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Old 04-26-2008, 06:53 PM
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door adjustment

Can anyone give me some tips on adjusting the doors on a 1947 Ford Coupe?
The bottom hinge looks like it could be shimmed if need be but I can't tell what I would need to do with the top hinge. I haven't attempted anything yet (just took a quick look at the hinge set-up) and wanted to see if anybody could offer some advice before I tackle this. Basically the door closes and latches but the gap at the front fender is very thin and the gap at the rear of the door is pretty large. It also looks like it needs to lift up towards the rear of the door.

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Old 04-26-2008, 07:46 PM
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I usually check the door sag by squatting down to look at the horizontal alignment between the door and quarter panel beltlines with the door not quite closed.

If it looks like door droop, it could be a worn hinge(s).


A shop might not get out the wrenches if you are not there watching ... They will place a 2x4 on a floor jack and tweak the door up. I do this a lot, but lots of trust in your skill is needed to know if the door bottom will kink, or when to stop jacking
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:34 AM
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Yeah I actually saw a body man do that once to a camaro I had. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:46 PM
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you align the doors by shimming the cowl/a pillar/b pillar. rear door edge alignment is done by twisting the door.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:36 PM
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door alignment.......

Hi,i also have a 48 ford long door coupe.(same as yours) i closed the gap at the door jamb.by placing 2 flat washers under all 3 screw headed bolts on the bottom hinge. also,to get to the rear nut on those screw headed bolts. i cut the small web out,between the 2 holes.at the inside kick panel,(to be able to get a wrench on the nuts,after i finished,i flanged a piece of metal,and installed it with stainless pop rivets. (i may have to remove the door in the future) i have NOT done it,but if you need to do something with the top hinge,i would elongate the hinge holes (where it bolts to the door,and use a good thick lockwasher under the head of the bolt.also,using a mig welder,i would put a good tack weld,to keep it from sliding.
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:04 PM
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Thank you very much for the info!! I'll give that a try.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:56 AM
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on early fords you dont move the door , you move the opening. learned this from an old body man i worked for in the 60's. as long as the hinge is not worn out the door should align with the cowl . most old frames have sagged some which closes the top gap and opens the bottom on the rear door edge. shim the cowl up in the rear and the door will come with it.bringing up the door can close the gap at the top of the door, shim the b pillar and the gap opens. really cool when you get the hang of it.
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:55 PM
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Great info..........thanks
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:39 AM
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If you bend the door up with worn hinges it will only get worse with time. You need bushings and or new hinge pins. After thats repaired then you can bend the door by jacking up at the back to get it to fit. Then you need to loosen the hinges to get the elevation to the cowl (sometimes slotting holes is required) . After the elevation at the cowl is correct then you can repair the twist in the door. Usually the doors stick out at the bottom. What I like to do is park it close to a wall that I can put my back against. Put a block between the door and jam at the top near the beltline (not at the top or you will bend you window frame) and with your back against the wall push the bottom of the door in with your feet. It can also be done with a few guys but requires a lot of force. Of course the door needs to be structurally sound and any broken spot welds need to be welded before hand. Works equally well on roadsters and cabriolets too.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:28 PM
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Thanks for the tips!
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:02 PM
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door alignment early Ford

OK folks,school me.Read Shines method, now what is "A" & "B' pillar? When you say shim the cowl.....? Help me out here. thanks
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:05 AM
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A pillar is in front of the door. b pillar is behind the door. To shim the cowl you want to loosen the body mounts at the cowl. There are usually two and if you shim just the back(closest to door). When you tighten it up it will twist the cowl down in the front and bring the back up bringing the back of the door with it. This only works with cars without a substantial substructure and when the gap between the door and cowl are correct. This is mainly used on early cars and fiberglass cars. To align all the body panels on a fiberglass car you have to have a different number of shims under each body mount. Each set of shims has to be placed and the body mount tight to prevent the panels from moving each time you r & r the panel.
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:09 AM
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i have used this method on corvettes and tri5's. if the hinges are good then chances are the chassis has sagged . i have never ran into one that cant be done this way. many times the a pillar or hinge pillar is twisted outward from the door swinging out hard. check this first. never heat and bend stuff or grind the edges. it's just not the way to do it.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:51 PM
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door adjustment

Thanks Shine and 33mopower, gonna do some tweakin' when I get my hand healed up. Danged old Fords never were noted for "close tolerances". Hey 33 mopower,I've got an Athol address also,where you located?
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