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Old 01-14-2005, 12:01 AM
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Drivers side door hits rear quarter

I bought my car (69 Camaro) as a roller chassis that was in pretty bad shape but it did have a new floorpan, trunk and quarterpanels welded in. Anyways, both quarters were stictch welded in well except for where they meet the doors, they aren't lined up with the door panels in the middle. Besides that, the drivers door hits the new quarterpanel as it closes, no gap at all, its enough to jam the door closed. I tried adjusting the hinges to move the door forward as much as possible but it was already fully forward.

How do I fix the quarters and the door? Why is it so tight on the one side? For the door besides adjusting the hinges I don't know what to do short of grinding down the back edge a lot.

For the quarterpanel should I just cut the body behind the quarter panel seam and push it in? What about the bottom edge in front of the wheels? It looks to me like they aren't welded in anywhere, when I push in the panel to match the door, will it just close in the little gap at the bottom and should they be welded in down there anywhere? I know there is supposed to be a clean seam there but I'm unsure if that should be welded or not.
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Old 01-14-2005, 03:56 AM
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don't do anything...

until you have someone with experience on fabricating and welding look at it and make a plan for the fix.

the reproduction panels never do fit exact, normal to modify the post hinge mount to move forward (or back) for a gap then build up weld up the door edge and grind down to get a straight line.

Reason for a good opinion, $100 welding will probably save you $500+ at the body shop....
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:01 AM
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I HIGHLY recommend you follow Reds advice, you MUST have someone with some experiance look at this car. I don't want to scare you, but some serious work may be needed with those quarters before you procede. "What is wrong?" you ask, "Why one side and not the other?", well a human being mounted them. A human being with unknown skills mounted them. A human being likely mounted aftermarket quarters of which there are many different qualities on the market.

You should NEVER have to push the door as far forward (or rearward, or up, or down) as it will go to fit. If you have to push it as far as it will go, there is likely something wrong.
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:08 AM
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Clarification?

If the car was wrecked, and never had the unibody shell straightened correctly, then had qtrs welded on, you gotta move the hinge forward (and then go nuts lining up the front fender/door line)

Can't tell without seeing the car. Maybe just "cheat" a little is enough.

Worst case for a correct fix is not to bad, frame shop and probably do the qtrs again.
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Old 01-14-2005, 07:07 PM
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I feel it is always best to make the "incorrect" part (be it aftermarket "incorrect" or incorrectly installed) fit the correct parts. It is most always a mistake to "cheat" by modifying a good part aka the door or hinge piller to fit the poor fitting part.

I "cheat" (though that word should never be used in the shop) all the time. A pro MUST make a modification here and there and most importantly KNOW when it can and can not be done. THAT is one of the things learned with experiance.

A long chain of modifications usually follow, EVERY part from then on will likely need to be modified as well, doesn't sound like a good plan to me.

When moving the door forward (especially modifying the cowl) you are then messing with more than just the gaps. Sure, you may get the gap good but then you have too tight a gap on the INSIDE at the cowl. You can modify like that and end up with a door that doesn't leave enough room for the door rubber, or on the 69 Camaro a "pin switch" for the dome lights. The modified door may "fit" and look good from the outside but it closes hard and "pops" out when you unlatch it.

Or on other models with a pot metal vent window post on the door like the 67 Camaro or a Mustang of the same vintage. You move the door forward to make the rear gap right and end up with the vent window post smacking the windshield post, you can't modify that.

Then after you modify the door forward, you have to modify the fender, then the bumper, then the hood doesn't fit, it goes on and on and on. No, the best way (and usually the fastest) is to PROPERLY correct the problem at it's source.

If you are using aftermarket parts, well then of course they are the ones that should be modified, NOT the adjacent OEM panels.


Johnny, your Camaro had a folded lip at the bottom of the rocker, they were welded from the inside of the quarter down into the rocker. These welds are difficult and are usually "cheated". Of course one man's "cheat" is another mans "hack" it is hard to say what they did. They are often trimmed at the bottom and then "plug welded" to a small lip of the original quarter that is left there. This is why Reds advice to see a pro is the way to go. It is VERY hard to know what is going to happen when you push that quarter in a the door, it just can't be said and anyone over the computer who tells you is just guessing. I do this stuff every day, I hang at least a quarter a week, each one is different, even on the same cars they will have different issues.
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:44 PM
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Like RED and Martin said, you really need to have someone that really knows what they are doing look at it. Sometimes it is a reeal bear to change quarterpanels the first time. It is almost always considerably harder to correct an improper installation. You can have general information, but as Martin pointed out, they are all different. Every change that you make will have an effect on something else. Experience tells you what you can adjust for and get by with and what you can't.

As an added note, if you had your location in your personal information, possibly there is someone in your area or someone that can be recommended.
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:22 PM
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He says that the floor pan had been replaced. My suspicion is that they failed to properly brace the door opening before they cut out the old pan, and welded the new one in, or the car was bent before they started, and it was not properly adjusted before they started. While it is great to replace the whole floor pan at once, I prefer leave the car mounted on the frame (if there is one) and to do a section at a time, with the doors and trunk lid in place, properly aligned, and some braces tacked in place to keep things from moving. That way, any forces and stresses that kept the car fitting are not released, and you don't end up with the door fitting fine on the quarter, but the top of the window sticking out 1/2 inch.
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:12 PM
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Very good point Pontiac. This is of course the toughest part about this whole discussion, what part of this MAJOR repair was done properly. For instance, just as I said, if you start modifying..........

