I thought back to the start of this car. I had never done anything like rebuilding rusted out window boxes. At that time I knew that if I couldn't do it, the project was dead in the water. Out a little bit of money and time. Not that big a deal.
Flash forward to today. I had never gapped doors. I really wasn't sure that I could. Failure at this point would have put years, hours, and money out the window. I have to admit I was concerned.
I had decided the gaps need to be 3/16". I put tick marks about every inch measuring 7/32". This allowed for the weld proud to make the gap about 5/32" with plenty of material to remove when grinding out to 3/16".
The tick marks were connected with tape. The edge was ground to the tape in two inch intervals. At each two inch mark the door edge was clamped with Vice Grips to assure the now three separate sheet metal sections were squeezed together and a tack weld was made. Once all the tacks were in the welds were put in slowly, skipping around to even out the heat.
After some preliminary grinding the door was rehung. There needs to be some final grinding and clean up. However, I am very pleased with the results. I will get this door done, move on to the passenger door, and then the trunk lid.
While I had the door off I decided to remove the metal strip from the bottom. I believe it was used to "catch" the bottom of the interior panel. I will be using modern spring clips with holes so off it came. It was a moisture trap.
The door had a crack in it at the front bottom. I tried to weld it but the material was too thin from rusting. A replacement panel was made and welded into the door.
While the body lines were being adjusted, the gaps were also roughed in. The front of the door at the top hinge was set to 3/16". Going down the door, the gap tightened up until there was no gap at the bottom. The door edge also caught on the cowl when the door was closed and opened.
At the back of the front door about at the striker location, the gap was 1/4". Going down to the bottom, the gap also closed up until there was little or no gap at the very bottom.
Four 1/8" holes were drilled, two in each hinge to assure the alignment would be consistent. The photo shows 3 holes on this hinge. On one of the holes, the drill bit ran into something very hard. I ruined two 1/8" bits on that hole.
Getting the window adjusted has been a challenge. First the door top was massaged so that the attachment plate was located correctly with respect to the outer cat whiskers. Then the front and rear channels were adjusted as well as the lower part of the lift mechanism. It comes down great. The going up is the best it has ever been. I think I am down to the fine tuning.
The emergency release was installed and adjusted so the door will close without kinking the cable. A little lube once the car is complete will keep things working smooth.
I spent a bit of time locating the door in the opening and planning my attack of the door gaps. At this point the door is ready to gut, grind, and weld.