need tips for adjusting doors

Discussion in 'Body Restoration' started by need-for-speed, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. need-for-speed

    need-for-speed Veteran Member

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    I rebuilt the door hinges on my '79 and need tips for adjusting the doors. They are close but could use improvement. Is there a methodical way to approach this? I seem to be going in circles, correcting one dimension only to find problems w/ alignment/clearance in another area. Is it o.k. to shim the hinges? The driver side, top need to be "rolled out" a little. I've tried playing with the striker but that brings the bottom of the door out too much. Them mofo's are heavy too. I've been supporting it w/ a floor jack, getting a friend to balance/hold the door upright while I work the wrench. Is there an easier way? I would love to be able to do it by myself, without needing assistance.

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    2000 Corvette hardtop black, 6 speed, Halltech Tric cold air intake w/nylon MAF ends, Corsa Touring cat back exhaust w/pro tips, Taylor wires, 1/4 mile: 12.918 @ 111.29 mph on stock EMT's 330 rwhp, 342 rwt on MTI's dyno, 3075 lbs

    79 Camaro 355 CID, Edelbrock intake, Edelbrock 600 cfm carb, Edelbrock performer 64 cc alum cyl heads, comp cams extreme energy 262 cam, erson roller rockers, hooker headers, Mallory Comp 9000, 3.42 posi, 700R4 rebuilt w/ B&M kit, 2400 stall converter w/ TCI lockup kit, energy suspension f.e. rebuild, 1-1/4 front sway bar, 5/8 rear bar

    67 Camaro, 327 w/ a 'glide , waiting on "funding"

    [This message has been edited by need-for-speed (edited September 08, 2003).]
     
  2. spicewood1

    spicewood1 BANNED

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    Very diffucult to describe in text. I'll be brief - its all in the order of things. There are 3 axis to adjust - front/back, up/down, roll in/out. All adjust with the bolts, but remember the door is very heavy and normal sag can upset what you thought was a good adjustment. Get the door level along the rocker first, about 1/4" gap at the bottom front and back. The correct adjustment at striker should lift the door about 1/8" when closing, because the striker should carry the weight of the door when closed, not the hinges. If you don't do this, the hinges will soon "wear in" so that the weight does ride on the striker. Then when you open the door it will drop 1/4"! Hinges usually do not need shimming unless there is wreck damage. Adjust roll out/in with the 6 bolts - do not loosen them all at once! I loosen for example all 3 on bottom, and 2 of the 3 on top, roll the bottom into place, then tighten one on bottom. Loosen the one on top and set the top. A good tip is to start with the door overall a bit high, because all the adjusting lowers it a bit as you work - gravity you know. It is best done with the fenders off, but can be done albeit very hard with fenders on. Another note - correct adjustment of door should have the center crease just slightly inside the fender crease. Good luck.
     
  3. MILLER8338

    MILLER8338 Veteran Member

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    I used my chery picker (engine hoist) to support my doors while I set them. I tied a rope to each end and ran it over the hook. This allowed me to tilt clockwise / counter clockwise. Then I could roll it in or out and lift it up and down for the other axis. Use a fairly ling piece of rope so the chain or hook doesn't hit the roof.
     
  4. need-for-speed

    need-for-speed Veteran Member

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    Thanks guys!
    Spicewood, I appreciate all the typing. I do understand what you are saying. One guy on the Team Camaro board recommends removing the striker during adjustment and installing it as the last step. Do you agree with that approach?
    Miller, that is a good idea. I was going to buy a cherry picker for my next engine install. I think I'll go ahead and buy one and use it on the doors.
     
  5. spicewood1

    spicewood1 BANNED

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    To some, removing the striker may help. In my opinion it would be a disaster to get the door 99% perfect only to find it not "resting" on the striker when closed. Major trouble to change the angle just a tad. Just my thoughts.
     
  6. Psychohamster

    Psychohamster Veteran Member

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    I disagree with this aspect of door adjustment. The door should not lift or lower upon opening or closing. The latch is designed to tightly encompass the striker pin when closed. Just inspect any other new cars door action and you will notice no upward or downward deflection upon operation. To have the latch mechanism slide across the striker pin and raise the door 1/8" will prematurely grind a groove in the pin, grind on the latch and cause verticle stress on the hinge pins. Hinges are designed to carry the weight of the door and the latch is designed to grab the striker not grind up onto it.
     
  7. earlysecond

    earlysecond Veteran Member

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    The bolts that attach to the pillar are easily accessible with the fender off. Back to front first, using the bolts that go into the pillar. If you line up the bottom front of the door with the leading edge of the rocker (assuming the rocker has never been smashed), you will be O.K. Same bolts, adjust the height off of the rocker. Make sure that the gap that rus the length of the rocker to door is equal as this is the place to adjust it. (this can be a rough height adjustment.) Try to center the hinge to door mounting point before you hang the door, this will leave adjustment room when the door is hung. I'm with Hampster. . .remove the striker. Never loosen all bolts on any one hinge. At least one bolt should be snug. Final up/down and in/ out adjustments are made with the bolts that attach to the door. It is cumbersome and some helpful tools include, jacks, Jack stands, BFH, woodblocks, prybar etc. You WILL be able to get it perfect if you are patient. Mine are more than satisfactory and I did them myself, with nobody even holding tools! There is an order to doing it right and I believe that it is best (maybe only really possible) if the fenders are OFF the car.
     
  8. need-for-speed

    need-for-speed Veteran Member

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    Many great tips here. Thanks. Is it hard to remove the fenders? I don't mind removing them though because they need a little adjustment anyway.
     
  9. earlysecond

    earlysecond Veteran Member

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    You many not want to pull your fenders unless you absolutly have to. What year car are we talking about? The risk to pulling your fenders is that if they are aligned now they may not be as good after you pull them. Panel alignment is not easy. I spent 5 hours yesterday mounting and aligning a header and valance on my '70 and it is still not perfect (the car was in disassembled mixed matched and extra pieces condition when I bought it) I got it as perfect as possible and there are only 2 gaps that are a little wide. If you fenders also need aligned, you could pull them which probably means pulling the nose off of the car which may be a mistake. I would not completly remove the fenders unless: your doors are really off front to back or the gap at the rocker either grows or shrink as you look at it from back to front. There is collision damage on the door or pillar (in which case you may have to shim the hinges at the pillar, I have almost 1/2 in of body shims behind my drivers door!) The fenders are really out of alignment and you think that you could benefit from starting over!
    Good luck
    Brent
     
  10. need-for-speed

    need-for-speed Veteran Member

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    Thanks Brent. It is a '79 Camaro and the fenders only need a slight adjustment. The car is all original w/ no body damage. I'll have to think about it now (removing the fender). I was looking forward to being able to adjust the doors w/o needing help, but I do NOT want to open Pandora's box! Maybe I could try using a cherry picker to hold the door and leave the fenders on ?
     

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