[13 and a bit] Bodywork – and door hinges!

Another quick update on the progress of the bodywork – that is, on getting the doors fitting into the main monocoque.

Since the last post I have glued the door parts together and spent yet more time bending, prodding, swearing etc to get a reasonable fit on the doors. I focussed on getting the body lines to match up, with the plan to fill other (flat) surfaces where needed (fingers crossed).

One particular problem was that I couldn’t get the door sides, at the rear of the doors, to match up with the bodywork – they stuck out nearly the full thickness of the door skin. I decided to cut through the skin underneath the strake feature, and bend the skin, as in the photo below (left). On the right, you can see one of the bent door skins, with the door latch behind it. The skin has moved closer to the latch but there is still enough room so the latch wont be blocked when I clean up the inside surface of the door.

Next job was to reattach the lower door hinges. There are some tricks with these hinges, especially as the instructions are a little vague on how things go together:

So, how these hinges work is that:

  • The hole for the hinge pin (Flat rivet in the instructions) gwill be drilled starting from a dimple cast in the inside, top corner of the end piece of the hinge. This dimple needs to line up with a small relief (a tiny groove) cast next to the hinge channel in the resin body. The hinge pin will go come out on the outer vertical face of the hinge and then go into the side of the channel in the body.
  • The lower hinge pin needs to be in line with the pin of the upper hinge. When drilling for the lower hinge pin, the drill needs to point back towards the upper hinge pin as closely as possible.
  • I suspect the upper and lower hinge pins – as aluminium flat rivets – are a bit weak for the job… I have to admin I lost my flat rivets, and ordered the thickest MFH flat rivets I could find as replacements – they have a 0.4mm shaft. If you have the original rivets, and they are thicker than 0.4mm, you may be OK. I am instead using 0.5mm diameter nickel silver wire.

And the result… noting that there is still much finish work to do, and things are all very rough, but here is a door that opens on its hinges:


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