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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been searching for a few hours and can't find any advice on this so figured I would ask.

I am working on a '70 2 door that has the hinges welded to the cowl and bolted to the doors. (Apparently GM tried every different combination of welding and bolting over the years on the X-body). The doors are NOT original to the car and hadn't been fitted well before it came to me, but I figured I could get them aligned okay. The bushings were all pretty worn, so I rebuilt all 4 hinges. The passenger side went back on and aligned pretty well to the quarter and rocker, so aligning the fender was pretty straight forward. I have a pretty consistent gap on that side.

The driver side however fits too tight to the quarter (too far rearward) and is slightly downward at the latch pillar. Even if it wasn't lower at the back, the fender wont go back far enough to close the gap at the front. I also verified that the front edge of the door is more than a 1/4" behind the front edge of the rocker, compared to the passenger side being only about an 1/8" back. I am used to adjusting doors with hinges that bolt onto the car AND door, so they can be moved in all directions. With the hinges welded to the cowl, there is no fore/aft adjustment.

Does anyone have a tip or suggestion for how to get the door forward some? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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you may have to get another door that has the welded on hinge. its possible that the previous owner may have put 69 bolt doors using half the hinge as that is possible to connect to the welded hinge part. so that's how you would get half a welded hinge and half a bolt on hinge.... in your case changing the door would be the easiest solution. there are a lot of 70-72 doors out there...

got a pic of it?
 

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Since you've stated these aren't the original doors you most likely had weld on hinges to both the cowl and door. When the doors were replaced they either did was daddykane mentioned or converted the doors to bolt on.

In any case you need to adjust the doors, you can cut the hinges off the cowl and re-position the door. You would drill out the spot welds, mark the hinges before you do this and then position them where you need to. You would then weld the hinges back on or try to convert it to bolt on at that time.

How is the gap between the door and the rear quarter? Is it too close or is in the right spot? If you move the door forward your just moving the gap. Doors should be aligned to the rear quarters since those are not adjustable. You may need to add weld to the front or rear door seam to get the gap right.

It is very hard to say what needs to be done without seeing pictures of the problem areas including the rear quarter and front fender with the door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info guys. That makes sense that the original doors had weld on hinges also. Reading through other posts looking for suggestions, it looked like '70 was a switch over year and that some cars did come with half-and-half hinges, but that's not real clear.

I will do some searching to see if I can find different doors, but these are pretty solid and straight, so it may just be easier to cut off and re-weld the hinges. I would prefer to convert to bolt-on, but getting/making the threaded plates for the inside and putting a cage around it doesn't sound like fun.

I will get a few pix tomorrow and show you how close it is to the quarter. Basically touching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I spent all day working on getting the door aligned better, but before I started I took these pictures to show what it looked like.

The first one shows how tight it was to the quarter panel. The second one shows how far the front edge of the door was behind the front edge of the rocker panel and how big the gap was to the fender.



 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, what I ended up doing was pulling the door back off and removing what seemed to be about 8 coats of paint and primer from the hinge and mounting face of the door and smoothing out the surface of the hinge some. That and some manual persuasion made a noticeable difference in the gap at the quarter.

Then I welded a few beads along the front edge of the door and ground that down pretty smooth. You can see in the second picture that the front edge is pretty close to even with the front of the rocker. Now with a skim coat of filler along the front there, I think the gap will be about right.



 

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You're getting there. If you want to shift the door more forward, maybe take the door off and with a block of hard wood, position the block where the hinge would be on the door and then with a BFH, give it some hits to move that area rearward some. With it more rearward, then the door will shift more forward.

If a door was sagging, one might hit the top hinge area a little harder to push that section in a tad more than the lower hinge area.

Ideally you want to get the front edge of the door even with the front edge of the rocker to where the whole back edge of the fender is even between the front edge of the door and the front edge of the rocker.

Jim
 

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honestly that gap in the first picture looks ok. you do not want the gap more than 3/16 between the door and quarter. and the gap between the door and front fender is built into the door. so when you put the front fender on the bottom part should be almost touching the rocker panel. then as you go up the gap starts at between the door and front fender. and that gap should not be more than 3/16.

just curious whats your build date on your firewall tag?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
bigdaddy, I just measured and I have a pretty consistent 7/64" (about .100") gap at the quarter and 7/32" (about .210") gap between the door and fender. That is with the fender basically touching the rocker.

I'm happy with the gap at the quarter now and after some tweaking I have it raised so that it is flush at the top of the quarter (no sagging). And along the front, after I get a skim coat of filler over the weld, it should be right there at 3/16" also.

It was built right here, about 4 miles away, at the Willow Run plant, the fourth week of April (04D), so it isn't an early build. It is 2/3 of the way through the model year. Based on that, I would be surprised if any '70 was welded to the door and cowl. Maybe the early '70 production still had both bolted on, but that would take some investigation and surveying owners with early production dates.
 

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seventynovaSS, thanks for the info. That's good to know.

You've got a beautiful car. I love that color combo.
Thanks, but it's not that color anymore. I'm doing a full restoration and it's just a bare shell in primer right now. Originally, according to the cowl tag, it was Cortez Silver, and I'm planning on painting it that color after all the sanding and filling is done. But I could still change my mind.
 

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i just noticed now that the first set of pics you posted never opened when i read your post and only saw the second of pics after you corrected the gaps. but yea in the first set of pics th gap was to tight. but now looks better in the second set of pics after you adjusted it at the quarter. also i noticed the fender is sitting by the rocker panel on an angle. the fender should be tight up and down and even at the rocker panel. you may have to tap that loose part out towards the rocker panel to get it even. also what condition are your body mounts like? and is the 1/2" special spacer still sandwiched between your body mount and the firewall? that can affect fender alignment cause it pushes up the radiator support lifting the fender up.
with that build date of 04D tells me that yours had welded hinges both at the door and cowl from the factory for sure. some one split the hinges you have now.... and the early 70 such as the 08 build and maybe some 09 had both bolt on style...but after that they already started to change over...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, but it's not that color anymore. I'm doing a full restoration and it's just a bare shell in primer right now. Originally, according to the cowl tag, it was Cortez Silver, and I'm planning on painting it that color after all the sanding and filling is done. But I could still change my mind.
This one was originally Forest Green with gold interior We are going with a metallic gunmetal grey with black interior this time, but it isn't an SS and there will be almost nothing left original on it, so that makes a difference too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
... also i noticed the fender is sitting by the rocker panel on an angle. the fender should be tight up and down and even at the rocker panel. you may have to tap that loose part out towards the rocker panel to get it even. also what condition are your body mounts like? and is the 1/2" special spacer still sandwiched between your body mount and the firewall? that can affect fender alignment cause it pushes up the radiator support lifting the fender up.
with that build date of 04D tells me that yours had welded hinges both at the door and cowl from the factory for sure. some one split the hinges you have now.... and the early 70 such as the 08 build and maybe some 09 had both bolt on style...but after that they already started to change over...
Hey bigdaddy, the fender was just hanging on there in that pic. I was test fitting to see if I could get the gap to the door closed up enough. That is when I realized that the front edge of the door was so far behind the front edge of the rocker. Since I have the door fitting where I am happy with it, I have the fender positioned and it is pretty tight and even to the rocker, and that is what is giving me the .210" gap to the weld on the door, before finishing.
I put in new body mount bushing and made sure to put the spacers back in. Right now, the core support is actually a little lower than I would like and I may have to shim a little bit between the fender and core support. I may end up shimming the core support up with a washer instead. I would prefer to avoid having any shims there on top of the support that may be visible.
 
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