Front Door/Rear Quarter Panel Alignment - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 8th, 2007, 09:47 PM
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Question Front Door/Rear Quarter Panel Alignment

Every D90 I seen, both in person and in pictures, the top of the front door sticks out just a bit further than the bottom of the door, leaving an uneven gap between the door edge and the quarter panel. Why is this? What needs to be adjusted? Is the roll bar pulling the quarter panels inward causing an uneven gap? Has anybody tried to address this?

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  #2  
Old September 8th, 2007, 09:59 PM
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I've spent my entire period of ownership fiddling with the hinges, locks, and doors in attempt to get them to shut easily, fit properly, and lock. All of which seem to be mutually exclusive characteristics. I'm tempted to pay ECR to do it - even if I have to wait 3 years.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 10:07 PM
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I wonder if the interior support behind the front seats are pulling the tub inwards?
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Old September 9th, 2007, 07:21 AM
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I dont think its that. I've had both the ST and SW cage on mine, it worked better with the soft top, but mainly I think because door top fit wasnt so much of an issue.

I made the mistake of aligning my bulkhead and doors to get the panel fit perfect before I put the door seals on. I may have made other mistakes, but there are so many possible adjustments to the bulkhead, that its easy to get wrong. the bulkhead can be moved fore/aft depending on how many (and what thickness) washers are between the bulkhead and the chassis. There is also a degree of bulkhead lean that can be achieved by playing with the cross braces that secure the footwells to the inner chassis rails. Of course, too much fiddling here throws your front clip alignment off and then you have to start adjusting the fender and hood fit.

Also the door hinges can be shimmed in and out, and even the rear tub can be moved fore/aft slightly by shimming behind the crossmember mounting tabs.

Until I can practice on several rovers, or am willing to disassemble my truck again, I've decided to live with it.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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Just throwing this back out there...any ideas???
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Yea, I know...it is what it is. Defenders are not meant to be works of art but I would like to make the doors seal better. ECR addresses this http://eastcoastrover.com/108.html so there is a way of doing it. I figure all fasteners related to the front of the body tub must be loosened, then spread the top/front of the tub till it lines up with the doors, then tighten the fasteners.
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  #7  
Old November 5th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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The side panels tilt in and the door tops don't. There must have been 2 different design departments at Land Rover in the 50's that never talked to each other. The bulkhead/winshield dept. started the tilting in at the point that the windshield and bulkhead meet. The rear body dept. decided to start this tilting in where the tub and side panel meet. Oh wait there is a 3rd dept.- the door dept., that said we don't need no stinking tilt in. So they played it straight on the door tops. English engineering at it's best. Another thing, the sill panels tell you exactly where the bulkhead must be located.
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  #8  
Old November 5th, 2007, 01:04 PM
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I put a level the passenger and drivers side bulkhead and door, and I noticed that they do tilt slightly inward going from bottom to top. The front of the body tub tilts in even more, leading to about a 3/16" offset from the door edges on both p/s and d/s.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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Mike, I have swisted the door into shape by hand in the past. Grab it firmly from the bottom rear and put your other hand above it on the capping. Now twist away. THey will bend a lot and after a few good twists, you can get them a lot better.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
I've spent my entire period of ownership fiddling with the hinges, locks, and doors in attempt to get them to shut easily, fit properly, and lock. All of which seem to be mutually exclusive characteristics. I'm tempted to pay ECR to do it - even if I have to wait 3 years.
This makes me feel slightly better about my inadequacies in this dept. :D
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  #11  
Old August 6th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerman
The side panels tilt in and the door tops don't.
So you are saying the rear tub is meant to tilt inward resulting in an uneven gap? Like I mentioned, ECR adjusted the body to create a uniform gap. Humm...
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  #12  
Old August 6th, 2008, 09:02 PM
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Getting the body gaps right isn't hard, but it is time consuming. You can't do it by just doing the hinges, or just the tub. You have to move lots of stuff in order to get the gaps right and get the doors to close right, etc.
The rear of the tub is pretty much fixed in place, but the front of the tub can be moved up and down. The bulkhead can't go up and down, but can be shimmed front to back and can tilt forward and back via the bulkhead to frame mounts on the footwells.
In a normal f'd up door case from previous accident work we will first remove or loosen all the front fender bolts (the cross bolts that hold the fenders to the frame). The we'll set the door gap between the bulkhead and the door itself and the windshield frame. Once that is set you tilt the bulkhead to get the line and then adjust the tub front up or down to make the line straight. Then lock down the front fenders once you set the hood gap.
The thing I see wrong with most body lines is that folks bolt one thing in place hard (say the tub or bulkhead) and then try to line things up off that. That can't be done. Everything works together, a little here a little there and once the lines are right then you lock it all down. When you get it right the doors close with a gentle push without gaps and the body lines look correct. Even floor height has to be changed slightly sometimes to get the door to close correctly.
It isn't hard, but it takes time. Try using string in what I call the "beauty line" (the curve in the body) and run it front to back. It will show you what has to move.

PS: don't do this if you are in a hurry or drinking alot.
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  #13  
Old August 7th, 2008, 07:22 AM
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I did the string (Beauty Line ) thing on my series truck and it came out perfect.....
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