View Full Version : Fiberglass SC Doors--UPDATE--

John Temple
01-07-2004, 07:54 AM
I just wanted to give everyone an update on the progress of the fiberglass doors for 89-95 Thunderbird SC. The molds for the passenger door are complete with initial parts being pulled for test pieces. Weight is coming in around 20 pounds in fiberglass(steel stock shell weighs in at 70 pounds). As previously listed these doors will accept all windows, door panels, and locks and hardware. All high stress areas will be reinforced for strength(latch points, hinge mount point, power motor attach points etc.). The doors will come coated with sandable primer to ease with painting. The cost estimate for a pair of doors is near $825.00 for fiberglass, if carbon fiber is preferred there will be additional cost for materials. I hope to have the first doors complete and tested on my Pro Street SC within the next couple months. Once we complete final assembly I will post pictures for everyone to view.
Thanks....John [email protected]

XR7 Dave
01-07-2004, 10:41 AM
Nice! 100lbs off the car? Woot !

Doug Franklin
01-07-2004, 04:18 PM
Good to get the update. Good to see a full door and not just the skin.

John Temple
01-08-2004, 07:21 AM
Yes and once painted no one will know they are glass.....everyone will just have to get used to not having to shut the doors so hard, like a steel door that is so heavy..............John

01-08-2004, 03:15 PM
The great thing about glass doors is that they are light...for a race car. If you use them on the street and get hit from the side, you may as well kiss your life good-bye. If you use glass doors on the street, it is in your VERY best interest to have a roll bar put in your car with at least a single door brace from the main hoop to the forward floor. Good luck if you don't....

Doug Franklin
01-08-2004, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by SuperStockGTCA
The great thing about glass doors is that they are light...for a race car. If you use them on the street and get hit from the side, you may as well kiss your life good-bye. If you use glass doors on the street, it is in your VERY best interest to have a roll bar put in your car with at least a single door brace from the main hoop to the forward floor. Good luck if you don't....

Take a look at John Temple's member page. The little link to the left.

01-08-2004, 04:21 PM
I think you missed the point.

Doug Franklin
01-08-2004, 04:27 PM
No, it was good that you pointed it out for others. I just added that folks can click on his member page to see the bar and cage you were refering to.

Personally I would like a little more bar than that on the street, but it wouldn't stop me either.

01-08-2004, 05:48 PM
Gotcha! Thanks. Steve

John Temple
01-09-2004, 07:18 AM
When considering these doors you have the outer layer, inner layer, steel bar for mounting the door panel going front to back, and the inner door panel which also adds strength to the doors itself. We are looking into running resin impregnated reinforcement into the outer skin for better impact resistance. I still believe a 4 point roll bar setup would be the answer in that it would connect the subframes for body stiffness and provide more than enough side impact protection. Even in mild steel the roll bar would not add more than 30 pounds to the car, leaving a 70 pound weight savings. The Cage in my car is an NHRA approved 10 point cage, this is very much overkill because I use this car for drag racing and to support the narrowed rear chassis, a 4 point roll bar is more than enough. Far exceeding the strength of the steel door. As stated earlier that without a roll bar these doors should only be used for race or show!!.....John

01-09-2004, 01:28 PM
Mild steel 6 point or 8 point is 90lbs.
Chrome moly is 60lbs

01-09-2004, 02:54 PM
What size tubing is that weight for though?
Not sure what the onroad type standards are for cages, but SCORE and other off-road sanctioning bodies tend to mandate 1-3/4" main tubes or sometimes 1-1/2" depending on grade and wall thickness
4130 chromo is about 30% strongger than DOM steel which is stronger than regular seamed mild. For chromo cages you can go down to .095 wall tubing and have the same strength as a .120 wall DOM cage which is the reason chromo is lighter. It's not that the metal is any lighter, it's just the strengh is higher (as is brittleness if not heat treaded properly) therefore a thinner wall can be run with the same strengh outcome.
Guys in the dirt run fiberglass door skins all the time, but then again they have a full race cage protecting them and they do not run on the street. I don't think there's anyway you'd get me to run a fiberglass door on a street car - it's just not safe IMO. Even with a 4 point cage the main hoop (rear 2 "points" of the cage) shoud be at the B-pillar so they go over the drivers head - which would give no protection on a side impact. Even with door bars added a fiberglass door would pretty much disinigrate (actually possibly shatter and break into little pieces depending on the resin used in the doors) in a full side impact. But then again, I guess a metal door would be pushed into you by that time...

