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How do I adjust a door?

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  • How do I adjust a door?

    The driver's door on my Lark sags just a little bit. Not so much that it's worrisome (and yes, I've checked for rust!), but enough that I have to lift the door about 1/4" to close it all the way without interfering with the striker.

    What do I need to do to adjust the door "up" a little? The manual gives a procedure for adjusting the panel gap, but nothing for adjusting the height of the door. Or is this a sign that I need new hinges?


    [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

    Clark in San Diego
    '63 F2/Lark Standard
    http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

    Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

  • #2
    quote:Originally posted by showbizkid

    The driver's door on my Lark sags just a little bit. Not so much that it's worrisome (and yes, I've checked for rust!), but enough that I have to lift the door about 1/4" to close it all the way without interfering with the striker.

    What do I need to do to adjust the door "up" a little? The manual gives a procedure for adjusting the panel gap, but nothing for adjusting the height of the door. Or is this a sign that I need new hinges?


    [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

    Clark in San Diego
    '63 F2/Lark Standard
    http://studeblogger.blogspot.com
    You might need hinges. Can you lift the back end of the door without moving the whole car? If lifting the back edge of the door up and down produces the feeling of a "clunk", chances are the hinges are worn. If the door feels "solid" and lifting tends to move the whole car, then the hinge may be OK, and the sag is due to something else.

    You may yet be able to get NOS hinges. You also may be able to repair the existing hinges by getting pin and bushing kits as used in '70s to mid-'80s GM cars and pickups. Requires reaming the hole in the door half of the hinge to accept the flanged Oilite bushings in the GM kits; you also have to grind a relief for the flange on the bushing. Tedious job, but makes them better than new. Removal and replacement of the hinges is the HARDEST part; it's real easy to bust screws and/or screwdrivers. Get 3/8" drive Phillips bits from Sears; they are guaranteed.[}] If the hinge bolts are badly rusted, plan to drill them out and re-tap the holes.

    If the door is just sagging a little bit, slacken the screws that hold the top hinge to the door, lift the door a little at the rear, and re-tighten the screws. "Usually" these screws don't get badly rusted; the ones on the lower hinge, and any of those going into the door pillar are subject to rust.

    I have seen Stude door hinges where the hinge pin had rusted solid into the door half, then sheared clean off at the top and bottom of the hinge leaf, leaving enough of a stub that the hinge still worked, but was sloppy. Getting the remnant of the pin out of the door-side leaf was truly a nasty, nasty chore (to use the P.C. term )

    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

    Comment


    • #3
      It's been too long since I fiddled with a Stude door, can the striker be adjusted up or down? If so and the door isn't sagging too badly, that'd be easier than working with the hinge. The top right hinge on my Hawk was badly worn and it was just about impossible to get the door to work consistantly until I replaced it. And yes, those phillips head screws are a pain to get out. As Gord said, those bottom ones end up being the one that have to be drilled out to remove.

      Comment


      • #4
        Often an impact driver is the key to breaking loose difficult door hinge screws. I'm talking about the spring loaded contraption that accepts bits at the front end, and has a place at the back end to smack with a hammer. That tool used to be our standard junk yard device since it would work anywhere and without a compressor.

        Comment


        • #5
          Skyway, yes thats a beautiful tool! Also when you put it back on the
          car, use allen head screws, they wont strip out as easy next time you
          need to touch them.

          Oh .. raising the door requires loosening both upper and lower hinge
          and lifting the door on the door side of the hinge (not body). Its
          best to MARK the door around the hinge BEFORE you touch anything so
          you have a point to go back too.

