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 Post subject: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:26 am
Posts: 55
Location: USA
So now my Red GTi is up for her much needed rebuild. I will be taking it down completely and redoing everything to include the shell. I have had a dilemma that has plagued many owners and that is that the "A" pillar sheet metal around the hinges has started to "tear" apart. I have discussed this with many folks on TS throughout the years after having read where people have welded the hinges to the body.

What I had proposed to do was to go behind the hinges on the pillar, reinforce the area with stronger metal (backing plate) and re-weld the pillar. I had wanted to do this while keeping the repair un-noticeable. A fellow TS'er suggested to get an "A" pillar from an AUS or NZ model because the fatigue to the metal would be opposite that of a NA car. I am interested in this but unsure of what the cost would be to ship such an akward piece. What say the masses?


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 Post subject: Re: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:53 am
Posts: 79
Location: Portugal
Can you show how affected is yours? Here in europe (portugal) i never saw that area rusting
Best of luck


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 Post subject: Re: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:37 am 
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Location: USA
sesfez wrote:
Can you show how affected is yours? Here in europe (portugal) i never saw that area rusting
Best of luck

We don't get rust as we live in the high desert area of Washington state, USA. It's metal fatigue. It's actually tearing the metal around the bolt holes for the hinges. This causes the sagging of the door. My door is now over 1.5 inches of sag. As for showing the damage, I would have to open the door and remove the hinge.


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 Post subject: Re: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:00 am
Posts: 1540
Location: Londoninium
What year swift. Never seen this happen to mk2/3/4 1988-2002 models unless rust was present or accident damage.
Get some photos up of the affected area as firstly I'm really interested and secondly as one if the few who actually cuts big holes in swifts for repair I might be able to advise! One of my swifts did 330,000 kms while i owned it with no door issues!
Most swifters dont have access to the tools or facilities to remove metal assemblies from a wreck.

GTP


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 Post subject: Re: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:26 am
Posts: 55
Location: USA
So we only had one year of the GTi (VW lawsuit) here in the US: 1989. The door pillar fatigue is one area that has been discussed over and over with most folks welding the hinges to the pillar. I first saw it here on Redline then a chap up in Canada. We don't use salt in our neck of the woods here so no rust. We are smack in the middle of a snowy week. If i take the hinges off now then I won't be putting them back on because I will have to shut the drivers door until spring. I can't remove the fender because the city will consider my car a wreck and have it tagged for removal.

I will post pics to show when I can get to it.


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 Post subject: Re: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:00 am
Posts: 1540
Location: Londoninium
The 'A' pillar is made up of several panels around the hinges the outer skin and three inner panels reinforce the lower pillar. Without photos I presume the inner and outer have slightly separated or torn allowing the captive bolt plate to become loose?
These parts are available in the US I think.
https://www.megazip.net/zapchasti-dlya- ... el-3813194
JP


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 Post subject: Re: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:27 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Washington State
Those plates state side are about a 1/16" thick with a tiny little square nut welded to the back of it. The outer metal cracks, and the nut strips out. I have been fighting with this for a while. I put 1/8" metal plates with a larger nut already welded onto it. This I placed inside the frame. They worked great until someone repeatedly beat on my door with their foot. I think now my door hinge and that side of the mount is stretched out. However, my plate is still solid. When I replace the door I will put one more plate on the upper lower and call it a day. With the physics of sandwiching a thick plate from the inside and a size larger bolt from the outside it will hold the door in place and keep it from sagging without major surgery.


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 Post subject: Re: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:06 pm 
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Location: USA
GT4LIFE wrote:
Those plates state side are about a 1/16" thick with a tiny little square nut welded to the back of it. The outer metal cracks, and the nut strips out. I have been fighting with this for a while. I put 1/8" metal plates with a larger nut already welded onto it. This I placed inside the frame. They worked great until someone repeatedly beat on my door with their foot. I think now my door hinge and that side of the mount is stretched out. However, my plate is still solid. When I replace the door I will put one more plate on the upper lower and call it a day. With the physics of sandwiching a thick plate from the inside and a size larger bolt from the outside it will hold the door in place and keep it from sagging without major surgery.


I recived all the OEM parts that go to rebuilding the door jamb. It will be reinforced behind the OEM metal but there will be no way to know as I don't want anything to appear amiss.


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 Post subject: Re: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:40 am
Posts: 9
Location: GA
Any update on the "A" pillar rebuild?


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 Post subject: Re: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:26 am
Posts: 55
Location: USA
We are just beginning spring. I am going for a restoration on the car hopefully back to a quality show room look. I have just recently finished the 8 year search for all the rubber from Suzuki that went on this car. I am trying now to get a reupholstery shop to find a match to the NOS pattern on the seats. This car is a no holds barred kind of approach, moneywise.


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 Post subject: Re: "A" pillar re-build
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:40 am
Posts: 9
Location: GA
Sounds a good progress so far. Enjoy


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