This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's book, 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911. The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Porsche 911 owner's collection. See The Official Book Website for more details.
One of the weaker parts designed on the Porsche 911 is the door and its door stay. The door and the door stay mechanism have a tendency to tear and rip the sheet metal inside the door. Luckily, there is a reinforcement kit that will save the door most of the time, although some 911 doors can get pretty beat up in the process.
After seeing the damage done to the door on my 911SC, I would recommend that everyone install the door stay reinforcement kit on both the passenger and driver's side door. If the door becomes severely damaged, it may not be possible to repair it. The internal piece of supporting metal that holds the door stay together is welded inside the door. The process of welding deep inside the door is not an easy one, and if the damage is severe, then there isn't anything that can be done to fix it. The best solution might be to scrap the door. Considering that, I think that the reinforcement kits are good insurance.
NOTE: This article is applicable to the 912E model too.
The first step in fixing your door is to remove your door panel. Refer to Project 75 for more information on this particular procedure. Once you have the door panel removed, remove the front door mounted speaker and peer inside of the door to assess the damage. If the door stay has been in bad condition for quite a while, chances are high that the sheet metal inside your door is torn. Hopefully the reinforcement kit will be strong enough to support the weakened metal.
To remove the doorstop, tap out the small pin that holds the door to the chassis. On some models, a small clip was used to secure the pin. On other models, the pin simply can be tapped out with a hammer. Remove the door stay by loosening up the two nuts or bolts that hold the door stay to the door. The door stay will fall to the bottom of the door, where you can reach in and pull it out.
If your sheet metal is severely damaged, it may be wise to remove your door: not an easy task. Removing the door is beyond the scope of this project, but it involves disconnecting and removing all of the harnesses from the door, and having a helper support the door while the fastening bolts are removed.
In order to make sure that the reinforcement kit works best, you should tap out the damaged sheet metal on the mounting surfaces with a hammer until they are flat. Try to bend and tap the metal back to its original shape as much as possible. If there are any ridges or grooves, then the 'Âsandwich' effect of the reinforcement kit may not work effectively. After the sheet metal has been flattened, assemble the door stay parts together within arm's reach of the door. Feed the outer supporting plate thru the hole in the door, making sure that it doesn't drop down in the recesses of the door. If it does fall, it may be very difficult to retrieve without taking off the door. Use a piece of string and tie it to the support plate just in case you drop it.
With the outer plate in place, mount the door stay and the inner plate using the two bolts supplied with the kit. In order to use the kit, you must use the style of door stay that does not have embedded studs, but threaded holes instead.
After you have the assembly sandwiched together, moderately tighten down the door stay. Reattach the 'tongue' of the door stay to the chassis of the car. Make sure that the door opens and closes properly, and that the door stay is aligned for proper operation. Loosen the bolts and adjust the door stay if necessary.
When you've found the right position, tighten down the bolts as tight as you can without stripping them. It's important to make sure that the damaged metal is sandwiched tightly between the heavy gauge steel reinforcement plates. If all goes well, the reinforcement kit should prevent further damage to your doors.
NOTE: We've had lots of Porsche owners tell us that the replacement parts cause a "clicking" problem due to spring pressure that is too high when going over the detent. For a solution to the problem, please see how to fix it here: http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-911-technical-forum/172706-door-stay-repair-now-cant-close-door-2.html (make sure you are on page 2 of the thread--it's towards the bottom).
The complete door stay reinforcement kit includes two sandwich plates, lithium grease, a new door stay, and the connecting pins and screws. Weltmeister manufactures this particular kit. Even if your door doesn't show signs of wear, I recommend that you install the reinforcement kit as a precautionary measure. Years of opening and closing the door can damage it almost beyond repair. It's best to invest a little bit of money and time up front than replace your entire door later on.
This is what the damaged door stay looks like from the outside. The nuts have been pulled away completely from the door, and the sheet metal has been completely torn and ripped. Make sure that you flatten these pieces before you install the reinforcement kit.
The picture on the left from inside the door affords us a look at more internal damage. Repeated opening and closing of the door has caused the sheet metal to tear and begin ripping. You should attempt to weld and repair tears like these before you install the kit. Unfortunately, this tear is deep inside the door, and is very difficult to get to with a welder. The newly installed reinforcement plate does much to support the metal and prevent tears. Only time will tell if it will be enough to recover from this much damage. Note the two different types of doorstops.
The outer door stay reinforcement plate fits in-between the door and the inner mounting plate. Some creative negotiating may be required to get it to fit inside the door. Depending upon how damaged your door is, you may have to loosen and adjust the doorstop once you reattach the tongue to the frame of the car.