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Need a door rebuild at hinges

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  • WCP
    replied
    I would still like to see a photo of the door inside as it is now. What you consider impossible to re-construct, may not be a problem for someone skilled in fibreglass re-construction. If I'm not mistaken, Corvette inner door panels are steel and the repair of this may be foreign to a Corvette man. Otherwise, I would "shake the bushes" for a replacement door. I'm sure they are out there. The door can have outside skin damage, as all you need is a good inner panel and it can be re-inforced to be rock solid.

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  • gs-xnr
    replied
    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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  • plwindish
    replied
    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.

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  • tluz
    replied
    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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  • tluz
    replied
    I'll take the door off tomorrow and get some pics up.

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  • SN-60
    replied
    To: tluz,---- Please check Your private messages again.

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  • SN-60
    replied
    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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  • gordr
    replied
    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.

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  • WCP
    replied
    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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  • tluz
    replied
    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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  • gordr
    replied
    I did a thread, with pictures, on Avanti door repair to the hinge-mount area. Try the search function here.

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  • SN-60
    replied
    To: tluz,-----Please check Your private messages.

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  • jimmijim8
    replied
    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

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  • tluz
    replied
    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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  • SN-60
    replied
    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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