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Thread: Door Install, Alignment and Adjustment

  1. #1
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    Door Install, Alignment and Adjustment

    Hey all,

    I've just finished my roof box install and am getting ready to install the doors and adjust them.

    Question is, how best to attack this.

    I know its not a quick and easy task, and its gonna take a lot of trial and error, just trying to picture how to go about the trial and error process. Not much out there on how to do this, so thought it'd be helpful to ask what others have done.

    First off, I'm thinking have the hinges on but loose so they can move around.

    Then, Should we set the door in place (closed position) and then attach the hinge bolts to the door? I'm imagining this way I could have the door in a good alignment then adjust the hinges to meet it...

    or do we hold the door open and attach the hinge bolts, then lower it down to check alignment, set it in closed position and tighten the hinge bolts, open and close to check alignment etc.

    Also, should i have brand new door seals? my old ones need replacement anyway, so should i do this with new ones?


    -Andy

  2. #2
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    hi

    i put 2 nos doors on my car years ago.. and we installed them fully open and just left the hinges snugged but not tight so u can shift it around a little bit. but yes its trial and error on every car.. not too overly difficult just have someone reliable helping you so u dont dent or scratch stuff ... i did scratch the inner fill panel on my drivers side where the latch screws are but it was only because i had it too far back slightly... once you lower the door and it should pretty much center itself where it needs to.. i also did this with inner door seals installed so that way you can tell if its rubbing either front or back fairly easily... also pay attention to the gap at the top outer edge of the door and try to keep it even as possible... any other questions you can pm me if you like.. Dave

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by painterdave72 View Post
    i put 2 nos doors on my car years ago.. and we installed them fully open and just left the hinges snugged but not tight so u can shift it around a little bit. but yes its trial and error on every car.. not too overly difficult just have someone reliable helping you so u dont dent or scratch stuff ... i did scratch the inner fill panel on my drivers side where the latch screws are but it was only because i had it too far back slightly... once you lower the door and it should pretty much center itself where it needs to.. i also did this with inner door seals installed so that way you can tell if its rubbing either front or back fairly easily... also pay attention to the gap at the top outer edge of the door and try to keep it even as possible... any other questions you can pm me if you like.. Dave
    Thanks for the insight. I kinda figured I'd be just diving in and going for it, figure it out along the way. But i know many owners have done this, so thought it may be helpful to get a better picture of the process. Get some best practices and lessons learned out there!

    -Andy

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    If you have all of the shims that were previously installed and you kept track of how many and where they go, you can install the hinges loosely and get it really close. Otherwise it will be trial-and-error getting them to fit. You align the doors to the body NOT the adjoining panels unless everything was in very good alignment BEFORE you took the doors off. Take your time and get it right. If you have an early car this can be a real challenge.
    David Teitelbaum

  5. #5
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    I finished installing the doors over the weekend and had some thoughts i wanted to share for anyone who goes looking for tips in the future.

    Keep in mind i replaced my roof box, so some of this may not apply if you are just changing the door.

    Hinges: I reused my old hinges and i had them powder coated, which adds some thickness to them. May not sound important to note that, but during aligning and adjusting the smallest movements would have big effects. So If you do that, just keep it in mind when deciding how many shims to start with. Also, the holes for the torsion bars were pretty tight after coating. I had to file one of them a lot to get the torsion bar to seat. May have been a good idea to have the powder coater plug the holes instead of coating them as well. otherwise, they turned out awesome and I'm glad i the powder coating route. I used stainless steel hardware to secure them. A standard nut was used while i adjusted, then installed a lock nut once they were in their final position.

    Shims and Shimming: The shims provided in the kit were SS and about twice as thick as the original shims. I also only received the bottom shims and no vertical shims. Each of my rear hinges originally had three shims each under them and each of the passenger side hinges had a vertical shim, both of different thicknesses. I made my own vertical shims out of scrap stainless steel i had using the old vertical shims as a template, made two to start with, but ended up making two more during install so I'd recommend having a couple of each size you had originally, but at least 4 total of any thickness you can come up with. I decided to go with two of the new shims each as a starting point, (which was like having 4 of the original shims) My logic was to start the door install using something close to what was originally there. Also started with the two vertical shims on the passenger side for the same reason, as a place to start.

    Top Infill panels: leave these out until your doors are in and adjusted. they may not go back in the same way. (learned the hard way)

    Door Seals: Mine were shot, pinched all over the upper part of the opening and interfered with the alignment process. Its important that they are installed correctly so you aren't fighting the seal while trying to align the doors. The door needs to clear the seals, and not pinch them, as its coming down.

    Door install: Two people at least obviously, we had Three, and it was a huge help. Two people are holding the door in a half open position, the third is there to feed the plugs into the roof box, and also help put the bolts in. With just two, you'll have to work out whos taking the weight of the door and whos feeding plugs (not both at the same time). Some sort of stand in the center of the bottom of the door to take the weight would help a lot. Once the bolts are on, you can let the door down and check fitment.

