|This image shows the drivers side door dry fitted.
The roof line is completely different from the passenger side.
The sweep is supposed to follow the curve of the door and then
reduce as it moves backward. The roof here sweeps far too far
back and high, the roof is completely wrong. Another problem
is that the door profile does not match the profile to the body.
Its a simple matter to correct this profile problem, but I will
need the door glass to make sure its 100%. This profile needs
to be dealt with as the weatherseal around the door will not
work correctly if it is not done.
The roof is going to cause some real problems. The passenger
door is a much better fit. I am undecided as to my approach
with the roof. I can reduce the roof line to meet the door correctly,
or raise the door to suit. I am leaning towards reworking the
roof as it is such a poor match to the required shape. The windscreen
will need to be at least dry fitted to confirm the leading edges
shape and location correctly.
Another problem with the body was made worse by the trimming
of the bottom of the body. The trimming done as the body arrives
fromparallel assumes the bottom sill is the same width its entire
length, Its not. Careful examination of pictures and diagrams
revealed it to be curved. I took a chop saw and removed an inch
of material where it touches the bottom of the chassis, and
almost immediately the drivers side door fit much better and
the body seemed to sit better on the car. Additionally the bottom
sill now looks much more like that in the pictures of real cars
that I have.
|The two worst areas on the car are the drivers
side door and the roof line. Both are wrong. The door itself
is pretty good, the whole it fits in, not so good.
Although the body is not bonded yet, I have begun work on getting
the doors to fit as good as is possible to the body as it stands.
The drivers side sill was badly distorted through being attached
to the rest of the body incorrectly. The problem manifested
itself in that the bottom sill did not follow the door line
towards the front and was almost two inches out!
I fixed this by slitting front wing as in the picture, and blocking
up with wood between the chassis and the body. I then attached
ratchet straps between the body and the chassis and tightened
them. With the body 'bent' to more resemble the correct shape,
heat was applied in the form of a paint gun to 'reset' the resin's
plastic memory. After the body had cooled back down, the straps
were removed and voila, the door now fits the bottom profile
perfectly. There is some surface distortion of the panels but
this can be cured with filler and sanding.
The door is at an angle in this picture, because the top of
the door is fouling the roof. Until I have the roll cage in,
I will not be able to pull the roof back down onto it. For the
minute this is as far as I can go with this door and surround.
The sill angle also now matches that on the passenger side.
The slit in the wing does not need to be filled because the
front wing actually gets cut off and a new style one installed
later on. When it comes to installing the doors I will be modifying
the wing rather than the door to get a good fit.
|This is the distortion on the drivers side now
that the roof has been pulled down onto the roll cage. It looks
worse in this picture than it actually is, and is within the
limits of what can be dealt with using a sander.
The roof did not need nearly as much force to pull down as I
anticipated, only one clamp being required. The under side of
the roof where it meets the roll cage being filled with epoxy
resin so as soon as this has cured, the clamps can be removed
and the roof should stay put.
|Here is the hinge mounting. Its a hell of a lot
easier to work on this area once the wing is removed, although
those of you building cars other than the Diablo 6.0 do not
have this luxury.
I had to drill new holes and tap them out to get the right angle
to mount the door nicely. I have packed out the hinge with washers
to get the correct position, and will fill the void between
the hinge and the mounting plate with expoy resin to stop any
future movement. A squirt of WD40 before the glue is applied
will make sure I can remove the plate in the future without
oxy-acetylene cutting gear.
You can see the difference between the holes is not that great,
but I would have preferred to drill these holes myself. I will
mention this to Naz, and would recommend anyone ordering this
chassis type to ask him not to drill and tap these holes.
|Got the first door mounted today, This shows
the door to roof alignment after mounting the hinge. Its not
nearly as bad as it was when I first popped the door into the
Pulling the roof down to the roll cage has helped significantly,
but I still needed to heat the door slightly to bring in to
line with the rest of the body. Total movement required was
about 15mm out. Not too great but enough that it wasnt acceptable
to just leave it as it was. Hopefully, this will be the last
time I need to heat any part of the body to fit!
|This is the shut line at the bottom of the door.
I can get my index finger into the gap and its even all the
way along. I need to pull the rocker in slightly at the back
to bring everything in nice and trim, but I will do that when
I foam the inside sills. This gap is not usually as big on a
6.0 Diablo, but the Parallel body is the older style Diablo
with replacement wings.
The door fitting actually wasnt as bad as I feared it would
be. I just hope the passenger side goes as well.
|These are the door mirrors I ordered from NAERC
in canada. Delivery was very quick, although a little bit expensive
at $100 canadian.
