Point of no Return

Once you start removing real metal, it’s a real racecar.  There’s no going back from these kinds of modifications!  Today we remove the windows, and all interior door niceties, including almost all of the sheet metal.

I bought an angle grinder just for this.  Plus, it should come in handy for installing the cage, and other misc fabrication chores.  The saws-all, I already had. 


Before I can get to the metal-work…I have to remove all the inside bits: door handle mechanisms, window actuator, window, window tracks.  First the door handle, and door latch control rods.  The door handle is just held on by 3 screws.  The control arms are held into the control points with little plastic clips, remove the clip and the arms slide right off.


Next the windows.  Roll down the windows until the window mounting screws are visible through the door panel.  Remove three screws, then the window lifts out.  While we’re on it, I bought two window supports from Advanced Autosports.  These clip on the window ledge and hold the window in place to protect the car from the elements in storage, or during transit.  they bolt directly to the two lower window mounting locations using the screws just removed from the car.  All the other hardware mounted to the window can go (guides and rollers).




Second, window actuator.   There are three nuts on the front, remove those and the motor comes loose.  But, its actuator cables are attached to the center window track.  Second, the vent window support brace is too near the inner door panel for the motor to fit through.  Remove the bolt at the bottom of the vent window support and you can just squeeze the motor through. 








Time to remove the Vent window.  There are two screws located at the top of the vent window: one that passes through the weather stripping, one that is hidden beneath.  Remove the first screw, then carefully peel back the rubber to expose the second screw.  This will release the vent window support.


Then the vent window and surrounding rubber weatherstrip can be removed together.  I replaced the glass with a lexan NACA duct window.  On the drivers side, you also have the option to completely remove the vent window and rear support.  It saves some weight, but it also makes it more troublesome to seal up the car.  I’ll do vents in both sides for now.



Finally, time to remove the sheet metal.  I was pretty aggressive, but not as aggressive as some I’ve seen.  I’ve seen some where people remove everything behind the vent window support so that there is no “slot” for the window at all.  I’m guessing the doors would be pretty flimsy like that.  I’m probably giving back a pound or so by leaving it.  Cutting the metal takes hardly any time at all, but removing all the burs and sharp edges takes quite a bit of time with a bastard file and emory cloth.  Eventually the vent window support from the sill down to the bottom of the door will go, too.


All told, I removed about 40 lbs of material combined left/right. 

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