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Username Post: Need some door alignment help        (Topic#230571)
Charlie57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2990
Charlie57
Loc: Lebanon, Tennessee
Reg: 03-30-08
11-27-09 11:23 PM - Post#1813784    

Here is the problem I am having. I am trying to get my door just right. If you look at the picture my door is about 3/8" to low on the left hand side and the upper right is too tight (At windshield area) No matter what I do this seems to be the best I can get. If I loosen the top hinge to get a gap at the windshield, then the door drops even more. If I loosen the bottom hinge and pick up it makes the gap at the window even worse. Any suggestions?



"Charlie's 57 Chevy" I made it's very own FaceBook page please visit and "Like"
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wagonman100 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 13551
wagonman100
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
11-28-09 06:45 AM - Post#1813863    
    In response to Charlie57

Sounds like you need to shim the body a bit. I am not particularly familiar with the shimming processs (yet) on these cars. I believe Danchuck's website has the shimming procedure on it and it has been posted on here too.

From what I understand, you can move the door back to get the gap at the windshield post and then shim under the cowl to shift the top of the cowl forward and bring the back of the door up. I don't know how well this works on a sedan. I'm sure it's easier to move the cowl on a hardtop. I'm sure someone with some experience with this will chime in.

I wouldn't loosen both hinges at once to move the door back though. Loosen the top one and let the door drop a bit and tighten and then loosen the bottom one and raise the back of the door up. This will let the door pivot and move rearward without losing your height adjustment at the front of the door. No matter what you do, the fit of the door is always going to be a bit of a comprimise unless you want to start bending, grinding and welding stuff to get a better gap and alignment to the next panel. Plenty of people do that, but if as nice as the factory could get it is okay with you, then you won't need to do the bending, grinding and welding. That is only to get the fit to be Riddler Award ready.
Jay
Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon


 
acardon 
Senior Member
Posts: 9789
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
11-28-09 07:54 AM - Post#1813894    
    In response to Charlie57

Shimming may helpas mentioned. It looks like you need to raise the door straight also to get the body lines lined up and the front of the door even with the cowl. You'll have to raise the front fender when you do that.
Then shim the body at the B pillar and remove shims at the firewall mount. I don't think you will get it perfect either, without cutting and welding, because it looks like the window frame and the opening are not the same shape. The window frame is larger at the top than the opening.
Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
67SS427 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12683
67SS427
Loc: Lawrenceville, GA, USA
Reg: 05-26-01
11-28-09 09:14 AM - Post#1813933    
    In response to Charlie57

The sedan body is a bit stiffer than a hardtop, but you can still move it around some with shimming.

I'd line up the front of the door with the windshield pillar and cowl first, getting a nice looking, even gap. That's where it needs to be, so you might as well put it there to start with.

The rest of the adjustment is done with body shimming. As you already know, making a good gap with the w/s pillar will drop the rear of the door even lower, in your case. But that's okay. Next, shim up the #2 body mount. If you have any shims in the #1 mount, take them out. This will lift the rear of the door back up. If that isn't enough, if you have some shims at the #3 mounts, remove them and cinch those mounts down. That pulls the body down some in the middle, so it gets closer to the top rear of the door.

If you end up too much gap between the top rear of the door and body, you can shim up the #5 and #6 mounts to lift the back of body up a bit which closes the gap.

Once you have the door square with the body opening, you can adjust the door forward or rearward and up and down, to get the gaps as even as you can all the way around.

Hopefully you won't have to do too much going back and forth, shimming and checking and shimming again, to get it fitting good. It can be a tedious task .
Steve F., professional resto work since 1985, http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v159/67SS427/E xa...




 
MilesB 
Member
Posts: 1288
MilesB
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Reg: 04-17-06
11-28-09 11:08 AM - Post#1813991    
    In response to 67SS427

I had the same problem with the door being too close at the windshield. A block of wood and a big hammer moved it back a bit.
Photobucket


 
Charlie57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2990
Charlie57
Loc: Lebanon, Tennessee
Reg: 03-30-08
11-28-09 11:40 AM - Post#1814013    
    In response to MilesB

Thanks for the advice guys. I am getting ready to add two shims at #2 (right below the front of the door) I worked on it again this morning and it looks like the shims are needed. MilesB, if the shims don't work, I'd like to borrow your hammer!
Charlie
"Charlie's 57 Chevy" I made it's very own FaceBook page please visit and "Like"
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlies-1957-C hevy/214078481937849


