63 Impala convertible door alignment - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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63 Impala convertible door alignment

I have a 63 Impala convertible. The driver's side front fender, door and quarter panel alignment is neigh on perfect. The passenger side is very good with the front fender and quarter panel alignment (extending the lines visually) being excellent. The passenger side door is a little 'off' (the rear edge of the door is slightly higher than the quarter panel and the door needs to 'come in' a little). Nothing appears twisted or bent, just out of alignment. There is also no 'play' in the door (up and down when open).

It appears that small adjustments to either the hinge connections and/or the latching mechanism would bring it where I would prefer it. I've never attempted such an operation. What is the proper procedure for aligning a door? Is it a one person job? I don't want get into a process akin to fixing the wobbling 3 legged stool.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 01:15 PM
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I'm no body man but from what I have seen on TV you block up the door to set the gaps with paint stirring sticks (apparently the defacto gap setting tool) and after loosening the door hinge retightening the screws with Loctite on the threads once the gap is set to your satisfaction. You work from the rear of the door in contact with the rear quarter forward to set all gaps. Any variation in the gap is filled with metal to get a perfect gap top to bottom which apparently the factory rarely ever accomplished.

As with most fully restored cars Chevy never ever made them that way (such as paint only on the engine block and not on the manifolds or bell housing) and every gap set perfectly. In fact they were built by Union workers who knew they could not be disciplined for any infraction of the rules (such as throwing away the build sheets when they were done with them). As such care wasn't their highest priority.

a photo from a 1959 LIFE magazine article on Chevy's Tarrytown, NY assembly line:



There is a reason even today that cameras are banned under union rules from the production floor as on factory visits I have seen employees sleeping inside a rack of tires, wind shields left off three cars in succession as they went down the assembly line as one worker talked to another about base ball, little things like that. (I was neither involved in management nor a union worker; being an engineer I wasn't involved at all, just observing what was obvious).

Big Dave
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. That's a good tip on 'gap' control.

I was hoping I could get some help with adjusting the hinges. Things like; which side of the hinges (door side or body side) should be loosened for adjustment? Does it matter? Also, to 'close' the door 'more' (bring the outer door panel edge in line with the quarter panel 'edge') is the adjustment best made to the 'door' latch? or the 'catch' mounted to the body? Sorry, I'm not familiar with the correct terminology. Hopefully my questions are understandable.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 11:21 PM
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Like I said I'm no body man. My only knowledge comes from looking at collision shops fixing cars I have wrecked over the decades and TV shows.

One thing I am familiar with is worn out hinges that droop with age. They can be rebuilt with a new pin and two bushings per hinge.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Big Dave. Sagging is not my problem. I'll keep checking back to see if any 'body guys' offer any help.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016, 06:40 PM
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aligning doors

Use your search button on top of the page and search for aligning doors. There is a good thread that covers it pretty well. Not a pleasant thing to do. I spent eight hours aligning my doors, fenders and hood on my last restoration.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2016, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6366 View Post
Use your search button on top of the page and search for aligning doors. There is a good thread that covers it pretty well. Not a pleasant thing to do. I spent eight hours aligning my doors, fenders and hood on my last restoration.
Thanks. I'll search for it.
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