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Offline dave1987

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Tweaked Door Not Lining Up
« on: May 17, 2018, 12:52:48 AM »
I am having an issue with the passenger side door on my 78 sedan.


Here is the tweaked right side door. Any suggestions on straightening it out or getting the panels aligned, outside of replacing the door?Its sunk in at the bottom of the door at the jam, but too far out at the rear frame of the window. The body line at the bottom front of the door lines up with the fender, but the top door body line doesn't line up with the fender.
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Tweaked Door Not Lining Up
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 11:43:47 AM »
Do at your own risk, but I've seen people take a block of wood placed in the door frame and then force the door into alignment. Obviously do with consideration that in bringing one area closer in alignment, you may be denting the frame or distorting elsewhere.  So don't wedge the door with wood and then give it a "Big Bubba, runnning start, Body Block."

 A question that needs to be asked first is, "Is the fender correct?" If the door itself is not vertically tweaked and the front of the bottom door gap is correct..., and the fender doesn't align..., then I'd look at the fender as the problem.

Lastly, don't expect perfection.  There is a reason these TV show cars get slathered with Bondo and then sanded to "perfection."  One side of my Pinto lines up far better than the other. And the passenger side is the one that is off on my car too.

Offline dave1987

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Re: Tweaked Door Not Lining Up
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 10:17:39 PM »
I did just this today and it worked great! The door shells are pretty sturdy, so they flex more than they distort.


I used a 4" x 4" wood block cut to 10 inches and placed it against the bottom of the door and the lowest wide section of the quarter panel jam and shut the door against it. I forced the door inwards a over and over a few times, pushing at top of the door near the quarter panel side. I did this 10 to 20 times checking the body lines after each attempt.


After about 45 minutes of this I had it nearly perfect again!


[EDIT]
Here are photos after tweaking the door back.



1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline dave1987

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Re: Tweaked Door Not Lining Up
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 10:48:41 PM »
First two photos are more of the straightened door.


The second two photos show the broken weld at the forward end of the door sill, which makes the body not quite line up at the fender. Photo 3 is of the panel relaxed, and photo 4 is of me pushing down on the sill.


To fix this sill area of the door, I will be welding it down to the door again, hopefully tomorrow.
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline dave1987

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Re: Tweaked Door Not Lining Up
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 10:57:04 PM »
Here is where the broken welds need repaired, to keep the door straight, and where I have flexed it back to.




Photo 1: Rear top of the door where the window frame meets, along the inner door panel.


Photo 2: Rear top of the door where the window frame meets, along the door shell.


Photo 3: Front top of the door where the shell meets in the jam.



I hope this helps someone else with a similar issue!


From what my family knows, and what I know, the door has never been abused, hit hard, slammed excessively hard, and no accidents involving it. The only issues were bad hinge pins.


I am thrilled that this worked, as I have a great rust free door on the car, and finding any things Pinto part related is a challenge these days.


NOTE: I replaced the door hinge pins prior to attempting any body line matching or door straightening, to ensure correct door height and geometry with the hinges. The fender was also removed and manipulated as much as possible to ensure the door was the issue and not the fender itself, or the quarter panel. Manipulation of the door by force, like I used, should be used as a last resort.
1978 Ford Pinto Sedan - Family owned since new

Remembering Jeff Fitcher with every drive in my 78 Sedan.

I am a Pinto Surgeon. Fixing problems and giving Pintos a chance to live again is more than a hobby, it's a passion!

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Tweaked Door Not Lining Up
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 12:17:57 AM »
Great to see success! Glad you were able to save the door.

Offline Pintosopher

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Re: Tweaked Door Not Lining Up
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 10:01:36 AM »
Great stuff Dave , Thanks for all the images! Thor would be proud of your Hammer! ;)
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Offline dga57

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Re: Tweaked Door Not Lining Up
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 11:33:42 AM »
Good job, Dave.  I've always been impressed with the work you do on your Pintos!


Dwayne :)
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.

Offline robertwwithee

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Re: Tweaked Door Not Lining Up
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2018, 11:15:48 AM »
Cant wait to see it in person.  Expecting ur dad will be there mid august to introduce us.  Great work.

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