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Driver's side door issues! by Gokart
Started on: 07-29-2014 07:27 PM
Replies: 21 (332 views)
Last post by: Gokart on 08-01-2014 04:40 PM
Gokart
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Report this Post07-29-2014 07:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm hoping to get some advice on why my driver's side door sags so much
I just had a panel off paint job done and it was sagging slightly before (enough to slightly rub the top of the rocker panel) so I made up my mind while everything was off to fix it. My Fiero is an 88 and I had an extra set of hinges from an 85 or 86 so I cleaned them up nice, painted them, installed all new pins & bushings AND Rodney's door hinge roller rebuild kit! Now, it's worse than it was before! I have to slam the door to get it to shut all the way and now it's really scraping the top of my freshly painted rocker panel
Could it be the door? Should I have stuck with the original hinges because 88's are different? I know I'm going to have to take everything off again and strip it down to fix but I'm at a loss on what to do next? Maybe heat up the hinges and bend them up slightly? I already tried jacking it up from the bottom with a block of wood in between but no change. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Here's a few pics just to make sure the pins look properly installed. I took 2 pics of the bottom hinge so it could be seen from the top and straight on.
Thanks Marc

edit to add that it did wobble before I did all this work if I lifted it up from the bottom. Now it's more rugged....but...somethings not right!

Top Hinge


Bottom hinge from the top


Bottom Hinge with camera level with hinge

[This message has been edited by Gokart (edited 07-29-2014).]

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Report this Post07-29-2014 07:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hinges are a pain and driver door sag is a frustration for me too.

Have you tried loosening the striker bolt and adjusting the position a bit higher? The striker is screwed into a captive nut which floats allowing for small adjustments. The oversized replacement striker should also carry the door a bit higher.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/117376.html

Trying both together might be just enough to prevent scraping the rocker panel. Worth a try.

Edit... I know you said you replaced those hinge pins and bushing but they are looking pretty rusty. Are those the "before" pics?

[This message has been edited by Rsvl-Rider (edited 07-29-2014).]

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Report this Post07-29-2014 07:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tha DriverClick Here to visit Tha Driver's HomePageSend a Private Message to Tha DriverEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
OK:
1) Get help. Trying to do this by yourself is a real pain.
2) Try not to use a jack. If you do need to use one, make sure you're jacking on the metal & using a 2x4 to distribute the weight. With a helper, you'll use the jack at the FRONT of the door - but you really don't need one.
3) Check the alignment at the FRONT of the door. If it's low, then you need to loosen BOTH hinges ON THE COWL (as a first step) & move it up. Have someone hold the back of the door, loosen the hinges, & pull the front of the door up & tighten the hinges. You can do this with the door fully open.
4) Once the FRONT of the door lines up, remove the striker on the body. Slowly close the door checking to see if it's hitting anywhere (this is also where help comes in handy). If it's still low in the back, you can adjust that by moving the top hinge forward, or the bottom hinge back. Which you choose depends on the GAP at the front (if it's too wide, adjust the top hinge, & visa-versa). At this point you only loosen one hinge at a time. Moving them is easier with the door as far CLOSED as you can - move by lifting on the back of the door..
5) Once the door lines up properly, re-install the striker so that the door closes properly & the striker does not move the door up or down when it closes.
If this does not allow enough adjustment, then you need to move the hinges on the DOOR. To do this you need to remove the outer skin...
6) ALSO, If it needs to go in or out at the top or bottom, loosen the hinges on the DOOR to make it line up with the 1/4 panel. Ditto on the skin removal.
This whole thing is hit-&-miss. You usually have to loosen & move the hinge(s) two or three times on each step to get it just right. ALWAYS check as you close the door that it's not hitting anywhere.
HTH,
~ Paul
aka "Tha Driver"

Custom Fiberglass Parts
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Report this Post07-29-2014 08:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rsvl-Rider:

Hinges are a pain and driver door sag is a frustration for me too.

