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Ill fitting drivers side door

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  • Ill fitting drivers side door

    My 1963 Lark (Regal) has a driver's side door has two issues.

    First, it doesn't shut as tightly as it should at the latch. It does close and catch and the lock works, but you go over a bump and it rattles. Near as I can tell the can has never had any collision damage, its just old and it hasn't bee cared for very well.

    The other issue with it is that the window frame is also out of aligment. Instead of having the proper lean angle into the body, the thing is rather vertical, so it leaks air and rain.

    Now the door is beginning to get rust through at the bottom corner - I know how rust can eat one of these cars up.

    Being a new Studebaker owner and not knowing very much about bodies, 1) can tightness of the fit be fixed with the current door
    2) is the window frame designed so it can be realigned and how much of a hassle is that?

    Thanks for your reading this and for your consideration!



    Stu K

    "If not now, when?"

  • #2
    By any chance did you at any time remove the door? Sounds as if there are a number of things working against you, none of which are a deal breaker. The "lean angle" can be nothing more than a missing shim/spacer or two behind the hinge on the door.

    I hope you have a copy of the following books, Chassis Parts Catalog, Body Parts Catalog and the Service Manual. I suggest that you spend the extra $35 per copy and buy originals rather than re-prints, as the photos are much more cleaner and have a better tonal reproduction. The windows can be adjusted by removing the door panels and adjusting three or four screws which move the windows up/down.. in/out, forward/aft etc.

    Your mention of rust might not have anything to do with this, unless there is rust where the adjusting fasteners are anchored. Studebaker and other can makers did engineer into their cars a lot of room for adjustment, on some assmeblies as much as 3/4 of an inch or more per side or front to rear.

    In early models, mid 50's you started adjusting the windows at the vent and worked twoeard the rear, or vice versa, it has bee a while, but yes the windows can be adjusted. Studebaker did more fasteneing with screws, bolts, nuts, washers etc., than welding, so you have a very goood chance to get your door to align.

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    • #3
      While you have the door panel removed, clean out the inside of the door with a vacuum and run your hand on the bottom inside to make sure nothing like pine needles are stuck. Also, poke something through the two drain holes at the bottom edge of the door to ensure that the rain water that runs into the door can drain out.


      Brent's rootbeer racer.
      MN iron ore...it does your body good.
      sigpic
      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've only owned the car for a month and have only had actual possession of it for about ten days; DAS spent the other three weeks bumping and drangging the car all about before delivering it - but the door was like this when I got the car.

        Will look for the manuals and hope to find a body guy nearby. Its something that I'd like to have done in the spring.

        But WILL clean out the weep holes and other debris as soon as I get the panels off.

        Stu K

        "If not now, when?"

        Comment


        • #5
          The door catch on the door jamb (*not on the door itself) is adjustable. Loosen the bolts and slide it inward a little and try it again. Keep doing this till it is tight. If it will not catch, you have gone too far and move it back out. Sometimes you can loosen them so they are still snug, slam the door, and then gently open it, re-tighten the bolts and see how it is.

          The top from is adjustable on the 63 and you probably can adjust the window in some. I would try the catch first and see where you are.

          My 63 4 door rattles some too when I go over bumps but it does not really leak. I know the solution is new rubber some day when I have the time or it bugs me enough.

          Milt

          1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
          1961 Hawk
          1964 Convertable
          1967 Avanti
          1961 Lark 2 door
          1950 Commander Starlight

          Milt

          1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
          1961 Hawk 4-speed
          1967 Avanti
          1961 Lark 2 door
          1988 Avanti Convertible

          Member of SDC since 1973

          Comment


          • #6
            Check to see that you don't have a structural problem. jimmijim

            Stude Junkie+++++++Do it right the f$$$$ Time. Never mind. Just do it right. When youre done your done. You'll know it.
            sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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            • #7
              Wish you was near Oklahoma. I'm a door aligning dude. I done a 48 Buick hear while back the guy had worked 2 days on got it where it just clicks closed.

              7G-Q1 49 2R12 10G-F5 56B-D4 56B-F2
              http://ozarktrails.tripod.com/

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              • #8
                Yes, your door can be adjusted to fit properly, unless the door or the door frame has been severely deformed.

                Some of what Bill/Bondobill states applies to hardtops, not sedans.

                With the door latch removed, your door should fit in proper alignment. Then adjust the latch to hold the door in that position.

                Rattling and leaking is often due to need for new rubber mouldings around the door.

                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                Comment


                • #9
                  you mentioned rust....once the door panel is removed, look at the lower big 3 screws that hold the door to the hinge...is this area rusted ? look to the other end of the hinge, on the cowl (hinge)post. Is that rusted maybe even where the floor meets the post. ? I would bet that your problem lies in the hinge post. Another way to check is to grab the lower, bottom of the door and lift vertically...if the door moves away from the body at all - that's your problem. All the adjusting in the worl at the striker will be futile with this possible structural defect....GL

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                  • #10
                    In all fairness, I do recommend the manuals for the cars. However I found them completely usesless when I was re-hanging the doors on my champion. There wasn't any mention of spacers. I picked up a spare body that already had the doors on it and they didn't fit for crud. After scratching my head for about an hour I went in search of my original door hardware and found that there was a pack of spacers to go behind the hinge plates. It corrected the problem. But there was no mention in any of the three books I have on those spacers.

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