 
MilesB 
Member
Posts: 1288
MilesB
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Reg: 04-17-06
11-28-09 03:55 PM - Post#1814130    
    In response to Charlie57

Be careful. Body man friend did it. I watched.
Photobucket


 
fuzz1957 
Contributor
Posts: 451
fuzz1957
Loc: NE IA
Reg: 02-18-08
11-28-09 05:33 PM - Post#1814172    
    In response to Charlie57

Charlie57 or anyone,
This may be a dumb question, but doing my first frame off. I see in your pic that the fenders are on when you are aligning the doors. Is it best to have the fenders on and then do the doors, or can you put the doors on and then the front fenders? Doing a 57 2dr ht. thanks, Fuzz



 
realcopoman 
Contributor
Posts: 841

Reg: 01-05-08
11-28-09 06:25 PM - Post#1814197    
    In response to fuzz1957

Is there another car semi local to you that you can take measurements from?? I could see shimming the body to make the fender-door gap but the door opening itself???? This is the problem that I had. Jacked up the body and shimmed the mount and did some core support work to make it lower.



It appears to me that you need to take some measurements- maybe from left door to right door and see if the opening is a tad shorter from an accident from its previous owner(s). Maybe a porta power might come in handy stretching this out.

 
sedandelivery55 
"8th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2735
sedandelivery55
Age: 54
Loc: Moore, OK
Reg: 02-20-02
11-28-09 06:43 PM - Post#1814208    
    In response to realcopoman

Charlie, I went through the the same problems on mine. I had to add shims to the cowl mount to raise it up and 'tilt' the cowl back. It will position the top hinge back farther and close the gap at the back edge while opening the gap at the windshield pillar. You'll need to loosen the first three mounts on that side then add shims to the front mount and tighten the bolts to torque specs. It may take two or more times to get it where you want. It took 1/4" shim to get my door close.
Lee

http://www.picturetrail.com

Coming soon! Big block/three pedal 70 Nova

92 GMC Sierra short/stepside
4.3 V6, 5 speed





 
Charlie57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2990
Charlie57
Loc: Lebanon, Tennessee
Reg: 03-30-08
11-28-09 11:39 PM - Post#1814363    
    In response to fuzz1957

Well Guys,
I added four shims to the #2 and it helped. I have another concern, which gap is right in the two photos? They might have to stay the way they are. Both side have a nice fit around the window frame at the windshield, if I move either one the fit will not be good at the windshield. I know the pictures are hard to see, the driver side gap around the lower windshield is almost twice as big as the passenger side.


"Charlie's 57 Chevy" I made it's very own FaceBook page please visit and "Like"
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlies-1957-C hevy/214078481937849


 
Charlie57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2990
Charlie57
Loc: Lebanon, Tennessee
Reg: 03-30-08
11-28-09 11:43 PM - Post#1814364    
    In response to Charlie57

Fuzz,
I think you can do either but I would start adjusting them without the fenders. The very front body mount is much easier to reach without the fenders. If you have to loosen it to add a shim it hard by yourself.
I have had my fenders on and off so much I can remove them in about 3 minutes.
Charlie
"Charlie's 57 Chevy" I made it's very own FaceBook page please visit and "Like"
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlies-1957-C hevy/214078481937849


 
67SS427 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12683
67SS427
Loc: Lawrenceville, GA, USA
Reg: 05-26-01
11-29-09 11:30 AM - Post#1814456    
    In response to fuzz1957

  • fuzz1957 Said:
Charlie57 or anyone,
This may be a dumb question, but doing my first frame off. I see in your pic that the fenders are on when you are aligning the doors. Is it best to have the fenders on and then do the doors, or can you put the doors on and then the front fenders? Doing a 57 2dr ht. thanks, Fuzz



You should adjust the doors and shim the body without the front fenders. Once you have the doors fitting good, then you install and adjust the fenders to the doors.
Steve F., professional resto work since 1985, http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v159/67SS427/E xa...




 
67SS427 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12683
67SS427
Loc: Lawrenceville, GA, USA
Reg: 05-26-01
11-29-09 11:34 AM - Post#1814458    
    In response to realcopoman

  • realcopoman Said:
Is there another car semi local to you that you can take measurements from?? I could see shimming the body to make the fender-door gap but the door opening itself???? This is the problem that I had. Jacked up the body and shimmed the mount and did some core support work to make it lower.







