Working on my 22 coupe doors. Good wood and repined hinges. Frame is sagging 1 1/4 at the middle frame to body bracket. The installed rebuilt hinges raised the door at the latch between 1/8 to 3/16s of an inch. I shimmed one side with 3 shims at the middle bracket and 2 shims on the other side. It made practically no difference in raising the door. What have I missed here? I know the proper thing to do is remove the entire body and put it on a jig but I was in hopes that what I did would raise the doors at the latch 7/16. I must have been enjoying a case of wishful thinking! Any suggestions.Thanks
A coupe body is a fairly rigid structure that probably won't respond much to frame movement. Besides, considering where the frame is sagging, and the location of the body on the frame, you're only really changing whether the body is sitting dead level or pointing "downhill" slightly. The real problem is likely to be how your hood lines up with the firewall.
A 1-1/4" sag is a LOT. You already know the right answer, but I don't blame you for trying to avoid it...
You could also try shimming the hinges. However, since you're trying to correct a 7/16" mismatch at your door latch, I'm really wondering if your Coupe body isn't warped & leaning forward or back?
Straightening the frame of the car is the FIRST requirement in almost any T rebuild. Many of the frames are sagged. They are not hard to straighten. There is likely a reasonablely skilled steel fabricator around where you live who will know how to straighten the rails by just using a torch and maybe a few other tools
you dont need a torch, you need an I beam and a hydraulic jack. chain the beam under the frame on each end and jack it up! check with a string. you will see they are springy and you must go past straight to get it straight. make sure the jack is secure and straight and pay attention when pumping they can fly out! its easy
Clayton's method works. The advantage of the torch method is that by heating a V in the lower stretched part you actually shrink the stretch gone and so you don't end up with a frame that is longer than it is supposed to be. Obviously it is not a great deal of a issue but just saying
IF you do the jack method, make up a short block of hardwood to fit between the the frame rails (upper and lower, not side to side) so that when you push on the lower rail, the upper rail moves with it.
I hadn't thought about stretching, it's just that heat always adds stress points to the metal.
I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I have a related situation. The gap at the back of the rear doors on my '21 Touring is wider at the top than at the bottom. I'm thinking a shim or two on both sides, under the rear body mounts will fix it.
So cold forming doesn't??? Which is what the jacking method is
If your frame is straight, then you have to do what you have to do!!
A sag of 1 1/4"is a lot. It will take some pressing to get it out. The more the load, the more likely the frame rails will spread. To stop this you need two hardwood spacers, cut to length to go inside the frame rail, firmly. Across these there needs to be a pair of screw type sash cramps. The tube type will not be good enough.
With the rails tied together in this manner, the pressing load will be controlled and the bending restricted to up/down rather than spreading/twisting. I have had to press a frame so far that the taper on the bottom of the rail is straight, before it would hold the correct shape.
When pressing, do a little, relax and check, and do it again, over and over until it will hold its shape.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
good idea Allan on the wood spacers. agree 1 1/4 out is alot, never had one that bad. maybe was a wagon frame? i also use a piece of angle iron against the frame for the jack to push on and spread the load out a bit to not mark up the frame. google search "bent frame mtfca" etc, i'm sure some links will show some more ideas from old threads
Galen, Are you saying your doors are hanging low and won't latch ? not saying you don't have a frame problem but maybe you have hinge problems. when I work wit three hinge doors I do all of the alignment with the upper and lower hinges only and then I make the center hinge work . you could do an X measurement on your doors and door openings to get a comparison on both sides. a very small out of square makes it tough to get doors to work properly . Ken
Hi Guys, A lot of great info for me. Thanks to you all. Jerry, the hood lines up fine with wood fire wall. The wood spacer are a great idea Allen. Ken, the doors both latch however the lower edge of the latch is 3/16s below the striker. The doors have the factory device above the striker that sort of centers the latch in the middle of the striker. Even with this devise the front lower corner drags on the threshold covering. I employed your idea about disengaging the center hinge.On one it was right on but the passenger side the hinge was 1/8th inch to far forward. I did place one of the old worn pins in it. I need to remove the hinge and take it to a welder to heat and bend it. The other problem is on the drivers the front door wood is rubbing on the pillar metal covering.in two spots. I need to get the door positioned back toward the
rear of the car to allow the wood to clear the pillar. Is there a way to do that other than heating and bending the hinges. I need to center the door in the door opening which most
likely will require plugging old holes and redrilling .Like you suggested the doors are most likely out of square with the opening. I would not know where to start on that job. I know I need to straighten the frame but for now I want to get it back on the road for the summer. Again guys, thanks.Galen
I have never had to heat hinges to bend them, usually a hardwood block (SMALL!) between the front pillar and the door while closing the door will widen that point. Squeezing them together takes a little more "fiddling" like putting a monkey wrench on the hinge with the door closed, and pull/push the door open a little ways and that usually does it--be careful, you don't want to tweak the door skin there by the hinge.
Thanks David on the hinge. I may send you an email on this if I run into problem. Galen
In thinking this some more, I have sometimes had the door open, and clamp the monkey wrench on the hinge so I can bend it either way--being careful to not mess up the door skin! Depending on how you move stuff, you can bend the pillar side of the hinge more than the door side (a good thing sometimes!).
The more you bend it, the more you stretch it. That's why shrinking is the way to go IMHO. KGB
I feel I need to undo the hinges from the door but if space allows leave the hinges on the car after getting accurate measurements of the door in all dimensions. Then place the proper shims so the latch aligns correctly. That will require that shims will first be placed under the door and then followed by shims going in on each side. Now comes the part that I need help with. I now have to open the door holding that orientation so I can see where to mount the hinges on the door. There has to be a way to do that but I can not see how it can be done unless perhaps build a little platform in front of the door the same height as my door sill.Getting that orientation transferred correctly from the closed position to open enough to work on the hinges has me stumped! There has to be a way to enable me to do that. There are a lot of sharp guys in our club that has years of experience. I am sure that this has been successfully done a lot of times.Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
Before you attack the frame be sure it is not cracked
Galen, Assuming the holes in your post and door are unmolested you have a good starting point. take the center hinge off . then use thin hard cardboard or gasket material as temporary shims on either the top or bottom hinge to raise or lower the door height. it won't take a lot of shim to move the door up as you said you need to go. after you get good door lines and latching good then fit the center hinge so the pin will drop in. it might also be a good idea to unbolt the body from the frame to get your door alignment and when your good with the fit start bolting up the body to the frame and checking the doors as you go for any movement. if no change ( hope not) when the body is bolted up you can collapse or expand the hinges as needed to keep your alignment or maybe use thin wood stock as shims. I wish I was close by to give you a hand . Ken