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Projects Adjusting door gap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by fourspeedwagon, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. IMG_4729.JPG On my '51 pickup- the gap is too tight at the lower part of the trailing edge of the door. Leading edge is fine and for some reason up high by the window frame the gap is a little too wide (but I'll live with it). I've been told a couple different ways to take care of adjusting the gap but I've not done it before and would like advice on the Real way to do it. I'll post a couple pictures but I know it's hard to see. Dark garage and black primer at the moment.
    As usual, thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
    Airthyme and chryslerfan55 like this.
  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,661

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Has the floor been messed with? New rockers installed poorly? Or was it always like this from the factory?

    Some guys would grind the edge down to widen the gap, then weld the raw edge. Other guys would cut a vertical slit a half inch back from the gap into the quarter panel skin, and tap the gap closed to widen the gap. Then weld up the slit.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  3. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,880

    indyjps
    Member

    Lets see a side shot of the whole door, hows the top rear align.

    Get your gap to the rear dialed in first then set you fender gap, the fender can be shimmed in all directions, the door pillar not so much.

    If the top of the door lines up OK, Id look to see if this has had cab corners replaced and installed.... poorly. The feature line behind the door looks strange,
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  4. Inked Monkey
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 1,790

    Inked Monkey
    Member

    I believe all AD doors fit like crap. You just have to get it close enough and not worry about it.
     
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  5. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,673

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    indyjps likes this.
  6. I’m no perfectionist- but the primer chipped off the door edge down there from being so tight, so the paint is gonna definitely chip off.
    The rockers are original and the corner was just now replaced, but not all the way to the door jam.
    Floor is original too.
    The top is quite wide and is also twisted (pulled outward). I think I can get the window frame area pushed in to sit kinda flush but the bottom gap is the spot.



    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  7. Poh
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 266

    Poh
    Member
    from Quincy,Ca.

    As said, how about a pic of the whole door so we can see the gaps all around it?


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  8. how does it fit at the cowl. if it just needs to be aligned the cowl fitment will be opposite, tight at the top and wide at the bottom. those trucks can't really be shimmed at the body mounts, flexing the sill, like the earlier bodied pickups. to fix that, the upper hinge, on the door side you will need to loosen the bolts and let the upper part of the door slide back. this will cause the belt molding to be out of alignment, so you will then have to loosen both door hinges at the cowl and raise the whole door even. easier with two guys but i do it myself by jamming my knees under the bottom of the door to lift it while you loosen then tighten.
     
  9. [​IMG]

    I happen to have this picture that I took of the whole door/side but It’s not great- it’s just what I have at the moment.


    "If it ain't broke - fix it till it is"
     
  10. that door also looks like it needs to be adjusted out, at the upper hinge.
     
  11. dorf
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,087

    dorf
    Member
    from ohio

    its a ford
     
  12. ?
    51 GMC—


    "If it ain't broke - fix it till it is"
     
  13. Your doors fit about as well as the ones on my '38 Ford truck. We are used to body panel fit and even gaps found on late model cars with unit bodies aligned and welded together by robots. Such precision and uniformity is not to be found on our old stuff.
     
  14. It wouldn’t matter but it makes contact. I’m getting it ready for painting and would be really pissed if the first time I close the door the paint flakes off the edges.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  15. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,368

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Dead-on correct. These were farm/work trucks, not expected to go to a car show. If you want that, you have to cut, section, fill, hammer, and weld.
     
    48stude likes this.
  16. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,015

    Torchie
    Member

    Ok. My 2 cents.
    It's highly likely that your cab is out of square.
    Before I would start to cut I would do some careful measuring using fixed points on both sides as well as diagonally for both door openings. Measure everything that you can from side to side and compare the measurements.
    You may be able to make some adjustments by shimming the cab mounts as well. These old truck cabs never had great gaps to begin with as well as being more flexible then we think.
    On my last build I spent as much time or more time working on door gaps then I did on welding 2 hoods together.
    Torchie
     
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  17. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,880

    indyjps
    Member

    From the full side pic, looks like that door could rotate clockwise, move the bottom forward and the top back, or keep the top where it is and move the bottom forward. But, the fenders need to move forward too. Youre doing it right getting your panels aligned while its in primer.

    Feature line on the cab corner looks fine in the second pic.
     