They are pretty much the same sort of quality any of the other
kit car companies provide. You do not get any of the springs
or mounting plates needed to install the retraction mechanism,
so you need to source a set of wing mirrors to provide these
donor parts. I purchased a set of aftermarket M3 style wing
mirrors designed to fit to a vauxhall corsa from one of the
boy racers on the shop floor at work for a tenner. These have
all the springs and motors in that are required and even look
a little like the Diablo ones.
The other differences between these wing mirrors and the ones
parallel supply are that the mounting plate that fits against
the door is flat rather than curved and is slightly oversized
to allow fitment to a wide variety of doors. You trim material
off the bases to suit. These mirrors are also made from fibreglass
rather than plastic as in the parallel versions.
|This is the door to wing gap after some rework.
The gap as the wing is fitted was too big in my opinion and
looked pretty bad. I noticed Naz's green demonstrator had very
large uneven gaps and this was something I did not want for
my car. The process for geting the gap right is simple, the
door is dropped into position, and initially glass fibre is
added bridging the gap between the wing and the door. Before
it has a chance to go off, I use a thin piece of steel to cut
the glass fibre. Once it has gone off I can then use conventional
body filler to fill the remaining gaps and make good.
|The latch here is fitted to the door. Its a fairly
complex hole which is supplied untrimmed in the door. Some marks
exist in the door as where to cut, but based on experience of
other things marked on the body, I went very carefully. One
of the bolts is not installed at present as I need to shorten
my standard stainless steel ones to prevent them from fouling
the moving parts inside the latch.
Mounting the receiver on the body in the correct position is
extremely important. Its the only 'hard point' that determines
the doors closed position. What I did was draw over the back
of the receiver with a dry wipe marker pen. Installed the receiver
onto the latch and shut the door. When its opened, some of the
marker pen will have transferred to the body, giving you a pretty
good idea of where to mount the receiver. The next stage is
simply drilling and mounting. Some minor adjustment will be
required, but using this procedure I was able to get it right
pretty much first time.
|To get the passenger side door to locate properly
I needed to move the rear window frame over by 10mm. This whole
section was in the wrong place. Not a difficult thing to do,
but it still took over an hour to deal with.
|Here the cut outs for the push button and lock
have been made, and the door handle installed. The marks on
the body for the door handle are pretty poor, so remove a small
section at a time and test fit. I have used filler primer which
is pretty close to the mustard colour I will finish the car
The handle is fixed to two stainless steel brackets bonded to
the door skin. I used my bench grinder to rough up the steel
so the fibreglass can make a good bond to it. The handle works
really well. Not much force will be required to pull the door
up as the gas rams I will install later should do much of that
|This is the latch receiver against the body.
Its difficult to get the latch located correctly as you cannot
see it once the door is closed, so its a case of suck it and
see. I used washers to test various configurations, and built
up glass fibre and body filler to finalise the latch position.
|Im about halfway through sorting out this area
now. I shut the door and got it as good a fit as I could at
the top of the door and at its very bottom. Then I filled completely
over the gap and along the rear quarter to get the lines correct.
Once this had hardened, I used my dremel with a milling bit
to cut along the door line, basically the dremel will not cut
the fibreglass (much) but will much prefer to eat through the
filler. What you are left with is a line of filler at precisely
the right distance, which when you fill against gives you an
almost perfect door shut.
Here you can see the filler all the way down, making my new
edge. At the very bottom is where I had to cut a section out
as the door would not close correctly. It basically was far
to high. I cut it out, layed some fibreglass in roughly the
new shape, and sculpted a new bottom corner with bridging compound.
Filler is used to refine the surface.
|The gap here at the very top is not correct yet,
I removed too much with my sander so I need to repeat my dremel
technique to correct this.
There is a sizeable depression in the fibreglass on the rocker
at the bottom and this required correcting as well. It needed
a lot of filler to correct, and Im still not happy with the
line where the panels would meet on a genuine car. I have it
straight now, It was bent, but the thickness is not even along
its length, yet again something to fix.
The vent at the bottom here is not correct either. It should
be in a nice sweeping curve that matches the line of the body,
but it straightens out just past the intake. There is not a
great deal you can do here, and as the other side is identical
in this respect, I will leave it as it is.
With some body problems, you need to ask yourself just how far
you are willing to go to correct them. I could cut the section
out and reposition it to make it accurate. But given the amount
of work required to do this, and the fact it will still look
pretty good even with this defect, I am not going to bother.
And lets be honets, no one but a purist would be able to tell
this apart from the real thing, and there are plenty of other
dead give aways to tell this apart from the real thing anyhow.
|This rather bizzarre angle is a shot of the interior
door locking mechanism. The push button is installed using an
aluminium plate supplied by Parallel Designs. I would say that
as nicely made as this piece is, they might as well have not
bothered. If you install the latch as the bracket intends you
to, you will not be able to remove the push button when the
plate is bonded in. I decided to mount the plate so I could
remove the button if required, which necessitated the removal
of quite a lot of the aluminium.
