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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-21-2007, 06:17 AM
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Default Rebuilding doors, hood and trunk

Bob,

To your knowledge has anyone ever removed the fiberglass supports/bracing around the inner edges of the doors, trunk and hood and replaced them with aluminum tube to recreate the look of an aluminum car? Have you ever supplied the "flat" fiberglass panels for the same without the ribbed inner edging/support structures?

Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:06 AM
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A couple of thoughts:

As to the edge of the cowl, in the cars that I have done as well as the ERA turn-keys, an effort is made to try to round that off to look like the original. One ERA owner actually glassed I a small tube in to the edge to affect the look. As to the doors and the steel support structure around the door, this all gives structural integrity to the chassis and provides some level of safety that would clearly be lost if that and the inner door structure were removed.

Remember that original aluminum cars tended to flex and there was absolutely no pretense of any side protection. In original style cars there is nothing to stop intrusion into the car until it hits the frame rails. I would suggest that your efforts ought to be focused elsewhere (say, install an aluminum hood with tube frame).

Jim

PS: As an aside, I think that removal of the ERA support structure and door support would be viewed by a potential purchaser as a negative when you go to sell the car... and that day will come sooner or later.
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:09 PM
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Thought I would revive this as I think this is a cool idea if I understand Lindy's question. Has anyone taken the outer skin of the door/hood/trunk on a fiberglass car and attached it to a tube frame to replicate an original?
I think it could be done with a tubing bender and some talent.
Anybody done that? Thoughts?
Larry
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Old 03-18-2007, 03:59 AM
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I suppose we could supply just the skins for the hood and trunk but, as Jim said, the doors wouldn't be a good conversion.

The only "proper" way to attach the tubes is like how the original cars did it: They welded sheet metal onto the tubes that the skin attached to. If you glass the tubes onto the 'glass directly, you'll get print-through and distortion.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:48 AM
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Yeah, I see what Jim is refering to but the door isn't a structural member is it? I would think a glass door itself could be attached to a tube frame in a similar manner as originally done back in the day.
Isn't there a couple of manufactures making their cars with original style doors, only of glass instead of aluminum? I thought I saw that in some thread but can't find it now.
Larry
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:51 PM
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There might be cars with doors built that way. But what is the point? As Jim notes above, you would be removing one of the few safety items that protect you from side impact.

Safety over originality in a car that is not original anyway does not make much sense imho.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:45 AM
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The steel in the door also gives it rigidity so that it doesn't sag when your 250 lb neighbor leans on it.

Jim

PS: A number of ERA owners have swapped the hood to an aluminum original style (including Peter P. in his clone cars.) I have not seen anyone do a trunk lid yet.

Last edited by Jim Holden; 03-19-2007 at 09:49 AM..
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