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Projects Door alignment opinions and Altman latch solution?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by IndigoInkTaco, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. IndigoInkTaco
    Joined: Sep 24, 2016
    Posts: 55

    IndigoInkTaco
    Member
    from Jersey

    Hi guys, I was hoping to get some opinions here. I wanted a nicer solution to shutting my doors than what oem was providing so I decided to give Altman Latches a shot. Install was pretty straight forward. Using existing holes, I don't think you can really mess it up. Which is why I'm a little confused here. What am I missing? The strike bolt seems to be about 1/4" too high (or my door is 1/4 too low lol). But when I look at the door gaps, they look ok to me. What do you guys think? And if you don't think it's the door adjustment, do you guys think I should just drill another hole in the striker plate and lower the bolt to the appropriate area? Truck is a 49 chevy 3100. Any input is greatly appreciated, as always! :)

    IMG_1623.jpeg IMG_1622.jpeg IMG_1626.jpeg IMG_1627.jpeg IMG_1629.jpeg IMG_1630.jpeg IMG_1631 (1).jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,635

    squirrel
    Member

    Looks like the door is up to 1/4" low at the back, eh?

    door.jpeg

    But the fore/aft gap is pretty small towards the bottom of the door, too.

    bot.jpeg
     
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  3. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,232

    325w
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from texas

    I'd leave it alone. Old chevies are hard to fit the door.
     
  4. IndigoInkTaco
    Joined: Sep 24, 2016
    Posts: 55

    IndigoInkTaco
    Member
    from Jersey

    Yea, The back of the door is probably a little low. I just went out and looked at it.
    I also measured where it was hitting the strike bolt and it's actually more like 1/4-1/3" off, not 1/2 like I originally thought.
    I guess these latches are really exposing the other little flaws I was looking past.
    I've never tried to align the doors before. Any tips for me, based on what you see here?
     
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  5. IndigoInkTaco
    Joined: Sep 24, 2016
    Posts: 55

    IndigoInkTaco
    Member
    from Jersey

    The problem is that I can't get the door to close and latch. The top of the door plate is hitting the strike bolt. That's why I thought maybe drilling a second hole in the strike plate and simply lowering the strike bolt would be a possible solution
     
  6. Inked Monkey
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 1,711

    Inked Monkey
    Member

    That's what I would do. These doors suck to align and your gaps look good.
     
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  7. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,366

    oldiron 440
    Member

    Looks like the cowl needs to go up to me.
     
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  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,635

    squirrel
    Member

    If you can raise the front of the door about 1/8" (at both hinges), and move the door forward at the top hinge about 1/16", it might get the latch where it needs to be. Hopefully without making the door hit the jamb somewhere else.
     
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  9. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 558

    Doublepumper
    Member

    Possibly elongating the striker bolt mounting hole would allow some adjustment...?
     
  10. IndigoInkTaco
    Joined: Sep 24, 2016
    Posts: 55

    IndigoInkTaco
    Member
    from Jersey

    If I go this route, I think I will swap sides. Using the striker plate originally intended for the passenger side will place the pre-drilled striker bolt hole on the bottom when used on the driver side. This will keep it far away and allow me to measure and drill a brand new hole towards the top, hopefully in the right spot on the first try :eek:.
    This will also allow me to swap striker plates again in the future should I wind up working on door gaps to get them right. Then all I would have to do it undo the striker bolt, place it in the other hole and back on the other side of the truck.
    Does that make sense?
     
  11. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 791

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    I have them on my truck (not handy to look at right now) but I seem to recall quite a bit of adjustment. Spotted holes on striker plate? Or just the bolt?
    I can check tomorrow if needed
     
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  12. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,184

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    Just shim the bottom hinge a 1/16th, to start. Or block of wood in the bottom hinge and close the door on it to in effect twist the jam slightly which moves the hinge pin back amounting to the same as shimming.. Thats the way chevy and others did it. Bet that will change/aline the belt line and back gap a lot..Then move the bolt up/down to match.
     
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  13. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,127

    Cosmo49
    Member

    Small world. I just put the Altman latches on a month ago on my 1949 Chevy half ton! My door was too low. I thought about redrilling and then I examined the hinges which actually need rebuilding and I re-read the two-three paragraphs with instruction how to adjust the doors in the Chevy Truck Repair Manual. I loosened the top, placed the floor jack underneath the door with a folded over towel and gently lifted the door. Like you, I only needed a small amount.

    My advice, DON'T DRILL, DON'T SWITCH PLATES. I would loosen the TOP HINGE ONLY and gently lift up, maybe easier with a helper, TIGHTEN HINGE BOLTS. If necessary, repeat a second time loosening the BOTTOM HINGE, apply upward lift, TIGHTEN HINGE BOLTS.