I have also installed the lever which operates the push button.
I made this from stainless steel strip and welded a bolt to
a strip which was then glassed to the door skin as a pivot point.
The button does not need to be pushed in too far to operate
the latch, which is probably not right, but there we go.
I have the linkages required to operate the lock on the button,
which I sourced from my local model shop. I followed a fellow
builder's advice (Chris Barber from lamboreplica.co.uk), and
will fabricate a lever to operate the locking machanism. I also
have bought a central locking kit to operate the locks from
The linkages required are from the 'schumacher' range of flap
actuators. Normally used on model aircraft and radio controlled
cars. The ball and cup match the ball mounted on the bush button
lock. The threaded rod you need to use is 3mm for joining all
the bits together.
|Here I have foamed the front part of the sill
to stabilise this area. I will not continue this foaming until
I have installed the door seal.
I am waiting on materials that will help me with this process.
I hope to be able to reduce the amount of time required to rebuild
the seal area from several weeks for both doors to a few days.
We shall see how successful I am with this.
Its possible to see some of the problems with the door seal
in the image. The seal is supposed to go directly onto the outside
of the door so it does not foul the door card when its installed,
at the moment its every where but. The gap as it stands varies
from zero millimetres to over 50 at one point. Given that the
door to frame gap sould be around 10mm all round, its easier
to cut the old one off and build up a new one. In the top right
hand corner of the picture its possible to see where the body
had been trimmed too far, leaving a gap that needs to be rebuilt
if the rubber is ever to seal correctly.
|This image shows the new door seal part way through
replacement. This is four hours after I first began cutting
the old one away, probably another four hours will be needed
to complete this section.
The first thing to do is to get the door fitted as well as you
can. In my case the original seal strip was actually pushing
the door out. Once you have the door in round about the right
place, you then cut the old strip off flush with the door. I
then put brown parcel tape on every surface where the new strip
will touch. Fibreglass does not bond at all to parcel tape,
so its ideal for this task. A layer of 10mm thick foam is then
applied to the top of the parcel tape, with another layer of
tape is placed on top of that to stop the fibreglass sticking
to the foam. Once this is done, I used 2 inch wide fibreglass
tape to make a new seal, approximately three layers are sufficient.
Once it has dried, you slowly open the door, the tape will stick
to the fibreglass but not to the door, you must peel the tape
away which is usually held by a vaccum effect and undercuts
in the folds of the tape. It comes away pretty easily. Now all
that remains is to skim the new seal with bridging compound
on both sides and sanding to flatten it suitably. The picture
here shows the seal as it is being worked on with the final
skims and trimming taking place.
Some sanding will be required to remove drips of resin and remove
|Here is the more or less completed seal. Time
to get to this stage was around seven days from first cut, working
around two to four hours a day. The seal as it stands is slightly
over long, and will require trimming to get everything to fit
As you can see, this process creates a lot of dust, nothing
a hoover and an air line cant sort out however.
A gave the lip a dust of primer just to see where more rubbing
down is required. Its good pratice to get everything as straight
as you can make it before you send it off for paint. The more
preparation you can do at this stage, the cheaper your paint
job will be.
||This is the end result of two
weeks worth of work to the door seals. As you can see,
the seal is now even and compressed equally across its
entire length. Once the glass is in, this door will be
The screwdriver in the picture is there until the glass
is placed inside the door. Its effect on the door shape
is minor to say the least, but I wanted to make sure everything
was 100% correct.
|This shows the alignment between the door and
the windscreen edge.
The door has a slight bow on the leading edge, which I assume
is used to create a channel which forces rain across the roof
rather than sideways over the doors. The gap between the windscreen
and door edge here is a little bit tight, although the door
edge can be trimmed to widen this if necessary.
|Heres the end result of all the work. As you
can see, the door is a nice tight fit, with an even panel gap
around its complete perimeter. I am very pleased with this result,
and now only have to replicate this on the other door.
The door open and close is OK, not as easy as when the rubber
seal wasnt fitted, but I suppose this was to be expected.
|Bugger. I started mounting the drivers side door
today and its quite a bit out. It looks like I have mounted
the wing 10mm too wide which has caused this rather unsightly
gap down the door.
I have spaced the hinge out using a 10mm aluminium plate and
the clearance isnt too bad as the door comes up, but needs a
little work as well.
|This side view shows a problem for which I am
not too bothered about at present. With no spacers fitted, the
windscreen is exactly at the same height as the door edge. I
may need to reduce the spacer on this side down to pretty much
nothing, whilst packing up the other side to match. this edge.