There is a good chance the floor was done wrong, that led to the quarters being "modified" to fit........"Theres a hole in the bucket dear Liza dear Liza, a hole in the bucket dear Liza a hole". After you start modifying a part.......now we are taking about the front fender and hood!

Of course, I hate to see Johnny sick to his stomach right now popping TUMS. Johnny, there are a million and one reasons for these problems. PLEASE before you let us get you worrying, have someone check it out in person. It may simply need a little "cheat" to get it going towards completion.
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Old 01-15-2005, 04:25 PM
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Yikes. Theres a lot to worry about now. I didn't think the floorpan would have anything to do with it but I can now provide some more information about that because now it seems relevant. The floor pan was not entirely replaced, under the drivers seat and LR passenger footwell is still in good condition with three other sectionals welded in.. Drivers footwell (not welded at the top yet :p ) and passenger footwells welded in. The welding looks good, fairly even but not completely uniform. The window of the door fits perfectly to the weatherstrip all around, the door jam area has no rust and shows no signs of the door hitting it, the original door weatherstrip is intact with no tears. The striker and mechanism needs cleaning but no unusual wear there. The door hinges aren't sagging and the metal is strong there. The sill plate below the door is perfectly straight as well, roofline above the doors is good...I did however notice a 7" long c-shaped bulge on the roof over the quarter windows on both sides of the car, they make me think the body did flex there at one time in its day, maybe someone jumped it off a ramp and the front end hit hard? Anyways, it only took me 1/2 hour to remove both to perfectly flat using just a body hammer and DA 120 grit sanding. Both the front and rear subframes are in perfect condition (minus the LH exhaust hanger hole lol) the rebuilt rear end I put back in went in right with no alignment problems.

When the door closes, its basically jammed in at the top against the quarterpanel but not touching the very top edge, 1/8" clearance there. It seems to jam at the new weld point at the top to the midpoint of the door, maybe a little higher. The bottom of the door then bends outwards about 1/2" and I cannot tell how far it is from the quarterpanel because of that. I've tried just pushing the top hinge fully forward and also both full forward, neither helps and throws the door out of alignment.
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:34 PM
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Well Johnny, theoretically all you need to do is make the door level across the bottom with about a quarter inch gap with the hinge to cowl at the mid point in movement to establish the "perfect" place for the door. Then MAKE the quarter fit that.

This is of course a "roughout" way to get close. You really need front fenders on as well to get that "bestest" fit all the way around. But honestly, if the rockers and cowl are original and it doesn't have any obvious front or rear end "frame" damage, the cowl to rockers is all the reference you need.

By the way, the damage you discribe on the roof is CLASSIC "jump on the roof" or "hit the roof with a basketball" kind of damage. Don't worry about that.
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Old 01-15-2005, 10:09 PM
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You said the car had been wrecked? It dosn't take much on the camaros if it took a lick on the frame horn or the front suspension, the cowling is probably sprung back. It might not be very much, 1/4 inch or so. The top which is a supporting factor on the camaro will then have a stress buckle in it some place. Like the rest, I suggest a good frame shop, they have all the proper measurements and can move the cowling back where it should be. Like martin says the lower quarter will have to be welded from the inside, there is plenty of room and openings to get some spot welds in there.

Don't grind on the edge of the door or you will ruin it.

Even if you slot the hinge bolt holes and make the door fit, the glass probably wont.

The bottom of the door will adjust in with a hinge adjustment also.

Troy
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Old 01-16-2005, 12:34 AM
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These photos should help, finally moved them to the server



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Old 01-16-2005, 03:05 AM
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sounding more like...

plain old unibody twist, to many years of to many "street wars" and maybe worn hinges

Johnny, it's the driver door hitting right? Passenger side is ok? right.

Tape a bunch of paint sticks to the rocker sill, hand tight mount the door on the sticks to see if the qtr line is straight...

"Further" clarification of "cheating", you can only cheat about 1/16" to maybe 1/8"......take a little off the face of the hinge for the glass and gasket, add a little to the post holes depending on the cowl. DON'T just make all the adjust at one place.

Still recommend another person look at it, very rare for an old car to NEVER have been hit and bent "a little" some place....hard to find...need extra eyeballs... cause the qtrs are new.

Last edited by red65mustang; 01-16-2005 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 01-16-2005, 10:34 AM
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Well, the big mystery here is solved. Look at the first picture, look at where the quarter is welded on! These are not complete quarters, they end three or four inches from the top. The doof that put the quarters on overlapped them INTO the jamb. This closed up the gap. THUS, the incorrectly installed quarters need to be repaired so the original and alignable doors can be fit properly.

"When you hear the sound of hooves, think horse not zebra"

It's just like mechanical work. If you have a running car that you do a tune up on. After changing the plugs, wires and cap the motor is back firing thru the carb. You don't assume the timing chain has jumped. FIRST you have to go over all that YOU did with the plugs, wires and cap.

If you think this is a goofy, unrealistic analogy, think again. My brother has had a repair shop for about 25 years. I have seen MANY, MANY cars brought in with this exact or similar story. It ended with the guy installing the timing chain wrong and then replacing the distibutor and a few other things BEFORE he brought it in to the mechanic.

The FIRST thing you have to do with something like this Camaro is figure out WHAT WAS DONE TO IT. After you determine everything was done right you move on looking for zebras.
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Old 01-16-2005, 11:12 AM
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martinsr,

the first pic looks like a normal (but screwed up?) qtr skin job to me... which would overlap the jam (and the jam should have been bent back for the new second layer)

"anybodies" eyes are better than mine though for seeing detail in a pic'....
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