Driver Door - Help Needed - First Generation Forum

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Driver Door - Help Needed
Tuesday, July 01, 2008 7:42 AM
Hi Board-

The driver door on my 84 Sunbird closes properly with a good slam when nobody is in the car. When I am in it (180 lbs), and try to close the door, it does not completely close. This is also the door that moves around a little as I am driving, making me think I had a chassis stiffening issue, but now I am leaning towards a door issue. The passenger door does not have these problems at all and can be closed gently.

Anybody had to repair their doors before? I know obout the covertible specific little plastic bumpers on the inside of the door and they are not even close to hitting each other.

Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Driver Door - Help Needed
Tuesday, July 01, 2008 4:33 PM
Paul- Is your striker bolt tight in the door jamb? They can loosen up over time.

Sometimes the latch mechanism itself is also faulty, and you can remove the three (I think) bolts / screws that hold it in and swap it for another. I've had to replace some lock & door hardware on my driver's side on the '86 and I've always lucked out with getting used hardware in a junkyard from a REAR door. GM usually shared parts between the two, and most rear doors aren't used to death like the fronts. Most of the springs & hardware hold up and makes for good parts pickin'.

What shape are your door hinge pins in?

But if those obvious areas are still good on your car, I would look at the door skins. On my car the top door skins are splitting at the seam near the top rear of the door. Even with a tack weld...these doors can split at the seam up top where the coupe door pillar would normally continue...strengthening the whole door. If your door is splitting here (look under the windor weatherstrip towards the rear of the door) then it won't close properly and may have excess play when closed.

Good luck, and I hope some of this helps. Let me know if you find the culprit.

Re: Driver Door - Help Needed
Tuesday, July 01, 2008 6:02 PM
I agree with Daryl, check the simple stuff first. To check the door hinge, stand outside and with the door open, lift the door. The door should feel solid with no slack. I noticed from your profile that you have an ’84 convertible. Is this the same car? If so, check that supports that run the length of the car are in good shape. I am restoring an ’87 convertible turbo GT and let me tell you, there is not much for structural rigidity just a simple support brace that is riveted near the pinch weld on the under pinning of the car. Also, pull up the carpet and make sure there is no rust (I have a 2’X2’ section to weld in). Rusty floor + uni-body=Jello :-)
All you probably need is a simple pin and bushing set. Replacing it, not so simple…
Re: Driver Door - Help Needed
Tuesday, July 01, 2008 7:31 PM

Yep, it is the 84 convertible. I did have some rust on the floor pan but did a temp fix on it until I can get a clean floor pan to do a permanent fix in a few years.

OK, I went out and looked at it closely, and played with the door a bit - no movement, and no cracks up top. Looking at the seam, it appears the top part of my door is bowed out a little bit compared to the rest of the door - pretty odd. It lines right up at the striker and below. I wonder if I have some sort of hidden stress crack like Daryl referenced above.

Looks like this is not actionable right now

Re: Driver Door - Help Needed
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 9:32 AM
Paul, you could get a salvaged door and see if it would work out for you. My drivers door was wobbly when driving but that could be because rust hollowed it out. I got a new set of doors from an 88 and they work as if they were made this year. only issue I have now is i couldnt put the new springs in so my doors dont stay put when open.

Re: Driver Door - Help Needed
Thursday, July 03, 2008 2:53 PM

Paul - this is what I was talking about. See the crack starting up top? This causes the doors to spread apart and not line up / close properly.

Is your upper seam nice & solid? Clearly I have work to do
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