The rear doors on my Trav have been bugging me for some time. They rattle.
I've tried a number of methods to stop them from drowning out the stereo, including extra rubber strips on the door edges, tightening all the bolts and screws, and even padding the sliding struts where the bar goes through the little square hole ...
Nothing worked until I tried out my latest idea. "Get rid of the standard old struts and replace them with modern gas ones!" It looks good and it works a treat!
Here's how I did it.
First, I took a drive to my local car wreckers yard. After about 10 minutes of wandering around checking out the back end of some very sad looking cars I finally came up trumps. A poor old Suzuki Swift that had been stripped of virtually everything else, including the rear hatch lid, miraculously still retained its rear hatch gas struts. Thirty seconds later it didn't.
The struts from the Swift are ideal for use in the Minor. They are designed to push open to help lift the hatch lid so when removed from the car they are extended to their maximum length. They are slightly longer than necessary for use in the Minor, but the bracket that attaches to the door is nearly identical to the standard Minor one, and to be honest, for £10 I think I can cope with the extra length.
I still needed to find some sort of bracket or mounting plate to locate the inner end of the gas strut on the wooden waist-rail below the Traveller's side windows. So, I removed the L-bracket from the door end of an old pair of standard Traveller struts and drilled out the pin hole to match the diameter of the screw thread on the gas strut. I would then be able to screw the modified L-plate to the waist-rail and attach the gas strut to that.
Getting it in the right place.
After bolting the inboard end of the gas strut to the modified and painted L-bracket I positioned the L-bracket at the other end about 3 inches in from the hinged edge of the Traveller door. This was simply so that I could use one of the existing alloy panel retaining screws as the end mounting point instead of drilling extra holes. Anyway, it was in exactly the right spot.
With just the one screw in place at the door end I then held the door at its widest open position and positioned the other end of the gas strut against the wooden waist-rail, making sure that the gas strut was as horizontal as possible. Remember that the gas strut will push the door open to this point - make sure that you don't set it up so that the gas strut tries to push against the limits of the door hinges. This meant that the mounting point for the gas strut would be about a foot further along the rail than the original bracket.
With the modified L-bracket positioned fairly low on the waist-rail I marked one of the holes ready for drilling. With the hole drilled and the bracket screwed on I could then make sure that the bracket was level and then marked and drilled the second hole and then screwed it in place.
Back at the door end I lined up the bracket so that it was parallel with the strut and marked and drilled a new hole in the door. With both brackets now screwed firmly in place I could test out the action of the door. Perfect! The door now opens all by itself and stops just short of the limit of the door hinges. I repeated the same process on the other side.
I was a little concerned that the strength of the gas struts would be too much for the door hinges, after all, in the closed position the gas struts are always pushing against the door. But I think this will not be a problem. When opening the doors, if you let them go and allow them to open by themselves they don't slam open at all. It's more of a 'determined' action. Only a light push is required to close the doors again.
You do have to hold one door closed whilst closing the other but considering that I used to have to use two hands to release the locking mechanism this is just bliss! Plus I now have virtually rattle-free doors! Wooo Hooo!
The whole process, apart from painting the brackets, took about 45 minutes to complete.