XR7 Dave
01-09-2004, 07:49 PM
Um, Camaro's use fiberglass doors. Not much inside them for protection. If you are so worried about safely you could weld a bar from the latch plate to the upper hinge plate. That would be plenty strong enough. Saturns have plastic doors. Not much in them either.

johnny o
01-09-2004, 08:03 PM
I'm with XR7 Dave on this one. My TransAm has fiberglass doors stock and I am guessing there isn't much in them either. Plus my car is lowered too so if I got hit in the side by a truck or probably most other cars it is for sure hitting the door. Thing is the door isn't the same width as the front of a car so the car hitting you would be hitting more then just your door likely too. When it comes right down to it "Use at your own risk" seems to apply. :)

Randy N Connie
01-09-2004, 09:05 PM
As long as you don't forget to put the stock rubber rub strip back on the side of the fiberglass doors.

I don't think you would have to worry about the door strength.Other cars would just bounce
off the rub strip.:D

01-09-2004, 10:18 PM
If you mention that it is fiberglass people will not hit you on the door.

Doug Franklin
01-10-2004, 11:26 AM
Conclusion: John make them as light weight as possible. We can all cage or not to suit personal taste.

XR7 Dave
01-10-2004, 11:36 AM
Ya, I guess no one should ever ride a motorcycle either. Damm things have no protection whatsoever. :rolleyes:

I say have your passengers sign a waiver before getting in. :o Either that or put a sticker on the door that says "This door offers no side impact protection. Enter at own risk." :D

John Temple
01-12-2004, 11:21 AM
I appreciate all the feedback on the doors. Many issues I had forgotten including Camaro, Firebird, and Saturn doors. Also the fact that most doors are not as wide as the front of the car hitting you. Also only a 4 point bar would be necessary along with the strength of the door added to it. If anyone has looked at the inner door panel at its thickness and strength, added to the inner door, plus reinforced outer you have a pretty strong package. As soon as I can get photos I will post them.

Don Teeple
03-03-2004, 12:11 PM
Keep us posted!!!
Lmk when your ready for a 1997 Bird in the Atl area,

(ps. if you need pictures hosted just let me know)

Randy N Connie
06-09-2004, 08:28 PM
John: Do you have any update on your fiber glass doors.
And are you coming to the 2004 SC/XR7 SHOOTOUT
being held in NORWALK,OH on October 1 & 2.

tanks Randy

Iron Raven
06-10-2004, 10:59 AM
Count me in for a set of those doors when their ready. I'll be watching for an update. Let us know whats going on, Pics are good too. :)

sho taurus
06-10-2004, 03:20 PM
i got t boned in a fiero gt by a car doing 50-60 mph and thank god the car is plastic and fiberglass.because it exploded and all the flying piece absorbed most of the impact and saved my life.yes there is a metal brace in the door but not much.if i would have been in a metal car.i would have been seriously hurt or dead probably.another wreck to look at was the guy the stole that corvette and was running from the cops across the desert and slammed into the back of that semi @ at least 120+ mph and car split in half and he walked away without a scratch.also look at indy cars.they do good in crashes also.yeah maybe couple lil bars in the door would be nice.but i wouldn't go all out.i might be interested too.do know what total weight loss will be?

Don Teeple
01-04-2006, 02:58 PM
Olllld post, did these doors ever come to fruition?

01-04-2006, 03:10 PM
Look at the info in this thread: