Get more Tips, Specs and Technical Data!

Did you know... this Forum is a service of the Studebaker Drivers Club? For more technical tips, specifications, history and tech data, visit the Tech Tips page at the SDC Homepage:
See more
See less

Hawk Door replacement

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hawk Door replacement

    I'm hoping someone has experienced this problem and knows a fix...
    I just replaced the passenger side door on my 58 Hawk, with a
    door from another car/year. I've beeen adjusting here and there
    to get the gaps even but one unexpected problem is giving me fits. The door fits flush everywhere except at the top, where it sticks out from the body a little, Nothing severe, but definitely not as
    flush as it should be.. I did grind some material off the top
    hinge hoping that would fix it, but no. Has anyone experienced
    this and is there a way to fix it that I'm missing? Thanks,

  • #2
    I sold a 62 daytona with the same problem from the factory and here's a note from the new owner:

    Hi John. Here are the pics of the Stude. He did an amazing job. He is doing some more stuff on it for me too. I just drove down a twin to it that is a piece of ****. We are going to use it as a donor car then part it out. I LOVE the car I bought from you. Show Nate the pics. The fit is unreal.

    First the door was in 3/4" at the top, so he realigned it so it fit, then the bottom really stuck out, so he used a 5' long 2x4, drilled a hole about 3 1/2 feet up, bolted another one to that, somehow bolted a 4x4 to the door, then made a triangle and applied leverage in a twisting motion, trying not to break the paint (it didn't break) he kept tweaking until it fit. He said it had to have come from the factory with the lousy fit like that. He then used similar leverage to get the hood to fit. Also, the driver's door was out of alignment and he got it as close as it can get too. It is near perfect now, too. He is awesome!

    Pix here:

    Arnold Md.
    Studebaker On The Net
    My Ebay Items

    64 Daytona HT
    63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
    63 Avanti R1/AC
    63 Lark 2 dr.
    62 Lark 2 door
    60 Hawk
    52 Starlight
    52 Starliner
    51 Commander
    JDP Maryland


    • #3
      Maybe this will help.

      Matthew Burnette
      Hazlehurst, Georgia
      '59 Scotsman PU
      '63 Daytona HT


      • #4
        My new NOS doors needed the same adjustment. The body man just start bending the tops until they fit perfectly. Now this was before paint so it was no big deal. Good luck.

        1956 Studebaker Pelham Wagon Houston, Texas
        Remember, \"When all is said and done. More is always said then ever done.\"


        • #5
          I've used a piece of 4x4 in the past; for example, if the bottom fits but the top doesn't, put a piece of wood on the rocker, close the door against it, then place your hands at the edge of the area that's out and give it a few hard shoves... open remove the wood, check, and repeat as necessary... if you go too far, you can tweak it back till you get it right...

          Just takes a little patience, but it's really not that difficult

          Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
          Parish, central NY 13131


          • #6
            These comments are all very helpful. thanks very much.
            the article on panel
            alighment provided by MBSTUDE is very helpful since I also have
            to get the front fenders aligned after removal as well. I did try the bending method using a block of wood at the door sill but it didn't give, so I guess i didn't aply enough pressure; guess it made me leary of breaking something. I would have taken my car to a body shop but since it is not on the thr road at present, these things are up to me to fix. Everything is in primer so I don't have to worry about messing up the paint. I'll keep at it. Thanks again


            • #7
              I'm not sure on your model of car. But if you have vent windows take them out first as there (and the windows down) is a chance that you will break them in your adjustment process.

              1956 Studebaker Pelham Wagon Houston, Texas
              Remember, \"When all is said and done. More is always said then ever done.\"


              • #8
                Glass is surprisingly flexible and having it up would encourage the top frame to align evenly, as opposed to bowing the center. Placing your fulcrum (2x4) in the vicinity of the hinge, rather than the window would be expedient.
                When frame shops bring things back in to alignment, they have to push or pull beyond where they want it so it will spring back to where it should be. An experienced body man will accomplish the task in one minute. A little thought, common sense and experience.

