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TOM: A-pillar blues

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SCOTT GREEN ASKS how he should add hinges to a 1970 Camaro if cutting the A-pillar on the door means removing support for the windshield. There are a couple of ways to do this:

The easiest way — but less accurate — would be to lower the location of the door line beneath the A-pillar, which would support the pillar but result in an awkward dip along the top of the door, 1.

A more accurate method is to follow the door line and carefully separate the A-pillar from the door, then cut out the rest of the door normally, 2.

From that point, you need to scratchbuild a new A-pillar support on the inside, making sure it doesn’t interfere with the operation of the newly hinged doors. It would be wise to complete one side at a time so the roof isn’t left flopping while you’re fabricating the new pillar supports. You might also have to temporarily reinforce the roof by gluing a piece of strip styrene across the windshield opening to maintain proper alignment while you’re working on the new support, much like what is done when chopping a  top on a real car. You could also temporarily tape the windshield in place to ensure the A-pillar is properly aligned while you build the new jam. Either way, this procedure will require patience and some scratchbuilding skill. However, the results will be worth the effort. Good luck!

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