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Technical Shoebox door Alignment help needed

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Kage, May 6, 2019.

  1. Kage
    Joined: Oct 18, 2008
    Posts: 898

    Kage
    Member

    working on my door gaps on my 51 Ford and could use a little help. My door is not sagging...actually just the opposite my door is high on back end. And the gap overlaps on back edge.
    Can I remove the hinges and compress them in a vise or press? I know to fix a sagging door you can use a block to spread the hinges. Basically doing the opposite should move the door forward and if I compress the bottom hinge a little more than the top should level the door.......right?
    Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    D763AF3E-7E68-46C2-A2B3-3011F564FF7A.jpeg D29805B3-24F6-4BAE-A95D-0EB91E4EB43C.jpeg 3FC8EDED-D3D7-48EF-9A38-0218275D69AF.jpeg EEE3F264-6090-4E97-9AE6-EA45E5B3346B.jpeg 75069FC6-5C05-4977-9F07-27F5461D9DB2.jpeg C1527027-7E16-43B1-BD14-99C83114B8D8.jpeg 06CB5F5A-5515-48BC-96F9-BDD9B6DDDFB0.jpeg
     
  2. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,125

    19Fordy
    Member

    Try shimming the hinges with washers.
    Can you move the rear quarter backward or the A pillar forward.?
    Might be helpful if you post photos showing the entire door and how it fits.
    Was the fit like before you began working on the door and what exactly did you do to the door and the hinges to alter the OEM fit?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  3. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,157

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Body shims not washers. Porta power or leverage with a long bar.
     
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  4. Kage
    Joined: Oct 18, 2008
    Posts: 898

    Kage
    Member

    I did manage to get the door level...but it still sits to far to the back. It needs to move forward at least a quarter inch. The door overlaps in the rear. I know I could shave the hinges down, making them thinner to gain a little room. I could also try to heat and bend the hinges slightly forward...any other suggestions or recommendations?

    3223E7CC-FEBD-41E9-9196-C9E22C44CEA7.jpeg 7E992355-2E82-4CD7-826E-66761D64A276.jpeg 3DD480C7-F135-424F-B235-6D14740812C2.jpeg

    Door overlap at the rear...Stick’s out a little to.
    E3FCCC63-EDF3-4E51-A432-7709207288A3.jpeg
     
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  5. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 788

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Have you looked at the "Green Bible" the shop manual for your car? I use to have one but it went with the 49 I had when I sold it. I didn't have to mess with the hinges on that car so I have no experience that is helpful. On the Studebaker the lower rear corner of the door was out about an inch and a half but the upper part of the door fit fine (I had replaced the bottom six inches of the door and evidently tweaked it), I put a board between the door and the B pillar and used a porta power to tweak the lower corner in, it ain't a magazine fit but its good enough. I also had to cut come of the door off and add material on the doors also to get a better fit. I hope a little hinge manipulation will get you by.
     
  6. Remember, the inner door frame still needs to fit inside the Door jambs of the Body with room for the latch unit. 1/4" is a bigger issue than bringing the hinges one direction or the other. I would look harder for Body rust at the A and B post or a very poorly done floor repair. These hinges were not made for shims or adjustments, it was all done in the Body mounts with shims and not very many. Heck, maybe your body mount rubber is just Toast. The Door damage tells me the Check strap failed so you could have the hinge mounts twisted as well as hinge bars jacked. They should both haves be flat and strait and when in your hand close flat to each half.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  7. [​IMG]
    Look close at this hinge. It has a problem! It is making contact with itself inboard of the Pin and should not be. This is causing a load and moving the Door back due to the Contact. Good place to start correcting things.
     
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  8. I actually think the hinge half's are put together wrong. Were they re pined?
     
  9. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,162

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    It looks like the door was open and someone backed into something with it, and then overcorrected it, putting the door too far rearward. Usually when that happens, it "twists" the hinge post, and it looks like someone has "untwisted" this one a bit too much, or has stretched the door frame too far rearward.
     
  10. Basically what we are seeing in your photos is results. We need to find the cause and repair that, then the fit will take care of itself. The Door didn't grow in size. Better overall photos of the Car and it's floor/rocker might help. How much of them have been worked over?
     
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  11. Kage
    Joined: Oct 18, 2008
    Posts: 898

    Kage
    Member

    CD058DAD-52FD-4503-B3CF-CB93DEAE52BD.jpeg
     
  12. I'm on the Roll Back for a few weeks or I'd go take some photos of Door hinges to compare to yours. Looking at your gap up the windshield post and along the Roof between drip rail and door the line looks real good. It appears the Door needs to come down and forward to open it up a bit and get the crease at the belt line to line up. Problem is that Ford didn't give you that option in the 49-51 cars. I also know that there is a specific hinge for each of the 4 spots in your car. There's a Top and Bottom hinge for each side. I would think if you had them in the wrong place you would have other issues but maybe not. I've never mixed them up. Could be something to double check.
     
    Kage likes this.
  13. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,125

    19Fordy
    Member

    Notch the A pillar where hinges attach?
     
    Kage likes this.
  14. Could be an option for some. Doubt I'd go at it that way.
     
  15. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 544

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    I see hinges available for that car. Might be worth the investment. The hinges on my 52 Chevy truck are heavy steel and I did heat and bend to align the doors. However, if someone did back into something with the door open I would suspect the door or pillar to bend first. And those hinges look similar to each other. As someone else said maybe wrong hinge in wrong position.
     
