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'55 Speedster/K-body door alignment

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  • '55 Speedster/K-body door alignment

    I've had a nightmare of a problem trying to get the doors on my Speedster to align properly, the lower rear edge sticks out no matter what I do (and still be able to shut). I saw a similar problem on an award winning Speedster a while back. I know that the doors can only be adjusted on the door side.

    Also, is anyone going to be in the Hemmings Concours Sept. 17, or around on Saturday for the cruise?
    Toby Knoll Garage

    '51 Muntz Jet
    '53 Woodill Wildfire/Dodge
    '54 Hudson Hornet Grand National Tribute car
    '55 Studebaker Speedster/Cadillac
    '56 Corvette SR replica

  • #2
    When everything else fails, sometimes the only answer is massaging with hammer and dolly. It's often times an anomaly in the body panel itself, which may not have fit right out of the factory. Or it may have been replaced at some time by a NOS part which might have been a part set aside on the line, because it didn't fit in the first place.


    • #3
      I have removed hinges, and bent them before, and even made shims to put between the hinge, and door. Other times a small amount can be corrected by putting a towel around a 2x4 and blocking the low side, and pushing and twisting the door. You might not want to do that last trick if there is a lot of plastic filler in a door. The good thing about metal, is it can be bent.
      Bez Auto Alchemy

      "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


      • #4
        Will the doors fit in the opening correctly without the hinges bolted into the doors? I fought the alignment on my 54K until I loosened the hinges with the doors in the opening and used shims and long pieces of wood that spanned the door openings. I shimmed the doors until the gaps were close, taped the wood spanning the opening to the door and body to get in/out fit correct and then finished adjusting the gaps. Closed the hinges to see what the gap needed to be to keep the doors in the in/out position, cut the proper shim thickness to fill the gap and tightened the hinge bolts. Worked just fine and it also worked on the Avanti I'm currently finishing.

        I'd also pull the striker until the door is set correctly.

        Good Luck, Bob


        • #5
          Yes, it can be a real nightmare. My unmolested factory coupe had 4 washers on one side, one on the other. Everything fit beautifully. Was a bear to realign.

          Read . Ray (Studeman) has written an excellent article on front alignment.


          • #6
            Is it all the way top to bottom or just the very bottom of the door? How does it line up to the rocker panel along the bottom? I think there is some adjustment on the rear fender where it meets the door post. Maybe you can loosen the rear fender at the door post and bring the bottom out a little so it lines up with the door.