over and made the area nice and smooth for paint.  Unfortunately they didn't drill the factory holes out for me.  I had to locate the nuts from the inside and drill a small hole from the inside out.  I then used larger and larger drill bits to expand the hole to the needed size for the mirror's large screws.  By the time it got big enough, I had messed up the original threads, so I tapped the holes out to 1/4 x 20 and got two nice stainless steel panhead screws that look just like the factory.  I'll mount the mirror near the end of the process.

I grabbed the thick rubber gasket and inserted it back into the channel around the sides and bottom of the door.

I spent a lot of time cleaning the fuzzy channel but it wasn't all necessary because most of it is located inside the door or hidden by weatherstripping.  It does look nice and shiny though.  Here is one side of the channel, with the new fuzzy installed.

After 38 years, the rubber and fuzzy strips were pretty shot, so I bought most of the available door replacement parts at, including the rubber and channel materials you see below.

Speaking of cleaning, here is the still-dirty passenger door latch mechanism next to the shiny clean one for the driver's side.

I also cleaned the window scissor mechanism with soap, a scouring pad and engine degreaser.  This will go a long way to having a smoothly-operating window.  After I took this picture, I sprayed the mechanism with cold galvy zinc paint, which will inhibit future rust.

Now we start putting parts into the door.  We start with the window mechanism.  I maneuvered it inside the door frame, then slid the nylon wheel mounted to the same arm as the rectangular mount into the slot you see bolted to the door frame below.  Of course first I removed and cleaned the slot...  I sprayed a good dose of lithium lubricant into the slot to help the nylon wheel slide easily.

I then moved the window crank into its hole and mounted the four bolts to hold the window mechanism into place.  You can now test the action by temporarily mounting the window handle and running it all the way up and down.

Next I mounted the door stop mechanism.  This is not working well, as it doesn't actually stop the door from  moving in the wind as I found during this work.  I decided to work out the problem later but it looks like the spring mechanism doesn't actually hold much pressure against the bar.

Next I installed the lock mechanism.  To fit it into place, you have to rotate the latch until it clicks, as pictured below.

I then inserted it through the hole in the door from the inside.  It's held in place by a large screw through the door frame and one inside.

I then slid the door handle through the hole in the side of the door and gently into the latch mechanism.  It's held in place with a hex nut on a stud in the handle.  Don't forget to put the U-shaped rubber gasket (that I got from between the handle and the door to avoid scratching the paint.

A hex-key bolt is installed on the inside.

Next it's time to mount the latch bar between the latch mechanism and the inside door handle.  First slide the two rubber holders onto the bar.  Then slip the holder clips onto each end as pictured below.

Pop the end with the double-bend in it, into the hole in the pivot in the latch mechanism, then snap the clip holder over the end of the bar.

Then do the same with the other end into the inside door handle.

Next we'll place the rear window guide into the door frame and lay it against the rear.  We can't actually mount it yet because we need to move it around a bit.  The fuzzy and the rubber cap are both from  Hold onto the cap and screws until later.

Getting it installed is the result of a series of tricky maneuvers.  First, place the end cap into place at the very rear of the window slot.  Next take the channel and, while well lubricated with soapy water, slide it onto the rib of the cap by coming at the cap from an angle from within the door frame.  When the channel is tight up against the cap, lift the channel up and push it into a friction fit onto the downward tab on the outside of the door frame.  Got all that?  This is what you should end up with.

Now we put the two bolts into the bottom bracket of the rear channel, but only loosely as we'll need to adjust later.  This is the view from the top of the bracket inside the door.

Next I thoroughly cleaned the door glass and brackets.  I gently inserted the glass into the door frame and lined up the other nylon wheel into the window channel ...

and the rectangular tab into its bracket.  Run in the bolt, but do not tighten yet.

Now we fit the front channel.  It uses a funky bolt with a flange, which acts as an in/out adjuster for the angle of the glass.  Carefully lower the channel into place, access the nut through one of the holes in the door frame and run in the flanged bolt.

Move the bottom of the channel until the flanged bolt fits through the small hole in the door frame.  Put on the washer and nut but don't tighten.

Gently push the big rubber gasket into place in the top of the door frame.  Then wiggle the front quarter glass into place.

You'll know it's in place when you can put the cap on top of the front channel and the holes line up for the two small screws.

At this point we can finalize the fit of the glass.  Run the window up and down a few times and wiggle it until it moves smoothly through full travel.  Tighten the glass bracket bolt, the rear channel bracket bolts.  Adjust the in/out bolt, then tighten down the outer nut to lock the flange against the door frame.

I then installed the outer window squeegee strip using soapy water and a lot of patience.  You have to insert the rib of the squeegee into the small gap near the end of the outer channel about half an inch at a time, then slide everything forward.  When inserted all the way, I trimmed the rear to properly overlap the rear cap.

I then installed the door card (panel), snapping in the plastic fittings.

I installed the window handle...

and the inside door handle trim.

Finally I installed the door handle / map pocket using two hex key bolts and three small screws along the bottom.  Now it really looks like a door!

Moving back outside, I mounted the side view mirror using the new screws.  Note the original 914 only had a driver's side mirror, not one on the passenger side.  Also, this mirror appears to be non-adjustable...

I then screwed in the latch striker into the frame of the car.  Amazingly, the door closed nicely the first time, and it looks great!  Don't slam it too hard, as the rear vertical window frame rubber gasket isn't installed yet.

Now that I know the process, the passenger door should go more smoothly.  I still have to spend a lot of time cleaning though!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Front Hood Latch

The front hood latch arrived quickly after I ordered it on eBay.  It was in good shape, but a bit oxidized, so I soaked it overnight in the metal restorer fluid.

