REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Front and rear doors may be removed using the same procedure.
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Support the door, by placing a floor jack and a piece of wood underneath the door.
- Remove the bolts from the door stop arm.
- Remove the connector on the main wiring harness.
- Unplug any other applicable wiring connectors.
- Matchmark the location of the hinges on the door.
- Remove the hinge bolts and remove the door assembly.
- Position the door into place and finger tighten the hinge bolts.
- Align the door with the hinge marks made earlier and tighten the bolts.
- Attach the wiring connectors.
- Attach the door stop arm and tighten the bolts to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
- Remove the supporting jack.
- Connect the negative battery cable.
When checking door alignment, look carefully at each seam between the door and body. The gap should be constant and even all the way around the door. Pay particular attention to the door seams at the corners farthest from the hinges; this is the area where errors will be most evident. Additionally, the door should pull in against the weatherstrip when latched to seal out wind and water. The contact should be even all the way around and the stripping should be about half compressed.
The position of the door can be adjusted in three dimensions: fore and aft, up and down, in and out. The primary adjusting points are the hinge-to-body bolts. Apply tape to the fender and door edges to protect the paint. Two layers of common masking tape works well. Loosen the bolts just enough to allow the hinge to move in place. With the help of an assistant, position the door and retighten the bolts. Inspect the door seams carefully and repeat the adjustment until correctly aligned.
The in-out adjustment (how far the door "sticks out" from the body) is adjusted by loosening the hinge-to-door bolts. Again, move the door into place, then retighten the bolts. This dimension affects both the amount of crush on the weatherstrips and the amount of "bite" on the striker.
Further adjustment for closed position and smoothness of latching is made at the latch plate or striker. This piece is located at the rear edge of the door and is attached to the bodywork; it is the piece the latch engages when the door is closed. Although the striker size and style may vary between models or from front to rear, the method of adjusting it is the same:
- Loosen the large cross-point screw(s) holding the striker. Know in advance that these bolts will be very tight; an impact screwdriver is a handy tool to have for this job. Make sure you are using the proper size bit.
- With the bolts just loose enough to allow the striker to move if necessary, hold the outer door handle in the released position and close the door. The striker will move into the correct location to match the door latch. Open the door and tighten the mounting bolts. The striker may be adjusted towards or away from the center of the car, thereby tightening or loosening the door fit.
- The striker can be moved up and down to compensate for door position, but if the door is correctly mounted at the hinges this should not be necessary.
Do not attempt to correct height variations (sag) by adjusting the striker.
Additionally, some models may use one or more spacers or shims behind the striker or at the hinges. These shims may be removed or added in combination to adjust the reach of the striker or hinge.
- After the striker bolts have been tightened, open and close the door several times. Observe the motion of the door as it engages the striker; it should continue its straight-in motion and not deflect up or down as it hits the striker.
- Check the feel of the latch during opening and closing. It must be smooth and linear, without any trace of grinding or binding during engagement and release.
It may be necessary to repeat the striker adjustment several times (and possibly re-adjust the hinges) before the correct door to body match is produced. This can be a maddening process of loosentighten, check and readjust; have patience.