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Avanti Door Gap Alignment


1inxs
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I am preparing my 1981 Avanti II for paint. I’m not happy with the gap around the doors. I am quite sure I can get the door centered in the hole with the proper adjustments. It doesn’t appear that there is any adjustment in the hinges and using shims seems nearly impossible. How are the doors moved frontward and rearward? 

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Door alignment is done with shims and/or by loosening the hinge bolts and shifting/moving the door in relation to the hinges and/or the hinges in relation to the body.

The technique is the same as with most automobiles. Its more an art than a science, since shimming or moving one door hinge usually requires adjusting the other hinge, too, and it can require several people and/or some jacks and wood shims to support the door and move it around in relationship to the hinges or body opening.

See the Body section at the back of the Studebaker Avanti workshop manual, page 9.

If you don't already have a workshop manual you need to acquire one, and not only for this door adjustment; an Avanti parts manual is also useful. Google "Studebaker Avanti Workshop Manual" ...pricing is usually in the $25 to $50 range depending on condition; they show up often on eBay for around 30 bucks. Some Stude/Avanti vendors offer them, also, such as Studebaker International.

Or, most collision shops deal with door alignment daily, so they may be able to do the job for you... at a price, of course.

avanti workshop manual.jpeg

Avanti parts catalog.jpeg

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As Wayne said, front to back is by loosening the bolts inside the doors and in and out are by shimming. Be sure to check the hinge pins for wear and corrosion.

I also pull out the striker so I'm not fighting it.

When I reinstall doors, I set them in the opening with the hinges in the pockets but no bolts. I then shim them around the opening to create the gap I want and tape long pieces of wood across the door and body to get the correct in/out match. Then add the shims behind the hinges and tighten everything.

You may find that you need to reglass or trim sections to get the gaps you want.

My 83 had really nice gaps from the factory. The 74 passenger door must have been a late Friday build as it needed a fair bit of body work when I redid the car a few years back.

Let me also strongly encourage to get the manuals. It's more than frustrating to put hands on a Avanti without one and worth every cent of the cost. 

Edited by Avanti83
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Avanti Magazine Issue 163, Summer/Fall 2013 had a great article describing how to align doors and windows.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of this edition form a fellow club member.  I do not know if Robert Johnstone's website has any articles on it but you might check.

good luck

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I appreciate the responses. I own the manuals and they are vague if not absent on door alignment. I need to move my door toward the striker and I don’t believe there is any adjustment for this movement. Installing shims inside the deep pocket appears next to impossible. Rotating the top and bottom of the door to flush with the body opening seems to be the only adjustment available and is super easy.

I will search for the Avanti Magazine Issue 163 and keep my fingers crossed that it helps. Bob Johnstone has a bunch of excellent information on his site. Finding the information is like pulling hens teeth. I only find information on his site by accident through internet search engines. I will keep searching until I get it figured out. All of your experience and comments are appreciated. Thanks

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I'm a bit confused about the "vague" instructions. The manual says to adjust fore/aft (back to front) and up/down loosen the screws in the door hinges (#1) and move to adjust. For in/out you need to add shims. That's about what any manual would say. 

Have you tried to adjust them yet. I can personally attest there is a fair amount of adjustment by loosening the screws in the doors.

 

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Edited by Avanti83
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Yes, I loosened the 3 screws on the upper hinge and 3 screws on the lower hinge. Zero movement! The holes don’t appear to be elongated, so I’m confused why there would be any movement. Am I missing something?

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The holes are much larger than the screws.  Might be the paint around the hinges and the large compression/star washers, but I would of thought if you loosened them all at the same time, the weight of the door would have broken that.

If you remove 1 screw all the way out, you will see the amount of play.

I would suggest that before you try moving anything, mark a scribe line where the hinges are currently on the door

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2 hours ago, R2W55 said:

The holes are much larger than the screws.  Might be the paint around the hinges and the large compression/star washers, but I would of thought if you loosened them all at the same time, the weight of the door would have broken that.

If you remove 1 screw all the way out, you will see the amount of play.

I would suggest that before you try moving anything, mark a scribe line where the hinges are currently on the door

You hit the nail on the head R2W55. I loosened the bolts and gave it hell! Finally came loose and like Avanti83 attested to, there is a fair amount of play. The passenger door came loose just by backing the bolts out a little. I have the doors in the centered in the jamb where they belong now. Thanks much for everyone that took the time to post a suggestion. 

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I found I couldn't get one of my doors to move forward enough. I figured that the plate in the door wasn't allowing enough movement ie the captured nut was hitting its cover so I removed the plate, trimmed the edge off and reinstalled. This allowed me enough movement to close the gap.

Maybe a long winded way of doing things but the cover was half hanging off anyway.

I thought the A11 had slightly larger holes in the hinge to allow for more movement.

pb

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On 11/3/2020 at 6:56 AM, R2W55 said:

you might have to check the alignment of the vent window now.  there are  adjustment screws to adjust the angle of it.

There may be a little adjusting needed. I’ll research that after I finish painting the car.

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