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Old 06-07-2008, 07:55 PM
need strog32 chevy front doors
 

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Cowl issues -body geometry



The only way i see so far as to get my drivers side door to close flushly is to push the bottom side of the panel out.(i did do by welding this temperary square tubing) clearly it fixes the door problem but it doesnt look right accoring to the other side.
I dont think my door is bent. How far from the frame should the bottom of the cowl be roughly for these old cars??
I can push the right side cowl to match the left side but I'm not sure that is the correct thing to do

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:50 AM
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A 31 Chevy has wood reinforced doors (for that matter the whole body) and YES they can be twisted VERY easily and LIKELY.

All you have to do is find ways to measure things.

On the cowl, cross measure from the top of the cowl on the righ, to the bottom on the left and then the top of the left to the bottom of the right. See if those match, that is "cross measuring".

You can check the doors by laying them out on a table with each corner up on a block, be sure the blocks are of perfect equal size. If the door is twisted it will be up off a block or two on opposited corners.

You want the cowl straight, and then adjust the doors to fit IT.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:08 PM
need strog32 chevy front doors
 

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Well i take the cross measure as soon as the temp receedes from 100, seriously

there is no wood left in my doors so i dont think the second option would do anything because i know that i can twist the doors. When the left side of the cowl isn't pushed out (by means of that rod i welded in), the door stick out at the top.
being that i can twist the door it still doesnt work
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:14 PM
need strog32 chevy front doors
 

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i did as you instructed and all is well. cross dimensions are the same. when i get the chance i'm going to going to take a measure ment from the rear right most of the body to the botom laft most of the cowl and compare it to its opposite. to see if the body it square
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:20 PM
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Maybe the whole body is out of square? I have done a wood framed GM body before, they are like a friggin sheet blowing in the wind without the structure.

So, if you bend the door into shape while the cowl is where it measures off correct, what happens to the door? Why doesn't it fit, what does it look like?

WAIT A SECOND! Something just hit me as I was looking at your photos. How do you know the body is on the frame evenly side to side?

If one cowl side were twisted (or both sides) and the body were over to one side, the front of the cowl could look like it is correctly placed on the frame. But it could be off by a mile, how are you measuring it to ensure that the body is on the frame properly?

The best way I would think would be from the center of the cowl down. You could find the center of the cowl measuring side to side at the bottom of the windshield. At that point, make a plum-bob by hanging a bolt on a string off that very center point you measured off. Then measure from the string at frame level, one side to the other.

FIRST you need the body centered, then you can start moving things like the bottom of the cowl around.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:39 PM
need strog32 chevy front doors
 

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Brian

thats exaclty what i did. I used a plumbbob and let it hang from the midway point of the rear window and postioned the body where it needed to be on the chassis.
i am almost certain that my body is centered on the chassis
Today i banged a nail into a peice of wood on the rear windo and tied a string to it and strung it to the top of the cowl. also did the same at lower points.

I measure the windshield frame and its off. the diagonal diagonals are off by a half an inch. the verticals and the horizontals of the windshield frame are exactly the same but the frame is not square. wandering if the previous owner messed this up or if it wasn't square when it came out of the factory

i took that piece of peice out that pushed the bottom of the left out. I matched it to the other side. when i close the door it , the top sticks out a 1/4 of an inch. i gues i could live with that.

Last edited by 31chevy; 06-08-2008 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:06 PM
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Is there a fire wall in it? If not, you should be able to easily bend the cowl back into to square. This should help the door fit.

But if what you had as a quarter inch, just twist the door to fit. You do know that you are going to have to twist the door and KEEP it there at some point anyway. So, tack weld a piece of flat stock across on the inside from upper front corner to lower bottom rear corner to keep it there. Then you will need to build a structure to keep it there.

You are going to need to do this with the whole body, a piece at a time.

