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Door Replacement and Alignment Advice?

Discussion in 'Exterior' started by Tanaga, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Tanaga

    Tanaga Junior Member

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    I need some advice on door adjustment and alignment. About a month ago I replaced the door spring and hinge pins in my drivers door. I had to take the door off and getting it realigned was a royal pain. I probably removed the door 6 times to make slight adjustments.

    I just found a better doors from a Suburban and now I want to replace all the doors (this is a crew cab). When I replace the doors should I keep the hinges on the truck or on the door? Assuming the hinges are all good. I plan on using a marker to mark where the hinges used to be. I’m assuming that taking the hinges off the door might be the easiest because it is really hard to remove the hinges from the truck with the fenders still on.
     
  2. SirRobyn0

    SirRobyn0 Full Access Member

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    I've not ever had to replace doors on a square body before, but I've done lots of hinge pins, bushings and springs. My advice on alignment is to use a good stable floor jack if you need to jocky the door when the bolts are loose on the hinges. Don't forget you can adjust the striker on the pillar as well if needed. As for which hinges to use, I'd pick the ones that seem to be in better shape even if it means a little bit more work now it might make it easier on you down the road. I'm sure someone will chime in that has done actual replacements on a square body.
     
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  3. PrairieDrifter

    PrairieDrifter Full Access Member

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    The best thing to do is mark every edge around the hinges to what they bolt to. I believe removing the hinges from the doors is the easiest solution.

    The main thing is, is you don't want to have the bolts too loose or tight when making final adjustments, just snug so it will hold it by itself but still be easily moveable. As said above you have a little bit of door striker adjustment as well.
     
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  4. 75gmck25

    75gmck25 Full Access Member

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    When I removed my doors I made a wooden cradle out of 2x4s and put it on top of my hydraulic jack so I could easily hold the door and move it up and down. The wood kept it from scuffing the paint while I jacked it up and down to get the door aligned. I still needed a helper to stablize the door, since the wood cradle was not bolted to the floor jack.

    Bruce
     
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  5. MrMarty51

    MrMarty51 Full Access Member

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    I usually use a floor hoist/engine picker for handling the doors.
     
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  6. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    Hung doors from the rafters using a ratchet strap.

    Too bad you had to take the door off to get the new springs in. They can be changed without removing the door but that's already done.
     
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  7. Octane

    Octane Full Access Member

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    I've used a simple floor jack with a small board on it.Still a pain in the patoot to do especially by yourself but I got er done.On three trucks and a 79 Camaro....that was a a very long door.Easiest was a 2000 Silverado.
     
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  8. legopnuematic

    legopnuematic Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    My personal preference in hanging doors is to do it with the fender off, that way I can click the rear in on the striker, then start a bolt in each of the hinges, I can then get it lined up to the Pillar and then to the rocker, tighten them up and then fender on.

    Something else I found out is that the striker can be accessed with the door closed and the door panel off, which eliminates the need for snugging it, gently opening the door and tightening it hoping it won't move.
    Snapchat-1310902123.jpg
     
  9. Snoots

    Snoots Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    From what I've read EVERYTHING lines up to the door alignment. So you're right. Once the door is aligned to the body lines only then can the fender go on.

    What I haven't found tho is how to align the striker. Do you have any other pix or description on the procedure you used?
     
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  10. legopnuematic

    legopnuematic Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    For the striker I just leave it hand light, latch the door shut then pick up on the door and get it to line up to the rear body line. Then snug the striker up with the door closed.
    You can see the shiny part there is the head of the striker.
    striker.jpg
    What I have found that also works is to take the striker off, hang the door and loosen the hinge bolts on the door pillar but still snug enough so they will only move when you nudge them and move the door up and down so that the rear of the door matches the b post. then you can install the striker as detailed above and then focus on the front of the door to fender and a pillar adjustments.
     
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  11. SirRobyn0

    SirRobyn0 Full Access Member

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    Since someone brought it up I'll post link. This is the tool that I use for door springs. https://www.amazon.com/Dorman-38384...ocphy=9033263&hvtargid=pla-569339804601&psc=1 Basically you shove it in the spring, tighten it down and remove the spring. I've had mine for probably 20 years (obviously I didn't get mine from amazon but it's the same brand), while I don't work at a body shop, I do use it at the shop and it has held up great.
     
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  12. Tanaga

    Tanaga Junior Member

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    Good idea Legopnuematic. I was planning on changing the fenders anyway so I will give that a shot.

    Thank you all!
     
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  13. Snoots

    Snoots Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    PERFECT! That's the shot I was looking for! Thank you! Now I just have to add the thingy on the striker.
     
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  14. SquareRoot

    SquareRoot Full Access Member

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    Exactly what I recently did.
     
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  15. SquareRoot

    SquareRoot Full Access Member

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    I recently removed, rebuilt and replaced my doors on an 85. I had two "perfect" doors from another 85 or (?), not sure. I marked the hinges with a sharpie before removal. I put the other doors on while I rebuilt the originals in the garage.

    I learned that quality control in this era sucks! No two doors are the same. If you're going to swap doors, don't bother marking anything as it will just take lots of time and effort (beer) to get them close to being right.

    Remove the fenders. The cab side of the hinges allows adjustments that can't be made by the door side. Your gonna need to adjust the door up, down, forward and back. You can't do it with the fenders on.
     
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