View Full Version : Body: Adjusting a door gap

07-22-2012, 01:25 PM
Ladies and Gents,

I have some serious gap problems on my driver's side door of my 51 Stude and I was wondering if anyone knows how to adjust it. The door closes securely but there's a gap you can see daylight through. There is play in the door so I think it can be adjusted but I'm not sure how. Any assistance you all can provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.


07-22-2012, 02:27 PM
Need more details. Where is the gap? What do you mean by play in the door? Have you tried adjusting the striker plate?


07-22-2012, 02:57 PM
To: Gryphon,------And what model Studebaker is this?

63 R2 Hawk
07-22-2012, 06:15 PM
It's possible that a 60year old car has had some damage in the past and was poorly repaired. Is your car a 2 door or 4 door? Is the gap at the rear or front of the door? Is it a front or rear door? Any evidence of fender or quarter panel repair/replacement? Rust at the pillar? Hinges loose?

07-25-2012, 08:59 PM

The gap is at the rear of the door (51 Champion Starlight Coupe). What I mean by play in the door is that when it is closed, you can still move it even though it is latched. I think you may be right about adjusting the striker plate as there appears to be some wear on the one attached to the body as opposed to the wheel mechanism on the door itself. The wear being paint being stripped off of the striker plate when I close the door.

There doesn't appear to be a panel replacement. No rust either...I got lucky on that one. The thing is, when I bought the car, it was advertised as a ground up restoration. Turns out that was done half hearted by the previous owner. However I did learn a valuable lesson from my rookie mistake: Never ever buy a classic car without seeing it in the flesh. Pictures and hearing the right things only say so much. Examining things up close and personal tells the whole story. :) Thanks for the help all.


07-25-2012, 09:01 PM
Also, I'll try and post some pictures this weekend. I think that will immensely help us tackle this problem.

41 Frank
07-25-2012, 09:09 PM
You may be able to adjust the striker in some so the door is flush with the body when shut. If this is not possible the lock assy may be worn out, the part on the door itself. They are still plentiful if it needs to be replaced.

07-26-2012, 09:49 AM
Starlight coupe doors are big doors. Does the door drop when you open it? Is there evidence of looseness in the hinges if you lift the door when it is open? The hinge pins may need replacing.


55 56 PREZ 4D
07-26-2012, 02:12 PM
Gotta start with the hinges first. [really ought to start with the body to frame mounts. Are they rusted, are the rubber pads thrashed etc ?]
When the door is opened a crack can you lift and move the door up and down ? You shouldn't be able to.
Repair or replace the worn hinges.
Take the door strike [the piece on the body] off. Mark its location first for easy reinstall.
Does the closed door line up with the body lines ? It should line up without the strike in place.
Adjust the hinges if the door doesn't line up.
Are the door latches or strikes worn ? Replace or repair, clean and lube the latch and strike.
THEN adjust the door strike. A little at a time.

08-10-2012, 02:36 PM
Thank you all for the suggestions. I just wanted to show you some pictures of it as well (since I've finally gotten around to taking some.) Thanks again. You all have been a big help.:!:


08-11-2012, 10:04 AM
A straight on side shot would help.

Dwain G.
08-11-2012, 10:26 AM
I suspect the door is only catching the safety latch. It's supposed to latch twice. First on the safety, then fully closed.

08-11-2012, 10:36 AM
To: Gryphon,------Did the previous owner install new door rubber weatherseals? If so, they sometimes need time to compress and get 'comfortable' against the door shut.

08-11-2012, 02:04 PM
I suspect the door is only catching the safety latch. It's supposed to latch twice. First on the safety, then fully closed.
I thought the same thing..... It is very possible to start out by adjusting the latch too far in-and only catching the first step. OP may need to staart by moving the latch out,and checking that he gets the 2nd latch effect.