Adjusting Sagging Doors

Discussion in 'Wrenchin' Secrets' started by Steve73GS, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. Steve73GS

    Steve73GS Well-Known Member

    So, after getting mechanicals in shape on my 73GS, it's time to tackle some other issues. Doors are as big and heavy as a Mini Cooper and have sagged a bit over time where they have to be slammed pretty hard to close completely. I'm told this is a common problem. Anyone have some words of wisdom on the best way to go about adjusting them?

    Steve
     
  2. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

  3. Steve Craig

    Steve Craig Gold Level Contributor

    Pins & bushings.
     
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  4. Houmark

    Houmark Well-Known Member

    Where can you get parts? Are there different hinges, or are they the same?
     
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  5. Electra man

    Electra man Older and Slower

    Open the door to so its about a fist size from the body. If you can raise the door more than a 1/4 inch from the rear bottom then the hinge needs repair. If not then you may be able to adjust it by slightly loosening the bolts that hold the hinge to the body and raising the door. You should have help with this so they can hold the door in place while you tighten the bolts. If the door lines up with the body lines then there is also some adjustment in the latch pin on the door frame.
     
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  6. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    Hinge repair.

    And if you choose to do this, allow me to save you some grief from my experiences.

    #1. I have never had luck replacing the bushings with hinges in a car. Everytime, the bushings pop out. I think it is that the holes are out of round, and perhaps knurling or staking to make the hole a better interference fit would help.

    #2. I have never done a repair by removing the hinges, but pretty certain I could do so. The last car needing them repaired was undergoing a pretty intensive replacement of almost everything, except lifting the body off the frame. Inside and outside top and bottom were all removed. So, I sent them out to "Willie" the hinge guy to do them, along with a couple extra pairs so he would have parts. I did have to find springs, as he did not have them.
    The cost was worth it to me with all the other things I had to do.

    #2.5 I pulled the doors. I would not do that again, since I did not have the front clip off, and getting the doors back on and adjusted in all axis was a real PITA.
    Instead, I would buy some used hinges, or even a set of the cheapo Chinesium repops and remove one, replace one while fully supporting the door(s) to keep the alignment.

    Otherwise, I would pull the front clip and then be able to set and adjust the doors correctly.

    But, that lets a whole 'nother set of worms out of the bag, and the alignment issues.

    Other's have had success, so it can be done with hinges in place.

    Hope that helps. :)
     
  7. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

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  8. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    s-l400 (2).jpg
    Takes 30 seconds
     
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  9. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/champ-door-alignment-bar-p-11508.aspx

    This is the one I have,..its a temporary fix but for the time it takes vs the time doing pins and bushings I do this first,..now if the hinge is egged out too bad it wont adjust back with the bar or take the oversize bushing your looking at replacement or welding up the hole and redrilling etc etc
     
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  10. NZ GS 400

    NZ GS 400 Gold Level Contributor

  11. priariecanary

    priariecanary Stacey

    I had a ratty old 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix when I was much younger and broke. The doors on that car must have been 6 feet long. Ok maybe that was a slight exaggeration but they were looong. And heavy. The doors had wallowed out the bushings to the point that the driver's door wouldn't close, it would just bounce off the car no matter how hard you slammed. I had to drive to work a couple of days steering with my left hand and kind of holding the door closed with my right hand.

    So I borrowed a buddy's garage and tried to take the door off by myself. The thing almost killed me. I was in this weird squat, trying not to tip over backwards with what seemed like 500 pounds of Pontiac door on top of me. Those doors are HEAVY and there's no good place too grab them one you get them loose. Somehow I managed to wrestle the thing to the ground without major injury. I am sure there are way smarter means of dealing with this than what I did but be good and ready when/if you do separate them from the car.
     
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  12. Steve73GS

    Steve73GS Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the inputs. Think I'll try to loosen first and see if I can raise slightly before messing with hinges. If that doesn't work then I'll do in place with replacement hinges, hopefully the holes aren't elongated from wear...sounds like removing the door could turn into a horror show.

    Steve
     
  13. Luxus

    Luxus Gold Level Contributor

    The problem most likely is the pins and bushings are worn out as others said. It's a doable job, dont be intimidated by it. Adjusting the door up doesnt fix the problem, it just delays the inevitable.
     
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  14. 68 Wildcat

    68 Wildcat Dash Riprock

    I would try the "Hillbilly" repair as it doesn't involve parts or any real labour. I put a 1 foot long 2/4 under the rear of the slightly opened door ( positioned on the flat bottom of the door, NOT the edge as the edge could bend over), then take a floor jack and slowly crank up the back of the door. once you think you're about level, give it 2 more pumps on the jack. Lower the door down and test fit for closing. Lube the hell out of the hinges to stop any further wear. This always works and will last quite a while. If you have overbent the door up, no problem, just hang on the door a bit with all your weight and it will come back down. You are slightly bending the car/door /hinges so you would have to be O.K. with that.We were doing this back at the dealer when I was doing PDI's on brand new cars with door alignment issues! Obviously if the bushings/hinges are really really shot, this will only help a bit, but may not be the complete cure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  15. Steve73GS

    Steve73GS Well-Known Member

    Gary,
    Thanks. It's ironic you suggested this. I originally mentioned something similar to this "method" to John when the car was in the shop and he gave me kind of a funny look so I didn't go any further with it. Actually, your suggestion is much more scientific than what I said...I was just going to manually pull up on the door until I felt it move a little, have to admit, there is some room for error in the way I was going to do it...I guess my way would be considered the "Ultra Hillbilly" repair.

    Steve
     
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  16. 68 Wildcat

    68 Wildcat Dash Riprock

    No offence to anyone living in a Holler:p
     
  17. 1969RIVI

    1969RIVI Well-Known Member

    Gary, I've done that procedure to many a vehicles over the years it works every time! Sometimes the simple crude way works better than overthinking it.
     
  18. Steve73GS

    Steve73GS Well-Known Member

    No...definitely no offense meant at all, just a figure of speech. There used to be a show on TV, forgot the name of it but there were a couple of guys who had "Hillbilly " fixes and construction for a bunch of different things and they were always effective and, in some cases, ingenious.
     
  19. 1969RIVI

    1969RIVI Well-Known Member

    The term "hillbilly" is just a short form for " I've got real word experience fixing crap with nothing but what's around me" phd degree :p:D
     
  20. dynaflow

    dynaflow shiftless...

    ..."hillbilly" fix brought a smile. Depression-era dad always impressed me with his screwdriver/pliers/hammer skill. Often saw him put hammer handle in upper hinge and close door on it until door up where it belonged...:)
     

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