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I am just starting a 36 ford cabriolet street rod project. The car was first street rodded about 15 years ago and is in need of a re-do. the doors don't fit right (bottom is about 3/8" to 1/2" out of line with the body). The hinges don't seem to have any adjustment and I cant see any way to correct the problem. Can anyone offer a suggestion?
 

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I had the same problem on my '35-I had to cut my Doors horizontally on the inside and "fold" them to fit and reweld-it's a job, but they now fit properly. I understand that the Doors were made in one Factory and the Body in another (not sure that is true, but it's what I heard)-
 

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If you mean that the bottoms of the doors go out ward from the center line of the body then you might have a quarter panel problem.

Those doors are pretty solid if no one has been doing too much work on them. I guess if the bottoms were really patched wrong the door might be warped.

My guess is the rear quarter were not properly placed. How much of the original floor was used? Or should I ask what is the probability that the lower distance is correct?

From building a model A cabriolet I found that the when the doors appear to be out from the center line it was because the top of the quarters were spread out too far. This was because the panel that crosses the top of the belt line between the quarters was pushed down. How much, well I corrected the 1/2 door gap with 1/8 of shims on the brace that supports the cross panel on the A. The 35 probably does not have this same structure. I would try putting a jack or porta power between the floor and the cross piece and move the panel a small amount and see what happens with the door fit. If that seems to help then you need to consider how you are going to make the panel move and stay moved.

In any event, you have to understand the cabriolet bodies are fairly complex structures. The distances at the front of the quarters are controlled by several points in the rear structure. Look for where something has been changed. Very small changes can have large effects at the door fit.

Cutting the doors and making them fit may be significantly more work than actually fixing the real problem.
 

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I was thinking about this last night, and you also might want to look at your Cowl-if the Cowl is spread on the bottom it will push the bottom of the Doors out-(obviously that's where the Hinges attach)-
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Yep, the 36 Cowl is one of the weakest of the early Fords. It's mounting to the frame has the smallest "foot print". A roadster is REALLY bad in that dept.

The door could simply need a "twist". Aligning one of these doors could take a little here and a little there in ten different places to get that door where it needs to be.

The doors inner frame could have cracked welds that allow it to "untwist" as well. Grab the door and twist it without a bunch of force, just give it a twist. How much does it move? How about pulling up and down on it, how much does it move. Where does it move, the hinges, the door it's self flexing?

Brian
 

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Brian,

You are absolutely corrrect :thumbup: -I could make some adjustments just by flexing the Door (about 1/4")-just put your knees into the lower, rear part of the Door and pull on the top-sometimes I could put a small 1" X 2" piece of wood in the upper jamb and get the desired bend-for bigger adjustments though, it's slice and dice-
 
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