door alignment

Discussion in 'Body Restoration' started by Makin' Do, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. Makin' Do

    Makin' Do Member

    Dec 14, 2002
    Moore, OK
    Okay, I just rebuilt the hinges on my 79 but when I put the door back on it needs to be moved forward (towards the front of the car). Can I do this with the door on or do I have to take it off again to get to the bolts on the body?

  2. earlysecond

    earlysecond Veteran Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Altoona, PA
    Doubt that you want to hear this but if you must move the door forward, I'm curious as to what changed. To get to the bolts that you need, either the door or the fender must come off. That is what experience has taught me, hopefully someone has a better answer. Make sure that changing the striker position won't fix your problem. It is not ideal but sometimes will save some work.
  3. Makin' Do

    Makin' Do Member

    Dec 14, 2002
    Moore, OK
    Well, I can tell you what changed. I had to weld and redrill one of the holes because it was way too big. The door works great but it hits(rubs) the quarter when closed. It also closes a hair too far. I tried to adjust the sriker but then I realized I don't have a freakin' clue as to what I am doing. Can someone give me a quick course on door adjustment.

    Thanks again,
  4. MikeM79

    MikeM79 Moderator Lifetime Gold Member

    Mar 5, 1999
    East Quogue, NY
    Welcome to the biggest pain in the a$$ in the 2gen world.

    First of all get a helper if you can.

    The adjustment points all have one thing in common: the bolts are all attached to plates that slide around inside the body or inside the door. The striker plate only has one threaded hole, but the plates on both sides of both door hinges have three holes each.

    The striker is easy. You need a "torx" socket to loosen it then you just slide it where you want it then tighten it. I start with door striker myself. Adjust it so the body crease in the door lines up with the one in the quarter panel and so the depth when it closes also lines up with the quarter.

    Then go to the door hinges. To get access to all of them the fender has to come off (remember....I said this was a pita). Be careful in counting and bagging the shims for the fender. It will save you lots of time during re-installation.

    You can adjust both height and "left and right" on each of the four attachment points for the front of the doors. In other words, you can adjust both how the hinges sit on the body as well as how the door sits on the hinges. The easiest way is to place a floor jack under the door when it is open then loosen the bolts and move the door to where you want it then tighten them then try to shut the door. Trial and error and some common sense and lots of patience are all needed here.

    Keep in mind the door weight is heavily biased towards the hinge end so stick the floor jack about two thirds of the way towards the hinges to pick the door straight up.

    Also, I would tape up the edges of the fender and the door to try to minimize scratches.

    Good luck.
  5. cartboy67

    cartboy67 Veteran Member

    Oct 7, 2003
    Yokosuka, Japan
    I agree with both previous posts, the fender needs to be off. I loosened all of the bolts, door and body side. In the absence of a helper, I used some cardboard under the door with it being closed, to align the door up and down to align with the qrtr panel body line. Then got the front to back alignment set, then tighten bolts. Mine was not so bad, as I already had the fender off for replacement. Best of luck, be patient, the trial and error statement is absolutely the key here.

    [This message has been edited by cartboy67 (edited October 27, 2003).]
  6. speedyrev

    speedyrev Veteran Member

    Jul 30, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Adjust doors to fit and seal.
    Adjust fenders to match door.
    Adjust nose to match fenders.
    Adjust hood to match rest.
    Adjust your attitude and remember you have a cool car.
  7. HCKY23

    HCKY23 Veteran Member

    Nov 30, 2000
    Levittown, New York
    You can get to the hinge bolts that attach to the car without taking the fender off. You need the correct length and offset on a box wrench and a small 3/8 drive ratchet. I've done it. Still a PITA. You can only move the bolts about 1/8 turn before you have to remove the wrench each time. As stated, 2 things a big help; another person to hold/guide the door and a floor jack. I've found that with the door open at 45*, you need to raise the door with the jack about 2" higher than you think.

    Steve. 74 orig owner
    383, Comp 280, Sportsman II, HD TH350, 3:42 posi, 4wdisc, 12:1 box, IAS, headers, true-dual w/H-pipe. All new susp/bushings.
    Long Island Phantom Hockey -23-

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