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Old 10-08-2006, 02:12 AM   #1
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Another sprung door

I recently replaced the weatherstrip on the door of my Ambassador. Now its clear to see it had been sprung at least once in its 46 years

The top is a good 1/2 inch gap keeping it from being water tight for sure.

I've tried the 2x4 in the middle of the door and closing the door on it allowing for some leverage. I had two people, one on the bottom and one on the top pushing very hard to persuade it to its former shape. But it didn't budge.

I even took the door off all together and tried laying it on the ground with one person holding the bottom as I pressured the top down by using a 2x4 under the door. No change again...

So, what's the trick? I read about drilling out the inside skin rivets and having someone push the door in and then re-rivet. But I don't really see how that would do anything.
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Old 10-08-2006, 03:05 AM   #2
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It's a tough job but I found a great way to fix it.

My door was hit by a truck when the PO had it, that's why I guess I got it cheap.

It was not only dented but sprung top and bottom.

Here's what i did I scribed a 2x6 with the curve of the frame on the trailer, cut the wood with a good sawsall, then took the cut piece and made another one.

Now I had a jig with a perfect mold of what the door had to be shaped like.

I removed inner and out skins, placed the door outside curve down into the two concave 2x6's.

THere are rivet holes along both side edges from the outer skin which are now screwed into the 2x6 forceing the door to take the shape of the frame openning.

If it is really bad you can heat the allum door frame (if you burn a liitle wood don't worry about it, let it cool it will remember the new shape) as bad as mine was it didn't need to be heated.

Now reinstall the inner skin, back off some of the screws to test that it's hold the new curve shape. If not heat it.

Flip the door over use the other 2x6 cutout to support the door now from the inside there's nothing to screw it into just rest in the jig this will just keep it all in place while you're re-installing the outter skin.

Lay it up in place, mine was perfect

Now the big suprise, I couldn't rebolt on the hinges, its a catch 22 you need the inner skin on to maintain the shape.

I was really mad as hell I had the door perfect but couldn't install it

My helper came up with this!

I drilled 4 pilot holes from the outside hinge bolt holes thru the inner skin then made them 3/4" holes to get a socket wrench into I taped the nut into the socket and all is good, very good.

I popped 4 plastic plugs ito the 3/4" holes and it looks like they belong there.

Total time 3 1/2 hours.

I didn't have my camera with me when it had it setup in the jigs, that would have made it clearer.
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:57 PM   #3
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Tim I had given you abit of info on the door ,the door frame is really rigid
and the 2x4 in the door frame can't work.you need to lay the door down on supports, the ends higher than the center or the door .I used a piece of 1x1
8 " long wood ,using as a drift ,I would hit the wood drift with a large hammer
in the right spot along the frame of the door ,the idea is to reform the door frame .you need to get the door supported properly as to not damage the outer skin ,use towels under the ends between the 2x4s and the door skin .
This method along with some weighted bouncing ,one try at a time ,then check for fit .I would not remove any inner panels or heat it up to bend it .
I did mine this way ,fits great ,the 2x4 in the door jam did not work for me
either ,the frame is very strong actually .A good hit on frame of the door will work ,the door is not supported below where you are working it but on either side of that so the frame will go down between the supports,the door is laying down with the inside of door pointing up.precautions are needed to protect the outer skin as I have said ,and good support of the door while working into shape along the length of it .I wish I had some photos but I don't ,im sure you will get the idea .Slow and easy ,step at a time ,but the frame will need a good hit to get it to move ,go easy ,get the feel of it .

good luck with it.

Scott
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:50 PM   #4
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Thanks Bob and Scott.

Bob, that sounds like a lot of work! Not sure if I'm up to making jigs.

Scott, I'm having trouble visualizing how you have the door laid out and how you are hitting it.

I had the door off with it laid down with the outside up. It was laying over a 2x4 toward the center. I had me kid basically standing on the bottom keeping it from moving as I bounce my (considerable ) body weight on the upper curved part.

