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Rickster
09-25-2007, 02:54 PM
I am working on a Dodge Dakota with fender and door damage. I have the forward and back alignment set but can't get the door to align outward so that its flush with the fender. When I loosen the bolts holding the hinge to the door there does not seem to be any outward adjustment. How do I do this?

Phil V
09-25-2007, 09:36 PM
Was the hinge pillar pushed in (damaged) in the accident ?

MARTINSR
09-25-2007, 10:04 PM
I am working on a Dodge Dakota with fender and door damage. I have the forward and back alignment set but can't get the door to align outward so that its flush with the fender. When I loosen the bolts holding the hinge to the door there does not seem to be any outward adjustment. How do I do this?

Take some pictures of the hinges and post them. But they may be in a little. Now, I am not certain with the Dakota but on most late model cars they have a bolt with a shoulder on it that centers the bolt in a hole that is larger than the bolts threads. OR many cars have a pin or device that limits the movement of the door on the hinge. They do this because the body is built on a jig and this speeds up manufacturing, not adjustment, they just bolt the door on.

If you remove the bolts and replace them with a normal bolt without the shoulder you can move the door in and out a little to adjust it. Take a look at that, I actually have one of these trucks at work and I can check it out.

Brian

Rickster
09-26-2007, 08:28 AM
There is no visible damage to the pillar, but it's possible it might have been pushed in slightly (as dictated by the direction of the impact)..
Brian, what you said seems to make sense. I will have to check those bolts.
Here is a picture after working the fender a bit

MARTINSR
09-26-2007, 09:00 AM
The important part is to be sure the door fits well at the top near the pillar and the bottom at the rocker. Close the door and then go to the other side and examine how that door fits in those areas. Does it open and close nice? Your door may be fitting perfect, and it is the FENDER that is out of alignment. Some times these parts need to be "massaged" into place more so than simple "adjusted" by loosening bolts and moving them. They need to be bent a little and forced into shape.

Brian

Len
09-26-2007, 10:09 AM
If you pull the dent out of the door skin you may find that the front edge of the door will drop in slightly. When the skin is pushed in like that the front of the jamb can act as an axis point and the front edge can lift slightly. You'll want to bring out the dent and push in on the front edge to help align it with the fender edge.

If the door is "IN" pulling the dent out of the skin may also lift the door edge slightly so get all your straightening done before you start to align your panels. Also if the front edge is in slightly a large slide hammer can help or a large spoon can also help however the spoon will put pressure on the fender which could generate it's own set of problems.


http://autobodystore.net/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/TA-81000.jpg
LINK (http://autobodystore.net/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=TA81000W&Category_Code=4P1)

http://autobodystore.net/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/Spoon253.gif
LINK (http://autobodystore.net/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=SL253R&Category_Code=HT)

MARTINSR
09-26-2007, 02:42 PM
Very good Len, sure, the shell would be damaged. Rick, I checked the Durango we have here (I assume it is the same as a Dakota) and they don't have a shouldered bolt. What they have is one washer on each hinge that is spot welded on. I have remove these washers to get minor adjustment out of a panel without ill effects. Basically, most every panel on a car has larger holes than the bolt, to adjust that panel to perfection. As of the last number of years manufacturers have done this "fixed" position on doors, hoods, even suspension componants. Removing the shouldered bolt, the washer, the plastic dohicky like a Chevy pickup has on the front control arms is normal and done every day to adjust the componants.

As long as you are adjusting it WITHIN the hole of that hinge, all is fine. If you try to hog out holes and stuff like that, then you are trying to correct a damaged componant and that is wrong.

Brian

shoddy_f-body
10-01-2007, 06:49 PM
On the newer dodges the washer is glued into place with red sealant. give it a wack with a punch and a hammer and it will come off giving you more adjustment. I just did a Liberty, and a full size dodge that were that way.