    Give it a try, nothing to lose. I am no expert after installing only one set but...
    Lastly, this alteration is as good as radial tires, a 3sp+od, or a steering damper. 115 k on a dd/only vehicle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  14. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,392

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    those hinges should adjust easily. take off the lower hinge cover, loosen the screws and pick up on the back edge of the door, then tighten the bolts. as squirrel pointed out the gap is tight at the bottom and the door is low at the back. adjusting the lower hinge as described will solve both problems
     
  15. IndigoInkTaco
    Joined: Sep 24, 2016
    Posts: 55

    IndigoInkTaco
    Member
    from Jersey


    Thanks guys! You'll have to be patient with me as I've never addressed this area of concern yet. And I just want to be sure so I borrowed this pic from the web and drew on it. You guys are suggesting I loosen the bolts I highlighted in Blue, correct? Not yellow? (whether it be the upper or lower)

    @tb33anda3rd if I loosen the lower hinge bolts, lift the back edge of the door then retighten, wouldn't that make the gap even smaller in the back lower corner? Almost, for lack of a better phrase, like rotating the door counterclockwise?
    Inkeddoor4_LI.jpg
     
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  16. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,127

    Cosmo49
    Member

    When you reach 71 years of age your junk is a gonna be saggin' too!
     
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  17. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,392

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

  18. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,127

    Cosmo49
    Member

    Blue up and down, Yellow out and in. I think you can do it by loosening the top yellow and with a protected floor jack for support gently lift and then tighten. Then, if no joy, repeat loosening the BOTTOM YELLOW, GENTLE LIFT OF THE JACK, TIGHTEN.
    I think you can do it by using the yellow only. By this method you are only changing ONE variable, so better control of the situation is achieved.
     
  19. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,635

    squirrel
    Member

    It helps to put marks on the hinges and panels, so you can see how much they move. Take your time. Think ahead.

    Sent from my Trimline
     
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  20. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,316

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    It kinda looks like to me the whole door needs to go forward a bit. So I would loosen the top one and take the top forward a tad, then loosen the bottom and let it drop down a tad and that will get your rear lower gap back, then do your final tweaking with the top hinge to get your striker right with the latch. We are talking minute amounts here. Take your time. And you still may even after all that have to adjust the striker a tad. JMO Lippy
     
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  21. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 433

    Tri-power37
    Member

    Remove the striker and /or latch so it does not fight you when closing the door. Take some time and adjust the door gaps properly holding the door closed with your own weight against the handle. Squirrels idea of marking the hinges against the body for reference when shifting stuff around is spot on so you can keep track of what changes after you move it ... does that make sense ? You can always move it back to your previous marks.

    After you are happy with door fitment add back your latch and or pin and then adjust those to get the door to close properly.
     
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  22. IndigoInkTaco
    Joined: Sep 24, 2016
    Posts: 55

    IndigoInkTaco
    Member
    from Jersey

    Thanks guys! Looks like it may rain this afternoon, and my garage walls are tighter than the gap in my doors, so I might have to wait a couple days to try this out. Will certainly report back and take any tips, tricks, ideas or thoughts in the meantime.
     
  23. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 791

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    Checked my truck just now, is your striker like this?
    Can’t see your door alignment being a problem with this much adjustment. 46D170C1-371F-4DAB-9CA9-CA44EEC55235.jpeg 2D5BD7E6-81E9-4593-BC5B-E4AF1C5ECD07.jpeg
     
  24. IndigoInkTaco
    Joined: Sep 24, 2016
    Posts: 55

    IndigoInkTaco
    Member
    from Jersey

    Nope. I wish it did. In fact, your whole setup looks different. What year truck?
    Even the door jamb, where the Altman strike plate bolts to, looks totally different. Under the plate, mine looks like this. (Pic borrowed, again)
    3D3F18B8-A9E8-4D19-B841-96577ECF2A75.png

    If you look at my second picture in the original post you can see the strike plate. The holes are only for the bolts and doesn’t allow for adjustment.
     
  25. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 791

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    Mine is a 52 and checking Altman’s web site your 49 takes a different version.
    Guess I’m out of ideas. :(
     
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  26. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 791

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    From your borrowed pic it looks like you should have a small amount of adjustment up and down?
     
  27. IndigoInkTaco
    Joined: Sep 24, 2016
    Posts: 55

    IndigoInkTaco
    Member
    from Jersey

    If I do, it's all the way down. The way this striker plate sits on the cab, it really doesn't allow for much, movement at all.
     
  28. IndigoInkTaco
    Joined: Sep 24, 2016
    Posts: 55

    IndigoInkTaco
    Member
    from Jersey

    Well, the rain held off so I tried adjusting the door. It seems like the hinges are all the way up. In fact, if you look at the top of these bolts, you can see that it appears they've even oblong'd the hinge's bolt holes to sneak it up even more? Do these look shot to you guys? I tried the for/aft bolts on the doors and although I was able to get it to latch, I now have a door gap the size of the grand canyon. It can't stay that way obviously lol. I made a lot of marks to look for any movement, but it didn't seem to budge. IMG_1633.jpeg IMG_1634.jpeg
     
  29. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,316

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    No the other hinge bolts, on the door. Lippy
     
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  30. IndigoInkTaco
    Joined: Sep 24, 2016
    Posts: 55

    IndigoInkTaco
    Member
    from Jersey

    I did those initially. I was under the impression those are only forward/back for the door though. If I loosen both will it have upward movement too?

    I should elaborate on this. By loosening the top one and sliding the door forward on the top hinge, it does give me enough to latch it (barely), but the door now sticks out away from the cab, and a huge gap by the back. If I then adjust the lower one to compensate it hits the cab.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020

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