EDITORS NOTE - This is probably one of the more risky things you can do on your car. Failure is Expensive - if you do this wrong you can and will break the back window and/or punch a hole in the t-panel (assuming you didn't remove it first). Do NOT do this if you are at all uncertain in your mechanical abilities. There are several "right" ways to do this.
NOTE - if the torsion bar has been damaged by a prior service person (usually by attampting to do this without having the allen wrench seated firmly in the bar), the head of the bar may be "bloomed" and in that case the bracket will not easily slide off as described. If you run in to this case just put it back together for now. There is no easy way around it.
As usual, follow this procedure at your own risk.
Tools I used (to remove T-Bar)
3/8” LONG allen wrench (Readily available at Advance Auto)
-3/8” FOR NORMAL T-BAR hole
14mm LONG allen wrench (Readily available at Advance Auto)
-14mm FOR WORN T-BAR hole
13mm open end and socket wrenches
Bar or pipe for leverage (people get crazy and use 4 foot long pipes, mine wasn’t even 2 feet long and I accomplished this so get whatever your comfortable with)
Small thin piece of wood (I used the butt of a wire brush)
Tools I used (to remove + install door)
Lots of RTV sealant
17mm open end wrench or socket wrench
1 cargo strap
1 rope with clips
1 piece of 2X6 to hold up the door
1 smaller piece of wood to rest the door on-you’ll see these pieces and how they were used later on in this.
FIRST OFF: USE common sense when doing any type of work guys! Always remember for every action there is a reaction; think about what you’re doing, get a feel for what you’re doing and use safety! This work is very simple and goes very smoothly if you just use you common sense!
SECONDLY: I work alone; so this is all written with little tricks that make it easier for those who work alone-and much easier and faster for those with someone helping you out-I unfortunately don’t have this benefit. Yes, I removed T-bars and the door by myself-it is possible.
T-Bar removal-after you’ve removed the obvious: louvers, stainless T, etc- YOU MUST THEN remove the gas strut and open the door as much as you can within reason-it is IMPORTANT you do this: it will allow the door to open a few more inches then with the strut installed: The T-bar will have less torque the further the door is opened. In my operation, I actually tied the door open the bars I have in my garage ceiling, if you can do the same then great, if not; I also used a 2X6 to hold the door open with it tied (Yes, I take great safety in what I do, had enough concussions to last 2 lifetimes).
Then start by loosening up the 2 bolts that hold the T-bar bracket to the body. Don’t be afraid doing this- just loosen them enough so the washers freely move around-there is more then enough threads on the bolt that you won’t need to fret about the bolt just flying out.
Then place the correct allen wrench inside the end of the T bar and put the leverage over the allen wrench/key. The T-bar doesn’t have so much tension that it goes around and around to remove tension before you can remove it; it is just a matter of ¼~1/2 turns to unwind so keep enough travel for your allen key and leverage to unwind this. With the bolts loose, you can put force on the bar and see how much you need (try to get a good feel so you know how much to use when putting it back together)-you’ll see the bracket move, this will get you a little used to the idea of what you’re doing.
THEN-place a SMALL piece of wood between the bottom of the bracket on the side that will swing down towards the glass (PICTURE 1)-and the rear glass channel-this will prevent any damage to the glass incase of anything. Make sure your wooden piece is snug between the glass and bracket, if it is the correct size it will stay in there without falling, if it is too small it will fall right out and be useless. Don’t use anything metal to put between the glass and bracket. I got up on the roof to do this-your set-up should look similar to PICTURE 3-put force on the leverage and remove the screws all the way one by one.
When you start putting the force on, one screw will be loose and the other won’t-put enough force on it so the screw that ISNT loose-will become loose and remove that one first; then remove the second one. While holding the bar under force still, pry the bracket back (PICT 2)-onto the allen and you’re ready to let the tension off easily. If the bracket is on the key and you’re block is still in place-you can remove it now. Slowly release the tension till there’s no more and you can pull the bar out. Make sure you take care with the bar, you don’t want to ding or damage it so place it somewhere well-I usually wrap them up with masking tape if I’m expecting it out for a long time-never know what may happen and I don’t want to risk anything.
When you want to reinstall it, it is just the opposite of what you did. Put the bar in the door; put the allen in the bar with the bracket on the allen. Get your bolts ready and your wood piece ready also-you don’t want to be holding this thing with tension and trying to fuss around finding the bolts (Unless you have someone helping, then you can have them install this while you’re doing the tension. Put the tension on, put similar amount that you felt when releasing the tension-and then some.
Pop the bracket on the end of the bar, put the wood piece between again; and then start screwing down the bracket. Torque the bolts and you’re home free. Check the door for travel with no strut so you know if you have too much tension-or not enough. Readjust as necessary.
To remove the doors: Remove the T-bar as described above. See where the bracket is behind the door wiring-there are 4 screws holding this bracket on-2 that you can reach with the door semi-closed and 2 that are on the roof-these may be hard to see due to mass amounts of sealant smeared all over them but find them and remove them. Pop open the little access hole (some may have duct tape holding them down you’ll have to remove), this is located in the center of the “T” section on the fiberglass roof. This will allow you to reach the door wiring connectors. There are 2 connectors to the door, disconnect them both and fish the wires out through the hole (removing the bracket with 4 screws will have enlarged your access to remove the connectors now) you may also need to shut the door a little in order to pull the connectors out. Once the wiring is disconnected and out of the way, tie or hold the door back up. Mark the 4 bolts holding the hinges to the door-this will aid in the alignment upon reassembly. Loosen the 4 bolts that hold it to the hinges.
Once these are loose and the door is still open, remove 1 bolt from each side (the ones on top, not the ones nearest the roof on the bottom see PICTURE 5) .
Place the piece of wood across the roof (PICTURE 4)-above the windscreen and on the fiberglass roof just before the rear quarter stainless is. Lower the door onto this piece of wood and try to get a balance where you can just unscrew the 2 remaining bolts out with no resistance. Now the door is free, if you have the door tied up to the ceiling from the inside handle, you can just slide the door on the piece of wood back to reach the hinges and you can work without even having to remove the door- or totally remove the door if you want. Installation is just opposite-if the door was removed then place it back on the wood piece and slide it back into place where you can bolt it back up. You can use your old bolt marks to guide you in putting the door back into position. If not, use trial and error by closing the door (of course when it is bolted back up and wood piece removed) and seeing if it still needs to be adjusted. If it does then just unbolt the door and move it slightly whichever way you think it needs to go and tighten it back up; and close it/check again. You may also need to adjust the door pins, these you just feel where they need to go, when the door is bolted and you’re ready for this, you just slowly close the door onto the pins and feel if there is any binding. If there is binding- then peer down into the gap between the door and body (since you’re not latching the door and the pin should be just striking the guide-there is enough gap to see) and view which way you need to move the pin. Takes a few minutes and a few tries but it isn’t tough to obtain the correct placement.
Written by Dani Benedek
Created March 1 2005
Revised April 11 2005Revised April 13 2005
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