Have you tried loosening the striker bolt and adjusting the position a bit higher? The striker is screwed into a captive nut which floats allowing for small adjustments. The oversized replacement striker should also carry the door a bit higher.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/117376.html

Trying both together might be just enough to prevent scraping the rocker panel. Worth a try.

Edit... I know you said you replaced those hinge pins and bushing but they are looking pretty rusty. Are those the "before" pics?



Thanks for the striker bolt suggestion but I believe that is right where it should be because the door is closed properly once I slam it shut. Changing it won't change the bottom of the door rubbing on the rocker while it's on its way to the striker.
Those are all new pins, bushings & roller pin in the pictures with the replacement hinges.

[This message has been edited by Gokart (edited 07-29-2014).]

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Report this Post07-29-2014 08:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Tha Driver:

OK:
1) Get help. Trying to do this by yourself is a real pain.
2) Try not to use a jack. If you do need to use one, make sure you're jacking on the metal & using a 2x4 to distribute the weight. With a helper, you'll use the jack at the FRONT of the door - but you really don't need one.
3) Check the alignment at the FRONT of the door. If it's low, then you need to loosen BOTH hinges ON THE COWL (as a first step) & move it up. Have someone hold the back of the door, loosen the hinges, & pull the front of the door up & tighten the hinges. You can do this with the door fully open.
4) Once the FRONT of the door lines up, remove the striker on the body. Slowly close the door checking to see if it's hitting anywhere (this is also where help comes in handy). If it's still low in the back, you can adjust that by moving the top hinge forward, or the bottom hinge back. Which you choose depends on the GAP at the front (if it's too wide, adjust the top hinge, & visa-versa). At this point you only loosen one hinge at a time. Moving them is easier with the door as far CLOSED as you can - move by lifting on the back of the door..
5) Once the door lines up properly, re-install the striker so that the door closes properly & the striker does not move the door up or down when it closes.
If this does not allow enough adjustment, then you need to move the hinges on the DOOR. To do this you need to remove the outer skin...
6) ALSO, If it needs to go in or out at the top or bottom, loosen the hinges on the DOOR to make it line up with the 1/4 panel. Ditto on the skin removal.
This whole thing is hit-&-miss. You usually have to loosen & move the hinge(s) two or three times on each step to get it just right. ALWAYS check as you close the door that it's not hitting anywhere.
HTH,
~ Paul
aka "Tha Driver"

Custom Fiberglass Parts


Great write up Paul! I did already try loosening the bolts that attach the hinge to the frame while the inner door panel and skin were off but they didn't seem to be any play at all! Should I be loosening the bolts that attach the hinge to the door instead?!
Edit: I seem to remember the holes in the hinges that the bolts go through are just large enough for the bolts so there was really no play at all on moving the door up or down!
Maybe I should drill out the holes in the hinges larger so there is more play?
Then once the bolt catches the threads in the frame there was no adjusting at all?!

[This message has been edited by Gokart (edited 07-29-2014).]

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Report this Post07-29-2014 08:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TopNotchClick Here to visit TopNotch's HomePageSend a Private Message to TopNotchEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If the door skin was removed previously, and the wrong kind of rivets were used on the bottom to put it back on, they could scrape even if the door is aligned correctly.
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Report this Post07-29-2014 08:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by TopNotch:

If the door skin was removed previously, and the wrong kind of rivets were used on the bottom to put it back on, they could scrape even if the door is aligned correctly.

Same rivets...tks for the suggestion.
Wish it were something as simple as that. Like I wrote above....I have to SLAM it shut. There's scraping...but it's not the rivets.

[This message has been edited by Gokart (edited 07-29-2014).]

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Report this Post07-29-2014 08:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
was it Just the hinge pins that were your problem to begin with? You probably have the same problem with the other set, the Fiero doors are heavy as hell and wear the hinge pin bushings to the point they need to be replaced depending on door assuage.

Before you do the drivers adjustment open the door so it is just past the opening a few inches and lift up on the end farthest from the hinge, if it lifts up and down you need to replace the hinge pins and bushings before doing his adjustment because if it was/is the pins now you need to replace those first so that you don't wear the hinges to the point that the hinges themselves will be useless to you even after replacing the pins and bushings.