    Door Alignment: This really comes down to trial and error. getting the door in a position so it cleared the seal and seated down nicely was key. Typically we adjusted the hinges and then the strikers. We got the alignment close with the torsion bars out. Once the torsion bars were in we had more adjustment to do to dial it in. Remember that the strikers have up-down-left-right adjustment, in and out you can do with washers. Some cars have the washers on top of the plastic trim panel, and if they are too far out, cutting out of the plastic trim may be required. The strikers can also be adjusted by moving the inner striker mount around. That is behind the quarter panels, two bolts on the inside of the car, and two on the outside. (that's if you already cut the plastic out and still need it to go in more)

    Best advice i can give is to try and keep the big picture in mind. Just remember that what you change in one spot, will affect things in other areas. For example, shimming the hinges more raises the door, which will drive changes to the T-panel, striker pins, latch points, etc.

  6. #6
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    This is a great post. Thank you for sharing!!! Glad to hear you got it all sorted.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyo View Post
    I finished installing the doors over the weekend and had some thoughts i wanted to share for anyone who goes looking for tips in the future.

    Keep in mind i replaced my roof box, so some of this may not apply if you are just changing the door.

    Hinges: I reused my old hinges and i had them powder coated, which adds some thickness to them. May not sound important to note that, but during aligning and adjusting the smallest movements would have big effects. So If you do that, just keep it in mind when deciding how many shims to start with. Also, the holes for the torsion bars were pretty tight after coating. I had to file one of them a lot to get the torsion bar to seat. May have been a good idea to have the powder coater plug the holes instead of coating them as well. otherwise, they turned out awesome and I'm glad i the powder coating route. I used stainless steel hardware to secure them. A standard nut was used while i adjusted, then installed a lock nut once they were in their final position.

    Shims and Shimming: The shims provided in the kit were SS and about twice as thick as the original shims. I also only received the bottom shims and no vertical shims. Each of my rear hinges originally had three shims each under them and each of the passenger side hinges had a vertical shim, both of different thicknesses. I made my own vertical shims out of scrap stainless steel i had using the old vertical shims as a template, made two to start with, but ended up making two more during install so I'd recommend having a couple of each size you had originally, but at least 4 total of any thickness you can come up with. I decided to go with two of the new shims each as a starting point, (which was like having 4 of the original shims) My logic was to start the door install using something close to what was originally there. Also started with the two vertical shims on the passenger side for the same reason, as a place to start.

    Top Infill panels: leave these out until your doors are in and adjusted. they may not go back in the same way. (learned the hard way)

    Door Seals: Mine were shot, pinched all over the upper part of the opening and interfered with the alignment process. Its important that they are installed correctly so you aren't fighting the seal while trying to align the doors. The door needs to clear the seals, and not pinch them, as its coming down.

    Door install: Two people at least obviously, we had Three, and it was a huge help. Two people are holding the door in a half open position, the third is there to feed the plugs into the roof box, and also help put the bolts in. With just two, you'll have to work out whos taking the weight of the door and whos feeding plugs (not both at the same time). Some sort of stand in the center of the bottom of the door to take the weight would help a lot. Once the bolts are on, you can let the door down and check fitment.

    Door Alignment: This really comes down to trial and error. getting the door in a position so it cleared the seal and seated down nicely was key. Typically we adjusted the hinges and then the strikers. We got the alignment close with the torsion bars out. Once the torsion bars were in we had more adjustment to do to dial it in. Remember that the strikers have up-down-left-right adjustment, in and out you can do with washers. Some cars have the washers on top of the plastic trim panel, and if they are too far out, cutting out of the plastic trim may be required. The strikers can also be adjusted by moving the inner striker mount around. That is behind the quarter panels, two bolts on the inside of the car, and two on the outside. (that's if you already cut the plastic out and still need it to go in more)

    Best advice i can give is to try and keep the big picture in mind. Just remember that what you change in one spot, will affect things in other areas. For example, shimming the hinges more raises the door, which will drive changes to the T-panel, striker pins, latch points, etc.
    After aligning the doors without the torsion bars installed, how much adjustment did you need to make after installing them? Did you have to loosen the hinges to the roof box and adjust while the bars were in or just adjustments with the striker pins?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmcman73 View Post
    After aligning the doors without the torsion bars installed, how much adjustment did you need to make after installing them? Did you have to loosen the hinges to the roof box and adjust while the bars were in or just adjustments with the striker pins?
    We did have take them out and put them back in a few times before we had them in a good position. We did do minor adjustments to the rear hinge without removing them. But not the front hinge. Didnít feel comfortable loosening the front hinge with the torsion bar in.


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