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That danged door.

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  • That danged door.

    In some other post that I can't find I was writing about attempting to adjust the door on the Avanti. When I took the door card off, I found two bolts already broken, and I broke a third one. One of the previously broken ones was a real PIA. I had soaked it in PB Blaster, heated it twice to red, lighting the door on fire both times, and still it refused to budge. So...

    Last night, I cut the fiberglass behind the door card enough to get my big stud remover in. I started by trying to tighten just enough to break it free (that often helps) and then started to loosen it, applying more and more pressure.... until it snapped off again! The good news is that the way it twisted, there as essentially a center punch mark in the center of the bolt, so I started drilling. First with a brand damned new 1/8" bit, then stepped up with my left hand bits. It was smoking hot, but that thing was NOT gonna let go! I kept stepping up, hoping that I could avoid ruining the threads, but finally, I was out of left handed bits to step up. I shot a little brake cleaner on it to see what I had, and noticed that is was truly dead center, and that a thin shell of the bolt remained, so I shot a bit more PB Blaster, took a chisel and began to collapse the shell until it finally fell out. After another shot of cleaner, it looked like the threads were still intact, so I cleaned them up with a tap, and sure enough, they are still good! I spent over a week letting this thing soak, me to let off steam before I broke something else, and whatever.

    Tonight I'll get that danged door back on and aligned so I can go for a bit of a drive tomorrow and see how it does.
    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

  • #2
    Welcome to the Avanti owners world, again. That's why I always try to get to the back of any bolts to get the rust off of them. If you don't the rust jams then in the threaded hole and they break. A lot of time one can't do that and what you did is necessary.

    That's why I own two of then. Not enough aggravation with one.

    Avanti, Bob

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    • #3
      Happy to hear you that you got it out. I fought quite a few rusted bolts on my car also. It's hard to be patient, but always works out better, if you are. If I could get to the back, I would cut the rusted bolt off flush, then weld a nut on the front, to turn the broken bolt with.

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      • #4
        I wanted to avoid cutting a hole in the door skin just to get to the back of the bolt, though I could have.. and cutting glass was going to be the next step if this didn't succeed. In repairing the hinge pin on the other side, I had to cut holes behind the kick panel to replace a couple of the caged nuts there. It's odd how this car could have so many rusty fasteners, window lift tracks, and parts in general, but have a solid frame, hog troughs and windshield frame.
        Ron Dame
        '63 Champ

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ron Dame View Post
          I wanted to avoid cutting a hole in the door skin just to get to the back of the bolt, though I could have.. and cutting glass was going to be the next step if this didn't succeed. In repairing the hinge pin on the other side, I had to cut holes behind the kick panel to replace a couple of the caged nuts there. It's odd how this car could have so many rusty fasteners, window lift tracks, and parts in general, but have a solid frame, hog troughs and windshield frame.
          Sounds like a car that either spent some time on the coast or under a tarp....

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          • #6
            Sound like you did the right thing, by drilling, before cutting the door skin. Happy driving!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 63 R2 Hawk View Post
              Sounds like a car that either spent some time on the coast or under a tarp....
              I have a partial history, the last of it is foggy. The owner in Roanoke VA died, and I think it was in pretty good condition at that time. The son had no interest in it and parked it outside, possibly under a tarp, until about 2014. Then the man I bought it from bought it, I think stored it outside too before putting it his wet basement. The trunk was full of water, the carpets rotted, the interior all moldy. BUt other than the expected mechanical refreshening expected after 17 years, it seems to be pretty solid. Ugly, but solid.
              Ron Dame
              '63 Champ

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              • #8
                And the door is on and aligned! well, it opens and closes correctly, the back bottom edge sticks out a bit, but since it's still and ugly car, it's fine for now. Tomorrow, we go for a second drive and see what bugs show up.
                Ron Dame
                '63 Champ

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