Getting the repaired door panel on was a struggle involving about an hour and some foul language. The top of the panel is supposed to hook over the door, but it was bent and far too tight. In fact, I’m sure the issues with the panel all started because it had not been firmly seated for years.
I straightened the upper lip of the door panel, but it was still tight and required a lot of force to drop in. Once on, though, the door opens and closes smoothly, and it was very cool to be able to lock (at least one side of) the car and roll the window up and down.
The next project was to be the cooling system, including removal and replacement of the power steering pump. The ‘Bird was way ahead of me, though. Just a day or two after installing the door panel, the power steering failed while I was out on an errand.
There was no immediate warning: no noise, fluid leak or other sign from under the hood. Just one minute the steering was feather-light, then next it was truck-like. The rubber rag-joint the connects the steering column to the steering mechanism doesn’t seem strong enough to survive me yanking the steering wheel around (that’s how it got ripped apart last time), so I parked the car mid week.
Disassembly for this stage of the restoration begins today.