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Old 10-26-2006, 05:20 PM
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Cutting doors open on race body

OK, guys here goes.
I'm about to start the process of converting my old Poli-Form race weight '29 body into a street weight body. Putting the wood in looks pretty straight forward, Kinda like a T-bucket.
Only thing is, the doors were glued shut, either at Poli-Form, or by the guy that built the altered. I can split the two flanges for the doors and body apart in some places, but in some places the flange is so well welded together with 'glass there is no hope of getting them apart.
Given that, I think the best thing to do is cut the flanges on the body side, and leave them, altho a little thick, on the doors.
My question is, when I 'glass in the wood around the door opening, how much do you think I need to cut back the wood to compensate for the 'glass that will make up the new door jamb?
Am I on my own on this one? Anybody got any other ideas?
The problem is that I'd really like to keep the original paint on the outside of the body, as it still has all of it's lettering and striping. Check out my journal for a couple of pics, and you'll understand why I want to save the paint.
I intend to use lots of Marine-Tex to glue in the wood and metal to hang the doors on, and I THINK that I'll have time to make a clean seam between the door opening and the wood.
Chew on this one for awile, I probably won't start on this part of the project until after New Year. ( Isn't it crazy how everything starts going really fast after Holloween!?!)
Thanks for your ideas, It's reallt cool to hear from guys that don't have some sort of agenda.....M

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Old 10-26-2006, 05:53 PM
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Something you can try is to run one of the air powered body saws in the seam where the "glue" or glass still sticks..If you have not seen one it looks like a mini air powered sawzall..now that I have one it is one of those tools I would not be without..I would in any case attempt to save as much of the original flange as possible..

on a another note you can take small square tubing and bend it to fit the contours of the body and glass those in or there are some new adhesives such as fusor that works very well on gluing stuff to fiberglass..

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Old 10-26-2006, 06:06 PM
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if you can wedge the seams apart some and let them sit, you might get them split apart farther. sometimes heating and cooling the glued sectiosn also work

get the area good and warm with a heat gun, and them quench it with ice water to see if you can shock the glue enough to spread the crack out

if you do resort to cutting the jambs, do so neatly, because after the cuts are made it might be much easier to break the glue apart. then you would just have to fiberglass everything back where it belongs
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:42 PM
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I worked at Poli Form for 13 years. I was the shop foreman for 11 of those years. I glued doors on many of those 29 bodies to make race bodies.. I may have done the doors on your body .

( Although I maintain a relationship with them ,I quit working there as an employee in 97, so I don't feel this is an advertisement of any kind)

The way those doors are glued on will make it very hard or impossible to save the doors. We roughened the outer skin of the body with a grinder, then glued the outer panel on with a polyester adhesive that we made in house.

After that cured we would grind the inside smooth, feathering the body into the door, and then glass over the seam with 3 layers of 1 1/2 oz mat.

You will not pry or separate those panels apart...
not without destroying the body in that area. It will be a miracle if you can save the paint.

You could try cutting into the door at an angle at the bond line. But still, I really doubt if you can do it and save the paint in that area.

I would buy a set of doors and inner panels from Poliform or Wescotts. Buy a set of inner door jambs also. The inner jambs have a flange to glue to the body. Poliform will sell them to you. (don't tell them you are making their race body into a street body..Dick has a thing about that. )

The Wescott doors will probably fit as good as the Poliform.(I never tried to fit wescott doors on a poliform body) The body can be pulled around to fit the doors, and if the doors are not glued together you can move them around too, to fit.


Grind the outer door off until you find the original body, and pitch the remains of the door.. I guarantee that you will be time and money ahead to do it like that. Use the new door to mark and set your overlap up, then glue the doorjamb on. Poliform has a set of instructions to do this. As One More Time has indicated already, you will want to reinforce the body afterwards with some steel in the hinge areas and door latch striker area.

Hope this helps,
Mikey
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Old 10-27-2006, 06:58 AM
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Mike,

That is a pretty cool looking old C/A and I can see why you'd like to save the original paint and lettering. (Actually I could see why one might want to save the entire car as is and keep racing it while building a clone specifically for the street.)

Unfortunately I don't have any great advice on the doors...but I do have two questions as I look at your journal. What brakes are those on the front end and is that a pan hard bar on the passenger side front suspension to stabilize the axle? Did you have a problem keeping the axle in place with just the springs?
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:53 AM
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Should definately be left, as is.
Here´s that panhard bar on the front enlarged, I hope.
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Old 10-27-2006, 10:40 AM
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Malc,

That's what I was looking at in Mike's journal. I was mostly wondering how that would work on a street car vs. a track car. Maybe that's a question better answered in the suspension forum but I was just curious about the pros and cons of a street set-up like that.
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Last edited by cboy; 10-29-2006 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 10-28-2006, 08:27 PM
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Panhard bar

Sorry guys,
I've been in FT. Worth this weekend at a swap meet, so now I'll try to answer all the questions about the panhard rod.
The guy that built this chassis in the early '60's really knew his stuff. He must have done a ton of reshearch, because 30 years ago, some of the stuff on this car was light years ahead of time.
This car is slot car stable, no bump steer, no funny business. If this is what a panhard rod does for a buggy front end, I can't imagine not having one on my car. The tricked out front end you guys are looking at is the main reason why I haven't just bought the typical square tube frame for an A and built your typical cookie cutter hot rod. This thing handles! It's no Vette, but for a buggy sprung straight axle car, it's a real suprise.
The only change I plan to make is to move the spring from behind the axle to above the axle. Mostly for looks, as I feel that the car looks better with about 4" less wheelbase, but also to gain just a schosh of height in the front end.
The rest of the chassis is a lot like a T-bucket. Typical sqare box, you see the front end, rear end is 9" on coil-overs with ladder bars that hinge just about the center of the wheelbase, another panhard bar, and the strange part is the coil-overs are mounted on top of the rear axle! and without any slant!
I can tell you the chassis works killer on the track, it's still a mystery whether it will work on the street.
Go back and look at the front end, and notice how far over he leaned the front shocks. I'm not going to argue with him, it works at 100+, it works in the pits. And that's with a 1 3/4" sag in the left main rail from an outa sight wheelstand one night that put the car up on nothing but the wheelie bars! And it still goes straight!!
Front brakes and rear brakes are JFZ disc and altho you need to put some serious pressure on them 'cuz of a too short moment arm on the brake pedal, they really get the job done.
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Old 10-28-2006, 08:47 PM
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Back to cutting doors open

OK, everybody has just about talked me into leaving the doors glued shut and climbing over the top like a bucket.
Most of my friends feel that the car would keep more of it's race car feel if the doors don't open, and that the body will be mucho stronger if I just wood up the inside of the body like a bucket and line the interior with tuck and roll.
I 've gone back in my old Rod & Custom magazines and I've found quite few cars that this was done on. And those were steel cars.
So I think I'm going to build some sort of step to weld onto the frame under where the doors would be, and install a fake old style roll bar behind the seat to use as a grab bar to climb in,and call it good.
Cris thinks we can sew well enough to build a basic bench seat so we're going to try.Worst that can happen is that we screw up the seat and have to have a pro bail us out.
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Old 10-29-2006, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Britton
OK, everybody has just about talked me into leaving the doors glued shut and climbing over the top like a bucket.
Good choice. I'd really be interested in watching your progress as you convert this over to street use. Hopefully you will make frequent journal entries so we can keep updated.
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Old 10-29-2006, 03:36 PM
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Updates will be forthcoming....

Roger that....First installment will be converting the front axle from spring behind to spring on top. I hope I can learn to add photos to my journal. Parts are on their way......
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