It did not do anything....
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Old 10-08-2006, 07:20 PM   #5
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It will not move, been there done that.

Until the skins come off it is like a piece of granite.

Once the skins are off you can bend it in the jig at will --- with just the wood screws holding clamping it where it belongs.
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:11 AM   #6
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yes it will bend lipets ,I just posted today with my 60 trdwnd door .I did not remove any panels ,drilled new hinge holes or heated anything ! I set up the door on the ground so as to work the offending area into shape .if you have the lower front door bent out ,it can and will be able to be bent back into
shape by supporting the door at the very end and towards the top leaving
say a foot of non supported door where the bending out is on both sides ,then striking the door frame along the rivit line with the drift .
Yes it is very rigid ,but it bent out without it being in pieces it will go back
IVe done mine and its on the trailer so it can be done succesfully .If the
door doesn't fit when your done as yours didn't ,then somthings wrong .
Ill post Tim a photo next.

Scott
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:19 AM   #7
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rendering of door repair

Its only a drawing ,I don't have a good pic of my own to show ,but this
give the idea neede to repair the trouble .you need to be careful again to nto damage the outer skin ,I did not on my repairs using this method.

Scott
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:19 AM   #8
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rendering of door repair

Its only a drawing ,I don't have a good pic of my own to show ,but this
give the idea neede to repair the trouble .you need to be careful again to nto damage the outer skin ,I did not on my repairs using this method.

Scott
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:33 AM   #9
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Exclamation

Scott, that's a real "hit & miss" method (pardon the pun)

You have to do both sides the same amount without any control, if you do it too much I guess you flip it over and bang it again?

It's great if it worked for you but it is not the way I did it.

Maybe your skins were not that tight and allowed it to bend, mine would not.

I guess it's the type of thing that your mileage may vary.

My method IMHO is a lot safer and fully controlled with a jig on each side.

PS: A friend of mine that did body work on Rolls Royces (alum bodies) tells me that in the doors they use cable and turnbuckles to tweak the doors to fit.
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:34 AM   #10
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Scott,

Thanks for the great picture. Now I know what you're saying. I think I'll give it a try, but it does seem a little scary!
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Old 10-09-2006, 09:17 PM   #11
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Lipits ,if you are carefull about what you are doing and realize that beating the door back in shape is NOT the right way to do it .you said yourself the
frame is too tuff and rigid ,so you would have to really beat the frame
with a heavy hammer to bend it too far .If you don't have the insite to take on such a repair ,I would say not to try .Tim is doing a great job and has
performed all his repairs himself except the welding ,that I think he can give
it a try .I did my door ,It did bend back correctly as needed ,checking the fit
as I proceeded with the work .NEVER did I have to flip it over and hit the outside of the door .your method required alot of extra work and then the door did not even fit back on the trailer and then you had to drill new holes and stuff ,which I don't think is needed .you have to know what your doing
to perform a repair such as this .My door skins are and were fine ,not loose.
Why say its hit or miss ? yours was no easier to fix and took more work after it was straight to get it put back on the trailer and it did not fit .My door
easily reinstalled back on the way it was removed fit perfect ,no redrilling the
holes or modifying the hinges .I agree it sounds like abit harsher method ,
and I recommend patience and careful thought ,not just wailing away at
your door frame ,smashing on it .It worked just fine ,took time and patience
and it fit great .

Scott
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Old 10-09-2006, 09:39 PM   #12
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Ok.
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:11 AM   #13
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Thanks to both of you guys, Bob and Scott.

I'm considering all ideas before I proceed :-)

I'll report back on what I find to work!
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:01 PM   #14
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No joy....

I put another 2 hours on the door tonight for a total of around 7 or 8 hours so far

It seemed to be doing something as I tired Scott's technique. I would put the door back on and check off again, on again, etc...

But when it was all said and done, not really any improvement. Once the hinges were fully engaged and the door within a door back in place, the main door bowed out again

Argh... Need to hit up a maintenace rally!
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