March 10, 2010
Bridget’s former owner did yeoman’s work putting her together, accomplishing the task in a matter of a few months. When I took delivery, the build was 27 years old (the chassis 40, the engine 43), and the car ran fine. But no old car is perfect. One of the things I noticed right off is Bridget’s driver’s side door had a tendancy to rattle. I figured she needed some rubber bits but then I looked at the door striker.
This is a common error in BCW cars, other owners inform me. I believe it’s also unnecessarily dangerous, and it is not hard to fix. I unbolted the striker and snapped it in the latch to make sure. Here’s how it should look when closed:
Before I removed it, the striker plate was mounted to a “box” (photo below, right) with about one-inch of access behind it, over two eighth-inch aluminum shims.
To relocate the striker properly I decided to use the shims as inside reinforcement for the fiberglass “box” that secures the striker. I drilled new holes in them
…and tapped them for the existing bolts.
This way the aluminum will add strength and maybe make it easier to reassemble this mess. I have no idea how anyone had the patience and ability to put individual washers, lock washers and nuts on all these bolts inside that box, given that I can barely reach in there even with my little girly hands. A real mechanic could never do it.
This assembly, by the way, is similar to what normal cars have (or had, last I checked). You could move almost any hinge or latch just by loosening the screws; it would move as far as the oversized holes it was in would allow, then you tighten it up and the plate on the inside would clamp it back down.
It was still no good, until I added one more washer to the shaft on which that arrow-shaped receiver thing rides. Didn’t think the acorn nut on the other side would catch, but somehow it did.