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Dazed and Confused
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109 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys -

I did some work on the impala this weekend and got my new outer rocker and quarter panel patch temporarily installed. The first pic is the interface between the rocker and the dogleg of the quarter The second pic is with the door reinstalled and the third pic is looking in the opposite direction.

The door gaps are really awful. I had to jack the drivers side cowl up almost 2 inches to get the door to close without having to lift up on the door handle. In fact, the bloody front tire isn't even on the ground anymore. I've got roughly a 1/2" gap at the hinge and a 3/16" gap at the otherside of the door.

So where do I start here? Do I fix the interface between the outer rocker and dogleg first THEN start working on the door gaps?

Or do I adjust the outer rocker to get the correct door gap THEN adjust the quarter to match the rocker?

OR.... Am I just totally screwed because I had to jack the cowl up and now I have a twisted shell?

I am out of adjustment on my door hinges. I rotated the door as far counterclockwise (to raise the door handle up) as I could and I still couldn't get the door to close properly until I jacked the cowl up.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks
Joe
 

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Apparently, you didn't have enough, if any, braces for the body, when you removed the rocker panel. Even though you have a full frame under that car, the rocker panel is what supports the body, specially with a conv.

Now, somehow, you need to block up the body, above the frame, where everything is lined up on both sides, before welding anything in place. You will need to make sure that everything is lined up exactly how you want it. Place the support blocks in position all around the body to the frame. When you think you have enough to hold it lined up, go back and add half again as many. I would also put some kind of bracing in the door opening, so the door can safely be removed.

I would stand that rocker panel in the corner until you get everything lined up, and everything reinforced so it won't move. Don't worry about the fit of the replacement panel. Remember that it is a reproduction part, and will likely need some work to fit the oem parts properly, not the other way around.

Aaron
 

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Dazed and Confused
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109 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Acutally I had pretty good (or so I thought) bracing. I had a 1x1 going between the pillars and then from the "B" pillar up to the windshield frame to create a truss. I put this bracing in before I even cut the floors out. I also added additional bracing from the cowl to the frame and from the shell structure (right behind where I cut the outer rocker) to the frame by the "B" pillar.

In order to put the door in, I had to remove the main bracing, but before I did, I welded in another brace on the inside across the pillars. The shell looked like a spider's web I had so much tubing around. Plus the fact that the shell is still on the frame, I figured I'd be set.

I've attached a picture of the original bracing that I used. I guess this is going to be my first major hurdle. Live and learn I guess.
 

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did the old panels fit good before you took it apart? If not then you'll need to figure out where the sagging is taking place and support that area before and during the welding process. Fit this up really good before you start welding. The vent window frame should be aligned at the A pillar, the door to the rocker and quarter panel. Do only one side at a time. Look at the whole picture during the fitting. Usually the sag will happen in the rocker area after it is removed which allows the top of the cowl to roll rearward and the door falls in the rear. You might need to push the cowl forward at the top instead of lifting the cowl up or it might be a combination of both. Some measurements from the other side or another car can be handy for referrence.
 

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Dazed and Confused
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109 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
baddbob said:
did the old panels fit good before you took it apart? QUOTE]


Yes, everything fit nicely before I started cutting out the floors etc. I braced everything up prior to doing any cutting so I have to imagine everything was still square to the world up to the point that I removed the door brace to hang the door

I didn't think about the cowl rotating rearward, which actually would make sense, because I can lift on the door and get it to close correctly without the cowl being jacked up which would indicate that the cowl is indeed rotated rearward. I guess I didn't make the connection until just now.

I guess what my plan of attack should be is to remove the jack, "force" the door into position (thus rotating the cowl back to the correct orientation) and rebrace it. In theory.
 

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Problem Child,Hard Case
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1,773 Posts
I noticed you had dollies under the wheels afterward.
Make SURE you have the SAME size wheel/tires on all 4 and they are the SAME psi. A low tire can really throw things out of wack as well.
 

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If it was me I would have alot more bracing in that body. The way you have it, it will still move on you. I would start over and put the doors back on and get it lined up again.
 

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Dazed and Confused
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109 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi Guys -

thanks for the responses! I took some measurments across the door openings and every measurment was within 1/16" with the exception of one. Measuring from the dogleg portion of the "B" pillar up to a reference point of the windshield frame, the dimension was off about 3/8" as compared to the passenger side. Which coincidently is about how much I need to lift of up on the door to get it to close.

So after messing around a little bit more, now that I have a little clearer head, the top hinge point/dash/windshield frame rotated rearward about the drivers side bodybolt. What I'll do tonight is put a jack to the "A" pillar going to the frame and push the top of the cowl and windshield frame back to the correct measurment and weld an additional brace from the brace running between the pillars up to the windshield frame.

I should have done that up front. Live and learn. I'm still going to rehang the passenger side door just to verify.
 
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