Princess Front Doors

 

Recently I decided to try to rectify the problem of the front doors dropping (about ) at the latch when opened.

 

Previously I suspected the timbers inside the doors but found no problem there. I then took out each brass hinge in turn and replaced each hinge pin. This improved the operation of the hinges but the door still dropped.

 

When I had done considerable work on the front of the car and the front mudguards and mudguard baffle panels were still removed I was finally able to observe clearly what was going on. With assistance from my apprentice (Maureen), and with the door opened, I got Maureen to take the door at the handle end and try to move it up and down. Very soon I could see the problem. The lower part of the door pillar was moving front to rear. OK then why is it so. I got onto the floor creeper and had a look under the door pillar and asked Maureen to repeat the process. Part of the cause became instantly obvious. The two screws at the front of the plywood step and attached to the lower door pillar were loose and moving around considerably. I removed the step. The plywood in the step was showing early signs of dry rot. The bigger surprise was that the vertical metal panel, seen when the door is opened and which holds up the step, was rusted along almost its entire length where it supports the step. This rust was concealed by the step. This is not good because the bottom of the door pillar attached to the step and to this panel. I had a new panel manufactured this is fairly straight forward and consists of a 2 3mm thick flat sheet with a right angle bend at the top and bottom. With a new panel and a new step fitted the door pillar has stiffened up considerably. The door now closes and opens, as it should.

 

Anyone with the same problem should carefully run their fingers between the chassis and the panel holding up the step, to feel for rust. Using a screwdriver one can test the condition of the underside of the plywood step. The front edge of the step seems to be the susceptible area. To replace the step you will need to remove the baffle panel. Incidentally, I had two new baffle panels made as well. Our car spent a few years in the USA where they use salt on the roads. I think this contributed to the corrosion on the baffle panels and other parts mentioned above.

 

I have replaced the rear steps because they were in the similar but not as bad condition.

 

Regards

Joe Vavra

Australia