And So it Begins – Body Work

Posted by: kdavis  /  Category: Body Work, Paint

It’s been a while since I last did an update. I spent 2 summers driving the car in gelcoat, and I’m so glad that I did. My list of updates/changes/additions got so long, I filled my whole “to do” whiteboard in the shop. Lots of these things require the body to come off, so I would be pissed if I was sitting in nice paint and still wanted to do these things.

So, I’m just starting body work. I’ve got about 2 hours into it so far, which ain’t much, and have a BUNCH of hours to go. Basically, all I’ve accomplished is getting a start on fitting the doors. The MK3.1 and earlier cars were notourious for requiring a lot of work on the body, and the driver’s door seems to be one of the worst parts of it, mainly the fit. It requires some trimming, shimming, and body filler to get everything to line up right.

Mine is no exception. The passenger side is pretty good, some minor filler will be needed where the body meets the door on the bulkhead side, and also at the winshield, but not a bad fit. The driver’s door is all out of whack, if it fits on the bottom, the front and back sides need a lot of filler to get them where they need to be. Thanks to the guys over at the forums, I learned a lot and now need to get out the washers and shim up the body itself to try to bring the bottom out, which will allow the top to also come out and line up. Time to get creative. The biggest challenge I see is that I want to do hidden body mounts, so making all of that work will require a lot of head scratching and staring at the car (my family loves to make fun of me when I do that.)

So, next steps: remove the temporary aluminum pieces in the cockpit (just taped in right now with aluminum tape,) so that I have access to the body mounts. Take off the side pipes for clearance, then work on shimming the body. Once that’s done, I’ll get the filler done on the doors and get them done since they need to be done on the car. Then, I need to get the trunk and hood lined up and trimmed out, which also needs to be done on the car. After that, the body can come off, which will require a crap load of disassembling to get it ready, including all of the lights, the roll bars, trunk mounts, etc.

Some of the plans for the body that require a bit more work:

1) Hidden body mounts all the way around.
2) Quick jack delete.
3) Hood pins on the windshield side instead of the normal lock assembly (in combo with the hinges.)
4) Hood vents, and bolt-on hood scoop.
5) Rolled cockpit edges.

That should keep me busy. The hood itself should prove to be a complete pain in the butt, thanks to the hood vents. I think they just look cool, and they will actually be cooler by venting out some of the heat.

So far, still planning the black and silver colors. I have paint for either that or red and white, but after seeing a couple of cars that look just like what I have envisioned, it was a little less appealing to me. Plus, black just looks meaner, which is all good.

Some pics of the doors as they sit now:

IMG_2359.JPG IMG_2363.JPG IMG_2362.JPG IMG_2361.JPG

This is the “model” car I’ve got in my head as I work. This is actually a backdraft, but same idea (other than I like FFR’s better.)


These are the hood louvers/vents I’m using. They are from a ’68 Mustang. I got them at Meier Racing, and I think they were about $150. They are a nice molded fiberglass, and should mold in pretty well.


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