I need to look at some photos to see how the windscreen edge
aligns to the door edge on the real thing.
|The bottom gap here is pretty nasty and will
need a fair amount of filler to match the gap I finished with
on other door.
The sill on this side is visibly different to the sill on the
other door, the inner edge is much deeper than the passenger
side. I will fill this with glass fibre bridging compound and
then use my dremel to get the same gap as on the passenger side.
|As I was not happy with the alignment of the
front wing to the door, I have cut the wing and clamped it in
to its new position as can be seen here. It took about two hours
to move and rebond the wing. I will spend some time over the
next few days making this area good.
Its a difficult thing to accurately position the wing without
the doors fitted, but its also hard to position the door correctly
without the wing being fitted. Its a kind of chicken and egg
thing. Overall I am much happier with the wings position.
|I have adjusted the spacer used between the chassis
and door hinge to get better clearance as the door comes up
across the wing. It still needs a little tinkering as the door
is still very close.
The gap between the door and front wing has also been finalised
here, although there is much more work to be done to this area
before it is finished.
The bottom sill where it meets the new wing and door was also
badly out of shape. Its difficult to see what could have caused
this, but it was bad enough to warrant taking an angle grinder
to it to straighten it out. Its OK now, the fibreglass is very
thick in this area, so I was able to remove almost six millimetres
|This is the latch receiver mounted on the body.
I needed to space the plate from the body and I used some offcuts
of fibreglass bonded together to give me the necessary spacer.
Never throw any of your offcuts away until the car is on the
road. You never know when you need a small piece of material
to perform a task just like this.
I only have two bolts fitted at present as I have run out of
those which are sufficiently long to go through the body.
|I fitted the latch to the door, because to finalise
the doors position, you really need it secured at both the hinge
and latch end.
This door has been trimmed by someone at parallel designs and
I have to say I just wish they had left it as it was. The hole
for the latch has been cut too large, Its fortunate that the
plastic trim covers this otherwise an unsightly gap would have
resulted. I have no such luck with the push button which is
cut back far too much to get away with without some filling.
Having worked on the other door for so long, I was suprised
and pleased at how quickly and easily I was able to fit this
one. Benefit of hindsight/experience I suppose.
With a long weekend beckoning, I resolved
to finish the seal on this door so I could move on to other
more exciting things than rubbing things down.
These two pictures detail the procedure I used in replacing
the door weather seal.
Firstly, I closed the door and cut the old seal off such that
it ended flush with the door. Then I stuck some neoprene foam
which is 10mm thick, onto the door where I want the new seal
to meet. ( I have since determined, its possible to use a
thicker foam and save yourself some rubbing down!)
Once you have stuck the foam on, you then need to cover it
in parcel tape, otherwise the fibreglass will stick to the
foam, and you will not be able to get it off.
|Using two inch wide fibreglass tape, I then glassed
from where I cut the sill on the body on to the parcel tape.
Fibreglass tape is very handy but does not absorb the resin
as much as matt. So you need at least three layers for this
Once the resin has cured, peel the foam and tape from the door.
You might be able to open the door with just a good yank to
split the tape. At this point the sill is pretty much in the
right position, but no where near strong enough to support the
rubber door seal.
|The next stage involves fibreglass bridging paste,
which is the quickest way to reinforce the seal. You can use
fibreglass matt if you like, but its messier.
Apply a thin layer of fibreglass to the door facing side of
the sill, to fill out and voids in the tape. On the reverse
side, use a much thicker layer. You want at least 5mm, probably
more if your paste spreading skills are anything like mine.
Once this is cured, use something like a grinder or aggressive
sander to flatten it all down, and thickness the new sill so
the rubber fits over it correctly. You can use some more fibreglass
bridging paste to repair any cock ups.
|The last step involves fitting the rubber edge,
and opening and closing the door to see if any areas are too
tight or not tight enough. The seal should compress down to
less than half its size, any more than this can cause the door
to distort, and less and the door will not seal properly.
The door seal is pretty squishy, but the force it can exert
over the entire mating surface of the door is fairly high, So
you might need to grind some of the sill back, or build it up
in other places.
|This shows the sill rubber fully fitted. It makes
a nice seal all round the door, so I shoudnt get too wet when
it rains. As you can see, the amount of dust the whole process
generates is fairly horrific. You need to wear a mask when working
on this sort of stuff. You only ever make the mistake of not
wearing one once. A night of coughing up fibreglass bits and
the associated wheezing is enough for anyone, believe me.
