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Old timey, body and door alignment techniques revealed, make your car perfect.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Chris Casny, May 16, 2010.

  1. Chris Casny
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,870

    Chris Casny

    I love Customs, alot of them have perfect paint and a great stance, but some of them just don't have that perfect fit and finish, one might expect.

    Door gaps are off, the deck lid doesnt quite fit right, etc. etc.

    In order, to take a car to the next level, I feel it's important to address all these issues, way before the body filler comes out.

    Here are some scans from a 1950 Ford shop manual, that shows some simple and clever techniques, some people might not know about.

    The illustrations show the 1950 Ford passenger car, the might Shoebox, but it will translate to other cars as well.
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  2. Mullda
    Joined: Apr 12, 2006
    Posts: 303


    Great info! Thanks!!!!
  3. Nuthin a Hammer cant take care of!
  4. My dad worked for a Chevy dealership in the 50's and got to visit an assembly plant as part of his training. They followed a car through the production line from start to finish, watching each step along the way. At the very end, the touring group saw the car they had followed roll off the assembly line for final inspection.

    Among the crowd of inspectors was a gentleman who was carrying a 2X4 and a large mallet. Dad watched as he went around from the hood to the doors to the trunk, checking the fit of each. One of the doors was sticking a bit, so he place the 2X4 in a particular spot on the door, gave a god swing of the mallet- WHAM! He then rechecked the door to make sure it wasn't sticking anymore, then on to the next.

  5. rat seeker
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 376

    rat seeker

    Great info, Thanks
  6. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,179

    from Yakima WA.

    I remember one of the guys that I worked with telling a customer that came into get his car, but it wasn't ready, to go up to the office and wait. He didn't want the guy to see what he was going to do to the car. If you use the 2 x 4 and a BFH, they will always look for a mark or damage. If they don't see you do it, they won't look and will never know what you did.
  7. mortecai
    Joined: Mar 10, 2001
    Posts: 263


    My 48 oldsmobile has issues with door sag and now i think i may be able to fix it thanks to your post. Thanks man
  8. Thanx for posting this up I have seen it more then once in old body manuals. I've also putzed around with adjusting door hinge bolts for hours only to have my old body and fender neighbor stop by and have at with a 2x4 and the well placed push of a hip and fix it in 10 minutes.

  9. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,923


    Cool, can't ever get too much info on alignment. I couldn't agree more with the importance of alignment. It's a tedious process but necessary.
  10. That's rad, Chris!
    you also got this for my 36 truck ;)
  11. Mr.Musico
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,600

    from SoCal

  12. junk
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 200


    That is a pretty cool. I'm amazed at how much "tweaking" they told you to do...
  13. draggler
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 238


    HIghly informative to us that formally havent seen the old Correct factory techniques! Thanks ,,,
  14. Buick59
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,994

    from in a house

    Great thread!
  15. My wife used to work for a supplier inside a GM plant. In the final prep area there was a station for final "tweaking" of Hood, trunk and door alignment. I stood there and watched a guy smack $50k Cadillacs with a mallet and slam the hood/trunk on a piece of 2x4 (wrapped in duct tape) to align them.

    It seemed crazy to see at a modern plant.

    The Guy was amazing to watch though.
  16. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,612

    from SUGAR CITY

    I know my '52 suffers from some misalignment issues certainly on the hoof and even some in the trunk. I really need to reread all of this and thoroughly apply of the techniques. Thanks Chris!
  17. Chris Casny
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,870

    Chris Casny

    I've done some work last night on my shoebox, it's amazing how simple it is to tweak a door or a deck lid to fit better, just take your time.

    One other thing, I've done on my 1931 coupe is, to use different thicknesses of body mounts, those early Ford bodies are pretty flexible. A 1/16" or 1/8" difference, front to back, left to right, diagonally etc, can make a huge improvement, and make that car better than when it left the factory.
  18. FIL
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 133


    There's a video around.. on youtube probably.. that is supposed to be from the Trabant factory in the former USSR, showing most/all of these techniques in action on the assembly line...

    I may have seen it on here... not sure... will try to find a link...


    and here it is:
  19. MercMan1951
    Joined: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,654


    I learned all kinds of 'unethical' sounding tricks at the body shop I used to work at.

    I had a guy here at work (office) complaining of wind noise coming from the top of the driver's door on his new Honda SUV (those little ugly square things). I figured the top of the door wasn't aligned right with the rubber seal at the top. We went out to the car, and I told him to roll down his window. I grabbed the top of the door, and placed my knee up high where the back of the window frame met the body of the door, then reefed backwards on it. He was like "what are you doing?!"

    No more wind noise.
  20. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,524


  21. thendrix
    Joined: Jul 19, 2009
    Posts: 157


    Yeah I can imagine people would probably shit like a goose if they saw this being done to their car and didn't know what was going on.
  22. Bumpstick
    Joined: Sep 10, 2002
    Posts: 1,372


    Hey Chris, can I borrow that door tweaking thingy? Did my sled inspire this thread? Hahaha..... Big E
  23. duste01
    Joined: Nov 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,213


    We still do those things today, but not at the dealership.....

  24. Good to know some things haven't changed :D
  25. duste01
    Joined: Nov 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,213


    I would probably stay away from the asbestos paste while heating a door though. Fig. 25
  26. Good Stuff..............Thanks!
  27. elvi411
    Joined: May 29, 2008
    Posts: 131


    I need help with my 53 chevy hood!
  28. Gambino_Kustoms
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 6,561

    Alliance Vendor

    great bstuff thanxs chris
  29. Hey thanks OP.
    Very timely indeed.
    About to bolt up my body mounts and check fit
    before chopping the top.

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