You've seen it before … huge gashes in the beltline metal near the front edge of a T34 door. Many T34s have this problem and it is easily prevented with an hours worth of work and $50. How did this happen? It happened because the original door check strap broke and the unchecked door opened wider than it was supposed to. How do you replace the straps so it doesn't happen again? Follow these simple steps.
- Door check straps (343 837 253)
- Check strap rollers & pins (141 837 255B)
Most KG suppliers will have both of these parts in stock although you'll need to use the T14 KG door check strap (slightly shorter than the original T34 strap) since the T34 strap is not being reproduced. KG Parts & Restoration (800 927 2787, http://www.karmannghia.com/home.asp) has the door check straps for $26/pair and the rollers/pins for $26/car. Other suppliers like Bill & Steve's (562 923 3151, http://www.billandsteves.com/) have the parts too for similar prices (Prices and availability updated March 2016).
First step is to remove your door panel. Remove the window winder handle clips, door pull cups, metal trim plate, and carefully pop-off the door panel clips.
If you have the original check strap still connected to the door hinge, start by removing the circlip on the pin & sliding the pin out. At the front edge of the door you'll see an aluminum retaining plate that houses the check strap & rollers. Remove the plate with two screws. You'll see two pins & rollers with two tiny circlips holding it in place. Carefully repmove the clips, pins, & rollers (most rollers have disintegrated already). The blood you see in the pic is my blood from a sharp screwdriver blade gouging my thumb in a poor effort to remove the tiny circlips. Be careful …
Next I found it necessary to grind-down the edges of the rollers to fit the T34 retaining plate. I also found that only one roller was needed, not both. Each check strap is marked with an L or R to show which side goes up. Install the check strap (fat end towards the back of the car), pins, roller, & circlips.
Mount the retaining plate & check strap assembly back into the door and finally install the pin through the front edge of the check strap in the door hinge. Test the door to see if it opens far enough and is restricted. Lube your hinge, replace the door panel, and then do the other door check strap. It took us about an hour to do both doors (no beers involved).