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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

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Old 09-12-2008, 12:12 PM
Joe T. Joe T. is offline
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'55 F-100 door gap

The driver side door gap on our '55 F-100 prodject is tight but workable. The passenger side has a noticeable amount more gap. Both sides appear square and I see nothing indicating past damage. Is this normal for the tolerance on these old trucks ? It would be nice to know now since we are at a point where adjustments could possibly be made. I did find out through mid-fifty that the cowel panels are a little different than most and there were very few cabs made this way. I have to modify the new driver cowel panel to fit.
Thanks for any info, Joe
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:41 PM
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Joe -

I found on my 56 that the two door and openings were very different. The tolerances on these old trucks were pretty wide open. By trying to get even and small gaps, we are making silk purses from sow's ears. A lot of the gapping can be accomplished by door adjustment, but ultimately, you probably will have to do some mods to get to a perfect gap all around.

I found that I needed to add weld bead to both doors (in different areas) and build up the upper corner of the passenger door opening in order to get even gaps.

A pic of adding weld bead to the door edge:
Click the image to open in full size.

Building up the door corner:
Click the image to open in full size.

A pic of even gaps:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-12-2008, 02:22 PM
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Like Randy said, these trucks were the model of quality of assembly. They were pretty much slapped together to get the next one on the line out the door. On my '49 F-2 I used a mint original cab from a firetruck with 3000 miles, no modifications. The doors hit on the top back corners on both doors so I had to use a portapower to jack the opening squarer. Once I did this the doors had a pretty decent gap all the way around.
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Old 09-12-2008, 02:50 PM
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Go down to a new car lot and pay close attention to the gaps. Even most of the new ones are not that great. Get them out the door is what matters.

The gaps can be adjusted to where nothing rubs (my doors are that way-which is good enough for me), but...to make them all even takes a lot of work (as you can see from Randy's pics).

I have not even tried to get the front (hood and fenders) correct yet.
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:30 PM
Joe T. Joe T. is offline
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Thanks for the input, guys. My son originaly wanted the rat rod primer look, then the swade look, now a shiney paint job. My attention to detail has to keep getting better and better. Nice to know the cab is how its supposed to be instead of a major problem. Joe
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:35 PM
cmoritz cmoritz is offline
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I ended up 'raising' the doors into the door opening on my 55.Took alot of work in the hinge area. Ended up with a pretty good gap all around..added weld bead as RJ mentioned, then finally got it to the point where the "inside" of the door actually hit the dash...decided to relieve the area with a cut-off tool ,hammer and re-weld.
Yes there is some major "gap-osis" on these old trucks, take your time with each concern...it will pay off in the end.
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:25 PM
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Man, I hope you guys never part your trucks out. As much rework as you guys have put into these doors they'll never fit another truck. On the other hand, it seems like a lot of the stock doors don't fit so maybe your doors will fit. I certainly would like to hear from anyone who would buy your doors and try to install them on a stock truck.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:30 PM
Julies Cool F1 Julies Cool F1 is offline
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HI Joe!

I looked in my Shop Manual because I remembered seeing a couple pages on "Door Adjustment" Believe it or not (and this is why I love my truck) the adjustment has to do with a process of inserting a rubber headed mallet in a strategic location then giving the door a cross body block to another part of it. (or actually slamming the door on the mallet when it is placed just so). If you have a shop manual look in the "Door Alignment" section of "Bodies and Cabs - Chapter 1, Construction and Maintenance" If you don't have it, let me know and I'll scan it and e-mail it to you.

OBTW, if you are trying to impress anyone with your mechanical ability, I wouldn't let them see you adjust the doors that way - even if it's right.

J!
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:09 PM
Joe T. Joe T. is offline
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You mean all that time I spent making shims for the driver side door hinges and all I had to do was slam it shut on a hammer head ?! I would like to see your info. terminijoe@hotmail.com. Thanks
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:15 PM
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Julie: The 56 shop manual shows a similar adjustment, but using a special tool. Like you need a special tool for that.

I have seen guys in body shops prop a board on the rocker panel and slowly shut the door to bend the hinges back into shape (chevys). I have seen them take the top window frames and bend them by hand (usually in) to get them to seal (small chrysler products). This is on more modern cars, but the principal is the same.

In my case...the doors shut and seal well. The door gaps just vary. I am leaving well enough alone. That is except one spot where the PO didn't get the patch panel quite right. I will fix that...someday.
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Old 09-13-2008, 01:10 AM
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I have elongated the holes in the hinges abit and had pretty good success in getting a close fit doing this. Take your time and maybe get a friend to help you, you should get a decent fit. Good Luck
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Old 09-13-2008, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julies Cool F1 View Post
HI Joe!

I looked in my Shop Manual because I remembered seeing a couple pages on "Door Adjustment" Believe it or not (and this is why I love my truck) the adjustment has to do with a process of inserting a rubber headed mallet in a strategic location then giving the door a cross body block to another part of it. (or actually slamming the door on the mallet when it is placed just so). If you have a shop manual look in the "Door Alignment" section of "Bodies and Cabs - Chapter 1, Construction and Maintenance" If you don't have it, let me know and I'll scan it and e-mail it to you.

OBTW, if you are trying to impress anyone with your mechanical ability, I wouldn't let them see you adjust the doors that way - even if it's right.

J!
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Julie....they still do it that way. After you run out of hinge and striker adj., sometimes you gotta bend um a little. 'Some training required'.....Rod
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Old 09-13-2008, 04:03 AM
 
 
 
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