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Calling all body experts!

Old July 22nd, 2014, 05:46 PM
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Calling all body experts!

I am so close to being on the road with my 68 442. I am having a fitment issue with the driver’s door, or maybe not? My door jamb striker is all the way inboard, yet my door still does not fit flush with the quarter panel. Now I am thinking, rather than remove the striker and clearance the square opening to get the door to pull in tighter… I need to move the front of the door outward along with the fender? BUT, I have not installed the hood yet. Do I need to try the hood and see its fit to the fenders and adjust everything from there?
Signed,
Not a body man
68 442
70 F85
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Old July 22nd, 2014, 06:43 PM
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You align the door to the quarter panel first. Is the latch possibly the culprit? There are 2 positions on the latch, activate it by hand to make sure it's operating properly. If it is only closing to the first position or if it's simply worn-***-out you'll never get it to align using the striker. The fenders and hood then are aligned with the doors, it is a ccommon mistake to have the doors too low and then encounter a problem when the hood is installed as it will be too high on the fenders with no shims underneath the fender bolt at the cowl. These cars had large gaps between the door and rocker panel when they were new. But, with some trial and error and patience you should get an acceptable fit.
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Old July 23rd, 2014, 01:12 PM
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The correct way to align the door is to remove the striker bolt from the door jamb so that there is no preload on the door. Now adjust the hinges so the door lines up properly. Then worry about installing the striker bolt and aligning it to the door. The Fisher Body Manual suggests the use of modelling clay in the door latch to gauge the location of the striker bolt as you gently press the door against it (do not push it far enough to activate the latch). The impression of the striker bolt in the clay will tell you if the bolt needs to be adjusted up or down.

Yes, it sounds like a lot of work, but this is the way to do it right.
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Old July 23rd, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post
The correct way to align the door is to remove the striker bolt from the door jamb so that there is no preload on the door. Now adjust the hinges so the door lines up properly. Then worry about installing the striker bolt and aligning it to the door. The Fisher Body Manual suggests the use of modelling clay in the door latch to gauge the location of the striker bolt as you gently press the door against it (do not push it far enough to activate the latch). The impression of the striker bolt in the clay will tell you if the bolt needs to be adjusted up or down.

Yes, it sounds like a lot of work, but this is the way to do it right.
I've also had luck with a very simple method I came up with using masking tape. With the striker out, get the door lined up nicely with the quarter and rocker. Then run a couple of pieces of tape across the gap between the door and quarter. Slice the tape with a sharp razor blade and make sure they line back up pefectly when adjusting the striker.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 09:45 PM
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Old school technique... Loosen striker a bit, place paint mixing sticks between the gap of the rocker and the door and the door & quarter. Mark the striker placement with a grease pencil then move the striker up 1/8" and tighten. Use the paint sticks again to line up the fenders to the doors, leave the front fender bolts loose and install the hood using the paint sticks again as spacers, perfect gaps every time. The reason for moving the striker up is after all these years the hinges and the door itself are weak, the latch has also worn down. I always replace the striker after a paint job.
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