Volkswagen Air Cooled 1949-1969 Repair Guide

Front Doors

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Types 1 and 3 Models

If the original door is going to be reinstalled, it is easier to press out the hinge pins rather than remove the hinges from the car body; this will avoid the need to align the door later. If you do decide to remove the hinges, carefully matchmark the hinges to the vehicle body to ease aligning the door during installation.


WARNING
Never leave a door unsupported while one of the hinges is unscrewed, or while its hinge pin is out; doing so could bend or break the other hinge.

  1. Open the door and position a padded floor jack under the door for support.
  2.  
  3. Remove the circlip from the lower end of the pin that holds the door check strap to the body, then remove the door check strap.
  4.  
  5. If the original door is to be reinstalled, perform the following:
  6.  
    1. Remove the plastic caps from the tops of the hinge pins.
    2.  
    3. Press out the hinge pins with a special press-out tool.
    4.  



WARNING
Do not attempt to hammer the pins out of the hinges; the hinges will be damaged.

  1. c. With the help of an assistant, remove the door from the vehicle.
  2.  

  1. If the hinge pins are going to be left in place, perform the following:
  2.  
    1. Pry the plastic caps (that are adjacent to the hinges) out of the body's hinge pillar (except on Karmann Ghias).
    2.  
    3. Using an impact driver, loosen the Phillips head screws holding the hinges to the body.
    4.  
    5. Taking care not to scratch the door, body, or fender, remove the door (together with the its hinges) from the body.
    6.  


To install:

  1. If the original door is being installed on the vehicle, the installation procedure is the reverse of the removal procedure. Make certain to check the weatherseal; if it is cracked, torn, or otherwise damaged, replace it.
  2.  
  3. If a replacement door is being installed, perform the following:
  4.  
    1. Remove the lock striker plate from the lock pillar on the body.
    2.  
    3. Install the new door, together with its hinges, but do not fully tighten the Phillips head screws.
    4.  


The hinges are screwed to movable threaded plates. This makes it possible to shift the position of the door in its opening for alignment purposes.

  1. c. Align the door in the door opening so that it contacts the weatherstrip evenly all around and the door's trim molding is in line with the trim molding on the side of the body.
  2.  
  3. After the door is aligned, tighten the Phillips head screws, then set them firmly with an impact driver.
  4.  
  5. Install the door check strap with the pin and circlip. Install the lock striker plate and adjust it as described later in this section.
  6.  

Type 2 Models

If the same door is to be reinstalled, matchmark the location of the hinges on your body. this will prevent your having to align the door later.

  1. Remove the circlip off the pin for the door check strap. Remove the pin and disconnect the strap.
  2.  
  3. With the door solidly supported so that the upper hinge will not bend or break by the door's weight, remove the 2 Phillips head (or socket head) screws that hold the lower hinge to the hinge pillar. If the screws are rusted tight, loosen them with an impact driver.
  4.  
  5. With the door supported, remove the 2 Phillips head (or socket head) screws from the upper hinge and remove the door together with its hinges.
  6.  

To install:

  1. Inspect the rubber weatherstrip around the door. If it is cracked or deformed, replace it.
  2.  

Before replacing the weatherstripping, clean all of the old adhesive off of the door with solvent. Install the new weatherstripping with trim adhesive.

  1. If a new door is being installed, remove the lock striker plate from the lock pillar.
  2.  
  3. If the original door is being installed, mount the hinges with the matchmarks correctly aligned. If a new door is being installed, do not fully tighten the hinge mounting screws.
  4.  

The hinges are screwed to movable threaded plates. This makes it possible to shift the position of the door in its opening for alignment purposes.

  1. To align a new door, position the door in the door opening so that it contacts the weatherstripping evenly all around and the door's trim molding is aligned with the trim molding on the side of the body.
  2.  
  3. After the door is properly aligned, tighten the hinge mounting screws. Set the Phillips head screws firmly with an impact driver.
  4.  
  5. Attach the door check strap to its bracket with the pin and circlip.
  6.  
  7. Install the door lock striker plate and adjust it as described later in this section.
  8.  

STRIKER PLATE ADJUSTMENT





Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1 The engagement of the striker plate (M) and the latch housing (B) should be adjusted to make measurement (X) between the housing and the wedge smaller than measurement (Y) between the housing and the plate bearing edge-contact of the housing with the plate should lift the housing approximately 0.08 in. (2mm), shown here as measurement (a)

All Models

After installing a replacement door, adjust the striker plate so that the rear edge of the door aligns with the body. The striker plate should also be adjusted if the door rattles or requires excessive force to close and lock.

Because of body flexion, the door lock striker plate cannot be accurately adjusted while the car is raised on jackstands or a lift.

A door rattle that persists even after all possible adjustments have been made indicates a worn rubber wedge.

  1. Remove the striker plate mounting screws and remove the striker plate from the body. Close the door and check its alignment. Adjust the door if it is out of adjustment.
  2.  
  3. Insert the striker plate, bottom first, in the latch. Press the latch down into its fully locked position. Turn the striker plate until it is in its normal upright (vertical) position.
  4.  
  5. If the striker plate exhibits vertical (up and down) free-play, the rubber wedge is worn. Either add shims or replace the wedge with a new one.
  6.  

To correct either a misalignment between the door and front body, or a lack of uniformity in the gap between the door and body, adjust the hinges and not the striker plate. Only misalignment (vertical or horizontal) between the door and rear body should be corrected by adjusting the striker plate.

  1. After correcting any excessive wedge play, correct any misalignment between the door and rear body. Center the striker plat on the lock pillar by aligning the marks on the striker plate with those on the pillar.
  2.  
  3. Close the door. Check if the door aligns with the rear body. If necessary, adjust the position of the striker plate on the lock pillar.
  4.  

The striker plate screws onto the movable threaded plate. By moving the plate up or down, you can correct any misalignment of the ridge in the body where the door and the rear body meet. Moving the plate in or out corrects the position of the door so that it will be flush with the side of the car when the door is closed.

  1. After aligning the door, feel for play between the lock and the striker plate. If there is play, or if the door will not latch, rotate the top of the striker plate toward the outside off the vehicle. If the door is too difficult or hard to close, or if the handle works stiffly, rotate the top of the striker plate toward the inside of the vehicle. Only rotate the striker plate a little at a time, then recheck the alignment. Once the proper alignment is found, tighten the striker plate screws securely.
  2.  

 
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