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Thread: Is my door bent? Do I need new hinges? Door alignment problems within...

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    Registered User jepherz's Avatar
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    Default Is my door bent? Do I need new hinges? Door alignment problems within...

    Hello all,
    Looking for some help on my door alignment. It was aligned goofy when I got the car but I figured I would get it fixed when I replaced the rocker panel. Now that I'm trying to align the new rocker panel with the door, it just isn't cooperating.









    I tried to capture the problem in the photos but figure I need to explain it as well. When the door is aligned horizontally, the rear bottom portion is aligned with the dog leg. However, as you move up the body line towards the top rear of the door, the door is pushed in. Then, on the front of the door, the bottom of the door sticks out so far that the gap between the door and new rocker panel is huge.

    Does this mean my hinges or door are tweaked or is there a way to fix this?

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by jepherz; 07-04-2011 at 01:13 PM.

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    Merchant of Cool Z train's Avatar
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    Strip the door completely.Make sure IT isn't tweaked.Take the door to a body guy that knows his sh!t and ask him if the door is tweaked.After that,the body is the only thing.
    Faster than anyone in Oceanside

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    There is another possibility, if any of the parts (body, hinges or door shell) are early 240Z parts. There have been reports from others that Some Series 1 240Z doors and hinges are different. The alignment issues you describe sound exactly like others I've heard from this problem. What year is your car and the associated parts?
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

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    Registered User jepherz's Avatar
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    Arne, can you elaborate a little bit on what you're talking about? The car is a '73 and the doors are all original as far as I know.

    I guess I brought up the question if the door was tweaked originally, but honestly I don't see anything wrong with it nor does the body have any evidence of damage that would suggest it has been in a wreck. I'm not sure who I could talk to anyways that would really know enough as to how to check the door for straightness.

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    Registered User Walter Moore's Avatar
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    Are you certain that the door is original? My driver's door has the opposite problem. I have a 71, and I am fairly certain that my driver's door came off of a much later car. My driver's door fits OK, except at the bottom it is about as far IN as yours is OUT. There is no fixing the door if this is the problem, except to replace it with a door from the correct year.

    Since I already have the car painted, and only wanted a driver anyway, I have the project scheduled for a later date. (Like when it starts to bother me, which may be never.) But on your car it looks like a problem.
    '71 240Z, Because any fool can drive fast in a straight line.

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    Check the front and rear of the door shell jamb at the belt line intersection for stress cracks. Its a common spot for this to happen. It will result in the door twisting similarly to your picture. Also make sure you have the body supported so it doesn't cause any flexing of the structure and the door latch and striker plate removed. Its preferable to have the car supported with the weight on the suspension when replacing rockers. It appears your suspension is removed , so the next best place is as near as possible to the suspension anchor points.
    Larry

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    Walter describes the reverse issue from the one I was thinking about. A later door on early (Series 1) hinges is succked in at the bottom. The other way around (later hinges on an early door) can cause the problem you are seeing.

    Obviously, if the door shell is truly original, this issue is not the cause. This could only happen if an earlier door sholl was substituted on your car at some time in the past.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

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    Registered User jepherz's Avatar
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    I will do my best to try and see if the door is original. I believe the paint on the door has all of the same layers on it, which is why I'm thinking it is; however I will double check and compare it with other known original parts of the car. So, Arne, it sounds like I may have a later door (which should be right for a '73, right?) and early hinges? So maybe I just need to find another set of hinges? If that ends up being the case, that would be great! I definitely don't think finding the correct year door would be easy...

    I really don't want to go through all of the trouble of doing all of this serious body reconstruction and end up with mismatched panels in the end. Maybe there's a way I can put up a WTB ad for a set of hinges or something that someone may have on a parts car. It sucks cause as random as it is to find one of these cars in a junkyard, there was a complete one a few months ago locally, a '73 too!

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    Heres a way to tell about the hinges. I think the upper hinges are all the same. But the lower hinge is the one with the door stop on it. The early hinges only have one intermediate step (between closed and full open), but the later hinges have two intermediate steps. So if your hinge has one step, it's probably wrong. If it has two, it should be correct and you problem is elsewhere.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

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    Registered User jepherz's Avatar
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    Just doing some brainstorming on this subject since I'll have plenty of time before finding the opposing door. Anyways, can anyone shoot any of my assumptions down here?

    The external of the body of all 70-73 cars is the same.
    The door support (A pillar) of all 70-73 cars is the same.

    This means that any 70-71 door+hinge would work fine on any 72-73 and vice-versa.

    Therefore the problem only arises when you use a 70-71 door with a 72-73 hinge or vice versa.

    If this is all true, and I do indeed have either a early model door with a later hinge or early model hinge with a later door, I should be able to repair the problem by just putting the other hinge on. Then even if I have an early model door, an early model hinge should fix the problem.

    I will be pulling off both doors and hinge sets tonight since I know my driver's side to be good, and checking for any differences via measurements.

    Another solution for my problem would be to face the lower hinge, and a similar solution for those with the opposite problem would be to place a shim in between the hinge and the door support on the car. A few washers may work fine. Although, if the upper hinge is at all different, this would pose a problem as the two hinges may be mis-aligned.

