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Ideas on fitting Elite doors
CUTTING THE RIGHT HOLE
I wouldn't suggest counting on the pre-drawn lines for the door cutout; and
with that frame on the door, it's kind of hard to get a good idea of the
door outline. After trimming up the door flange, I taped together a few
pieces of 18" x 24" drawing paper and then laid that over the outside
surface of the door. After a little fitting to account for the slight
compound curvature (o-o-o, and I love compound curves) I cut around the edge
to give me a nice template.
Taped this onto the fuselage using the existing lines as a reference (lined
up one of the bottom corners) and completed the alignment by placing the
door against the fuselage; making sure it ws properly flat against the top
in the hinge area. Drew around the template, made put fine-line tape 5/8"
inside that and went for it with the saber-saw. Once you set the door into
that cutout you can see if any adjustment is necessary. My line deviated
from the factory line by more than 1/2" in the top area. I was very pleased
with the fit I got.
USING SOLAR HEAT TO BEND THE DOOR. SAY WHAT?
My pilot side door fit nice and flush, within about 1/16", all the way
around (I got lucky). Not so lucky on the other side. It conformed nicely
to the fuselage except for the lower part from the lower front corner,
around to that inside corner part way up the back. At the bottom rear
corner it was the maximum mismatch of 1/4" too far in.
I marked on the door how much it was off at a few points. Then cut a 3/4"
plywood piece roughly the shape of the bottom part of the door. Stiffened
that up with a couple pieces of 2 x 4, and with the appropriate spacers,
clamped the door to it (inside of the door up) pulling it to the right
shape. Then painted the lower portion of inside of the door black with
washable poster paint. Drilled a hole into the edge of the door frame for a
thermometer just in contact with the inside surface of the door frame. Put
this setup out in the Southern California sun on a 80 degree day.
I was pleased (amazed, actually) that the temp came right into the 135-145
degree range where I wanted it. Released the clamps after 3 hours and found
it about 1/3 corrected. Next day put it out for 5 hours. Wha-la! Door now
fit just as nicely as the pilot side. Novel; but it worked. Your mileage
Enjoy your work.