The gap at the bottom of the door was too big and did not match
the passenger side, so I have bought it up to match as in this
image. I first roughed up the sill using an angle grinder, and
then layed down a 8mm layer of fibreglass in the same profile
as the original. It still needs a little work as its not particuarly
even as yet.
|This image shows the passenger side door fully
fitted. In this image I have also installed the top aluminium
channel that the glass slides into. The vertical section needs
some work doing to the door before it can be fitted. I stuck
a little resin to the aluminium before I installed it as a belt
and braces approach along with the pop rivets. I used Andrew's
technique for fitting the pop rivets, of a nut on the shaft
to allow the pop rivet gun to reach inside the channel. Its
worth checking out builder forum's for tips like this.
As this channel is aluminium, it needs some form of treatment
before fitting. Lamborghini black anodise the metal frames,
which gives a very pleasant appearance. However, anodising anything
black is quite expensive. This is because black is not really
black (!?). Anodising anything black is actually dark blue done
loads and loads of times. Hence the cost. Also I did not think
that the aluminium Naz supplies is formed well enough to be
anodised. Its not bad, dont get me wrong, but its not a patch
on the original. Not wanting to go to the expense of original
frames, I have used acid etch primer on my aluminium before
fitting them, so when the car is eventually painted, a good
key inside the guide will be provided.
|Because the door basically needed to be elongated
to fit fit the hole, the curvature of the door didnt match the
glass anymore. To fix this I needed to apply a new layer fibreglass
to match the glass so it will run up and down the channel smoothly.
If you are fixing the glass in the closed position, it might
be easier to leave this as it is.
To get the profile exact, I used the same procedure as I used
on the top rail. I checked the aluminium against the glass,
and tweaked it to match it as best as I could. The curve should
be consistent along the entire length of the strip. I then wrapped
it in parcel tape and used this to blade the wet fibreglass
to the correct profile. Once its dry, its then sanded and blended
into the rest of the door.
|Here is some work I have been doing for the gas
ram mounts on the body. On the right is the plate Naz supplies
to couple the end of the gas ram to the chassis. It is fitted
to the inside of the wing and is welded to a chassis upright.
The design is geared for ease of construction rather than authenticity.
I decided to make my own mounts, and these are pictured on the
left. These are 16mm steel shafts, drilled and tapped to accept
the ball joint. I will then drill a hole in the body and weld
these to the other side of the upright Naz's plate would attach
too. I think this will look better and by the virtue of being
a cylinder, is much more likely to be stronger.
|This is the vertical aluminium door channel
fitted. I checked the profile against the glass before fitting
it, and filled the door to suit. The aluminium is fitted with
three pop rivets and a smear of resin again as 'belt and braces'.
|Here I have bonded a piece of aluminium channel
into the door. The door as supplied has no provision to prevent
the glass runner from falling behind the wing mirror.
I cut slits in one face of the right angle at 10mm intervals,
and bent the metal to match the profile of the glass. I then
glassed it in, filling the gaps in the slits as I went. The
strength of this area is far stronger now as a result.
|These are the motors with a before and after
I have modified them. The motors come from a Mk II Ford Fiesta,
and use a push pull cable arrangement to raise and lower a
bracket along a track.
The track as it stands is a lot straighter than the curvature
of the glass, so it needs to be bent to match. The best procedure
for doing this is to place your hands at either end of the
track and use your knee to bend it. It takes a little effort
as the metal is pretty strong. The track is then shortened,
and the holes cut into the end to take the top cable idler.
I found it easier to remove the top and bottom cable idlers,
which is not difficult as they are only pop-riveted on. I replaced
the pop rivets with 5mm cap head bolts, the heads being a similiar
size to the rivets I drilled. I fitted an overlong bolt to
the top idler as it will make a handy place to make a top mounting
bracket. The original top bracket will have been cut off when
the track was shortened.
I had hoped I would not need to shorten the cable, but there
was not enough room on the spool to take the excess. A crimp
is used to anchor the cable, and I replaced this with a brass
screwlock made from a piece of connector block.
|I fitted the new shortened motor here. I used
the Lamborghini OEM motor mounting plate and modified it to
suit. I am not entirely happy with the motor position, so I
will probably adjust this to suit. Basically one of the cables
is too taught when the glass reaches the end position.
The top mount is the most important mount, the bottom one is
used mainly as a guide. The top one takes all the stress as
the glass goes up and down.
I dont have a portable 12 volt supply, only an 18 volt one,
and the glass moves up and down at a pretty fast rate. The
glass is held by a clamp which goes on the bottom edge. The
metal edge of the clamp is buffered by a piece of rubber, cut
from a piece of floor matting. The original rubber is too thick
as the donor glass is much thinner than the Lamborghini glass.
Getting this clamp on firmly is pretty scary, I used plenty
of oil to ease it on, but it still requires a fair amount of
force. Its fortunate that the Lamborghini glass is very much
thicker. You may need to expand the clamp slightly to accomodate
the rubber you use.
|Here is the glass in the fully down position.
