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Old 03-24-2019, 12:51 PM   #1
carguybill
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Default Gap between door opening and seat

I am looking to possibly purchase a '31 A Roadster Pickup but I find that the gap between the front of the door opening and the front of the seat is so tight that I have a very difficult time getting into the vehicle. I have been told that this is a known issue with those vehicles.


My question for those who have had to deal with this issue is, What did you have to do to eliminate the problem?
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:58 PM   #2
DD931
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

Be sure that the seat cushion is properly positioned on its platform. There are probably two vertical pins on the front edge that fit into holes in the seat frame. If the seat isn't placed back far enough so that the pins are seated (no pun intended!) it will contribute to the problem noted. I had this problem with my '30 coupe. Getting the seat cushion into its proper location made a big difference. The PO was unaware.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:08 PM   #3
J Franklin
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

If you are tall forego the pickup
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

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If you are tall forego the pickup

I'm not tall but I am old (81) and I have had both knees replaced which does limit my flexibility and dexterity.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

Sedans are great for better legroom, for a roadster maybe modifications could make it roomier also.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

In my 29 roadster I have found that you do need to put first foot in, sit down and kind of pick your other foot up and over. Only way my 13s are going in. Actually true to a lesser degree with my Town Sedan.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

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In my 29 roadster I have found that you do need to put first foot in, sit down and kind of pick your other foot up and over. Only way my 13s are going in. Actually true to a lesser degree with my Town Sedan.
I agree with Bill; I was always taught to not use the running board and just put a foot in pull your self up and swing the other.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

There are methods to make getting in/out possible, but not easy no matter what you do. That's one reason why I have a Fordor sedan. Moved the seat back, bent shifter lever, now I am comfortable at 6' 4" and 205lbs. Also still plenty of room for passengers in the back seat.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

That is also the reason I have a Tudor. I went to a personal property auction that had a pretty nice roadster. I tried to get into it and my feet wouldn't bend in the proper way to get in from the drivers side. I could get in from the passenger side, but I'll be darned if I was always going to slide across and past the shifter, so I passed on that car, and found a Tudor. And even on the Tudor I moved the seat back 3 inches, and now is pretty comfortable.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

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I agree with Bill; I was always taught to not use the running board and just put a foot in pull your self up and swing the other.
When you pull yourself up. DO NOT pull on the steering wheel. That will cause the suport bracket under the tank to come loose and leak petrol into the car. A BIG NO NO!
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

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That is also the reason I have a Tudor. I went to a personal property auction that had a pretty nice roadster. I tried to get into it and my feet wouldn't bend in the proper way to get in from the drivers side. I could get in from the passenger side, but I'll be darned if I was always going to slide across and past the shifter, so I passed on that car, and found a Tudor. And even on the Tudor I moved the seat back 3 inches, and now is pretty comfortable.
The laws back then encouraged getting in from the curbside.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

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The laws back then encouraged getting in from the curbside.
I am glad those laws aren't on the books any longer. Getting in to the bucket seats of a Tudor from the passenger side would be difficult because you can't easily slide over.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

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When you pull yourself up. DO NOT pull on the steering wheel. That will cause the suport bracket under the tank to come loose and leak petrol into the car. A BIG NO NO!


Depending on the 31A he has, the steering column mount may be attached to the Dash. If it is not and is attached to the gas tank it can easily be converted to a dash mount. Then no worries about tugging on the steering column.


I do not have bad knees, but there is a technique to getting in and out. My technique is to find a way to get your feet/legs in before getting your body in, for me as mentioned in another post is to not use the running boards to get in. To get out, 1st scoot over toward the passenger side a little so you can get your feet out the narrow way and then slide over towards the drivers door. Use of running boards is up to you. All this works better if you have a vinyl seat instead of a cloth seat.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

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Depending on the 31A he has, the steering column mount may be attached to the Dash. If it is not and is attached to the gas tank it can easily be converted to a dash mount. Then no worries about tugging on the steering column.
OK, I missed the '31 bit - not that I have seen a '31 that was here in the day. That is because there were none so those column supports were never seen here. That said, I make them for RHD cars. They are sold by our local parts supplier.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:04 AM   #15
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

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When you pull yourself up. DO NOT pull on the steering wheel. That will cause the suport bracket under the tank to come loose and leak petrol into the car. A BIG NO NO!
Yes! I was always told to grab on something else, like the seat or dash rail but I don't do that as I can just balance myself without pulling.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

I recently looked at a 29 Pheaton and didn't buy it for this reason. I had to lay across the seat and drag my feet in to get into the car. Ed
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:08 AM   #17
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

carbuybill - A suggestion


See if you can talk to the current owner and go try again, see what he does. Or take someone along that has one and see if you can find a way you are comfortable with. If you find a way, it becomes second nature after awhile and you do not even think about doing it.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

Each person has to create their own method. Consider where and how well you bend. Then pass on the truck, the problem will only get worse with time.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:53 PM   #19
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

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Each person has to create their own method. Consider where and how well you bend. Then pass on the truck, the problem will only get worse with time.
Excellent point.. Guess I am agile enough yet. Hope I do not get to the point where it gets so difficult to where I start not wanting to drive my truck.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: Gap between door opening and seat

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Each person has to create their own method. Consider where and how well you bend. Then pass on the truck, the problem will only get worse with time.
If he drives the truck regularly, maybe this will help keep him agile. When I do long trips (sometimes months long), I find I can enter and exit the driver's seat more readily after a while doing it several times a day.
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