Entry: 3/31/06 - I cut the bottom 2" off the driver's door skin this afternoon. The doorskin is held in place with only one or two spotwelds, the rest is secured by crimping the overlapping sheetmetal of the doors skin to the inner panel's flange. Overall, I'm quit pleased with the degree (or lack of) rot in this, the better of the two doors. I placed the section of the door skin I cut out on top of the pre-fab Danish Dansk brand pressing I purchased from Stoddards a few months back. I plan to use the pneumatic flanging tool to place a slightly overlapping flange on the replacement pressing, which I think would be much easier that putting the flange on the original door skin. There are also a couple rotten sections on the inner panel lip that will need to have patch sections grafted in to return the door to a rock-solid condition again.
Entry: 4/3/06 - Today's project was blasting the rust pockets on the driver's door to see where and how much rot there is to contend with. The door just fit inside my blasting cabinet, so I was able to quickly remove the rust scales and expose clean pits. Some rust did blast thru so I began the process of welding-up the pits where it was reasonable to do so. As you can see in the following photo, I also chemically stripped and wire brushed the entire inner door frame. I will be needing to cut-out a 12" section of the flange across the bottom of the inner door frame due to extensive number of holes blasted thru it.
Tonight the door frame sits with a coat of 3M weld-thru primer, ready for more hole patching tomorrow. All-in-all the door seems pretty solid considering its age and all. The scary thing is that this is the better of the two doors, so I have some work ahead of me on the passenger side door.
Entry: 4/4/06 - Today's project was patching rotten sections and filling blast-thru holes on the driver's side door. The blast-thru pits on the door bottom and below the latch were welded-up without much drama. I cut out a 14" section of the rotten spotweld flange on the bottom of the door and fabricated a patch out of 20-gauge sheetmetal stock. I welded it in and dressed all the welds so they are ready for a thin coating of filler once the door skin patch is all welded in on the front side. As it sits in the following photo, the door is completely free of rust and rot and ready for the door skin patch to be trimmed to fit and welded in next.
Entry: 4/5/06 - Today was really productive, I was able to trim the pre-fab door skin bottom pressing down to the 2" width needed to patch the door with the additional amount to accommodate the weld flange. I put in the 11 mm wide flange across the patch panel and then clamped and welded it using hundreds of individual spot welds onto the door skin. After the patch panel was welded onto the door, I used a hammer and dolly, huge slip-joint pliers and crimping pliers to fold-over and crimp the lower door skin of the patch panel over the inner door panel flange. Test measurements show that I'm within 1 mm of the original bottom edge measurement! After all that, I sprayed a coat of 3M weld-thru primer to get a better look at the work prior to any weld dressing or body filler application. As it sits tonight, the door is ready to test fit on the car and evaluate what needs to be done to build a consistent 3 to 4 mm gap all the way around it, especially in lower rear corner where the rockerpanel and rear quarter panel meet. I'm taking the basic strategy of building the car to the door at this point using a minimum of body filler, true to the spirit of a fine European "hand-built" car!