Steve

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Report this Post07-29-2014 08:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:

was it Just the hinge pins that were your problem to begin with? You probably have the same problem with the other set, the Fiero doors are heavy as hell and wear the hinge pin bushings to the point they need to be replaced depending on door assuage.

Before you do the drivers adjustment open the door so it is just past the opening a few inches and lift up on the end farthest from the hinge, if it lifts up and down you need to replace the hinge pins and bushings before doing his adjustment because if it was/is the pins now you need to replace those first so that you don't wear the hinges to the point that the hinges themselves will be useless to you even after replacing the pins and bushings.

Steve



I replaced ALL the hardware when I installed these hinges! New pins, bushings & roller pin! ALL NEW!!
Edit: as I wrote above with my reply to Paul....there was sagging with the original hinges, old pins & roller. Now with new hardware and different hinges there is no sag or play. It doesn't budge when I try to lift up when open like it did before....but it shuts even worse than before!

[This message has been edited by Gokart (edited 07-29-2014).]

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Report this Post07-29-2014 09:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gokart:


I replaced ALL the hardware when I installed these hinges! New pins, bushings & roller pin! ALL NEW!!
Edit: as I wrote above with my reply to Paul....there was sagging with the original hinges, old pins & roller. Now with new hardware and different hinges there is no sag or play. It doesn't budge when I try to lift up when open like it did before....but it shuts even worse than before!



Then go with his adjustment idea, it should work just fine as long as you go slow and careful, don't try to go to far or you may end up going to far. When you close the door to check for alignment make sure you have the window down or if you went to far up you could brake the window, never slam it when you are testing your adjustments. slowly close the door and see how it closes. A buddy of mine used to test his fit of door adjustments with what he called the dick test, just bump the door with your dick and it should close nicely without any hang-ups if it is done right. Basically he just bumped the door closed with his fly, he didn't do it the way the dick test sounds, at least never in front of me.

Steve
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Report this Post07-29-2014 09:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:


Then go with his adjustment idea, it should work just fine as long as you go slow and careful, don't try to go to far or you may end up going to far. When you close the door to check for alignment make sure you have the window down or if you went to far up you could brake the window, never slam it when you are testing your adjustments. slowly close the door and see how it closes. A buddy of mine used to test his fit of door adjustments with what he called the dick test, just bump the door with your dick and it should close nicely without any hang-ups if it is done right. Basically he just bumped the door closed with his fly, he didn't do it the way the dick test sounds, at least never in front of me.

Steve


I'm confused a bit about loosening both hinges on the "cowl"? I tried loosening all 4 bolts that hold the hinges to the frame but because the holes in the hinges are just wide enough for the bolts to go through I couldn't budge it up at all! Then once the bolts catch the threads...forget about it. I'm contemplating taking my original hinges and drilling out the holes slightly larger and go back to using those with the new hardware. Then at least they'll be some play and when I get it aligned right I'll tighten the bolts? Sound like a good idea or maybe make matters worse?
Maybe then it'll pass the dick test....that's hilarious!

[This message has been edited by Gokart (edited 07-29-2014).]

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Report this Post07-29-2014 11:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tha DriverClick Here to visit Tha Driver's HomePageSend a Private Message to Tha DriverEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gokart:


Great write up Paul! I did already try loosening the bolts that attach the hinge to the frame while the inner door panel and skin were off but they didn't seem to be any play at all! Should I be loosening the bolts that attach the hinge to the door instead?!
Edit: I seem to remember the holes in the hinges that the bolts go through are just large enough for the bolts so there was really no play at all on moving the door up or down!
Maybe I should drill out the holes in the hinges larger so there is more play?
Then once the bolt catches the threads in the frame there was no adjusting at all?!



