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Old 01-23-2014, 06:45 PM
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78 El Camino Door adjustment

I am having problems getting the passenger door adjustment correctly. The rear of the door the top is in to far and the bottom is out to far. The bolts on the hinges that connect to the door is where I'm making the changes from. When I loosen the top and move it out, it puts it out of alignment in the front of the door, and the rear part of the door doesn't move. The gap between the quarter panel and door appears to be even. What am I doing wrong?

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Old 01-23-2014, 07:31 PM
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The door might be bent. Sometimes you have to bend them a bit to fit them right.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:09 PM
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Thank you I'll try that. This door came off another car and looked real good when I removed it. It's amazes me how these panels fit one vehicle so well, and the adjustments to fit another. Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:13 PM
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also check the fender to make sure it's not giving you a false reading by making you think you're pulling it out too far, as you would normally set your doors before your fenders. I can't say there's a definitive answer on finding a twist other than doing the best you can and as a last resort determining a twist is what will fix it. Most old cars I do require a twist at the door, so it's very common. Who knows if it's actually twisted when the factory gaps were probably worse than what we try to make of them. half the stuff we do is probably not undoing anything but just the things we need to do to better factory tolerances/gaps.

Stick a 2x4 somewhere high and stout on the jamb and use a rag on it and place it on the upper rear area of the shell (not the edge of the door skin) and lay on the ground and use your legs to push in at the corner of the rear. You can use a wall to push off of and get good leverage and rock back and forth when pushing then check. You might have to do this a couple times. Just don't let your wife walk into the garage while you're doing this. She might think you're losing your mind
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:33 PM
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Post some photos, it's most likely the fender but post some photos so we have a better understanding.

If you do twist the door be VERY careful not to wrap your fingers around the edge.......ask me how I know. I Lost a fingernail once doing that on a 69 Shelby.

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redsag 78 (01-23-2014)
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:46 PM
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Thank you. A twist to the door made it fit. I'm learning new thing all the time. Thanks again for the help.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
Post some photos, it's most likely the fender but post some photos so we have a better understanding.

If you do twist the door be VERY careful not to wrap your fingers around the edge.......ask me how I know. I Lost a fingernail once doing that on a 69 Shelby.

Brian
I think you're right. when you set your door gaps first then hang your fenders it's kind of establishing that this is where the door needs to be so the fender has to make due with the room it has, but also often times you have do a little on both sides after the hood is on. I'd also be looking at the fender before twisting. A good way is to look in the jambs to see how many shims are holding it out as opposed to the other side and to also loosen a bolt up top on each fender and look at the hole around the bolt after the head is lifted off the fender and loosened cause it may be shifted to one side of the car.

I don't think he'd have to worry about his fingers as it's in at the top and out at the bottom. I almost got my finger smashed once. it's when you're not paying attention and by instinct your fingers want to wrap around the door cause you're thinking you're getting a better grip. 2x4 slipped and got my fingers out right before it closed. I feel your pain on that one. OUCH!

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Old 01-23-2014, 11:28 PM
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The door was COMPLETELY shut with my finger in the gap. And there was no door handle, and the window was up half way! I couldn't see the inside handle (the door panel was removed) and I was patting around the inside from over the top of the window until I found the handle and popped the door open. Yeah, I don't recommend that!

Brian
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:29 PM
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Thank you. A twist to the door made it fit. I'm learning new thing all the time. Thanks again for the help.
Right on!

Brian
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62 View Post
The door might be bent. Sometimes you have to bend them a bit to fit them right.
BEFORE You go twisting the door try adjusting the fender ,the top can go in and out so can the bottom what I think I would do is set the gap at the rear of the door and rocker parallel get that right ignoring the front (be sure the striker is out...) then adjust the fender to door gaps then the fender to hood gap.... should be just what the doctor ordered ...If that cant be done THEN you twist the door as a last resort when all else fails...There is a tool made for twisting doors but they can be manhandled if your carefull...just remember you cant twist the front into shape because of the hinges the only part that'll twist is the back half of the door so you'll need to get the front gaps right and twist the back into shape usually a 4x4 placed in the jamb to hold out the bottom of the door out and pushing the top in works or visa versa but be careful a little at a time...
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:49 AM
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Thanks to all for the help. I'm sorry that I hadn't disclosed that I had the fender off to mount this door. I didn't see signs of it being twisted on the car I removed it from. My new question is that during the process of rolling the door. I heard a popping sound. The door now fits within the frame and the door is adjustable by the bolts on hinges. Is there places to look for damage that may have occurred?
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:03 AM
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Right out in the middle of the door skin, rub your hands down the skin from front to back, I have seen them buckle. This is why this is the last resort to twist, it CAN cause damage. Look around where the skin folds over the shell and make sure it didn't slip off.

Brian
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:12 AM
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The door skin looks fine, I'll check the frame. I heard the sound twice, the first sounded like it came from front of door and second came from the rear of door. I'll post my findings on the door frame. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:20 AM
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Often the skin can "pop" and go back without damage. Sometimes when a skin does that from forces like this be it an accident or as you did it can pop and go back so it isn't standing out bad damage but tiny brows have been left. Look it over VERY carefully.

Brian
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:29 AM
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The seam around door doesn't show any damage. I rechecked the skin on the door and couldn't feel any rough areas. Is there any internal parts that would be affected? It surprised me the range that is available with the door door adjustment now.
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