    Paul likes this.
  18. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,389

    BJR
    Member

    The front top of the door needs to go up and out. This will pull the bottom right forward helping the tight fit there.
     
    Paul likes this.
  19. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,354

    squirrel
    Member

    You should be able to do some real damage to that cab with a porta power :)

    that's what I had to do do my 59 chevy truck after I crashed it. The doors still don't fit right, but they open and close and I think they won't chip off any more of the 36 year old paint.

    that works on some of the later trucks, but not the AD trucks (47-55)
     
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  20. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,046

    TagMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've used body shims on the body mounts under the A and/or B pillar, shims on the hinges and once laid a line of weld on the door edge and ground it down for a perfect fit. Lots of ways to accomplish it, depending on what you have to start with.
     
  21. as i, and squirrel mentioned that just does not work on those cabs. the rear cab mount is a "shackle" and they just move with what ever shim you add. the earlier stuff when shimmed as you noted will "bend/flex" the sill and allow you to change the shape of the door opening.
     
  22. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,920

    anthony myrick
    Member

    make sure the cab is mounted properly
    align the doors the best you can
    grind and weld to create gaps
     
    Jalopy Joker likes this.
  23. Thanks guys- I'll be out in the shop tomorrow to work on this. After I make sure the door is aligned as best as I can-- do we think its best to cut the edge of the door, cut in a bit but leave the edge, or the other I got elsewhere was to slice inside (by the sill / rocker) and widen the hole a bit? It'll be about 3/16 it seems to me.
     
  24. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,920

    anthony myrick
    Member

    helped out a friend on a 51 GM truck
    mounted the cab with new stuff and did the best you can with the doors
    align the belt lines, then adjust the gaps with a grinder and welder
    these truck were not born with perfect gaps
    take a piece of 3/16 metal and cut and polish for a gap gauge

    its is not uncommon to use a polejack or porta power to adjust openings
    like to repair a wide gap at the upper front and a tight gap at the lower bottom
    just make sure you don't make more damage than you are fixing
     
  25. 37 caddy
    Joined: Mar 4, 2010
    Posts: 337

    37 caddy
    Member
    from PEI Canada

    looks like the door bottom has been patched?,if it has been done,did the roll they patch over the door edge?,doesnt look real bad until you get to the bottom foot,I would look there first,if everything is "virgin material" then you have to loosen the doors from the hinges and start playing with it,we always started from the back when installing doors and fenders.They never go back on as easy as they come off,but it is doable with a little patience. Good Luck
     
  26. Is this saying to give it a push without cutting? just to be clear-
     
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  27. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,920

    anthony myrick
    Member

    yes
    nudge then check
    never force it
    act like you are the metal whisperer
     
    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  28. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,354

    squirrel
    Member

    I hinted at this in my previous post...you can use a porta power to make the door opening larger at the bottom, but only do this if it was bent out of shape. If the cab corner was patched, and the patch was installed in the wrong place, then the best thing to do (and the most work) is to cut it out and weld it in right.

    there are probably other ways to fix it. It's really hard for us to be able to tell you what to do, because we have only two not very detailed pictures to go from. We can't see inside the cab, etc.
     
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  29. The corner had a hole that was patched, but just at the hole. The entire piece wasn't cut to the door opening. The doors haven't been patched either. I'll be out there tomorrow and can take better pictures--- if I can't just fix it.
     
  30. In your first pic, the door looks like it needs to go down a touch on the jamb side. Above the bead line the gap gets wider on purpose. Moving the jamb side down will open it up on the bottom on the jamb side. That's because to make it happen the door goes forward at the lower hinge. Looking at your second pic the hinge side appears to need to come up and out as well - and that will also open up the bottom on the jamb side. Because for that hinge side to come up, the door raises at both hinges and then forward again on the lower hinge. Doing both of those will make it tight at the top corner around the vent window and open up the lower jamb side corner. See my last pic.

    The door jamb, the last turn of it will move with a hammer and a block of wood.
    Doing that will move some metal out and into the corner and probably require some ironing out before paint. Looking at your second pic, there's still plenty to do before paint.

    This is a '54 I have handy
    image.jpeg

    image.jpeg

    See how this is tight around the top corner? That would have been the best place to grind the door and get some really really nice gaps.
    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    squirrel likes this.

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