It does not go down as far as the original glass, its short
by about an inch. The glass wont go all the way into the door
as the door itself just isnt deep enough for this. By rejigging
the glass mounting bracket, I may be able to get it too drop
As it is, the space it provides is more than enough to pass
an officer of the law your documents, or to retreive a ticket
from a parking machine. Bear in mind you are sitting much lower
than a normal car, you would reach upwards to fetch a ticket.
I will check pictures of my door against originals and decide
As you can see, I had to remove the door again as working on
it in situ was just not an option. Its a lot easier to work
on this type of job when you have full access to everything.
|No matter what I did, I could not get the door
edge to line up evenly against the body. This was true for
the the passenger side as well. The general shape was OK, although
the passenger side had a small area of protrusion that required
significant sanding. The drivers side curved in too fast in
the last few inches, and needed bringing out to match the door
edge. Here you can see the first roughing out stage establishing
the basic shape.
|This top view shows the door to quarter glass
edge after I fixed it to correct the overly large gap. I have
not blown over the door yet as I would need to strip out the
|This is the door edge after much filling and
corrective work. The door now blends into the body nicley and
I have an even gap all the way around the door. It does not
take much effort to get this sort of thing right, and I am
always suprised to see replicas of all types where little attention
has been paid to the door gaps.
I am not blowing my own trumpet here, the gaps are by no means
perfect. But you have to strike a balance between what is reasonably
possible, and perfection. My aims with the doors was to get
them to work, fit and be water tight.
|This image shoes the inside of the door after
much rework. I have fitted the handle for the engine cover
release here. Its a simple operation which just involves cutting
a hole to suit, and clamping the handle with the supplied bracket
through the body. The thread on the captive nut welded to the
bracket was a wierd one, I had to retap it to a metric size.
The next stage is to mount the bottom ball joints
for the gas rams. As this requires welding, you want to remove
as much of the dust and flammable materials as you can.
|Here I am using the ball joint mounts I made
at work on my lathe. Naz supplies a little plate which goes
through from the underside of the wing but it isnt very original
or particuarly well made. There is no doubt it would do the
job, I just didnt like it.
The key to achieving a good penetrating weld is to make sure
the metal you are welding to is clean from contaminates and
paint. They poison the gas shield as they burn away, leaving
voids and pitted areas around the weld. This in turn makes
it weaker and more prone to fracture.
I borrowed a heavy duty MIG welder as I felt my small TIG welder
was not up to the task of welding these parts.
You can also see the area marked on the body where the ball
joint should fall, I did this with the aid of a piece of elastic,
some string and a dry wipe marker.
|This is the inside of the wing after the welding
has cooled. I have put a skim of fibreglass over the top of
this part and also between the chassis and body, completely
enveloping the shaft. This provides no real additional mechanical
strength but will reduce the slight flex here and provide some
protection to this important area as a lot of the paint has
been removed to ensure a clean weld.
|Heres the end result. You may note that there
are not any bits of string or bungee cords holding the doors
up, and that they are both at the same angle. I am very pleased
with this part of the build. Now all I need to do is get the
remainder of the glass from Naz to really knock these doors
on the head.
Some rework on the door Gas ram apertures because as with everything
else on the doors, the holes for the rams have been cut in
the wrong place. Not to worry, it wont take long to fix.
|I have fitted the runner for the bottom glass
wiper. I had been working for seven solid days on the car,
so its was probably not the right time to do this bit. It took
me three attempts to get the aluminium channel I am using into
the correct position. The door skin needed to be heated up
and pulled out to give me some clearance between the glass
and the outer skin, and even this was not enough, I eventuall
ground out about 8mm on material from the edge to fit this
part. The rubber is not pushed down all the way yet, but even
now it touches the glass correctly whilst still allowing it
to slide up and down.
In my efforts to fit this part, I had not noticed that the
glass was rubbing the aluminium at the centre of its travel,
so I now have two fine scratches running vertically up the
glass. Grrr, now I have to get a glass polishing kit to get
rid of them. Most people would not notice them, but I will
know they are there...
On top of all this, given the manipulation of the door I have
had to do here, I now have to rejig the glass runners as it
does not run up and down as smooth as it used to.
|These are the new style glass runners I am trying out on the passenger side door. If they work as expected I will replace the mechanism on the drivers side. They are from the MK3 Mondeo and use two runners to lift long glass evenly by using a cross over cable system. The motors contain extensive electronics to detect stalled conditions such as the glass being fully up or down.
I have shortened and rebent the runners to match the Diablo glass curvature, as well as constructed a frame to hold the runners in situ so the whole mechanism can be removed easily for maintenance.
