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Spit mk3 Door Gap


Mark
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Hi all

Started replacing the sills rear wings door skins on my mk3 Spit.

Car still has (had) all original panels, but very rusty so things have moved. Door Gaps are tight, rear lower bottom curve where it follows the sill, gap opening up towards the top of the door. 

Does anyone know what the original door gap to rear wing should be?

Replacement sills have been up in the loft for close to 30 years, bought unused second hand, believe they were Austin Rover supplied, creamy grey in colour, so think they are original pressings.

Started on drivers side. First problem, when the sill is self tapped in position,  the door is  overhanging the sill. Door is following the contour of the original rear wing, and the sill lines up. Dimensions of the original sill and the replacement appear identical so not sure what's going on here? Original door is rusty in places along the bottom edge but the frame is solid and holds its shape.

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

Edited by Mark
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Presumably the gap was still good and the profiles matched on the original sill?

I’ve found that the position (height) of the lower joint has an effect on sill profile, the higher the seam the greater the curvature, and quite small height changes make a big difference. I use a bit of 2 x 2 snugged up against the seam flange and a scissor Jack.

Current sill panels, the better Heritage ones, aren’t quite right at the back and usually need a tapering strip letting into the step, about 10mm at the back tapering to zero over about 100 - 120mm.

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How is the condition of the sill strengthener - and lower edge of the floor panel? 

When the door is overhanging the sill top, its often due to the position of the lower joint - as Nick states.

sill_cut.JPG.a2cadc628042f28c5b1e7d6cdd12f325.JPG

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Do post back and share pictures if necessary for advice Mark. I'm going through this at the moment with mine and can confirm the advice above, it's surprising how much the form of the sill changes when you move the flanges up and down. I'm also using old AR pressings both sides, though the car has had a lot of surgery and sagged at some point.

In my research I've realised something helpful - there's quite a lot of lines that were originally very straight. The floor pan flange should be very straight across its edge both above it and on its face. The doors equally have a curvature vertically, but horizontally they should be dead straight. You should be able to move a straight edge horizontally up the door and check for any bends in the panel.

My floor pan is only 1/2" deep so will need extending. Not sure how easy that will be to weld without creating a really distorted flange, or otherwise making a right mess. It's a long strip of metal to weld on, even if I cut it back a bit and weld closer to the 90 degree bend.

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Richard - shouldn't be a problem as the sill strengthener will cover outer sill part. You can allways add a small strip of metal on the floor pan later.

Should add that I have taken (or people have send me) measurements of how the outer sill to lower edge is forming along the lower inside edge on the body tub on original 'ontouched' cars - often there will be only 1/2 inch at the front, 3/4 at the middle (see drawing) - and  - from memmory -  more at the back (at the dog leg). 

So not always a straight line :-)

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Sorry yes should have mentioned that, the lower edge of the floorpan lip on original cars is shallower at the a post end, it becomes 3/4 deep around where the a post meets the sill strengthener if I remember correctly. There's loads of photos of restos on the Internet where you can see this as people start pulling untouched cars apart.

I was thinking more of the top edge of the lip being dead straight along its length, as well as straight along its face. 

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Hi all

Been playing with this for a few days. I've replaced sills, wings and door skins a couple of times before, once on a 1500 Spit about 30 years ago and a mk3 about 15 years ago, but memories have faded.

Looking more closely at the original drivers door there is a slight crease in the skin that has bowed the door out slightly at the bottom, which I think is contributing to the overhang of the sill.

I repaired the very edge of the floor, along its length. There was some remaining flange left at the very front and rear of the floor pan which I used as a guide.  I used a taught piece of string between the remnants as a straight edge to follow. I then welded in the new inner sill and diaphragm. 

The replacement sills have a bow along the bottom edge. I have seen Spitfires with this bow in the sill when fitted to the car, but think the bottom of the sill should be dead straight, whats your thoughts?. I checked the passenger side with the original sill fitted and although corroded does appear to be pretty straight.

Another question. Should the swage line running from the rear wing and across the door line up with the front top part of the sill?  Seen this aligning with the bottom of the front wing and between the wing and top of the sill, in various photos.

20220414_145906.jpg

20220405_155718.jpg

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10 hours ago, Mark said:

The replacement sills have a bow along the bottom edge. I have seen Spitfires with this bow in the sill when fitted to the car, but think the bottom of the sill should be dead straight, whats your thoughts?. I checked the passenger side with the original sill fitted and although corroded does appear to be pretty straight.

In theory straight, but in practice.... :-)

Don't belive the jig used did have a griep on the lower flange.

 

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I think the answer on the swage line might be neither lining up with the top of the sill, nor the bottom of the front wing. Its exactly half way between which would make sense aesthetically. All the cars I've seen with original panel work seem that way except where I think the bonnet cones are shot and the front wing sits lower than it should.

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1 hour ago, RichardB said:

I think the answer on the swage line might be neither lining up with the top of the sill, nor the bottom of the front wing. Its exactly half way between which would make sense aesthetically.

That’s what we aimed for and it seems to work

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Thanks all.

That's good, because that's where I think iam going to end up, based on the best position for the sill. Won't know for sure until I replace the rear wing and door skin.

 

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