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Technical Need advice of how to correct the door gap.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Do it Over, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. Do it Over
    Joined: Dec 25, 2017
    Posts: 154

    Do it Over
    Member
    from NYC, NY

    When I bought this car the door gaps on both sides were very even. The chop on the drivers door looked a bit Fugazi but I figured since the dors fit nice it was something to pick at later. Now that I've finished the chassis and went to bolt down the body I found the body high at the left cowl. I had to pull it down with the bolts. When I did that the door gap changed and the door binds. It's rubbing at the top front of the door. I measured the door jambs and the are not the same dimensions left to right. Off by 1/4"- 5/16". My thought was to cut off the door frame, adjust the gap and trim the door frame to fit the roof. Any suggestions?
     

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  2. Do it Over
    Joined: Dec 25, 2017
    Posts: 154

    Do it Over
    Member
    from NYC, NY

    Just to add the front floor is out and the P.O. replaced the firewall. I dont see any evidence of bracing. Based on that and door jamb measurements I'd bet the top wasn't chop while bolted solid to the frame.
     
  3. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,937

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

  4. coilover
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 562

    coilover
    Member
    from Texas

    The first thing we do is start with just two pieces---the door and the opening. If it fits then the hinges, body to frame mounts, or the door or frame is racked that causes the misalignment when bolted together. Sometimes we have to tack the door into the opening and build everything to fit in that position. Photos:
    Bracing we use to make body rigid during panel replacement
    Door gap and body molding lines
    All panel gaps are exactly one stirring stick thickness
     

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  5. Do it Over
    Joined: Dec 25, 2017
    Posts: 154

    Do it Over
    Member
    from NYC, NY

    I thought of that. It's about 1" off. I feel that's too much to shim. Thought that would throw off the hood alignment.
     
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,962

    squirrel
    Member

    yeah, that's way too much shim between the body and frame.

    What fun.... :(
     
  7. Try to get the whole car together, all the pieces
    Then play with some shims.
    Your frame could be bent.
    Belt lines go where they go, gaps can be ground open and welded or welded to size and ground to smooth.

    Just do it over
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    54vicky and Do it Over like this.
  8. Johnboy34
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,051

    Johnboy34
    Member
    from Seattle,Wa

    Was the body bolted to the chassis when the doors did fit before? If it was then you know where to start looking, fixing.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    blackjack likes this.
  9. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,469

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    The first thing I would do is double check the frame and make sure it is square and straight and go from there.
     
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  10. oldcootnco
    Joined: Jun 10, 2010
    Posts: 61

    oldcootnco
    Member
    from neenah,wi

    I would also measure the windshield opening if the jambs aren't the same. The body is wracked, twisted, If the firewall is spot welded in I would drill out the spot welds starting on the drivers side. That is a lot of work. I would first add a shim or two on the passenger side at the rear most bolt and see how much that changes at the drivers side cowl. You might be surprised how much the body might move.
     
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  11. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,937

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    when I align bodies, I take any door catches or guides off so they do not influence the alignment. the door should swing into place. putting it all together and looking at the "whole" alignment problem will save time. sometimes one piece shimmed can solve multiple mis fits.
     
  12. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,937

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    also, cutting, trimming or welding of FACTORY dimensions is often needed to get panels perfect, but should be done as a last, final detail.
    misalignments are amplified and harder to repair down the line as you go.
     
    Ace61 likes this.
  13. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,612

    BJR
    Member

    When the body was off did you put the frame on a frame jig or at east level it and check it for twist? If the frame is twisted it will pull the body out of square.
     
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  14. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 22,783

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    yep, still lots to check and address - but, do not ever expect perfect gaps without adding or removing metal
     
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  15. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 223

    Tri-power37
    Member

    Using the bolts to pull down the body at the left cowl appears to be pulling down to much on the left front corner of the body even pinching the gap at the top of the door. I would unbolt the car from the frame and it should relax to the point the doors lign up again.Do some careful measuring on the body - cross measuring - try to be as precise as you can - something is amiss. Maybe like 46caddy stated the frame maybe the culprit , the mounting points might be out - pulling the body crooked. As you are unbolting the body watch the door gaps closely and see what happens. By the way your car is mucho cool!
     
    Do it Over likes this.
  16. A lot of good tips here. You need to have a plan, and follow a step by step sequence to repeat as many times as needed. Some items may or may not apply to your body/style. Measure gaps with the body bolted down tight each time as it may take multiple fittings before you get it right.

    Generally, early on, make sure the hinges and hinge pins are good and that gaps between the door edge and the hinge pillar are what you want. ...and door profile at hinge side matches the adjacent pillar sheet metal profile.

