REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Front and Rear
See Figure 1
- Matchmark the hinge-to-body and hinge-to-door locations. Support the door either on a padded jack or have an assistant hold it for you.
- Push in on the detent rod and pull out the stopper pin. The rod may also be unbolted from the door.
Depending on vehicle options, it may be necessary to disconnect various wires running into the door. This will require removal of the door panel.
- Remove the lower hinge-to-door bolts.
- Remove the upper hinge-to-door bolts and lift the door off the hinges.
- If the hinges are being replaced, remove them from the door pillar.
- Install the door and hinges with the bolts finger-tight.
- Adjust the door and tighten the hinge bolts until snug.
See Figures 2 and 3
When checking door alignment, look carefully at each seam between the door and body. The gap should be 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 striker. This is secured on the door pillar; it is where 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 screw(s) securing the striker. These bolts can 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, 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 present.