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Café Racer Parts: Custom Door Cards


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#1 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 10:48 AM

Allright, it has been a while. But you know how it goes, life and stuff, and more stuff...

But here I'm back after dealing with all sorts of problems and I can resume the work on my parts.

 

today, I would like to show you what I have been working on: 

a custom aluminium door card for my car. the background of this development is as follows:

as some of you may remember, I'm working on a window pull mechanism for lightweight doors and of course, this means I'll ditch ultimately the winder.

 

now because of that, I need a door card without a crank hole, otherwise it will look terrible. there are some options out there you can buy (I think Automotive Design will do that for you if you mention you don't want the winder hole). But I had an idea to make it entirely of aluminium so I gave it a shot.

 

here is what it looks like:

 

Attached File  IMG_20200111_171327-W800.jpg   89.42K   12 downloads

 

I designed the door card myself and had it cut by a loca workshop in perforated aluminium. It is then painted in mat black. you see here on my test door with still the inner door uncut (but painted also mat black for good measure).

 

ultimately, most of the door internal panel will go and an aluminium outer skin will be in place. the door is already repaired and needs prep to go to paint. so it's a dry fit.

 

all in all, the perforated aluminium is very light (lighter in fact than the traditionnal carboard/vinyl door card, all in). but it's not really a huge difference. it's 1.5mm thick. 

 

the edge is covered with automotive grade edge seal:

 

Attached File  IMG_20200111_171915-W800.jpg   40.1K   3 downloads

 

which gives it a nice edge finish and prevents the door card from rattling. the advantage of Aluminium is that is still quite flexible so it will bend along the curvature of the door, much better in fact than what I have seen in carbon fiber for instance.

 

I also made my own lock surrounding in aluminium:

 

Attached File  IMG_20200111_170533-W800.jpg   56.85K   5 downloads

 

it is not standard in the sense that it is smaller than the huger things we typically find on our minis. here it's really meant to fit the door card with the minimum amount of material.

 

I painted it in gloss black here, just because I also have DSN Retrosport door latchs and they are gloss black, so it goes with it very well. Paint is not easy on aluminium so I'll also look for anodization work and see if I can find a way:

 

Attached File  IMG_20191226_123347-W800.jpg   54.83K   4 downloads

 

I also found a couple of low profile bolts to go with it (M4, super tiny) that fits nicely the overall look.

 

Now it's one thing to make perforated Aluminium door cards, but I think it will look a bit too "raw" and "racing" so, I've been working on trims and in particular, I developed some "liner" that go on the door card, that are reminder of the traditionnal piping you find on the door cards (mine are red piping with black leatherette, cooper '91)

 

so I've been working (well, mostly playing  :proud:  on a few designs). Here is a light brown leather liner with matching handle. I used automotive grade leather I had:

 

Attached File  IMG_20200111_153602-W800.jpg   54.91K   5 downloads

 

same here in black leather (automotive grade too):

 

Attached File  IMG_20200111_170218-W800.jpg   46.82K   3 downloads

 

I've also made "body color" (well, my car is red, but my door here is kinda fatigue greenish sort of.  :proud: ) 

Attached File  IMG_20200111_155731-W800.jpg   51.01K   3 downloads

 

and there is the brushed aluminium that you have seen up in the post. 

 

because the drilling is 5mm, it's very easy to find mounting points for the door card: the top is compatible with the lil lip that keeps the original door cards in place. at the bottom 2 screws are ok. ideally close to the openings in the door pannel so one does not have to remove the door skin.  :D

 

here I got a few more holes than necessary for test. the crews are held captive on door and I use nice closed nuts (called binder-nuts) to keep it in place. It's super easy to remove and to service.

 

Attached File  IMG_20200111_171843-W800.jpg   38.35K   2 downloads

 

and of course, it's compatible with my window pull mechanism: here it is fully closed:

 

Attached File  IMG_20200111_171704-W800.jpg   87.19K   3 downloads

 

here it is in another position:

 

Attached File  IMG_20200111_171739-W800.jpg   96.91K   6 downloads

 

so that's where I am now. Still playing with those designs to find the right one. hope you like it too!

 

next steps will be to continue playing with those designs to see what cooler options I can figure out and also to look into anodization. it's a bit better than paint, I think for aluminium, although this panel did not cause any problem as long as I applied an aluminium primer.

 

cheers guys !!!  ;D

 



#2 sonscar

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 01:49 PM

Nice work,Steve..



#3 dyshipfakta

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 01:50 PM

I like a lot my fav is the tan trimmings looks vintage

#4 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 03:15 PM

Nice work,Steve..


