Sunday, 25 April 2010

DHC report nr. 85; Mixed feelings

Some small but steady progress over the past few weeks. But this weekend I encountered a few fairly minor setbacks, which can have quite a big impact on my overall work schedule in the end ...
This weekend the plan was to finish the doors completely. First thing to do was fit the door mirrors. This went pretty smoothly and within an hour both mirrors were in place.

After that I made a half-hearted attempt to fit the windscreen side finishers. But as they put up a bit of a fight, I put them aside and continued with the inside of the doors. First thing to do was change the connectors of the speaker wires, as I am not going to use the original speakers in the car. Here I encountered the first set back, I ran out of the correct connectors. Searching through my own parts stock and that of some friends turned up nearly all the connectors I needed, but not quite. I am still missing one. But at least this enabled me to finish one door completely. So with the wiring of the left hand door sorted.

I took the inside door card, connected the wiring to the speakers and fed the courtesy light wires through the light hole. Only to find out that the door card didn’t fit to the door anymore. After a few futile attempts and with the help of another door card I noticed why. During refurbishing, the window seals have been swapped, as a result it doesn’t fit anymore. So I’ll have to go back to the car trimmer to have this rectified.

With nothing better to do I made another attempt at fitting the windscreen side finisher. This time they slid on pretty smoothly. But I managed to damage one slightly nonetheless, but only real TR7 anoraks will notice this! And as this job went pretty smoothly I had a go at the sill mouldings underneath the doors. Can’t say they went on smoothly but didn’t take much more than half an hour. Really starting to look like the finished car I had in mind when I started on this project.

And to help with the overall picture, I trial fitted the wheels, I shouldn’t have done that. Sadly though I forgot to remove the coating from the centring holes, as a result it took me almost half an hour to get them both of again.

As you can see I couldn’t make up my mind which wheels to use, so I prepared two sets. The “driving” set consists of banded TR7 steel wheels (6” instead of 5,5”) with pretty soft road legal Yokohama A-021R racing tyres. The “Sunday-afternoon-car-show” set consists of refurbished original TR7 alloys with rather bland and standard TR7 specification Continental 185/70R13 roadtyres.

Monday, 19 April 2010

DHC report nr. 84; RH door mechanism

Picked up the newly coated wheels today, piccies to follow. Fitting the tyres is scheduled for Thursday. But after a weekend spent on other things than the car I went over to the shed for a bit of work. Managed to get the RH door handle and latches fitted. Only thing that didn’t go to plan was the door windows rear channel. I shouldn’t have fitted it before the latch mechanism. But luckily it came out pretty easy. And with the rear channel removed fitting the door handles, latches, etc. was rather straightforward.

The door catches on the B-post. As they were fitted last week they only needed aligning ...

The doors inside latch mechanism ...

The doors outside latch mechanism ...

The inside door handle ...

And with the various parts in place it was time to align everything to get a proper closing door. Very pleased with the alignment, the way it closes and the looks of the all black door handle.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

DHC report nr. 83; Door window frustration

If anyone, coming into the shed on Monday evening, had asked if the DHC was for sale he’d have a bargain ... Luckily no one came in so I could spent a few very frustrating hours with the LH window mechanism alone. Nearly broke one of my thumbs and got hands and fingers trapped by the regulator mechanism several times.
I actually started on the doors last weekend. I began with the RH door, and it took me a while to work out the best sequence to fit windows, and their regulator mechanism. But once I got that worked out, everything went in pretty smoothly.
I first fitted the complete quarter light. This is pretty tricky as you have to widen the gap between door frame and skin slightly to make room to “twist “ the rear of the quarter light inside the door gap. After that putting the front leg in place was easy. I then trimmed the weather seal to the correct length and shape and fitted it, using my hands to put the clips in place and a large Allan-key to pull them in place properly. With the seal in place the nut and bolts of the quarter light were tightened up.

Next job was to grease the window regulator mechanism and the guide channels and drop the window inside the door and support it in the upper position. Didn’t need much support, as it stayed up all by its own. With the window in the upper position, manoeuvring the regulator mechanism in place and connecting it up to the guide channels turned out to be easy. Even aligning the mounting holes turned into a very easy job, with the help of an old window handle. And to finish the LH door I placed the rear channel inside the door (with the window in the upper position). With the channel in place I lowered the window, making sure it come free of the rear guide channel. This enabled me to fit the felt seal, position the guide correctly and bolt it down, followed by the door’s rear finisher.

Window moves up and down very smoothly, pretty light compared to the ones on ‘t Kreng!

After that I started on the LH door, but sadly while progressing steadily (quarter light and seal fitted) I had to stop work to collect my new daily transport at a friend’s shop before closing time ...

Which of course had to be put to the test immediately! So it wasn't until Monday that I returned to the shed to finish the LH door. Should be easy, but it wasn’t. It started with the window, it just didn’t want to drop into the door without taking the weather seal with it. After that the window didn’t want to remain in the upper position, even with some support. Then the mechanism itself didn’t want to go into the door, and once inside it didn’t want to hook into the guide channels. And after I got it hooked up, the mechanism fell out a few times etcetera. Luckily there were no big hammers around ...
But in the end I got everything in place without damaging the paintwork, and it even works properly.

Time to get her under cover and head home for a well deserved beer.

Only (slight) problem are the aftermarket rubbers at the top of the quarter lights. These are fairly soft, as a result of which they deform easily, which leads to them being “caught” by the top of the window when raising it.

And when I returned home from work this afternoon I found these in front of the garage gate. Nicely in time for when I pick up the wheels, which should be ready for collection next Monday.

As you can see I’ll be using standard size tyres, but not quite standard tyres, or or wheels. I will use these banded steel wheel combined with the small black plastic hub caps. Almost can't wait to see how this combination will look on the car ...

Sunday, 11 April 2010

DHC report nr. 82; Start on the interior

While the wheels are away for a new coating I started on the interior. Plan is to work from the front to the rear, which means I first had to fit the sills’ carpets and the trim pieces for the A-posts. But I forgot that the aftermarket DHC carpets for the sills came with the pieces for the B-post attached to them. So back home to pick up the vinyl pieces which go to the top of the B-post behind the mounting brackets for the soft top frame.

With these vinyl trim pieces fitted I realised I couldn’t access the inside of the B-post through the large holes to fit the door catches. Luckily I’m not that heavily build so I could fit the catches from the smaller hole just above the sills. After which I could fit the sill carpets, followed by the A-post trim pieces.

Having sorted the soft bits I fitted the various supports for the dashboard and steering column. As I am using a very early dashboard for this car (from ACG96L), I also used the support between heater unit and A-post, as found on earlier cars. Very convenient for some bling parts, but more on that later.

With the supports in place I fitted the steering column. As I couldn’t reuse the original break-bolts (for obvious reasons) I adapted a pair of Allen-head bolts to fit inside the mounting pieces for the upper steering column bearing.

As the two plastic upper steering column bearings usually are pretty much gone after 30 odd years, and I hate rattles, I ordered a pair of new bushes to replace the rather perished old ones. Putting them in was rather straightforward. The upper one needed a few well aimed taps with a soft hammer to seat properly though. But the steering shaft now is a very nice tight fit.

Next on the to do list was the rear of the interior, covering the hood stowage area, fitting the seatbelts and the edge finishers. The edge finishers were a classic example of parts that came of the car, but needed a fair bit of persuasion to get back on.

I will start on the doors next. Plus I have ordered some fancy tyres for when the wheels return.