I then bolted it into place in the front hood.  I couple of adjustments later, I tightened everything down.

The hood now latches down beautifully, with consistent shot lines all around the hood.  I now consider the front end of the car complete!

Targa Top Foam and Liner

Since it's dark by the time I get home from work, I decided to do some work on the targa top in the workshop with the lights on.  I prepped for spraying contact adhesive by running wide painter's tape around the outside edge.

I decided to use foil-lined insulated padding which will cut down on road noise and heat.

The foil side goes up, so it gets glued into the bottom of the targa top.

I then cut the liner oversize and spray glued it into place over the padding.

Next I will cut the liner to exact size, then mount the latches and rubber seals.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lower Dashboard, 12V socket and Wiring Cleanup

I contacted the USB hub vendor for assistance why it wasn't delivering power to the Droid Bionic, but got nothing back.  I decided to install a 12V socket under the dashboard for two reasons.  First, I know it will work.  Second, depending on the 12V charger plug, it will deliver more than the 900ma I was hoping for with the USB hub.  I had one lying around rated for 1A (1000ma) output.  Hopefully that will be able to keep up with the power draw when the phone is running my PakTrakr app, GPS and Bluetooth.

I mounted the 12V socket and wired it to an unswitched fuse in the new fuse block.  You can see the 12V charger plugged into the socket on the left side.  This leaves me with 3 USB power ports for future use.

With all of the new wiring done, I tidied up under the dashboard.  I put wire loom on all of the wire groupings I created and zip-tied everything into place and tight.

I then moved to the lower dashboard.  The only change here is to bolt in the mounting frame for the two Electro Auto instruments.  That went in nicely, then I screwed the lower dashboard into the dashboard frame.  Mounted the instruments into the frame and wired them up.  I then stuck in the right and left vents and tightened them down.

My to-do list is getting very short!  To finish off the interior, I just have to install the glove compartment and refurbish the upper dashboard.

Passenger Seat and Center Pad

Having learned the lessons on mounting the driver's side seat belts and having bolts that work, the belt went in on the passenger side without a problem.  I then mounted the sliders to the bottom of the passenger seat, setting the bolts finger-tight and slid it into place.  I gently slid it out again and tightened up the bolts.  I slid it back in, and it works like hot butter!

I then cleaned the center console bottom pan and the upper pad.  I screwed in the pan and popped the pad into place.  It's held in quite nicely by the two inside seat belt units.

It now looks almost like a car again!  I gave my wife a ride around the house a few times.

Front Indicator Lights

The next step was to pop in the front and front-side indicator lights.  I found that the silver overspray got these too, so I did a 1000 grit wet/dry sanding on the rubber gasket, cleaned them thoroughly, and treated the gaskets with Back-To-Black fluid.  I hooked up the wires on the side unit first, then snapped it into place.  I then hooked up the wires on the front unit, then mounted it with the bracket from behind.  This really brings the front of the car back to showroom-new.

Front Hood Installation

We're getting down to the final steps of the rebuild!  This weekend I got a bunch of things done.  First, I reattached the front hood.  It has been sitting in my back bedroom / storage room for a year so it was a bit dusty!  Installing it was a little tricky because I'm working by myself.  In order to not scratch anything, I laid blankets all the way around and gently laid the hood down.

I reached under and got one bolt int each hinge to finger-tight.  I then lifted the hood and got the other two bolts finger tight.  I removed the blankets and carefully laid the hood down.  It had good clearance on all sides so I lifted it gently to avoid moving the bolt position, then snugged up all bolts with a socket wrench.  I laid the hood down again and centered the hood, making all of the gaps even.  I lifted the hood and tightened all bolts down hard.  I laid the hood down and the gaps were perfect!

I cleaned the hood with detailer and it looks fantastic.  The only problem is I don't have an upper hood latch.  I went back to my pictures and found that the latch went with the hood to the body shop, so I assume it's long gone now, along with the rear hinges.  I searched around the web and found one on sale on eBay for $5, so I snapped it up.  I'll clean it and bolt it into place when it arrives next week.

Front Bumper and Front Spoiler

When I bought the car it was missing the "front spoiler", which bolts to the underside of the front bumper.  A Porsche replacement part is over $500, so that's out of the question.  I found the "Special Edition" front spoiler on Pelican Parts for $98.95.  The descripion says

"Originally used on the Limited Edition 914s, this front spoiler will make a great addition to your 914."

Not a lot of detail, but the picture on the web site shows a black-colored spoiler, looking good, so I went ahead and ordered it a few weeks ago.  I was hoping it was metal, but if not, then hard rubber would be OK.

When it arrived, I was very disappointed.  First, it's made of fiberglass which it doesn't say on the web site.  Second it came with a skim coat of white body filler.

Here you can see the terrible job done by the manufacturer in the finishing stage.  It appears they expect buyers to do the final body filler / sanding / priming / painting / clear coating steps.  This is not mentioned on the web site.

I could handle all that, but when I took it out to the car, it was about 3" too short to reach from one side of the front fender to the other.  It's pretty stiff so I wasn't comfortable with trying to bend it into shape, to get 3" of extra width out of it.  To summarize: it's fiberglass, it came unfinished, and it's 3" too small.  So tomorrow I'll call Pelican and get an RMA to send it back.  I get to pay shipping two ways on this oversize box, but it's just not what I'm looking for.

Since I'm not going to use a front spoiler at this time, I bolted the bumper back in place and mounted the fog light frames.