Stage 6 - Fitting the Doors

I'd decided to fit some lightweight Fibreglass doors, complete with Polycarbonate windows, rather than either get the rusty doors that came with the car fixed or try and find some reasonably priced rust free second hand parts.

I bought a pair of these doors Outside of Fibreglass door Inside of Fibreglass door from door suppliers and a pair of Polycarbonate windows from window suppliers. I made the decision (somewhat unwisely as it turnd out) that as the doors were plastic, I'd paint them with Plasticote platic paint, and not bother with a primer coat. It's plastic, it'll be fine right?

Wrong as it turned out - without careful preparation, the finish was blotchy and rough, but as I was now working to the self imposed deadline of having it ready for Pistonfest 2003 I took an executive decision to say Bollocks to it, and crack on. I also forgot to take any photos of the doors in work, so not exactly a well executed paart of the project!

Door in place As the fibreglass doors don't come with any internals (window slots etc), I decided that the best way to hold them in place was to use clear Silicone Sealant and bond them straight to the Door frames - this worked a treat, no rattles or water leaks and an absolute piece of cake, even if the paint finish on the non-gel coated inner side does look a bit ropey (left).

Both the doors and the polycarbonate windows are a great fit - really happy with them.

As I'd wanted the MK1 door hinges for a while, so thought I'd fit some - a trawl on ebay turned up a rather sorry looking set for not too much money (a new set from Mini Spares was too expensive, but would probably have been worth it looking back), and tried to just fit them straight on to the door and A panel.

This didn't work too well - external hinged Minis had a reinforcing plate fitted between the a panel and the inner wing, to stop the stresses on the A panel when the door was opened distorting it - as el Minoir is an inner hinge model, it doesn't have this - couple that with having removed the steel front end meaning that there was no bracing on the forward end if the panel abd one of the hing bolts stripping it's thread and that's one bent A panel. A split new, perfectly fitted A panel as well. Oops.

Still, you live and learn - the door lock mechanism went in really easily, got it nicely lined up (see left picture) and it works a treat, however I'd set it a little far in, so the door sits about 5mm proud of the B pillar (see right picture) and the outer handle release didn't quite work - this was easily fixed by drilling the end of the nylon release stub and fitting a woodscrew, which I adjusted until the door opened and closed properly (no photos of that either!).

Door in place Door in place Inner door release was simple - as there are no inner door skins, I just left it as you pull on the release lever on the mechanism - crude, but simple and effective.

With the Doors fitted, it was time for the flip-front....

Stage 7 - Fitting the Flip Front