Function and beauty

After a few weeks of being much too busy to work on the Spitfire, I decided to warm back up with a cosmetic fix that has been nagging me for a while.  I decided to tackle the windows, seals, and door trim.  While not important to getting the car back on the road, I feel much better about having part of the car in a finished state.

The first thing I had to get the window mechanism working.  I greased it up with plenty of white lithium grease and a spritz of WD-40.  I then had to figure out how to seat the glass into the mechanism.  The original solution was rubber, but that rubber has long since rotted away and replacement parts aren’t available.  I made an attempt at using layers of electrical tape and a couple of lengths of an old inner tube to solve the problem.  I later found a better solution, but more on that later.

The last time I install waist seals. They look so easy...

I temporarily fit the window in place and began to fit the waist seals.  These are the rubber and felt seals that are in the door slot that seal against the window on the outside and inside.  The waist seals are held in by clips that grip onto an edge of the door on the inside.  They’re notoriously difficult to install, and deceptively unassuming.  But, with a homemade hook-like tool and some patience it’s possible to get all of them in place.  It only took me three hours to get 4 seals installed.

Silicone and Grease, old friends

With the waist seals where they should be, I ran the windows up and down.  The rubber was gripping so hard against the glass that it kept the windows from going down.  The glass just pulled out of the mechanism and hung up dangerously.  I needed to find a new solution.  I asked around on my favorite Spitfire forum and found the solution: using silicone to seal the glass into the mechanism.  This provides just enough grip, but it’s also not permanently affixed.

Next I put the door trim back into place and reinstalled the door and window handles.  They fit back in with out any difficulty.

It feels great to get another part of the car finished.  There is so much more to work on, though.  Next I need to figure out the solution to the motor mounting and alignment.  I’m going to ask some experts at work for advice.