+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Door Alignment

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sucked In Steve83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Memphis, TN, USA, Earth, Milky Way
    Posts
    475

    Default Door Alignment

    Prep:

    1) You'll need access to all 10 bolts on the door's hinges, which means the fender will have to be at LEAST loose enough to pull out a few inches. Totally gone is better, but then you have more work realigning the fender after you get the door done. But you have to align it even if you just swing it out, so it's probably worth getting it totally out of the way if this is your first attempt. I've replaced my door hinges & aligned them enough times that it's not that much trouble for me to work around the fender.

    . .

    2) There's no point in even attempting this if your hinges or strike bolt bushing are worn/damaged, or if the door or body are bent, so check all of them beforehand. If you can lift the open door & hear a clunk from the hinge pins, find some good ones or get some hinge repair kits. If the strike bushings are worn/damaged/missing, they can be replaced by removing the bolt assembly, then unscrewing the bolt from the washer or crash bracket. If your bolt doesn't have the crash bracket that wraps around it, they're easy to find in the junkyards in good condition. If the door seals are flat, cut, or otherwise damaged; either replace them, or insert a strand of "caulk saver" foam into each one (it takes about 14 feet per door) to expand it.

    . . .

    3) I think the hinge bolts are all 13mm, and I know the strike bolt is a T50 (like the seat belt bolts). A cordless impact is invaluable. I also recommend some padded prybars to lift/slide the door without chipping the paint. As you can see in the pic under #1, you'll need a few extensions & a ratchet to break & set the bolts. All of the nut plates in the body are loose (for adjustments), but captive (they shouldn't fall if the fastener is removed), but anything can happen. If one falls, just remove the interior trim panel & retrieve it. To reinstall the strike bolt nut plate from a Bronco, you'll need to remove the bedside panel & peel the butyl (tar) pad away. The plate itself will be behind the shoulder reel on the floor, or on the bag of wadding crammed in down there.



    (This photo is blurry - I'll try to remember to get a good one later)



    Alignment:

    1) Ford describes the process differently, but I've always started with the strike bolt. With the door fully closed, note any misalignment up-&-down between the body lines on the door & the lines on the body.

    .

    Adjust the strike bolt as needed, checking CAREFULLY for perfect alignment. When closing the door, be careful not to crack the strike bolt's plastic sleeve bushing, but the door must be FULLY closed (on the 2nd catch). Fore-&-aft alignment (gap spacing) isn't critical at this point, but do make sure the rear edge of the door is flush with the body (in & out). Tighten the striker to 24-33 lb-ft (33-45Nm).

    .

    If the door was completely removed from the body, the initial position can be set using a ~12x24-inch scrap of 1/4-inch hardboard. Set the board on the threshold, then set the door on the board. Use one knee to raise & lower the board & door so it's roughly centered in the opening. The board will keep it parallel to the threshold & (curved) drip rail so the hinges can be tightened enough to get the strike bolt set.



    2) Once the strike bolt is set, access the hinge bolts. Examine the front gap (along the A-pillar) & rear gap (by the latch) to determine fore-aft adjustment. Examine the top & bottom gaps to determine up-down adjustment. The door should only be checked when FULLY closed (on BOTH steps of the latch). Loosen the hinge bolts as needed, move the door, & tighten only 1 bolt on each side of each hinge to hold it in place for checking. This will be a time-consuming process, so expect to make at least 20 adjustments before you achieve a satisfactory fit. The door is fairly heavy, so be prepared for it to shift when the last bolt is loosened. Do NOT slam the door shut since this might damage the strike bolt's plastic sleeve bushing. Lift it carefully onto the strike bolt & close it FULLY for checking. I typically lift the hinges as high as possible on the cowl initially, and then allow them to slip down as I make minor adjustments. This keeps the heavy lifting & prying to a minimum. Concentrate on the cowl-side hinge bolts first, since the door bolts are only to adjust the seal pressure, but the door will need to be close-to-correct for the A-pillar fit to be gauged. When you allow it to slide under its own weight, loosening the top cowl-hinge bolts will move the door rearward; loosening the bottom will move it forward. Do NOT worry about the gap along the fender at this point; you're only concerned with the fit along the A-pillar, and only fore-aft & top-bottom. The in-out & B-pillar fit will be adjusted later, and the fender will be aligned to the door later.