Brian
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:37 AM
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I think you are starting from the wrong part of your journey.
I know you were looking for body pictures of the body wood etc . and you cannot begin to do fit doors etc without these.
This guy sells a copy of the 127-41 body manual ,a neccesary item you cannot do without.
Gary Wallace
You need the body dimensions and with these construct a frame from 1" square tube to support the body .
In your case i would obtain a couple of lengths of timber,6x6 would be ideal. this will be the basis for a jig that you can bolt the frame .
The car need not be bolted to the chassis.
You can also fit some cheap castors so you can move it around.
With the body supported with this frame inside it you will then need to "steel out" the body shell with a frame constructed from 1" square tube .
The steel out body frame does not need to be a space frame but merely needs to tie the body Sheet metal together at the same points the wood frame used.
You need to build frames for your doors BEFORE you think about whether or not they are straight right now.
This will give you an idea of the design for the frame you need to build.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:10 AM
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What Mercmad said X2


You need to start from a known flat plane, which must be stable thoughout the body rebuilding. Most of that Chevy frame should be flat, at least where the main part is for doors & pillars.

By trying to fit doors right now, you'd need to have the A, B, & C pillars stable and correctly in line. Stable meaning braced, and bracing can't happen until you have a stable flat surface to brace to.

I'd never do the door rebuilding until the main body shell is either done, or correctly braced. To me it would be a disaster to rebuild the doors first. ,,,,and Yes, I DID do a former wood framed car in steel and it came out nice. That's the car that I learned Mig welding on

I did have a 2nd car right there to get the body sill widths from. That could be a problem for you; if you don't have correct measurements across the floor areas to where the A B, C posts should be, it will take some trial fitting of ALL parts to get it correct. It would be a shame to have the sills too wide or too narrow, or not curved correctly. That would make all the loose parts to fit poorly.

The key would be to get the frame that you will end up using, and level it out perfect, and get started
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:51 AM
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Thanks guys, you are so right. I was focusing on that door. The body and it being square on the frame comes FIRST, be damned the door right now.

Brian
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Thanks guys, you are so right. I was focusing on that door. The body and it being square on the frame comes FIRST, be damned the door right now.

Brian
I wasn't going against your answer at all. I've been sort of following some of the interesting builds here on HR, and I knew he said about a year ago, that ALL the wood was completely removed .....so I figured it was as rigid as a paper bag
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:35 PM
need strog32 chevy front doors
 

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I used bracing for the pillars. i welded in temperary bracing before i pulled the wood out.
I know the body is center on the frame and that it is square. Let me get a picture. to show you abouve the door.
https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/da...m/IMG_1879.jpg
https://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/da...m/IMG_1890.jpg
those are center lines i made.


This is the door gap. i would like it to look like the photo in the right. but when i do so the bottom flares out.
I can't simplt tweak the front face of the door (the one than rest onto of the front door jamb.). I cant do this because this face is an more than an eight of an inch think. I could pie cut it and tweak the body but this only tells me that something simpller is off

does this manual you speak of have the exact dimentions??

Last edited by 31chevy; 06-09-2008 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:48 PM
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Get it rigid first...Build the frame....build the body skeleton....build a frame for the door following the design of the wood frame...THEN WORRY IF THE DOOR IS TWISTED OR NOT .
Yes i think the Fisher body manuals have most of the dimensions you will need,mostly mounting points and datum lines,the panel curves won't be mentioned there as it was assumed the car would junked or the bodyman knew how to flow a curve while repairing it. Ask them
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:17 AM
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My feelings are not to get the body all done and then go after the doors. In my opinion, you do it all at once. If you had accurate measurments for the body with good control points from which to measure like on a late model car with specs in the book. But on an old car like this, the specs are "ok" to start with but I would be doing it all at once.

Brian
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:52 PM
need strog32 chevy front doors
 

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Well thanks guys , i got an idea of what i going to do now. I found some turnbuckles at a harware sop and i think i will in corporate them into the temperary brace. i think i'll be cutting the window post again and changin the pitch of it.

I measured and compared the the doors frame after i adjusted them with the turn buckles in. dimention are very similiar.

wonder how i am going to connect the door hinges to the square tubing thats replacing the wood posts. how would i make it adjustable
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