My mechanism on the drivers side worked OK but sometimes got stuck due to the door twisting and pushing the runners out of alignment. I will put some stiffening into the passenger door to eliminate this problem, and if it works, move it over to the drivers side as well.
|I followed Andrews example here and installed a strengthening plate running down the inside of the door from the hinge plate.
This simple modification eliminates almost all the flappiness in the door itself and makes it rigid enough to hit the latch plate every time. The only play now is left in the hinge mounting itself.
|Here is my current hinge setup. The Parallel hinge is sandwiched between two aluminium plates. These spacers position the hinge correctly from the body and stiffen this whole section. I think flat plates work better than washers as it gives more grip to the hinge preventing the door from pivoting on its mountings.
With the door strengthening in place, the only sway in the door is caused by the flat mounting plate flexing between the chassis and the hinge itself. There is maybe 1/2mm if flex in the hinge at this point but this translates to more than a few millimetres at the extent of the door. The door is still 'flappy', but no where near as bad as PD's green demonstrator.
|This is the only modification I can do to the hinges without requiring the wings to be removed. Due to the hinge plates location high in the wing, and the lack os space above it, it would be impossible to weld strengthening in due to clearance and lack of access. The only viable solution is to triangulate the chassis to the hinge in some other way.
The only way to do this is to weld a small section from the bottom of the hinge to the chassis to eliminate the sway. The only problem with this is that it would prevent easy changing of the hinge.
This is probably one of those jobs best left when absolutely sure the hinge is in the correct position. But I feel confident this will stiffen the doors to an acceptable level.
|Here is the modified NAERC wing mirror mounted to the door. I bought these from the US thinking that they would be better quality than those available in the UK. Truth be told they are no better and require just as much work.
The first problem is that they are both different sizes. The passenger side mirror part was filled completely will gel-coat for some reason?! The wife sat for over two hours with a dremel separating the gelcoat filler from the main body of the wing mirror.
The second problem which Martin pointed out to me at Stoneleigh would be any wing mirrors purchased from the US would be for a left-hand drive vehicle. It looked like my bargain wing mirrors would not be so much of a bargain.
Examining the wing mirrors more closely it appeared the wing mirrors were not sided. They were both the same. Assembling them with duct tape showed that I would not need to modify the drivers side wing mirror for it to work correctly.
||This is a simple diagram of whats required. This diagram assumes the mirrors are not adjustable, which in reality they would be. The pink blob is the driver, the front of the vehicle being at the top with the little parts at the sides being the actual wing mirrors.
A mirror reflects light at the same angle as the incidence hitting it, so in order for the driver to see behind him the angle of the mirror is different for the passenger side than for the drivers side mirror. The angle of the view in the diagram being indicated by the 'laser' beams.
Most cars built for a single market will have oriented wing mirrors. For instance my neighbours Renault has different angle mirrors, whereas my mercedes has the same angle mirrors for both sides.
What does this mean? On my neighbours car the glass sits almost square in the mirror, whereas on my Mercedes, the passenger side glass is angled so far you can actually see the mechanism on the inside of it.
I will be angling my mirrors so that the glass sits square, I dont care if its accurate or not.
|This overexposed picture of the door shows the internal door card fitted into position. I put the door card roughly where it should go, and marked through with a pen onto the door frame.
I then drilled these marks and installed rivnuts to give something to screw against. The door panels had originally been fitted using woodscrews, I used 4mm cap bolts.
I think a good measure of the quality if a kit car is to ask a builder how many wood screws they used to construct their car. The ideal answer should be none. In my opinion wood screws have no place in the manufacture of a car (Unless its a 'woody' or a morris Traveller).
|Here are the completed mirror shells. The NAERC shells are no better or worse in my opinion than the ones PD supply. In all honesty its probably took about the same amount of time to fix these as it would the known problems with the PD shells had I bought those. The additional time on fixing my shells was to convert them to right-hand drive, and to correct a sizing issue with regards to the glass size.
The glass was sourced by PD, and is original Lamborghini. As is the case with most of these things, they are different widths. The NAERC shells were different heights, probably to accomodate locally sourced glass in the USA. So I had to reduce the width of one shell, and increase the height of the other.
The next stage is to fit the motors, spring assembly and the spacer between the mirror parts. The mirror spacer I will cast from a flexible PVC resin. I have yet to decide if the mirrors will be painted one colour as on the ealier diablo's or in two colours.
|I wasnt happy with the flex in the hinge that PD supplies. The leaf of the hinge that bolts to the door is a T shape and this is not a configuration which is particuarly stiff. With the weight of the door, the minimal flex in this part becomes much more apparent.
The solution many other builders are going to is to install either the OEM hinges or a replica of this hinge. Unfortunately it requires significant modification to the chassis to fit as they are so different to the PD hinge. At my stage of the build its simply not practical.
