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Front Door Alignment - Daylight Seen around a Closed Door!

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#1 ZeroDelta



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Posted 22 January 2012 - 12:15 PM

Does anyone know how to ensure a tight seal around the front door? I have a 1991 Tdi 90 and I can see daylight the opposite end to the door hinges when it is closed thus letting in cold air, the wet and noise. I have replaced the door seals and fiddled around with the door strike plates, but to no avail.

Do I need to mess around withe the door hinges or could it be that the doors are just old and knackered? I am assuming that there are no chassis problems if at all this would cause a problem.

Is there a simple fix - fingers cross!



#2 need4speed


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 12:25 PM

Having just done this recently myself i can say that it was mainly playing around with door hinge adjustment until a reasonable gap was achieved all the way round the doors.
Very much easier to do if you have a helper on hand. Playing with the strikers will do nothing.

#3 Retroanaconda


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 12:52 PM

There are several points of adjustment in the doors:
  • Vertical placement - This is achieved by loosening the A-pillar hinge bolts and shifting the door up and down, quite a lot of rear-end movement can be achieved through this. Obviously the door needs to be in line with the rest of the bodywork, ie. the 'curve' in the panel should line up with that of the rear tub and bulkhead. Worn hinges will make this damn-near impossible.
  • Closure distance - This can be changed by moving the striker pin in and out relative to the side of the vehicle. Effectively means the door has to close further in in order to latch. Should be adjusted so that the door is flush with the neighboring panels.
  • Front edge shimming - This is adjusted by fitting shims between the door hinge and the door itself. It affects the in/out position of the leading edge of the door. Quite often if you just bolt on the hing it sits proud of the A-pillar by a fair way, these shims will bring it back in lin so that it is flush, same as the rear edge.
Obviously this only works if the bodywork is set up correctly. I do it by measuring the door width, adding 12mm for a 6mm door gap alright, and then setting the bodywork to that gap. Making sure the A-pillar and tub leading edge are both vertical and more importantly parallel to one another is also very important.

#4 mickeyw


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:06 PM

Those of us with older 90/110s will have encountered this problem many a time.
An extra complication can arise during alignment whereby the lower half of the door seems to fit fine, yet there are still gaps around the top edge of the frame.
The popular, yet hardly official method, is to bend the top of the door inward. The way I was shown is certainly very crude, but it seems to work.
Wind down the window all the way. Open the door and wedge it open a little with some 1-2" thick pieces of timber along the rear edge, (careful positioning of said lumps of wood is necessary to avoid damage to your paintwork). Then using your own body weight, lean on the top of the door hard enough to bend it in a little. You do have to push quite hard, unless of course you have rotten doors, in which case this tweak isn't really going to help! Then close the door and see whether the gaps have improved. If not give it a little more 'adjustment' until you are happy.
Like I said, very crude but surprisingly effective :)


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#5 ZeroDelta



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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:30 PM

Guys, Thanks for the help and I wonder if my rotten bulkhead is adding to the problem. It is pretty rusty at the top, s may effect my top hinges - maybe... I am going to get it replaced and I have no doubt that the guys that do it will make sure the alignment is sound once they have completed the procedure. That said I will give your remedies a go until I have enough cash to get the bulkhead replaced. Many thanks for the top tips.

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