Yes, you can affect the door opening by shimming. An easy example to see the affect on the body opening would be shimming up of the #5 and #6 mounts, which raises the rear of the body and narrows the upper width of the body opening, useful for closing wide gaps at the top rear of the door.
Steve F., professional resto work since 1985, http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v159/67SS427/E xa...




 
67SS427 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12683
67SS427
Loc: Lawrenceville, GA, USA
Reg: 05-26-01
11-29-09 11:46 AM - Post#1814467    
    In response to Charlie57

  • Charlie57 Said:
Well Guys,
I added four shims to the #2 and it helped. I have another concern, which gap is right in the two photos? They might have to stay the way they are. Both side have a nice fit around the window frame at the windshield, if I move either one the fit will not be good at the windshield. I know the pictures are hard to see, the driver side gap around the lower windshield is almost twice as big as the passenger side.




So, the left fender won't go back a little further? Are all the front fasteners loose, like the radiator support to frame and to fenders, so you can move it around a bit?
Another common problem is that the radiator support is not shimmed up high enough on the frame crossmember. On a 57, just one kit of radiator support to frame cushions and shims is usually not enough to shim it high enough. When the support is low, the gap at the top rear of the fender with the front of the door is wide. When the support is raised, the top rear of the fender will close up with the top front of the door. So, you might look at that.
A low 57 radiator support also causes a problem later with the front bumper. The outer ends of the hood bar extensions on the fenders will be too close to the front bumper ends, making a poor gap between the extensions and the bumper, and sometimes even jamming against each other. That's how many 57 hood bar extensions get bent or broken on the outer ends.
Steve F., professional resto work since 1985, http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v159/67SS427/E xa...




 
wagonman100 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 13551
wagonman100
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
11-29-09 11:54 AM - Post#1814470    
    In response to 67SS427

I think he was more referring to the gap where the door wraps around the cowl a bit at the horizontal part of the windshield. That's what it sounds like to me anyway. These gaps are usually off on a '57 and you either have to live with them or start the bending and grinding and welding I referred to before. You can move the top hinge in a bit, but then the window frame will dip in further at the top and may require some bending out. The front edge of the driver's door would start to touch the cowl and would either need bending (that would change the shape compared to the fender) or grinding and welding the edge back together to have a more uniform gap. I apologize if I misinterpreted your meaning.
Jay
Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon


 
acardon 
Senior Member
Posts: 9789
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
11-29-09 12:00 PM - Post#1814475    
    In response to wagonman100

I think your right, Jay. It looks like the window frame is "in" at the top and the door is bent out of shape at the beltline. It looks like the top hinge has to go in but as Jay said, that will cause the front edge of the door to hit the cowl and put the top of the window too far in.
Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
Charlie57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2990
Charlie57
Loc: Lebanon, Tennessee
Reg: 03-30-08
11-29-09 03:48 PM - Post#1814618    
    In response to acardon

In the above picture the top of the door is already hitting the rubber bumper. I see I have a lot to learn about shimming. I'll read all these comments and try some more next weekend.
"Charlie's 57 Chevy" I made it's very own FaceBook page please visit and "Like"
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlies-1957-C hevy/214078481937849


 
57belairman 
"11th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 2954
57belairman
Age: 65
Loc: Missouri City Texas USA
Reg: 03-16-02
11-29-09 04:28 PM - Post#1814664    
    In response to Charlie57

Charlie.........You've Got Mail!!

Life is short, Eat dessert first, I always do!!

Picturetrail
57 2dr ht red
57 Convertible black
57 Nomad larkspur blue
57 3100 Pickup
55 2dr Sedan
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MilesB 
Member
Posts: 1288
MilesB
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Reg: 04-17-06
11-29-09 07:34 PM - Post#1814784    
    In response to 57belairman

The front top corner of your window frame is too far in, correct? Mine was too so I pulled it back out, then the rest of the door could go in further. Had to use loads of force to get it to bend.
Photobucket


 
greg pharr 
Contributor
Posts: 887
greg pharr
Loc: North Mississippi
Reg: 07-09-03
11-29-09 07:36 PM - Post#1814788    
    In response to MilesB

Put a block of wood in the jamb, and push in on the door, very carefully. It's not uncommon to have to bend these.
57 2 dr Sedan driver
Greg


 
wagonman100 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 13551
wagonman100
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
11-30-09 05:16 AM - Post#1814940    
    In response to greg pharr

Do like Greg said. I do it all the time at work when a door gets tweaked in an accident or I get one that is bent from the factory (more common than you'd think). Just work slowly and carefully and bend a little at a time.
Jay
Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon


 
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