Finishing the Driver Door

After assembling the passenger door, I took a break from doors. As I get closer to having everything assembled, I can’t avoid assembling the driver door much longer. Since it’s been so long, I have already forgotten all the nuances associated with assembling, so its like its all new. I left out a number of details on my last write-up, so I figured I better do some more documenting. I expect I will be doing doors again as well.

The first problem I ran into was a broken door handle actuator. The spring was broken so I needed to replace it. Easy enough. I ran into an issue mixing the new part with original parts though. The diameter of the holes for the rods is slightly different, so the original rod clips were not staying in place. I also had to order reproduction rod clips.

You can see the new door handle actuator is not exactly like the old one

Once the new clips came in, I was back in business and the interior door handle was back to functioning. I did have to shim the strike plate to get it to line up, but I figure that’s part of buying reproduction doors as well.

With the door latch working, I moved on to the window. This is the fun part. It has some mystery parts which took some digging to remind me what they were and how they go together.

Awesome pic courtesy of West Coast Classic Cougars

I was able to find this awesome cut out door pic with all the part numbers on West Coast Classic Cougars. If you need any of the parts, you can also get most of them from WCCC with their supplied part numbers.

I also found a video from AutoRestoMod where they do a walk through on installing the window. They skip a few details, so the above picture was super helpful figuring out things like the window stops.

So, from the top, the first thing to go in the door is the window guide. To prep the guide, I had to screw in the hex socketed “top like” bolt where it belonged. My first question was which one. There are 3, and 2 sizes. There is only one smaller one, and that’s the one needed for the guide. These bolts are special, with a washer like thing in the middle of them. They are used for adjusting the angle of the window so it fits in the roof rail channel properly. More on that later.

The lone smaller “top” goes on the window guide. The others are for the gull window.
Adjustment bolt installed on the window guide

Before installing the window guide in the door, I also needed to attach the guide stop to it. It’s an odd little triangular part which just bolts on and provides a stop for the window so it doesn’t over extend when you crank it. There are a couple more stops, of different shapes, before we’re done as well.

Placement of the window stop

To skip ahead a bit, I installed the back rail and slid the window into the rail, leaving the rail loose while I get it in place. From there, I put the vent window in and lined up the window guide. To make life easier, I should have installed the bottom adjuster bolt before completely setting the vent window in place. The washer face of the adjuster bolt pushes up against the door bracket, so it has to go in outside of the bracket in order to force space when adjusting the bolt. I also followed the directions on the AutoRestoMod video for the top adjuster and put it in when the vent window was half way installed.

From there, I moved on to adjusting, again following the video instructions. Since I installed the passenger side before I had the weatherstripping across the drip rail, I need to go back to tune that one since its about 3/4″ out. Morale of the story is to not button up the door, including vapor barrier, until all the parts are in place and aligned.

The last thing I did was to put the stops in place. The front stop goes on the outside of the window frame and uses the vent window flange as it’s stopping point. Picture of the stop below.

Front window stop. This part will face the outside.
Installed front stop. It’s the bolt in the rear center of the big hole.

The last piece was the rear stop. I had to keep looking this one up. By the time you get here, there is no way to see what you’re doing not to mention take a picture of it. The best way to sort it out is with the cut out picture of the assembled door from WCCC, above. It goes on the back of the door frame, outside, facing inside with the short leg of the L sticking through the rectangular opening in the window frame. It should be hitting the triangular stop we installed on the rail previously.

The rear stop is visible through the farthest left access hole

I was able to get the rear stop installed by rolling the window down about a third of the way. This provided me enough room to get my hand in the back access hole and hold the rear stop against the window frame from the opposite side, through the cut out rectangle. I then had to roll the window down to about the half way point where I could see the rear stop bolt hole through the oval access point in the door shell. I could then use a socket to tighten it down before I rolled the window back up enough to release my hand.

That finished up the door internals. From there I set the arm rest clips in their slots before I moved on to the vapor barrier. As with the other door, I had options here with the reproduction door, so test fitting is required. Note that the clip has the larger part on the top, making them face down slightly. This is because the bolt has a slight upward angle in the arm rest. With the reproduction door, it has an adjustable back slot, so I had to make sure it was set properly to make the arm rest level. You can see on the previous picture that when it was painted, it was in the wrong position.

Clip placement on a reproduction door

Avoiding the vapor barrier a bit longer, I dropped the window all the way down and put in the inside felt and outside weather strip on the door to window opening. To do this, I need the inside door rubber stop to be out. Mine is already out since this ia a new door. Now that The weatherstripping is in, I can put the bottom stop in too. If I can only find it..

Window weather strip in place

Finally time for the vapor barrier. I don’t remember what I used for adhesive on the other side, but a quick search on the VMF suggested I use some of my leftover 3M strip caulk. Solid plan and easier than anything I found on the original. Also, once the vapor barrier was in place, I made indentions it for the arm rest clips and threaded the bolts so I could find them easier later.

Vapor barrier in place

Next, I installed the clips to the door panel and made sure they were all facing the right way so they would line up with the holes. A few needed reversals. I also had to finish the cut out for the mirror since not everyone has one I guess. I forgot to mount the mirror remote to the panel before attaching the panel, so I had to take the front off, and do it a second time. More practice.

A completed driver door

Driver door finally done. Enough procrastinating. The next job is to install the quarter windows. Another job I have been avoiding. Once I finish that, it should be ready to handle being outside.

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One thought on “Finishing the Driver Door

  1. Pingback: Doors – Most annoying. So far. – Brad Albrecht's Mustang Restoration Projects

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