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  • Body / Glass: Need a door rebuild at hinges

    Hi, Guys,

    I have officially spent enough time wrestling with this Avanti driver's side door. I cannot align it. I replaced the bushings in the lower hinge and re-tapped one of the body-side hinge holes where the screw had stripped out. None of it matters because the door-side hinge connectors are irretrievable. A prior owner slapped on about an inch of fiberglass inside the door, apparently in an effort to repair damage. The lower hinge plate floats free and the door rolls outward when opened. Nothing around the hinges resembles the door that left the factory.

    I have no idea whether I can fix this. I have a feeling it's beyond my ability. I see my choices as finding somebody who knows how to rebuild these hinge connections or buying a new door. What do you guys recommend?

    Thanks in advance for the advice. If you have any thoughts about who the right people to talk with are, I'd appreciate knowing them.

    Best,

    Tom

  • #2
    To: tluz,--- I guess anything is fixable, but it's really tough dealing with a part that's been 'fixed' so many times before. Sounds like it's time for a 'good used' replacement door. There's a wrecking yard here in Massachusetts
    parting out an Avanti, The doors were on it not too long ago (a Friend of Mine in the Northeast Chapter recently bought the hood off it) I'll try to find the phone number if You want.

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    • #3
      Yes, please. Much appreciated. I'm in Connecticut, so a trip to Mass may be worth it if the part is in good condition.

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      • #4
        Might be a good idea to post some photos of the affected areas and get some feedback from someone here that is perhaps a bit masterfull than you are. There's some sharp tacks around here. cheers jimmijim
        sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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        • #5
          To: tluz,-----Please check Your private messages.

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          • #6
            I did a thread, with pictures, on Avanti door repair to the hinge-mount area. Try the search function here.
            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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            • #7
              Thanks, Gord and Ed,

              I read your thread and wish I had your mechanical know-how.

              I spoke with Jon Myer about this today. He thinks you have to access the area to be repaired by removing a piece of the outer door skin and replacing it when finished. He disapproves of trying to effect the repair from the inside because there's no good access to the nut plates and cages. He suggested speaking to someone who fixes Corvettes, which can have similar problems despite the comparative lightness of their doors. He also opined that any used door is likely to have the same problems, as stress failure at the hinges is endemic to Avantis.

              Before I call a Corvette guy, I wanted to ask whether any of you are aware of someone here in the Northeast who is familiar with Avanti doors and might be interested in fixing one. I'd like to keep the business in the family, so to speak, if there's someone who's capable.

              Thanks as always,

              Tom

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              • #8
                Tom, post a picture of the problem area of your door. The inner panel of the door can be re-enforced with thick fibreglass board stock to yield a rock solid door, free from sag, inner panel flexing and door handle area stress cracking. My Avanti sports all of those improvements. You do not want to cut the outer skin, as that will eventually show up as sink shadows or depressions, a few years down the road. It is quite possible to do all of these repairs from the inside of the door. Show us some pictures.

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                • #9
                  It's not too hard to remove the outer skin in one piece, so you can bond it back on later. Much preferable to cutting a window in it.

                  While you are at it, add a reinforcement to the window lift pivot support, which almost surely needs it, power window or manual.
                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                  • #10
                    To: gordr,------ I've replaced more door skins than I really can remember, but never on an Avanti. I never heard that the factory even offered a door skin as a service part. Having said that, if the outer skin of an
                    Avanti door can be removed from the door frame without excess damage, that certainly would be the best way to access the internals, and perform a 'bulletproof' repair. Very good thought gordr!

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                    • #11
                      To: tluz,---- Please check Your private messages again.

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                      • #12
                        I'll take the door off tomorrow and get some pics up.

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                        • #13
                          Sorry it took so long to follow up.

                          It turned out that, when I went to remove the door for photos, the remaining fiberglass disintegrated into chunks and dust. There is nothing left in the hinge pockets but the nut-plate cages and some shards of fiberglass. It was obvious that I have to start from scratch and create a way to attach the door to the hinge. As there was nothing left to photograph, I decided not to bother.

                          I took the car to a reputable Corvette restorer in Newington, CT to review the situation and try to figure out a way to fabricate a bracket that can take the weight of the door without destroying the structure. His proposal is for an L-shaped metal bracket for each hinge that will attach inside the inner skin at the hinge-post side and along about half of the length of the door. Attachment by means of flush-mounted rivets at appropriate intervals.

                          The cost is hair-raising -- $1000 plus the brackets. I'm not sure what the alternatives are, but would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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                          • #14
                            If the guy knows what he is doing and will guarantee the repair, "It is what it is". Sometimes you just have to pay the freight. Getting another door might present the same problems. Good luck with it.
                            sigpic[SIGPIC]

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                            • #15
                              I just finished doing both my doors. Neither were as bad as yours sound. I bought a repair kit from "larktruck" which fixed the doors perfectly. Not that his kit will repair your door, you may want to send him a PM for his .02. He was great assistance for me.
                              Harvey

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