The MGA With An Attitude
Door Top Trim Rails, FITTING -- INT-104C

On 2/8/2015 Steve Miller wrote:
"I spent hours forming these rails, and thought I would document my problems".

  • The first step is to fit the wood rail to the door sill. In my case, I had to actually re-form the top of the door which was bowed up in the center. Also, both rails had to be machined to lay flat.
  • Note that all of this alignment must be done with the rear side curtain socket bolt in place, and with some initial alignment with the curtain in place to ensure it fits the front attachment bracket.
  • Second step might be to review the fit between the wood and aluminum rails. Again, I had to re-shape the wood to come close to the aluminum, so I would not have a large step in the final cover.
  • Moss supplies 1 ½ inch flat head machine screws for the aluminum. I found that 1 ¼ works best for my taste, so changed them. I could have also shortened the two center square-head screws, but left them long, hoping not too much interference with the door panels.
  • At this point, I noted that the aluminum did not lay flat on the step on the wood, so that angle had to be adjusted. I allowed a small gap which I filled with bondo at the end.
  • I noted that the front end of the wood was raised off the door, and the aluminum rail would not pull that down, so I added a machine screw thru the door for one of the normal wood screws to pull the front down….no problem to do this. I drilled the door thru the front hole, after final alignment and clamping of the rails. There was no wood screw yet, since I wanted to drill this after bondo.
  • Next problem was to align for the side curtain, mainly at the front. My curtains had some interference with the wood rail, even with no covering in place. This also required some planing off wood to ensure a good gap to the aluminum frame of the curtain. This must be done with the curtain pulled down tight on the door. Note also that there should be a spacer under the front curtain bracket to simulate the door panel with wood beneath the fabric cover.
  • Once good alignment of the rails are made, use tape on the wood rail bottom, and mark thru for the new center fasteners. In my case, these were no where near the center of the wood, and I had to mill out the areas to install the new fasteners with the small wood screws.
  • To ensure good alignment between the wood and aluminum, and to have some bondo between the two pieces for strength, I placed my curtain in place with the wood rail, then put some bondo on the wood, (with tape around the paint and other surfaces), and put the aluminum rail on top. These were both clamped in place to simulate the final position, including being pulled down with the new machine screw at the aluminum/wood interface.
  • Once the bondo hardens, you can remove the assembly and do the final bondo to fill and clean up the interface, top and sides.
  • I also taped up the new metal plates and screws on the fasteners to prevent any paint damage while working the wood rails on top of the doors. I removed this before final covering.
  • I sent my rails to Gassman to cover, because they do great work, and also because I have not purchased the necessary stapler with the 3/16 staples that I think are required for this work (just me).
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