October 2014 - Pick-up & assembly of doors


18-October-2014: The weather is crazy today, in the middle of October it's 24 degrees Celsius. A nice day to make some progress after an unintended long period of inactivity. The doors which were finished by the welder in June 2014 will be picked-up finally. I'm lucky that he is patient because the parts are now stored at his place already since the summer of 2010 which is quite some time ago. I will be taking the 2 doors and the trunk lid and some miscellaneous parts with me so that won't fit into a car. I arranged a double axle covered trailer with ample room to carry the parts. In the Netherlands you need a dedicated drivers license for double axle trailers which I don't have, but luckily my father does and he's prepared to spend his time on this lovely sunny day to help me out with the transport. Early in the morning the trailer is picked-up and then the journey to the welder starts. It takes somewhat over 1 hour to get there. Upon arrival the "Chirurg" has to get the parts out of his work shop. Due to the fact that the parts were finished several months ago they are now positioned behind several new projects. The parts are taken out relatively quickly and are then placed in the trailer. The donor 904B boot which seemed to be better than my original part is placed on top of the original part to avoid damage to the relatively sensitive outer skin. The most sensitive part when it comes to transportation damage are the doors so they are put partially on top of each other whilst being isolated by a piece of old clothing wrapped and taped around the top section. With the addition of some miscellaneous parts the loading is completed. I asked the welder in the past to keep my original roof so that I could take it along with me. The reason for that is that I wanted to have a sample stiffener rib of the roof just in case something would happen to the new roof. The "Chirurg" explains me that this is very hypothetical case which has very little chance on every happening so the end decision is to leave it at the welder to have it scrapped. After the loading some coffee is taken and small talk (Alfa related of course) is made before departing. Thanks to the "Chirurg" for his excellent craftsmanship and his hospitality as well. It seems that he will be chasing me to keep some sort of a pace in this restoration project. Lets see ;-)

Welder backing up car with trailer on drive-way.


Parts gathered from garage.

Parts loaded into trailer at the welder.



Going back home takes about the same amount of time as the journey in the early morning. Upon arrival the parts are taken out and the trailer is brought back to its rightful owner. The garage is not that big so the parts are positioned against the side wall for the moment. Since the outer skins are sensitive to damage I have to think of a way to get them out of the way. The body and the doors are now reunited after being separated for several years, I guess its an emotional meeting for them ;-)

Parts ready for unloading at final destination.


Original rear door will be used as a spare part, just in case.


Repaired doors and repaired donor rear door put in garage.


19-October-2014: Another sunny day although slightly less then yesterday provides a good opportunity to assemble the doors which were picked-up yesterday and to properly clean up the miscellaneous parts which were taken along on the same day. I will start with the luggage compartment door because that one I can do by myself (I guess). The hinges are still assembled to my original part and therefore have to be swapped to the blue coloured 904B boot which is now the one that will be used for my car. Both on the door itself as well as on the roof these hinges are fixed with inner hexagon bolts. During the removal of the hinges from the original door I realised that these hinges are aluminium ones. That's good because that means my car was equipped in the past with the correct hinges. The first Giardinetta's which were sold were equipped with steel hinges and these showed some durability issues and were replaced with the aluminium ones. In order to avoid contact corrosion between the aluminium hinges and the steel body the hinges are isolated rubber parts. The disassembly from the original door and assembly to the 904B door runs smoothly, the only annoying thing is that 1 of the left hand hinge bolts doesn't get into the thread appropriately. That is something I have to look into in the future. Most probably the thread is too dirty or some rubber isolation material is avoiding a smooth assembly. The assembly to the car is a job which can be easily done with 1 person the part is very light without the window and can therefore be lifted into position easily. The  it's just a matter of temporarily fixing 2 of the 6 connections on the roof and the rest is a straight forward job. With the boot assembled it is starting to look like a car again.

Ready for rear door assembly, only hinges to be added.


Removing hinges from original rear door to be assembled to repaired donor rear door.

Hinge disassembled from original door, luckily it's the aluminium version hinge.

Rear door assembled, gives a very different impression.

Now it's time for the assembly of the doors. These parts have to be assembled in opened up condition therefore it can't be done just by myself, I asked the misses to aid me with this process. The access room to assemble the hinge bolts to the A-pillar is very small and that leads to some frustration during the assembly process. After some swearing I decide to push the car out of the garage to give more room to open the door wider to enable the bolt assembly. This idea proves to be a good one. Still the assembly of the bolts is a tricky think but a lot better than inside the garage. The right door took me about 20 minutes to get in, hopefully the left one will be a bit more quick. Although some experience from the right door assembly is gained also this door is taking 20 minutes to assemble, no progress is made when it comes to the required amount of time.

Right hand door assembled as far as possible, rest to be done outside.


Right hand door assembly finished outside.


Left hand door ready for assembly to the car.


Rear door and other doors assembled.

Car pushed back into garage with a whole lot of effort due to stalling brakes.

Nice Japanese green tea  after enjoyable project day.

One thing I didn't take into consideration is that the front brakes would stall again and that this would cause a big hurdle to put the car back into the garage after the door assembly was finished. I tried by lifting the car in the front center section and try to push the jack into the garage, unfortunately the small step in front of the garage avoids that from leading to a success. Several tries resulted in the same outcome, the car rolling out of the garage to the same position. In the end the misses came up with the simple yet good idea to lift the car in the centre section and put some wood under the front tires to avoid these wheels from bumping against the step. This improvement works and the car can be pushed inside. Now that all doors are assembled the car looks very different, hopefully the progress of the last 2 days is the kick-off to a more continuous period of progress for the upcoming winter period. To finish the enjoyable day off I drank a nice Japanese green tea which I got from my friend Silvio recently