    .

    If chipping the paint is NOT a concern, an air hammer can be used to push the hinges forward for small adjustments to the door's tilt.

    3) Next, adjust the front lower seal pressure (in-out). With the door fully closed, loosen the door-side hinge bolts (one set at a time) and push the door against the body seal. Too tight will cut the soft rubber seal & wear the paint off the door; too loose will allow light, wind, & dust in. Once the lower front edge of the door is correct, check the lower rear. If the strike bolt is already set, this should be OK, but a warped door will be tight above the bolt & loose below. Don't be afraid to gently twist the entire door skin using a towel in the jamb & pressure from outside. If the seal is collapsed, it may be necessary to move the strike bolt (& rear door edge) slightly inward. When the entire bottom of the door fits right, check the window frame. It's easier to twist, so don't go too far before setting the upper hinge in-out. Remember that too much seal pressure in one place will open a gap in another. A piece of dry paper should be difficult to slide all the way around after being closed in the door.

    .

    4) The final adjustment is to the latch height. With the outside button held in, and working VERY slowly with your eyes on level with the body line, observe the door's movement JUST as you push it closed & the latch comes in contact with the strike bolt. If the door rises EVEN SLIGHTLY, slide the top hinge forward on the cowl to lift the back edge of the door. If the door drops, move the hinge rearward. Ideally, the "V" of the latch opening in the door shouldn't touch the strike bolt's plastic sleeve bushing at all until the door is fully closed. This minimizes wear on the bushing and gives the doors a "showroom" sound, which is very noticeable once you've heard it.


    Post-op:

    1) After moving the door, the fender will have to be realigned to the door, and (if it was completely removed) to the grille. You shouldn't have to align the hood to the fender unless it was wrong before, but that's just a matter of twisting the corner pegs & possibly raising/lowering the hood latch (2 bolts). Aligning the fender involves cardboard shims on the cowl horns near the hood hinges (which can be replaced with hardboard) & probably some prying on the lower rear fender bolt (on the bottom) to adjust the gap along the door, but it's fairly straightforward. I'm not going into that in this thread, anyway. But do remember to reinstall the foam sound barrier (if present) and clean the cowl drains before reattaching the fender.

    . . . .

    2) The only other adjustment that might be needed is to the courtesy light switch. It only needs to be fully extended, and then closing the door will adjust it automatically. If the switch looks fairly clean (no corrosion), spray some penetrating oil on it & pull the black plunger out HARD to slide the brass tube out of the nut. If you think you're going to break it, remove the switch from the cowl & follow the procedure shown in this pic & the several following ones.



    If you take your time and have the patience, it should look something like this:


  2. #2
    Junior Member New User
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Door Alignment

    deleted spam

    Thanks for the tutorial Steve. Got my door all sorted now.
    Last edited by InfoFord; 03-13-2019 at 01:20 PM. Reason: spam

  3. #3
    Junior Member New User
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Door Alignment

    deleted spam

    Just what I was looking for dude, thanks so much!
    Last edited by InfoFord; 03-13-2019 at 01:20 PM. Reason: spam

  4. #4
    Junior Member New User
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Door Alignment

    deleted spam

    Are you interest to those door swap ? because they are not turning the things back
    Last edited by InfoFord; 03-13-2019 at 01:21 PM. Reason: spam

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Door Alignment
    By Steve83 in forum Tech write ups and Installs
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-12-2015, 09:05 PM
  2. Bronco Tailgate Alignment
    By Steve83 in forum Tech write ups and Installs
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-26-2009, 07:48 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts