|This is the replacement front wing taped in place
to check alignment with the front bumper, boot lid and the door.
Its a fairly scary process taking an angle grinder to something
you spent more than a few thousand pounds on. I have removed
slightly too much material between the windscreen and the front
wing, but its pretty easy to rectify.
Now the door is hung correctly, I can glass the new wing in
along the windscreen edge, wait for it to dry and then pull
the bottom of the wing in to meet where the old one has been
|Here you can see the new wing and its relationship
to the rest of the door. Its going to look pretty good when
its bonded in.
This panel is apparantly a direct copy of the one supplied by
Parallel to real Diablo owners, although I dont expect they
had to chop bits out of their car to fit it!
This is the passenger side wing after being
bonded in place. The front bumper is taped and clamped to
provide a template for the new front wings. If you mounted
the wings blind, you would never get the bumper to look right,
so its a good idea to make sure you have this part to hand
before begining this step.
The passenger side wing is not as nice a fit as the drivers
side door, it will need a little body filler and some sanding
to even up the gap when the door is shut.
|This picture shows the front wing door recess
on the drivers side 90% percent complete. There is still a little
filling to do and I need to make a hole for the gas ram ball
joint at some point. The door is not fitted at this point because
its a hell of a lot easier to work on without it being fitted.
The new door hinge for this side should be arriving soon, I
will refit the door and take another photo to show how nice
this door looks when fitted.
|This is the wing on the passenger side. Its not
as nice a fit as the other side, but its easy to put right.
This image shows the wing before any work, although it is bonded
in place. The wing is actually a little thinner than the drivers
side, and doesnt line up against the door in the same way. So
the first thing I have done is layed an even coat of P40 along
the edge in roughly the same profile as the door. Once this
is dry, I will sand it back to provide roughly the correct door
gap, and then finish it off with ordinairy body filler.
This is the wing after I have built up the
initial profile with fibre-glass. Two layers of glass were
used to rough out the shape. Then a layer of body filler to
make sure it was nearly there.
It does not look like much has actually been added, but a
good 5mm of material has been layed down. The wing profile
on this side is a little bit smaller than the drivers side.
Its not much but it requires careful and slow progress to
get it looking right.
The same process will be repeated on the drivers side although
a simple skim of filler is all that will be required there.
|Here you can see what it looks like part way
through the process. The filler and glass fibre has been blended
into the wing and the edge brought out to meet the door. Once
the filler has been added far enough that it almost touches
the door, the edge will be sanded back evenly to provide the
required gap between the wing edge and door.
It takes roughly four hours to get it to this stage, and I will
probably spend at least double this getting it perfect on each
Heres the wing after some more sanding and
a splosh of paint. Its a useful thing to give something you
are working on a coat of paint, because it lets you see how
well you are doing. In my case, I noticed the wing at the
bottom kicks out rather than in as on the drivers side. Its
no big thing to correct but when paint is applied, things
like this become obvious.
You can also see I need to do a little work on defining the
flat part of the wing, although the gap all round the door
to the wing now looks pretty good. Still more time required
to get it looking great though.
I think the art to doing any sort of body work is not to try
and do it all in one go. Several thin coats of filler rather
than a thick layer are always better. Roughing out the shape
is easiest using something designed for the purpose such as
fibreglass bridging paste, or 'bodging compound' as its known
in the motor trade...
||This is the completed wing to door interface,
painted in filler primer. It took a lot of work to get it to
this state, and the results are well work the effort. I have
an even 4mm gap from the top of the wing to the sill, and the
door line flows correctly along the top of the wing.
At this stage, the hinge is fixed in its final position, and
the door to hinge interface is in its final position. No more
adjustment should now be required. I have also glassed the inner
wing to the chassis to complete this section of the build, although
it still needs to be foam filled.
The door clearance against the top of the wing is pretty close
now, and you need to grind away almost half the thickness on
the door's leading edge in order for it to clear correctly.
You need to account for the thickness of the paint when it is
applied so that you do not have any rubbing sections when you
come to put it all back together again.