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Old 03-07-2020, 09:31 PM   #1
PrairieA31
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Default Cabriolet Door Alignment

As a relative newbie, I started this question in an existing thread. Folks have suggested that this be a new thread on its own....so here goes.

I have 31 S/W Cabriolet (68C) with door problems. The doors take an excessive amount of force to get them to close all of the way and latch. I don't recall that the doors required this level of "attention" to get them properly closed and latched until the last few years.

Driver side door
the outer lower edge of the rear part of the door comes in contact with the body before the outer upper edge of the rear part of the door ...and that prevents the door latch from travelling toward the interior of the car far enough to properly engage the striker mounted on the door post. The upper rear part of the door sits about ½” proud of the body (see attached pic A).

Wear on the make dovetail is on the bottom surface. I removed it from the door just as a test and found that the effort required was reduced but still substantial.

Passenger side door
the outer lower edge of the rear part of the door sits proud of the body 7/16” when the door is latched (see attached pic B). This door is even more challenging to get latched.

Wear on the dovetail is on the bottom surface. I removed it from the door just as a test and found that the effort required was reduced to the within a quite reasonable range. I suspect no one will advise me to just leave it off.

SO…what adjustments would you suggest?

PrairieA31
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pic_A.jpg (26.9 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg pic_B.jpg (41.5 KB, 45 views)
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:05 PM   #2
PrairieA31
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Default Re: Cabriolet Door Alignment

response to d.j. moordigian's post to previous thread

Okay,...a few things to get you started...

1. Does the hood fit correctly with the radiator and the cowl?...NO taper?
Answer: as far as I can tell the fit is good. I don't understand the "No taper?" question. please explain

2. Float-a-motor mounts?
Answer: I don't understand the the question. please explain

3. Lift up and down on BOTH doors,...are the hings and pins good?
Answer: I have tried lifting up and pushing down of the open doors. There is no play.

4. The body has a wood sub frame(I think) is the wood good?
Answer: Yes there is a wood sub-frame. It appears to be in good condition.

5. Do the "hood hooks" latch too the hood easy?
Answer: the hood hooks do sometimes seem to require extra effort

What else doesn't fit well? Also,..post more photos, side view of the car, please..
Answer: please see additional pics
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P_DoorA.jpg (28.9 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg D_DoorA.jpg (26.3 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg P_DoorB.jpg (32.8 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg P_DoorC.jpg (31.7 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg P_DoorD.jpg (25.7 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg D_DoorB.jpg (28.8 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg D_DoorC.jpg (35.3 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg D_DoorD.jpg (33.6 KB, 30 views)

Last edited by PrairieA31; 03-07-2020 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 03-08-2020, 01:22 AM   #3
Russ B
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Default Re: Cabriolet Door Alignment

I am not sure of any difference between the 68A and the 68C cabriolet bodies other than the slant windshield. On my 68A, the B pillar has a brace with a turnbuckle. With the top of the door too far in on one side and too far out on the other side, it may be possible that the turnbuckle is tight on one side and loose on the other side. You might see the turnbuckle by “diving in” head first into the rumble seat area, or by removing the front seat.


The turnbuckle assembly is in black in this photo. Note also the bolt holding the assembly to the rails is not attached to the frame. It may be that the bolt on one side is loose, or the wood subrail on one side has rotted over the last several years.
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Old 03-08-2020, 08:54 AM   #4
PrairieA31
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Default Re: Cabriolet Door Alignment

the 68C does have these turnbuckles.

The driver side door was rubbing the paint from the dovetail mechanism on the doorpost (see pic above). I tightened the turnbuckle on this side to create clearance necessary to take care of this months ago...door slamming persisted.

The passenger side door appears to have the appropriate clearance.

Thanks for the photo you posted. It has improved my understanding of some of the structural elements involved.

Last edited by PrairieA31; 03-08-2020 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:54 AM   #5
d.j. moordigian
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Default Re: Cabriolet Door Alignment

[QUOTE=PrairieA31;1859763]response to d.j. moordigian's post to previous thread

Okay,...a few things to get you started...

1. Does the hood fit correctly with the radiator and the cowl?...NO taper?
Answer: as far as I can tell the fit is good. I don't understand the "No taper?" question. please explain
Does the hood fit tight at the top and a larger space at the bottom?
it will look like it has taper top to bottom..


2. Float-a-motor mounts?
Answer: I don't understand the the question. please explain

Does it have "stock" rear motor mounts or ....see # 14..
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...otor&showall=1






5. Do the "hood hooks" latch too the hood easy?
Answer: the hood hooks do sometimes seem to require extra effort
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:44 PM   #6
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: Cabriolet Door Alignment

First off the turnbuckles are NOT for adjusting the door post!!!!

They are there to take tension off the post because when the top is up it is structural. The body flexes and the top is a tight unit. There is a lot of force on the pillar during routine driving as the frame flexes. Yes, I have studied this a lot as I have a 68C. I also had some alignment issues and found that it was not the solution.

The door post postion is set by the relationship of how he quarter panel is repaired and nailed to the bottom of the sill. As then the door post is nailed to the qtr panel. It can not move, well if you try hard enough you will warp the qtr panel. Oh, if the L lip on the front edge of the qtr panel does not fit into the door post wood right things get bad quick.

The door dovetails should be taken off the car and rebuilt using the the parts from A&L. Do NOT try to close the door on them as they will only break the mail dovetails. It has some later sliders in them. The sliders MUST and I mean MUST move with only mild pressure from one finger. There job is to keep the back edge of the door from moving relative to the front of the door post. They must slide easy or all bets are off and things will not fit right and can break. I would take them off immediately and not put them back on until you get them fixed or the whole unit A&L sells. Make sure the sliders on the new units slide with moderate pressure their whole length.

The in/out problem is fixed by adjusting the height of the brace going to the seam of the rear upper panel. There is the possibility that the rear section was built asymmetrical.

The door gaps are too tight. You will have to loosen the cowl foot bolts and screw and move it forward to open up the door gap. That is also why the dovetail plates are messed up. I should mention the repro dovetail female plates may be a bit high and will need to have the back turned over edge lowered some to get proper distance to the back edge of the door.

The cabriolet body is a complex mechanical part. In some ways you need to look at it like building the mechanical brakes. All the parts need to function a certain way and be a correct distance. They are not simple to make 'work'. It gets complex real quick when you have to do metal repairs on the bottom edge of the qtr panels and you have repro wood that is not properly sized. For instance the distance across the point where the triple hinge base mounts to the door post must be correct or you mess up the distance across the top of the window (it is actually more complex then that). A couple of 1/8" errors in the wood can make for a nightmare of an attempt to get the body to function right. Yes, I must have spent months trying to get my body to function right with the repro wood.

With out knowing more about what was done with this car in the restoration I can not give more detail ideas of what might be the problems. It is possible that the car needs more work to correct these problems then you might be willing or able to do.
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:08 PM   #7
Tinbasher
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Default Re: Cabriolet Door Alignment

From the look of your pictures the doors have dropped down. The way to fix that is to add a shim to the rear bolt on the cowl. Or the frame has sagged at the rear motor mount. So take a straight edge and put it along the top rail for the frame and see that the frame is straight. Let me know what you find and then we'll got from there.
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