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Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 8:58 pm 
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I sprinkle rubber on my Cherios
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Lots of updates... I had to organize the photos in folders/sub-folders just to apply some organization to the chaos.

Since I had a long winter to stare at the car to try to figure out some improvements, I jumped into it in November and ended up making a lot of changes, including one major project that I wish I never started.

Many months yielded only a weight savings of 16.2 pounds with the first phase of the project… removing the stock wiring harness for stuff I didn’t need... wasn’t worth it and wish I never started. More to come on that later after I work through the pictures to determine what is worth sharing.

So... I guess I will start somewhere in the middle as the beginning phase of the winter is long and very confusing.

Something simple. The Doors.

When I was putting the car together for the first time, I took what was currently there and modified (cut) it so that the stock door panel would work with the cage.

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I cut out the sections that interfered with the cage so that, when the door was closed, it looked good.

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Not that I expected a huge weight savings, I think the new modified door panels I did over the winter look better than the hacked up stock panels.

I started with the passenger door as it was easier to work with as it did not have window switches and the gas door/hatch switches. Yep… I still have power windows. The driver’s door is the mirror image of the passenger side so once I had a template, it was easy to duplicate for the other door.

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I picked up a roll of 22” wide by 10’ long 1/8” thick high density polyethylene plastic from http://www.SpeedwayMotors.com for $20 . Lots of other color options (black, light blue, dark blue, red, white, and yellow). I like the understated “black” though was tempted with red.

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I made some measurements on my high-tech concrete work surface (the floor)…

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Used a thick piece of aluminum flat stock as a cutting edge held in place by the typically bent tomato stake and bar clamps. A brand new blade in the utility knife was my friend.

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I purchased the world’s worst thread rivet nut insert tool available on the internet. It did not last the entire project and had to be disassembled at the end of each task just to get the threaded piece of the tool out of the pressed in threaded nut. I threw it away when done.

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The threaded rivet nuts that I used... 5mm I think.

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Installing one of many of the rivet nuts on the door.

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I used the top of the stock door panel as it had the door latch and provided some protection for the driver in regards to the top edge of the door.

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To hold the stock piece to the door, I made a simple bracket with a threaded rivet nut.

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I think it came out pretty good.

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Next… time for a door handle to close the door. Time to learn how my use the grommet tool that had very limited instructions (like which side of the grommet half goes towards the fabric).

Cutting hole (first attempt at strap)

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Lower part of die with half of the grommet

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Lightly tap it together

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Finished product (round 1)

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What I did discover is that the grommet would cut into the fabric when used as a door handle.

So I changed the design slightly for the driver’s side where I used three layers at the end and put the folded strap on top instead of the bottom. Seemed to work better.

Finished product…

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Now on to the driver’s side which proved to be a bit more difficult because of the lack of the correct tools (a vise only works as a metal brake with simple bends) and it seems my lack of visualizing an object in 3-D space. Damn monkey with a football.

The driver’s side door panel is not as flat as the passenger side so I had to made a support that went between the door panel and the plastic piece.

Anyway… it ain’t pretty so there is nothing to show. (sigh)

Driver’s door done and switches installed… more threaded rivet nuts to the rescue.

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Using the same 1/8” plastic, I made a piece in the footwell to protect the wires. The plastic was the perfect size to slide into the groove in the dead pedal.

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Probably too much information for what was a simple (albeit time consuming) project. It would have been sooooooo much easier in the summer as working with a roll of plastic in the winter is a pain. Hard to flatten it.

Enough for one update.

By the way… the car is currently at http://www.VEMS.us (Colchester, Vermont) awaiting its tune. Fingers crossed that everything works out.

Edit… while I was at it, I had to use the Command Prompt to change the file extensions from upper to lower case (used “Rename *.JPG *.jpg”) as the server is case-sensitive. Never a dull moment.

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:23 am 
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Awesome build and detail. I loved using Rivnuts. The door handles are reminiscent of the early 911 RS straps!

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:30 pm 
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Location: Long Beach, CA.
Nice job.

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 Post subject: Re: Rabbit Farmer's 1.8T 4-door money pit
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 3:49 am 
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oil_me wrote:
Awesome build and detail. I loved using Rivnuts. The door handles are reminiscent of the early 911 RS straps!


I am sure the ratchet straps I used were cheaper. :wink:

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