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Thread: Door Production Question

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Jul 2017

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    Door Production Question

    I read somewhere that in the earlier production cars, the doors were installed last, which left little room for adjustment and produced some alignment/gap issues. At some point, the production switched to have the doors put on first, which apparently addressed this issue. I tried looking on the forum for this but mostly found threads about people having alignment issues and the proposed solutions. Does anyone know approximately what VIN range this production change occurred? The reason I ask is I am going to look at what I think is an early 2xxxx VIN car at DMC MW tomorrow. I used to want a late production car when I first starting thinking about buying, but now I dig the gas flap hood, windshield antenna, black interior, and lighter wheels that this car particular has.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dangermouse's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

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    My VIN:    2743

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    Honestly, at this point, the production "quality" at any particular stage is moot.

    Condition of the roof box today has a bigger effect on door alignment than how they were first attached 35 years ago.
    VIN 2743, B/A, Frame 2227, engine 2320

    I don't always drive cars, but when I do, I prefer DeLoreans

    No-one is to stone anyone, even, and I want to make this absolutely clear, even if they do say "carburetor"

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangermouse View Post
    Honestly, at this point, the production "quality" at any particular stage is moot.

    Condition of the roof box today has a bigger effect on door alignment than how they were first attached 35 years ago.
    Thank you. Yes, I have read several threads about early vs late cars and that condition is king at this point in time. I was more curious for my own knowledge base than anything else.

  4. #4
    Senior Member powerline84's Avatar
    Join Date:  Mar 2015

    Location:  NY

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    My VIN:    2706

    Having helped repair several roof boxes across the vin range and also having a 2000 series vin myself (2706) I can say that there is absolutley a fit and finish difference between the prized vin ranges like a 5000 or late vin verse and early car like mine. I personally love the quirks of the early cars but the gaps are definatly way different then the later cars of the good build months. My buddy Chris had a 5000 vin car for example and the doors and gaps were amazing and his even needed the popped roof box repair. Don't let the early vin thing scare you away. I like them more . They are all unique. Mine needed a lot of tweaking to make doors nice but it can be done. And of its a midwest car Mike does magic with those doors .
    Last edited by powerline84; 05-24-2018 at 05:52 PM.

  5. #5
    Delorean Guru
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    The general condition and how it has been taken care of is way more important. If you want, the gaps and the doors can always be adjusted better. It does take a lot more work to get the early cars to fit up better but they can be done if you are willing to invest the time and/or money.
    David Teitelbaum

  6. #6
    Customized Member 81dmc's Avatar
    Join Date:  Feb 2013

    Location:  Magnolia, TX

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    The early door issues aren't due to how the doors were installed but rather the construction of the doors themselves.

    I had to actually replace my drivers door on my car because early doors are so prone to bending like a taco when mishandled. And when I had to align that new door when I did a stainless roofbox, everything fit and aligned perfectly. However, this was not the case for the old early passenger door. Simply, the door was deformed enough that I had to grind away at my striker brackets. In any case, as long as early doors are taken care of, there should be little to no issues.

    As for the remaining gaps, it is easy to align all the panels to the doors once the doors are confirmed to work perfectly.
    VR6 Swap in Progress... Roof Box, Double Din, Custom Instrument Cluster w/Cruise, QA1 Suspension.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Jul 2017

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    Thank you for the responses. I will be at MW later and pay close attention this time (was there in August) to doors and fender gaps on the latter cars vs. the earlier ones. I am not sure of the exact VIN on the car I'm going to look at, but it has a windshield embedded antenna, gas flap hood, black interior, and the lighter wheels. VIN should be between 1884 - 2710 based on those features. I'm pretty sure Mike at MW said 22xx over the phone, but I cannot recall. I'm not sure if that is considered an "early" car as described in the previous posts. To me an "early" car has the dark gray wheels, but I guess that definition could be expanded to all gas flap cars. Thus, the car I am looking at is a "late early" car?
    Last edited by Hill Valley PD; 05-25-2018 at 07:20 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DMC-81's Avatar
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    Good luck! Mine is a little bit below the range you listed and assuming a good condition car, I was able to get my doors to shut beautifully with adjustments and new, proper door seals. You should be fine, and you’re in good hands.

    1981 DeLorean DMC-12 (5 Speed, Gas Flap, Black Interior, Windshield Antenna, Dark Gray)
    Restored as "mostly correct, but with flaws corrected". Pictures and comments of my restoration are in the albums section on my profile.
    2006 Dodge Magnum R/T (D/D)
    2010 Camaro SS (Transformers Edition)

  9. #9
    LS1 DMC Nicholas R's Avatar
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    I dont recall the specifics, but I believe the difference between early and late doors is that the early doors have additional spot welds in the body of the door that resist some of the twisting on the doors.

  10. #10
    Senior Member powerline84's Avatar
    Join Date:  Mar 2015

    Location:  NY

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    My VIN:    2706

    How did it go ?

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