          Tom

          '63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: 97 Z28 T-56 6-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires
          '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
          Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
          http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
          I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

          Comment


          • #6
            Worn out hinges are probably in 90% of the cars these days. I had good results, adjusting a GT Hawk door, in a number of ways. The one that stands out is to loosen the hinge bolts, enough to move the door around. Then place a lot of layers of shop towels along the sill to force the door up when closed. (I had the seats out for this but you might still try it) You can close it a few times from the outside to get the gaps lined up and the amount of toweling correct. When you like the fit, get in and close the door. Snug up the screws a bit where they'll keep the adjustment, but not too tight. Take a hammer and tap the rear of the hinges downward. This will take up any slop in the pin. Tighten the screws all around. Open and close the door again and you'll see a lot of improvement.
            I've since replaced the pins and screws. Windber Restorations sells pins that fit and also with stainless screws with cone lock washers, but are not cheap. Since the new hardware was put in, the doors on my Hawk now close like a vault.

            Bob Johnstone
            64 GT Hawk (K7)
            1970 Avanti (R3)

            Comment


            • #7
              For a long time I always had a hard time with aligning doors- I could never get them high enough. Then I finallly realized that when the pins in the hinge start to wear the door will drop a little because of the wear. As tough as it is to 'impact drive' those screws out, it pays to get the hinges out and rebuild them. At least on the driver's side.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yah, just the drivers door, Studebaker owners never have any friends.[)]

                Tom

                quote:Originally posted by casey

                it pays to get the hinges out and rebuild them. At least on the driver's side.
                '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
                Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
                http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
                I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

                Comment


                • #9
                  Clark, is the gap along the bottom about right (even)after you've got it closed? [?]

                  Miscreant adrift in
                  the BerStuda Triangle


                  1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                  1960 Larkvertible V8
                  1958 Provincial wagon
                  1953 Commander coupe

                  No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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                  • #10
                    quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

                    Clark, is the gap along the bottom about right (even)after you've got it closed?
                    Yes, looks pretty even all along the door.


                    [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

                    Clark in San Diego
                    '63 F2/Lark Standard
                    http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

                    Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Tom,

                      Thanks for the Allen head suggestion. What a great idea.

                      Gary

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dont use stainless steel hardware UNLESS its graded. Many stainless
                        steel bolts are NOT graded, and are equivalent to grade 2 "bin-bolt"
                        hardware at your local hardware store. I assume that considering the
                        usage of the hinge bolts, they are a grade 5 bolt. I doubt that they
                        would have used grade 8 in this application.

                        Anyone know the true grade of the hinge bolts?

                        If the door is evenly sagged (bottom edge of door and sill parallel)
                        than you can draw two lines on the door around the hinge, one vertical
                        and one horizontal. Keep both hinges square to these lines when you
                        make adjustments. Make the same amount of height adjustment to both
                        the top and bottom hinge.

                        Tom
                        '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
                        Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
                        http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
                        I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When adjusting a door, I remove the striker plate. The door should align properly, with adjustment, without the "aid" of the latch. The purpose of the latch is to hold the door shut, not to force an alignment of the door. When the door is aligned, install the striker plate to have a slight drag.

                          Gary L.
                          Wappinger, NY

                          1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)
                          Gary L.
                          Wappinger, NY

                          SDC member since 1968
                          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another note, if you end up removing the hinges from the car completely for rebuilding or replacement, there are three screws that hold the hinge to the A-pillar. The top and bottom ones are usually OK, they just screw into the pillar and protrude into the space between the cowl and the kick panel. The deep, middle ones actually protrude into the area under the front fender (at least on a C-K,) where they can get nice and muddy and rusty. Prior to attempting to remove those, a good soak with some good penetrating oil might be in order.

                            It just so happens that the last time I was working on my car I attempted to break all those screws loose, not for any particular reason but just with an eye towards future disassembly. I only got about half of them out, even with liberal doses of penetrating oil and an air impact. The ones that I did get out got their holes tapped and a liberal dose of anti-seize before reinstallation.

                            nate

                            --
                            55 Commander Starlight
                            http://members.cox.net/njnagel
                            --
                            55 Commander Starlight
                            http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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