GM Prizm/Nova 1985-1993 Repair Guide

Doors

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WARNING
The doors are heavier than they appear. Support the door from the bottom and use a helper to support the door during removal and installation.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Front Doors
NOVA

See Figure 1

  1. Remove the door check pin.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear view mirror assembly as follows:
    1. Remove the cover to expose the screw.
    2.  
    3. Remove the screw and lift off the mirror assembly.
    4.  

  4.  
  5. If equipped with power door locks, remove the door trim panel and disconnect the lock wiring harness.
  6.  
  7. Check for any other wiring (speakers, courtesy lights, etc.) running between the door and the body.
  8.  
  9. Carefully outline the hinge location on the door.
  10.  
  11. Support the door and remove the hinge-to-door bolts.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: On Novas remove the hinge to door bolts

  1. Lift the door away from the body. Place the door on cloths or an old blanket to protect the paint from scuffing.
  2.  
  3. Support the door and install the hinge bolts snugly.
  4.  
  5. Once the bolts are snug, move the door on the hinge bolts until the hinge aligns with the marks made during removal.
  6.  
  7. Support the door in its aligned position and tighten the hinge-to-door bolts.
  8.  
  9. Connect any wiring which was disconnected during removal.
  10.  
  11. Install the mirror assembly.
  12.  
  13. Install the door check pin.
  14.  
  15. Align the door.
  16.  

PRIZM
  1. Remove the pin from the door check arm.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect any wiring running between the door and body. The door pad may require removal to gain access to connectors.
  4.  
  5. Inside the front wheel well, remove the screws holding the rear portion of the wheelhousing cover and remove the cover. This gives access to the inside rear of the front fender.
  6.  
  7. With the door supported from the bottom and held by a helper, remove the 12mm hinge-to-body bolts.
  8.  

Unless the hinge is to be replaced, do not loosen the hinge-to-door bolts.

  1. Lift the door away from the body. Place the door on cloths or an old blanket to protect the paint from scuffing.
  2.  
  3. To reinstall, support the door in place and install the hinge bolts. Do not final-tighten any bolt until all are in place and snug.
  4.  
  5. Connect any wiring which was disconnected during removal.
  6.  
  7. Install the door check pin.
  8.  
  9. Install the wheelwell liner and install its screws.
  10.  

Rear Doors

The rear doors on both Nova and Prizm are removed in approximately the same manner as the respective front door. On Novas, the hinge is disconnected from the door; on Prizms, the hinge is disconnected from the body. Don't forget to disconnect any wiring running from the door before removal.

ADJUSTMENT/ALIGNMENT



See Figures 2 and 3

When checking for 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 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 3 dimensions: fore and aft, up and down, in and out. The primary adjusting points are the door-to-hinge bolts. While the hinge is firmly mounted on the body, the door bolts may be loosened and the door repositioned. Once in the correct alignment, tighten the hinge bolts.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Rear door adjustment

As explained above, the primary door adjustments are carried out at the hinge bolts at the forward end of each door. Further adjustment for closed position and for smoothness of latching may be made at the latch plate or striker. This piece is located at the rear edge of the door and is attached to the bodywork of the car; it is the piece the door engages when closed.

Although the striker or latch plate may differ on various models or from front to rear, the procedure for adjusting is the same:

  1. 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 very handy tool for this job-make sure you use the correct size bit.
  2.  
  3. 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 doorlatch. Open the door and tighten the mounting bolts. The striker may be adjusted towards or away from the center of the car, thereby pulling the door tighter to the body if needed.
  4.  

Do not attempt to correct height variations (sag) by adjusting the striker.

  1. 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.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: One method of adjusting the striker after the bolts are loosened

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 procedure several times (and possibly adjust the hinges) before the correct door-to-body match is produced.

 
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