If you can't get any play with the hinges at the cowl, you can add shims between the bottom hinge & the door to raise the rear.
~ Paul
aka "Tha Driver"

Custom Fiberglass Parts
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Report this Post07-30-2014 03:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Tha Driver:


If you can't get any play with the hinges at the cowl, you can add shims between the bottom hinge & the door to raise the rear.
~ Paul
aka "Tha Driver"

Custom Fiberglass Parts


Hi again Paul. Really appreciate all your advice. Not sure what is referred to as "the cowl"? Where the hinge meets the frame?
I like the shim idea. Sounds like the easiest thing to try first. I'm assuming I add it to where I wrote "shim" in my pic below.


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Report this Post07-30-2014 09:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Tha DriverClick Here to visit Tha Driver's HomePageSend a Private Message to Tha DriverEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yep that's where the shims would go.
Slotting the hinges at the cowl ( yep the cowl is the spaceframe) is not a bad idea either. I use a die grinder with a de-burr bit for that. Slot (open up the holes) the top hinge toward the back (so that it will slide forward), & the bottom hinge toward the front (so that it will slide back).
~ Paul
aka "Tha Driver"

Custom Fiberglass Parts

[This message has been edited by Tha Driver (edited 07-30-2014).]

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Report this Post07-30-2014 10:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Tha Driver:

Yep that's where the shims would go.
Slotting the hinges at the cowl ( yep the cowl is the spaceframe) is not a bad idea either. I use a die grinder with a de-burr bit for that. Slot (open up the holes) the top hinge toward the back (so that it will slide forward), & the bottom hinge toward the front (so that it will slide back).
~ Paul
aka "Tha Driver"

Custom Fiberglass Parts



Thanks Paul! My project for the weekend!
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Report this Post08-01-2014 06:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Weekend is suppose to be rainy both days and without a garage I'll have to wait for next weekend
I took a look at the hinges that were on the door before when it was sagging but not as bad as it is now. I assumed it was the pins or a hinge issue but besides some rust they really don't look bad at all!



Has me thinking there may be something wrong with the door itself?! I'll keep you all posted when I try the "shim" approach.
Marc

[This message has been edited by Gokart (edited 08-01-2014).]

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Report this Post08-01-2014 04:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gokart:

Weekend is suppose to be rainy both days and without a garage I'll have to wait for next weekend
I took a look at the hinges that were on the door before when it was sagging but not as bad as it is now. I assumed it was the pins or a hinge issue but besides some rust they really don't look bad at all!
Has me thinking there may be something wrong with the door itself?! I'll keep you all posted when I try the "shim" approach.
Marc



The doors are heavy but if anything would happen to them I would think it would still make the door wobble as the metal the hinge attaches to may have cracked but that is unlikely as the door most likely would still do the wobble thing if that was your problem. it is not that easy to change hinges and get them exactly right when you do it the first time, unless you scribe the hinge position on the jam and door before starting to remove them and even then there is room for error. I would look at where the hinges attach to the door and jam for signs of metal crack nearby. That is the only thing I can think of that would cause a problem other than the hinges being not in the right place when you mounted them.

You may have created more work for yourself than anything else when changing the hinges instead of just replacing the pins and bushings on the ones that were mounted on the car and door in the first place. Unless the holes in the hinges the bushings set in where so large and out of shape the easiest way to fix the wobble in a door is just repining and bushing the hinge. You should never replace the entire hinge unless absolutely necessary because getting them in the exact right position can take some trial and error fitting that you shouldn't need to do when you just replace the pins and bushings on the original hinges.

If I remember right there are bolt plates that can be slid around inside the door or the frame of the car or both, but then with my memory anything could be wrong, I do know other GM products have those so the Fiero should as well, it helps at the factory for aligning the hinge the very first time, but at the factory we had all sorts of jigs to help when we mounted a door. Now at home we are all at our own mercy so like I said if you didn't scribe the hinge positions on both the door and jam it is most likely just an alignment problem you are going to have to play with.

Steve

[This message has been edited by 84fiero123 (edited 08-01-2014).]