So in order to stiffen my hinge, I bought some 6mm plate and cut a section to fit inside the existing leaf. This took a long time, almost an hour and a half as my jigsaw I was using decided to give up and go bang whilst cutting this material.
|I welded my cut section onto the inside on the hinge, and recut the mounting holes so I could bolt the door back on and gave it a go. The flex in the hinge has now gone entirely, in fact the only flex is in the plate the hine bolts to so I will weld a small bracket in there to eliminate that.
I will be sending the hinges off shortly to have the hinge pin replaced with a more robust solution at some point which will increase long term reliability and provide a method of maintenance.
|I also started the final stages of the door buildup on the passenger side. The process is the same as the driver side but obviously everything is reversed.
I need to get to a scrap yard find some of the little plastic guides that are often found on the leading edges of long glass doors. They probably have some special name, except I dont know what it is. If anyone knows the techincal name for these things, please let me know.
|This is the completed drivers door weather strip lip installed. It needs to go as close as possible to the door glass without touching it as the glass goes up and down. If it does touch, the glass will become scored. All of the PD demonstrators I have seen with electric windows have large gaps between the weather strip and glass, all have score marks.
||This is the triangulation bracket installed to stop the hinge plate flexing up and down. Its difficult to weld it in upside down, this job would be a whole lot easier to do without the wing being fitted.
With the door fitted with the glass installed, the sway has now been reduced to tolerable levels. It has not been removed entirely, and given the fact the doors are fibreglass and the way they are hinged, its going to be almost impossible to eliminate it completely.
||The wing mirrors are mounted to the doors in this image or though they do not have the small plates that the motors mount to installed yet.
The mirrors need to flex when struck, this is an SVA requirement, as well as be adjustable inside the passenger compartment remotely. Two strong springs are mounted through the mirror to its base via 25mm steel hollow tubes. These tubes are bonded into the mirror and the base and provide a strong pivot to tension the springs against.
||The springs are very strong and require significant effort to elongate into position. The springs need to be this strong to stop the wing mirrors from flapping about when the vehicle is driven at speed. Next time you are out in a car travelling at speed, stick your hand out the window with your palm flat, and see how much effort is required to keep your hand from moving. The springs must provide this force at a bare minimum.
The last two jobs before these mirrors can be painted, is to install the mirror motor and to insert the rubber spacers which go between the mirror and the mirror base.
The original mirror design used a separate hole for the cables, but they are such a thin gauge I think I will probably run them through the centre of the springs as there is plenty of room.
||These plates cover over the wing mirror mountings and will be painted the same colour as the rest of the car. The rubber door seal rests against this part so its essential its flush as on the original car.
I am quite pleased with the way these panels have come out as although not authentic, they work quite well and provide a nice professional finish to this area.
||I refitted the door here so that it closes properly and fits the recess as intended. When the car came back from the bodyshop, the doors were put on very roughly and did not close as they should. I have rehung this door and now it closes properly with the shut lines in the correct place.
I had enormous problems where the door seemed to 'stick' as it closed. Removing the door rubber allowed the door to close correctly and it transpired that the newly painted door was 'stickier' than the dusty non-painted surface I had before. As they door shut, the rubber seal would grab and prevent closing.
I fixed this problem by removing the seal and using a silicone lubricant spray on the mating rubber surface. The door now shuts properly and reasonably smoothly. By the nature of the door design it isnt going to shut like a Lexus.
||The wing mirrors are now almost complete. The two halves of the mirror, base and mirror housing, are joined by very strong springs. To stop the painted surfaces from rubbing togetheras the mirror flexes and moves, a small piece of material is insertes at the joinging surface. You can see in this image, it is the black piece between the two parts.
I had some difficulty finding a suitable material for this purpose, as rubber would deform under the pull of the springs and squish out the sides. I had contemplated using old car mats sliced up to suit but in the end I used a section of anti-static mat that was on a colleagues desk at work!
||Here the motor which positions the mirror is visible. A small section of plastic is now to be bonded to the actuator arm of the motor. The mirror will then be glued or stuck using strong adhesive tape to this.
||I installed the glass into the wing mirrors using double sided sticky tape of the type used to fix trim onto cars. It has an extremely high strength and is very difficult to remove after a time. This should be more than adequate to hold the glass to the actuator mechanism.
||This is a view of the front of the car with both wing mirrors fitted, its pretty wide now and slightly more difficult to get in and out of the garage than before.
||Installed the door cards today. They look pretty nice even though they are not technically the right door cards for this model of car.
I had tremendous difficulty finding the correct speakers for the door cards. I used Pioneer speakers for the mid and base range speakers. I could not find any tweeters the right size separately, so I bought a cheap set of speakers at Currys, and robbed the tweeters from them. A passive crossover in each door sorts the signals out.