    Another interesting find was that brand new hinges are available from the Z store, but it lists the same hinge for 70-75... Maybe the difference is actually 240/260 compared to 280's? That would make more sense to me. Maybe someone here is nice enough to take a picture of their 280 hinges for me to look at :-)

    Again, I will post back up if I find anything out. Thanks for all of your help so far.

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jepherz View Post
    Just doing some brainstorming on this subject since I'll have plenty of time before finding the opposing door. Anyways, can anyone shoot any of my assumptions down here?

    The external of the body of all 70-73 cars is the same.
    The door support (A pillar) of all 70-73 cars is the same.

    This means that any 70-71 door+hinge would work fine on any 72-73 and vice-versa.

    Therefore the problem only arises when you use a 70-71 door with a 72-73 hinge or vice versa.
    That is what has been reported by a few people, but it has not been seen often enough that I would call it a "confirmed" issue. I'd call it a working theory, at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by jepherz View Post
    Another interesting find was that brand new hinges are available from the Z store, but it lists the same hinge for 70-75...
    That is one of the reasons that it is only a working theory, and not confirmed. I can say that there was a documented difference in the hinges through 12/70 and later, although the later 240Z hinges are supposed to be able to replace the early ones. My guess is that—if there is an alignment issue—it is between Series 1 and later hinges. You might PM a7dz (or search his posts here) on hinges. I know he ran into this issue on his Series 1 car. He tried to use a later pair of hinges and ran into this exact alignment issue. I sent him the lower hinge from my Series 1 parts car and that fixed it.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

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    Registered User jepherz's Avatar
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    Great, I found his thread http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/s...ges&highlight=

    I'll be making similar measurements in a few hours.

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    Registered User jepherz's Avatar
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    Well, unfortunately I wasn't able to come to any conclusions tonight. The hinges all looked to have identical dimensions. The only difference I saw at all was the casting differences of the lower hinges. For example, one side had raised lettering, and the other had stamped lettering. Still no idea on the originality of the hinges or the doors. Unfortunately the car was repainted so many times and so shottily that I just cannot tell. One side has white overspray all over the hinges and the other has red and blue?

    I may have to try and come up with another way to line up this rocker panel as I really need to get moving on this portion of the car. I sure wish I had a better answer...

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised, as if this theory is correct, it is the door that is non-original, not the hinge.

    Try measuring where the lower hinge mounting holes are on the door, and compare to the other side (assuming it is OK).
    Last edited by Arne; 07-06-2011 at 09:21 PM.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

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    Registered User palosfv3's Avatar
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    Your Picasa pics clearly show the original color of your car was red. This is evident by the color beneath the door trim panels and the matching red on the interior floor pans and other inner areas. These doors appear to be the original pair installed at the factory. You also show your repairing of the stress cracks I mentioned in my earlier post only on the drivers door. I still believe this could be where your problem lies. When welding up this type of damage it is best that the door is on the car so it can be positioned squarely and tacked into place to check for proper fit before completing the weld. You also have replaced the inner rocker reinforcement. Double check this part for not only proper placement in the structure but that the part is a replacement that is correct for the application. Many reproduction replacement panels need minor modifications or adjustments to be installed and fitted correctly.
    Last edited by palosfv3; 07-06-2011 at 09:39 PM.
    Larry

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    Registered User jepherz's Avatar
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    Ahh, I see Larry, I didn't understand what you were talking about when you said "cracks". I repaired the cracks while both doors were both installed, and neither door had cracks that extended beyond the window trim ledge.

    I am replacing the outter rocker panel and the few pieces back by the dog leg that have rusted away, but the inner rocker panel is completely OEM. Besides the fit of the curved curners of the door and where they meet the rocker panel, the rocker panel seems pretty spot on as far as I can tell.

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    Registered User palosfv3's Avatar
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    These doors are fairly flimsy with the window frame and outer hardware removed. Its very possible that you could have welded the stress cracks while the door still had a slight twist . No big deal. Check the gaps at the lower and upper front of the door shell. If they are flush to the rocker and cowl as intended and the gap is parallel from the bottom of the door to the rocker as well as to the front edge of the quarter to the rear door edge. You simply have a very slight twist to the door shell. To resolve, Put a small piece of wood (3" long piece of 2x4) into the upper rear door jamb corner near the quarter glass and push in on the lower rear edge of the door till the edge squares to the quarter .
    Larry

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    Registered User jepherz's Avatar
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    Well, thank you for all of your help on my door alignment issue. I lucked out and found a guy selling a door that needs some rust repair locally for $20. I decided to pick it up and try it since I found a bunch of bondo under the 7 layers of paint on the door that came with my car. I put the new door on and voila! No more alignment problems! The gap is still fairly large at the bottom in my opinion, but I believe they came that way factory. I will put up some pics in the next few days.

    I'm now looking for help on what to do about the portion of the A and B pillars that meet up with the rocker panels. Mine got a bit destroyed from removing the rocker panels and I'm hoping someone has pictures of a similar repair that they did with small shop fabrication tools and welders. Fingers crossed....

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