    After that is good, you want to align the belt line on the other door edge to the corresponding pillar's sheet metal. That might involve shims between the body bolts and the frame to raise a door up or down. As 33&1/3 said, take off door latches and guides, as they can push the door up or down a bit. On my Model A, it took me a half dozen or more tries to get the right thickness shim under the bolt, each time bolting the body down as if it is the last time. I found that I needed multiple thicknesses of shim stock as I got closer to the "perfect" body fit. Most often, each bolt location had a unique set of shims.

    The gaps around the door perimeter can be final adjusted by adding metal to the edge, or by taking a sliver of metal out as need to get your finish gaps.
     
  17. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,612

    BJR
    Member

    If the frame has a twist all bets are off when you bolt the body down.
     
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  18. Do it Over
    Joined: Dec 25, 2017
    Posts: 154

    Do it Over
    Member
    from NYC, NY

    It was loosely bolted only in a few places.
     
  19. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,793

    Dave Mc
    Member

    Frame first . you can check the condition of the frame by using a " Plumb Bob " on a level floor put the frame up on jackstands , use the plumb Bob from 4 or 5 locations Factory Holes or rivets along each side of the frame , mark an X at each spot on the floor where the Plumb Bob touches , then measure diagonally across from one side X to the other . if the furthest diagonal measurement is off , you can determine exactly where the problem area is by diagonal measurements from each of the smaller boxes = say from front bumper brkt holes to cowl holes is one box, from cowl to B pillar area is another box , and so on . hope I explained it so you can understand the method.
    P.S. the most common Frame damage is usually at the cowl area of the frame , if ever hit from the front , the weight of the body @ sudden impact will cause the frame to suffer at that point.
     
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  20. Henry put Them 35 and up frames in some weird confusing configurations.

    They taper front to back, they curve out from center and they dip towards the ground in the center and that’s on a curve too. It will be hard to measure anything because every point is an XYZ axis.
     
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  21. Do it Over
    Joined: Dec 25, 2017
    Posts: 154

    Do it Over
    Member
    from NYC, NY

    I dont have a jig. I did level the frame and across the crossmembers.
     
  22. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,554

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Some hanging gauges to check the frame with would be mighty handy, because of the facts pointed out by 31Vicky above.
     
  23. Really all that matters that the center line stay true, the rear thrust angle is OTM and the front end is square.
    It doesn’t matter if the frame looks like a banana or a winter squash you can get it to go down the road straight.

    Having the frame perfect helps if the body is perfect. These damn bodies are off a bunch, they didn’t fit for shit when brand new and this one has been cut apart and welded back together.

    Your best bet that’s been mentioned a few times already is to put the entire car together then start fucking with it as a whole. Compromise where you need too. The body needs to “look right” by eye when it’s done. It doesn’t need to measure “anything” and you’ll need a tape measure - use that tape measure to help keep your sanity don’t let the tape measure drive you crazy.
     
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  24. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,469

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

  25. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 223

    Tri-power37
    Member

    Measuring the body and frame and stepping back and having a hard look at everything shouldn’t be and excersize in trying to gain perfection of the frame and the body. Instead measuring and taking a second look should get you a rough idea of what is going on. Then you can compromise by adjusting here and there to get things squared around. As 31 Vicky with a hemi points out measuring means nothing if the body doesn’t line up by eye. But there is a lot of diagnosis involved in getting a car to line up sometimes. Sometimes points can be out so much that a simple adjustment isn’t enough. You will figure out what needs doing but it will take a bunch of measuring, a bunch of eyeballing and a bunch of compromise.
     
  26. Do it Over
    Joined: Dec 25, 2017
    Posts: 154

    Do it Over
    Member
    from NYC, NY

    Car has taken at least one hard kick in the butt and a punch in the nose.
     

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  27. As a starting point, for a flexible Model A frame, I placed the frame on a level stand and assembled/fitted the body on top of it. Your frame may be newer and stiffer, but make sure you are working on a flat/level base before you modify any of the body fits.
    [​IMG]
     
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  28. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,793

    Dave Mc
    Member

    Whether building a house or a car the foundation determines the quality of the finished product . if everything is square , fitment is not a huge problem .
     
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  29. oldcootnco
    Joined: Jun 10, 2010
    Posts: 61

    oldcootnco
    Member
    from neenah,wi

    Oh boy, That explains a lot, if any of that damage was not addressed before the top was cut I would start over. Level chassis, that has been mentioned a lot for good reason. It seems that the right front area is close to being a starting point. I would look for wrinkles and buckles from the old collisions. Push, pull what ever it takes. Remember, ( I think it was Newton ) every action has an opposite and equal reaction. Good luck that will be a great ride
     
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  30. Johnboy34
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,051

    Johnboy34
    Member
    from Seattle,Wa

    This right here my friend is how it's done, just get after it. Sounds like you have done enough to not have any problems once you get into it. I would suggest (like already mentioned) square the body close side to side in a X at the jams, fit the doors and tack them in. Then fit the floor to the frame making sure the nose fits the cowl.
     
    Tri-power37 likes this.

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