REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1, 2 and 3
- Matchmark the hinge-to-body and hinge-to-door locations. Support the door either on jackstands or have somebody help hold and support it for you.
- On models with a door check bar, push in on the claw, remove the pin or unbolt the retainer.
- Disconnect the wiring harnesses (after disconnecting the negative battery cable) on models having door mounted radio speakers or light harness.
- Remove the lower hinge-to-door bolts.
- Remove the upper hinge-to-door bolts and lift the door from the vehicle.
- If the hinges are being replaced, remove them from the door pillar.
- To install, position the door and hinges with the bolts finger tight.
- Adjust the door and tighten the hinge bolts.
If the door being removed is going to be replaced, and its internal components (glass and regulator, latch etc.) are to be used in the replacement door, it may be easier to remove the parts while the door is still mounted on the vehicle.
See Figures 4 and 5
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 corner 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 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 (or door pillar and quarter panel) 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. With the help of an assistant, position the door and tighten 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, loosen the bolts, move the door into place, tighten the bolts. The dimension affects both the amount of crush on the weatherstrip 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 body work; it is the piece the door latch engages when the door is closed.
- To adjust the striker: Loosen the large cross-pointed screws mounting the striker to the body. The striker mounting screws are usually very tight; an impact screwdriver is a handy tool to have for this job. Make sure you are using the proper size bit. On models equipped with a screw in post striker, loosen the post slightly counterclockwise.
- With bolts, or post just loose enough to allow the striker to move, hold the outer door handle in the released position and close the door. The striker should move into the correct location to match the door latch. Open the door and tighten the bolts or post. The striker may be aligned towards or away from the center of the vehicle, 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 mounted correctly 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. These shims may be removed or added in combination to adjust the reach of the striker.
- After tightening the striker bolts or post, open and close the door several times. Observe the motion of the door as it engages the striker; it should continue straight-in motion and 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 or release.
It may be necessary to repeat the striker adjustment several times (and possibly re-adjust the hinges) before correct door to body match is produced.