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Doors and associated hardware

Some of the images on this page are clickable, and will link to high resolution versions:



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 hole.

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 in.

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 work.



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 either door.
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 imperfections.



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 correctly.

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 waterproof.

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 of material.



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 task.

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 a little more.

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 from there.

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 glass.



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.