Door Capping - Part Deux

Door Capping

After a successful trial making a steel door garnish, I decided to have a go at making the complete thing.

In the previous attempt I only made a small section about 100mm long. This was relatively simple to form into shape and gave me a bit of confidence in having a go at the full part. However, making the full part is a little tricker than making a short section as the longer section of steel is much harder to bend and form into shape.

One of the big challenges was getting the section in the press brake and bending the flanges. The small section only needed a small amount of force to press the bends and when the opposite side of the steel pressed against the top of the brake it did not give too much resistance. With the longer section not only was a lot more force needed but when the opposite side of the part met the press brake it became impossible to bend it any further, there was simply too much resistance for my manually operated press.

A hydraulic press would have made short work of it but as I did not want to make up tooling for my shop press for such a small job so I decided to go old school and form it with hand tools. I scribed out the bend lines and then used my flange setting tool to turn up the flanges. This did not leave as nice an edge as creating the bend in the press and will require a little more finishing to get it straight but the results are acceptable. 

It did make me think that I probably need to invest in some flange setting pliers as these would make a much nicer job, so another tool gets added to the wanted list.

After setting the flanges as far as I could I then finished them off on the sand bag, using the sand bag to hold the rounded side of the capping so that I could then beat the flange into position. This worked pretty good. I then flattened the top flange with a hammer on my tin-mans stake. The bottom flange still needs some straightening but I'll need to find a suitable dolly to fit up inside the flange, all of the dolly's I have are too large.

Fitting the capping up I dressed the top profile until it lay flat on the top of the door. I also marked and cut the ends to follow the A and B pillar profiles.  There's still some more fettling to do to get it perfect but I'm going to leave that until I've finished prepping the fibreglass as there's lots of work to do there.

The capping needs to have ends fabricated and welded in as well as some tubular sections let in for the mountings and side screens.

After making up the door capping it gave me a chance to take a look at the body line from the rear tub to the door. One of the problem areas with the car is that the rear tub sits higher than the door. This is a common issue with some replicas where the rear tub profile has been made so that it sits higher. I'm not 100% sure for the reason for this, I suspect that it is a mistake where the mold was originally made in two parts (front and rear) and then incorrectly joined. This same mistake is replicated on several kits. This is similar to the 'frenched' lights that my kit has which are also shared with a few other kits such as Apal Speedsters. I think that these shared traits indicate a common ancestor, where bodies were bought and then replicated replete with mistakes.

Here's my B Pillar. The door will sit a little higher than shown as the hinges are not set correctly but there is still a huge difference between the rear tub and the door top, on a standard speedster these are level. It's also worth noting that the front end of the door is level with the scuttle panel. Something weird is definitely going on here.

Recently I stumbled across a French Speedster build where the owner had addressed the same problem by simply reshaping the top of the B Pillar.  Here's the before and after shot of this car. As you can see a fair bit of material has been removed but the results are worth it. This is something I'm definitely going to attempt on mine.

There's a heap of other glass repairs and modifications to be done on my body. Some mistakes by the PO to be rectified and some changes that I want to do like mounting the lights flush instead of frenched as they currently are. The goal is to try and make the body look like a 50-51 and fix up mistakes as I go along.

Door Capping

I've long wanted to make some original style steel door cappings for my speedster. Whilst repros can be purchased they seem to be almost as expensive as my car. Karmann Konnection in the UK have some listed at AU$1k for the pair. Far too rich for my taste.So I decided to make a small test and build a prototype to see if I could figure out the best techniques for making them.
DIY Speedster Steering Column Clamp

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