Thx! Who is Steve? :)

#5 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 03:16 PM

I like a lot my fav is the tan trimmings looks vintage


Thx! Me too. The raw aluminium is not Bad either. :)

#6 Chris1275gt

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 05:19 PM

Hi Benoit

The tan leather looks good but If you still have the cooper seats with the red piping I'd be inclined to go for the red Which would tie in nicely with what's already there.

#7 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:35 PM

Hi Benoit

The tan leather looks good but If you still have the cooper seats with the red piping I'd be inclined to go for the red Which would tie in nicely with what's already there.


I agree. Turns out the previous owner installed bucket Seats so...

#8 cooperd70

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 07:24 PM

Great work as we've come to expect from you BD.
I'm feeling the all black...very Mad Max 😬

#9 Chris1275gt

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 07:38 PM

Hi Benoit

The tan leather looks good but If you still have the cooper seats with the red piping I'd be inclined to go for the red Which would tie in nicely with what's already there.


I agree. Turns out the previous owner installed bucket Seats so...

I'd go for that lovely tan leather then as it will tie in with the colours in the dash and your wooden steering wheel. Nice lock catch surround as well.

#10 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 07:50 PM

Great work as we've come to expect from you BD.
I'm feeling the all black...very Mad Max 😬


Thanks for your kind words. It's Indeed very "raw" still. The door paint does not help :))

#11 sonscar

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 11:28 AM

I am Steve.Steve..

#12 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 11:40 AM

I am Steve.Steve..


That's why :)

#13 Bobbins

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 06:58 PM

I love the tan, I think I'd have the seats retrieved to suit! The tan is a good contrast to the harsh appearance of the perforated mesh, works really well.

Regarding the mesh, what specification have you used? I've been trying to source some for a dashboard project but getting mesh that's "open" enough without the holes being too big is difficult, the best I have found is 10mm holes but I think that may be too large, 6mm holes might work better.

Stu.

#14 Benoit_Dupont

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 07:53 PM

I love the tan, I think I'd have the seats retrieved to suit! The tan is a good contrast to the harsh appearance of the perforated mesh, works really well.

Regarding the mesh, what specification have you used? I've been trying to source some for a dashboard project but getting mesh that's "open" enough without the holes being too big is difficult, the best I have found is 10mm holes but I think that may be too large, 6mm holes might work better.

Stu.


I agree that the tan works well.
You are right. 10mm is way too large. I use here 5mm holes (M5 standard) staggered.

6mm is a bit large too. It will work but you will see plenty through it. Might not be too good. In fact 5mm is a bit large from that standpoint too.

It's a 1.5mm aluminium. Most dash I have seen are steel. Heavier but easier to paint.

I would not recommand thinner than 1.5mm aluminium.

Next on my list is Indeed a dash. But of course I will overthink and over engineer this. :)

I'm thinking of laser cut aluminium that I would fold over Say 10mm to build strength

I'm looking for chrome or aluminium trim for the standard clicks but it's not easy to find.

Cheers guys and happy build!

#15 Bobbins

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 09:02 PM

I love the tan, I think I'd have the seats retrieved to suit! The tan is a good contrast to the harsh appearance of the perforated mesh, works really well.

Regarding the mesh, what specification have you used? I've been trying to source some for a dashboard project but getting mesh that's "open" enough without the holes being too big is difficult, the best I have found is 10mm holes but I think that may be too large, 6mm holes might work better.

Stu.


I agree that the tan works well.
You are right. 10mm is way too large. I use here 5mm holes (M5 standard) staggered.

6mm is a bit large too. It will work but you will see plenty through it. Might not be too good. In fact 5mm is a bit large from that standpoint too.

It's a 1.5mm aluminium. Most dash I have seen are steel. Heavier but easier to paint.

I would not recommand thinner than 1.5mm aluminium.

Next on my list is Indeed a dash. But of course I will overthink and over engineer this. :)

I'm thinking of laser cut aluminium that I would fold over Say 10mm to build strength

I'm looking for chrome or aluminium trim for the standard clicks but it's not easy to find.

Cheers guys and happy build!

Thanks for your reply. I had thought 5mm holes would be too small but yours looks really good.

Mine is a late model JDM so has the air-con version of the MPi dashboard.
My plan is to strip the veneer from my (spare) dashboard and refinish the bare surface in matt black, then bond the perforated mesh in place of the veneer but painted satin black, the raised mesh giving a contrast to the holes behind. I had considered a colour behind but I think the effect would be too strong.




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