Overhauling the door of my Fulvia Coupe

When I first bought my Fulvia coupe one of the† problems I noticed was the bad condition of the driverís door . The bottom of the door was full of rust ,in some points there were holes , the furry window ledge seals are missing so the rain water fills the interior of the door , the inner door handle was broken , the door lock was not working , the external mirror was not the correct one and the plastic piece of the handle for the window was missing. The strange thing to this situation is that the other door was in very good condition so when I asked the previous owner about that he answered to me that his wife had her own car so in most cases he was driving the car alone ,and he parked the car every day under a tree in exactly the same position at the right of the street so the rain water falls only at the left side of the car and not at the right. After that I understand that I have to look for a new left door so I start check every store who sells old spare parts in Athens but I found five right doors and only one left door and not in very good condition but I bought it anyway because I could not do anything else. I contact Omicron Engineering for help - they always have almost every Fulvia spare part - and they send me second hand door handles and new seals that I could not find here . Anyway the big problems for someone who wants to overhaul a Fulvia door by himself are the followings

  1. Almost always the previous owner had change the inner cover of the door (the part that is fitted to the inner part of door with clips around the edge of the door , and it is from cardboard or wood covered with plastic ). If the worker who make the new part was good one and he had copy the new one form old original part then is ok otherwise you have to be careful about. If the clips that are implanted into the inner part of the door are not in the correct distance between each other , it is very difficult to put them into the holes of the door. If the form of that part has not the correct dimensions some part of it, it touches the seals of the car body when the door is closed so when you open the door you hear strange noises.

  2. If the big inner handle of the door is not fitted properly on the door with its two screws , is very easy to brake , in one of the two screws , when you pull the door to close it .This item is rare to find it because all old doors have the same problem. The handle is from a soft material but the screws need a strong part of it to keep it screwed to the door so the part of it that has the holes for the screws is a metallic part implanted to the handle .But after the years the soft material destroyed and the metallic part separated from the handle making the handle useful and not repairable.

  3. The handle that used to open and close the door window has a strange clip to be secured and it is too difficult to fit it alone because someone have to push the ring of the handle to the door against of a big spring and someone else have to put the secure clip in its place.

  4. After the years the mechanism that closes and opens the window is wear out and you need to be careful when you open and close the window specially if you replace the window seals with new ones , to avoid braking it.

  5. The door of Fulvia coupe has no upper metallic part for fitting the glas of the window in it so the window when is totally up slides only into the seal of the triangle little window column , and it is very important not to remove this column when you overhauling the door because it is very difficult to find the same place of that column again when you want to put it back. If you do that, the result of that is that you will can Ďt control the place of the window and in the most cases -like mine- there will be† a crack between the full closed window and the big seal of the body, so probably you will have a water leakage there.

  6. The door is fitted to the car in two places and between of them there is another bond that controls the door in combination with a short but strong little spring that exists in one the connections. In my car that spring was broken and I replace it with a new one .

  7. Be careful of the normal operation of the switch that turns on and off the little light in the back side of the door .In my car and in another car here that light was turned on all the time and the result of that was a melted light cover and after a few weeks a flat battery .

  8. If the lock of the door is not working you car replace it even with a lock from the right door ( I already did it) and if you donít have the key for that lock ( I didnít) there are special key-makers that can make a key for it if you bring the lock to them. The problem is that you will have different keys for the two doors ( I have four different keys for my car ,two for the two doors , one for the boot ,and one for the fuel tank)

  9. The outer handle of the door has two little gaskets between it and the car body. These gaskets are not soft but iIn many cars that gaskets are missing because of the time or are destroyed , and the handle wasnít screwed good to the body .The result of that is rust because the handle grinds the body every time the door was pulled. To replace the gaskets you have to open the whole door because that handle is screwed from the inner of the door just like the outer mirror of it.

  1. If someone wants to tune the door (if it not closes with the first try) first have to check the seals ,and after that have to control an item that is fitted to the car body exactly against the door lock . He can unscrew the two screws of that and he can move it front or back .In that way he can manage the place of the door when that is closed.

  1. The outter furry window seal is screwed on the trim of the door and the inner on the upper part of the door with very small screws. So small that they cannot even shown for the first try. In some cases these furry seals are not screwed but glued because these screws cannot be found but in that case it is very easy for these seals to be lost.

  2. Finally the welding of the rusty parts of a door is not a difficult job for an experienced welder so the only thing that I have to mention is the carefully waxoiling of the inner of the door and the plastic sheet that must glued between the inner plastic part of the door and the door to avoid rusty problems in the future.

From all these problems it is evident that the best solution is the replacing of the whole door with another in good condition because the problems overhauling it are many , but if a door in good condition cannot be found or if it is two expensive then someone can try to overhauling it (like me) but he has to be careful to these points..