  16. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 1,370

    1-SHOT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Aligning car doors are like building a house, a house is built from the sole plate up. Think sole plate as rocker panel. You square the door to the rocker, this will tell you where everything goes, take the flat part of a 3/8 or5/16 wrench and use it as a guide to set door to rocker gap. Now the hinges should be centered in the middle of their slots on the A pillar. If not the A pillar could be leaning back. You my have to pull the vowel forewasd to obtain this. This will help to correct the gap between the upper door frame and windshield post. Now you should see how the door fits the 1/4 panel. Most of the time the door opening is not square to the door. This is due to body sagging from worn out rubber body mounts. Always take the striker out so you can dry fit the door with out any drag from the latch. Some times all it takes is a couple of shims under the mounts or a pull on the top of the cowel, they are notorious for sagging.
    Remember start at the bottom and work up, you can't fix it from the top down. 65 years in the body shop taught me this, I have seen seasoned body men struggle with this.
    Remember Start at the Bottom
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    texasred and Pist-n-Broke like this.
  17. One-shot says it well. Also with the damage showing on the Door skin, the actual resulting issue should be just the opposite. It should have caused more gap at the B post. I'm suspect of issues being in the floor and rocker repairs.
     
  18. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,125

    19Fordy
    Member

    Be careful not to crack your windshield when you "pull" the cowl.
     
  19. Kage
    Joined: Oct 18, 2008
    Posts: 898

    Kage
    Member

    I think I will start by replacing the hinges...hopefully that will take care of most of the issue
     
  20. wendoverwill
    Joined: Jan 13, 2013
    Posts: 19

    wendoverwill
    Member

    Had the same problem with my 50 coupe. The doors that I am using did not come off of the same car. I checked the dimensions, and according to the green bible, they are correct. I have new hinges, new body mounts and have replaced the rockers and floor pans. To cure the problem, I took the hinges apart and heated and bent the part that attaches to the post(moved them forward). Be sure that when you bend the hinge that the bend is parallel to the pin. As already mentioned, watch the area above the door as the A pillar curves into the roof. The drip rail will move, but not very far. There is a little adjustment on the front fender, so the door to fender gap can be maintained. tis seems to have cured my problem. (drivers side only)
     
  21. Were I on this repair I'd do a little more homework before I started changing parts around. I would want to make sure my A pillar is where it belongs and the hinge mount surface on it is exactly 90* to Body center line. Then a very close inspection of the inner door frame where the hinge mounts. The door skin damage tells me there's 99* chance you'll find something to correct. Also I have a buddy stopping by tomorrow so maybe I can get some photos of hinges that also may help some.
     
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  22. Kage
    Joined: Oct 18, 2008
    Posts: 898

    Kage
    Member

    I’ll take some measurements when I get home today and compare to what the green bible says.

    BE07066C-D86D-49D4-8D7D-4F30D7029AF8.jpeg
     
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  23. Kage
    Joined: Oct 18, 2008
    Posts: 898

    Kage
    Member

    Pictured below are the reference points I measured from. I used a 48 inch ruler and another 16 inch straight edge (that I used as a slide) to get the most accurate measurements I could. Here are my results compared to the green bible.

    Green bible. My 51
    A-C 50 1/2. A-C 50 1/2
    A-E 50 15/16 A-E 50 13/16
    C-F 42 3/8 C-F 42 7/16
    B-F 54 3/4 B-F 51 3/16
    B-D 59 13/16 B-D 59 3/8
    B-E 48 3/4 B-E 47 3/4


    A4AEE3F0-7DA5-4457-886A-86202EE068F8.jpeg 53B72ECF-3AF7-48E2-8280-462A4039687B.jpeg C7C21FA1-9073-4724-8958-D358E33F8D5E.jpeg C7663E47-D7E0-4F35-80A3-14FA2F54B420.jpeg D492D8DF-1365-41E6-BAC6-BFE4F2E1BA22.jpeg 1E53CD5B-200B-4209-A3FC-A21B4374C919.jpeg 71B50094-6D82-4144-8428-8B26E35282BE.jpeg E9CB547D-4081-42D1-9628-CDA99ED62A64.jpeg 96AC81C4-F4EE-4789-9222-2CBE9AB225CC.jpeg

    Reference point B seems a little high....it was welded to the same place as the original.
     
  24. buster6972
    Joined: Apr 3, 2007
    Posts: 197

    buster6972
    Member
    from Florida

    The downside of producing 1 million cars for a production year is the quality isn't always the highest. Unfortunately, I have yet to see a shoebox door that was stock and fits perfectly. Anyone that questions this just take a look at them at the next car show you are at.
     
    Pist-n-Broke likes this.
  25. Wish I could go out and do some layout on the shop floor to get my head around those numbers. Bottom line looks like cutting things loose and moving A post forward. I'm not saying dive in and start cutting but loosing more than 3" at B to F, I don't understand. 1" loss at B to E means A post dropped.
     
  26. I agree but it seldom requires cutting and welding to make things better.
     
  27. Kage
    Joined: Oct 18, 2008
    Posts: 898

    Kage
    Member

    Door gaps are perfect on the passenger side. I’m going to compare the measurements to that side...and take a couple of extra measurements like C-B and B-A.
     
    DIYGUY likes this.
  28. Good plan. I go get stictches removed today. While up moving around I'll try to look at my 51 hinges for a refresher and take a couple photos.
     
  29. I had issues with my 51' doors lining up. I found out it was the body mounts at fault. I replaced all the old body mounts with some rubber belting I cut out. Had issues with the doors lining up, spent weeks and a lot of bitching. I was then told by an older gentleman who built several shoebox Fords that the body mounts are usually at fault. He said the mounts are various different thicknesses. I ordered a complete set from Dennis Carpenter and sure enough they were different thicknesses. Replaced the rubber belting that I had used and it seemed to help the alignment issues with the new mounts, not a 100% but way better then what it was!
     
  30. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 544

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    I’ll bet the body mount thing is explained in the green bible somewhere. It’s in my 56 Fairlane shop manual.
     

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