                Brad Johnson
                Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                33 Rockne 10
                51 Commander Starlight
                53 Commander Starlight

                previously: 63 Cruiser, 62 Regal VI, 60 VI convertible, 50 LandCruiser
                "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"


                • #9
                  ok, as you suggested, I used some leverage at the hinges and
                  the top now fits flush. With regard to the gaps, I have a 1/4"
                  gap at the rear edge of the door, (by adjusting the rear
                  quarter panel) except at the upper edge that fits against the
                  pillar (see picture) where the gap is much smaller. There is no more adjustment left here
                  there since the door is as far forward as the hinges will allow.
                  I think it looks fine but it is correct? All the other gaps around the door are consistent. thanks


                  • #10
                    If it concerns you, you could take a 2x4 and place it against the qtr. panel edge where it's narrow, and hit it with a stout hammer; of course, one hit, then check it; repeat as necessary.

                    It is good to note that gap imperfections are MUCH less noticable once the panels are painted all the same color; so it's up to you to decide how much more you want to monkey with it.

                    Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                    Parish, central NY 13131


                    • #11
                      Can or should I try to twist the driver's door on my '53 hardtop? I've never been satisfied with the fit. I've got the rear qtr pulled out at the bottom as far as I can and 1 shim under the top hinge to get the rear lower corner to almost seal on the rubber. The top front is now a little high compared to the front fender. To top all this I cannot get the rear gap any bigger and its just barely not rubbing the rear qtr. The door is shoved as far forward as it goes as the backing plates for the hinges inside the door are at max. I thought the doors and door opening between the A and B pillar were different since the pass side is good. Measured them and they are within 1/16-1/8 of each other as measured from the A to B post on the body shell inside midway between hinges. A while ago Dick S. posted a pic of my '53 at the Omaha drags and the gaps around the door are visibly not the same front to rear. In order to get it as good as it is I have 2 rubber shims behind the driver side front fender to A post and a "thin" shim on the pass side. That got it so my doors/fenders don't rub on the driver side or are really excessive on the pass side. About the only good news is all the gaps are pretty parallel.

                      One of my hopeful projects this winter is to try again to fix this....

                      Jeff in ND

                      '53 Champion Hardtop

                      Jeff in ND


                      • #12
                        I'm having a little trouble visualizing your problem, but I'll tell you it is a known practice to lengthen adjustment slots where it's needed- once you're sure that's what you need to get the correct fit...

                        Any decent body man will tell you that when they assemble a car, or part of one, the fit is frequently better than factory; reason being, of course, that we take more time with one car than a hundred back-to-back on a moving assembly line. This will sometimes mean a LOT of patience required to hang panels to our satisfaction... just remember it's only metal, and it CAN be done!!

                        Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                        Parish, central NY 13131


                        • #13
                          thanks BAM50 but I'm a little confused. How can this part be moved by hitting it when it is a fixed part of the body shell?
                          Like Jeff, I am concerned with the back, upper part of the door
                          rubbing against the body at this location if the door even sags
                          slightly. also I didn't know that the adjustment slots can be
                          altered; I assume this would entail disaemmbling the door? I apologize if these questions seem dumb but I'm new at this... Tks,


                          • #14
                            What you're doing is actually bending the metal slightly; the wood prevents hammer marks. Just go carefully, b/c once it's moved it's extremely difficult to bring it back... plus if you bend it too much you can end up with something buckled or bent where you don't don't need to move it much, so a couple taps ought to do it... as I said, hit it once, check the gap, and do it again as needed.

                            Behind the slots is usually a plate that's threaded for the bolts... usually loosely held in place by a couple tabs so they can move... if you take it apart you can usually remove the plate, elongate the slots in the direction you need with a small grinder bit or drill, and put the plate back in.

                            Hope this helps; keep asking if you need!

                            Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                            Parish, central NY 13131


                            • #15
                              ok, now that makes sense; I'll try the 2x4 method first;
                              I hate to think about the task of removing the door skin to get at those plates..... Thanks again,