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Report this Post08-01-2014 04:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:


The doors are heavy but if anything would happen to them I would think it would still make the door wobble as the metal the hinge attaches to may have cracked but that is unlikely as the door most likely would still do the wobble thing if that was your problem. it is not that easy to change hinges and get them exactly right when you do it the first time, unless you scribe the hinge position on the jam and door before starting to remove them and even then there is room for error. I would look at where the hinges attach to the door and jam for signs of metal crack nearby. That is the only thing I can think of that would cause a problem other than the hinges being not in the right place when you mounted them.

You may have created more work for yourself than anything else when changing the hinges instead of just replacing the pins and bushings on the ones that were mounted on the car and door in the first place. Unless the holes in the hinges the bushings set in where so large and out of shape the easiest way to fix the wobble in a door is just repining and bushing the hinge. You should never replace the entire hinge unless absolutely necessary because getting them in the exact right position can take some trial and error fitting that you shouldn't need to do when you just replace the pins and bushings on the original hinges.

Steve

Understood and thanks for the advice. I'll check the door as you suggested. I won't be surprised if I find something wrong there because like I wrote above with pictures in my previous reply I think the bushings and pins were fine to begin with. There was a little wobble when lifting. Now it's tight but worse then it was before. In a way I did scribe where the old hinges were because while the panels were being painted at the shop I painted the entire frame with 3 coats of paint with the old hinges attached so when I removed them I could see exactly where the replacements needed to go. Thanks again and I'll report my findings when get some decent weather

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Report this Post08-01-2014 04:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gokart:

Understood and thanks for the advice. I'll check the door as you suggested. I won't be surprised if I find something wrong there because like I wrote above with pictures in my previous reply I think the bushings and pins were fine to begin with. There was a little wobble when lifting. Now it's tight but worse then it was before. In a way I did scribe where the old hinges were because while the panels were being painted at the shop I painted the entire frame with 3 coats of paint with the old hinges attached so when I removed them I could see exactly where the replacements needed to go. Thanks again and I'll report my findings when get some decent weather


It can be hard to tell if a hinge is bad off the car by simply wiggling it with your hands, remember there is a lot of weight to these doors so unless you can lock the hinge in a vise and wiggle the other part of the hinge up and down you might never see it.

Good luck, I think it is just an alignment problem for you, did you scribe the original hinge positions before you removed the originals?

edit oops didn't see that when I started writing but one of those hinges could also be bent from all that weight as well.

Steve

[This message has been edited by 84fiero123 (edited 08-01-2014).]

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Report this Post08-01-2014 04:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:


It can be hard to tell if a hinge is bad off the car by simply wiggling it with your hands, remember there is a lot of weight to these doors so unless you can lock the hinge in a vise and wiggle the other part of the hinge up and down you might never see it.

Good luck, I think it is just an alignment problem for you, did you scribe the original hinge positions before you removed the originals?

Steve


I didn't really exercise the original hinges with them off the car. I just assumed the hardware was fine because you can see the grooves in bushings coming through the holes right where they should be with no cracks or looks of wear. The pins look straight as an arrow too.
My "unorthodox" scribe will still be there because it'll be an area I didn't get those 3 coats of paint!

[This message has been edited by Gokart (edited 08-01-2014).]

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Report this Post08-01-2014 04:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Oh Ya if the fender is still off you can use a jack and as someone else suggested and a block of wood underneath the door, while the hinges are loose and jack it up a little then tighten the hinges and release the jack and see how much that helped. the best way to adjust a door is with the fenders off and no interior parts in it, we did the doors at the factory with nothing but the doors on the cars so it was easier to do the adjustments on the doors.

Steve
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Gokart
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From: Mashpee, Ma. USA
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Report this Post08-01-2014 04:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GokartSend a Private Message to GokartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:

Oh Ya if the fender is still off you can use a jack and as someone else suggested and a block of wood underneath the door, while the hinges are loose and jack it up a little then tighten the hinges and release the jack and see how much that helped. the best way to adjust a door is with the fenders off and no interior parts in it, we did the doors at the factory with nothing but the doors on the cars so it was easier to do the adjustments on the doors.

Steve


The parts are all back on but not a biggy to remove the fender. Rocker will have to come off first but I'm willing to spend an entire weekend day if I have to in order to get this door right!
Thanks, Marc

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