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DOOR GAP ON A 76

LVMYVT76

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Apr 21, 2006
Messages
664
Location
springfield, mo
Corvette
1976 medium blue
On my 76 , I have a 1/2 inch door gap on the front top 9 inches, then it goes to an acceptable gap. My back gap is also acceptable. Anyone else showing the same gappage? I have replaced the hinges. The dorr opens and closes fine, no problem there. It just eats on me when I see other years that a conformed gap all the way around the doors. Any suggestions?? I have had this car since 1980, so I know it has not been a wreck of any kind. I also have been inside the door to work on different items and do not see any problems there. Some suggested that my radiator support might be the problem, maybe rusted out or something. But I had the motor out and radiator out and everything is fine there. No rust, no sagging .
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
1,060
Location
Motorcity USA
Corvette
1973 L-48 Coupe
On my 76 , I have a 1/2 inch door gap on the front top 9 inches, then it goes to an acceptable gap. My back gap is also acceptable. Anyone else showing the same gappage? I have replaced the hinges. The dorr opens and closes fine, no problem there. It just eats on me when I see other years that a conformed gap all the way around the doors. Any suggestions?? I have had this car since 1980, so I know it has not been a wreck of any kind. I also have been inside the door to work on different items and do not see any problems there. Some suggested that my radiator support might be the problem, maybe rusted out or something. But I had the motor out and radiator out and everything is fine there. No rust, no sagging .


my passenger side door has a large gap at the top half of the door, at the hinge end... the gap on the latch end looks normal. i have been told it is the front fender that needs adjusting on mine. im not a body guy and really have no idea how or where it would be...but this guy seemed confident enough to say it would have 1/8 gaps on all of the seams when he was done.....i didnt take it in for fixing as that was something said during a conversation about painting it for me.
i hope this info sheds light on your question somewhat....
Chas:_rock
 

6880 Mike

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Jun 30, 2006
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2,723
Location
The Bluegrass State
Corvette
1968 convertible; 1980 L-82
On my 76 , I have a 1/2 inch door gap on the front top 9 inches, then it goes to an acceptable gap....Anyone else showing the same gappage? I have replaced the hinges....

The uneven gap is more common than it ever should have been and results from a grinding application done on the assembly line. Stock fenders and upper surround panels were left long on the trailing edges. After the doors were mounted and aligned along the rear, the long edges of the fenders and surround panel were ground down. Workmen were supposed to ensure the gap was even bottom to top, but the quality of the grind depended upon who was doing it. It's possible the gaps are different left and right since two different workmen made the grinds, one on the left, and one on the right. Replacing door hinges won't help you much. Loosening the fender and surround panel bonding at the doors is also not likely to help much because these areas have already been ground down too short.

The only real way to close the gap is to add fiberglass to the trailing edge of the fenders and upper surround panel. After the glass is laid up, mark your gaps evenly (a compass works fine), then do your own grinding. If memory serves, the gap is supposed to be 1/4" to 3/8" along the entire length.

:)
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
1,060
Location
Motorcity USA
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1973 L-48 Coupe
HOW DO YOU ADJUST THE FRONT FENDERS WHEN THEY ARE BONDED TO THE FIREWALL?

(ALL CAPS IS YELLING!....DID I UPSET YOU??)


" i have been told it is the front fender that needs adjusting on mine. im not a body guy and really have no idea how or where it would be..."

:ugh
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
The uneven gap is more common than it ever should have been and results from a grinding application done on the assembly line. Stock fenders and upper surround panels were left long on the trailing edges. After the doors were mounted and aligned along the rear, the long edges of the fenders and surround panel were ground down.

Actually, on the C3's, the front clip/surround was bonded on before the doors were hung; after the bond went off, an aluminum fixture that located fore-aft from the front edge of the rear quarter was clamped in each door opening, and the front of the fixture was machined as a guide for a router, which trimmed the rear edge of the fender to create the front of the door opening. Frequently a door-to-fender gap that's wider at the top than at the bottom is a result of a failed bond between the top of the fender and the cowl, although even the best of them were a poor fit to start with.

:beer
 

LVMYVT76

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
664
Location
springfield, mo
Corvette
1976 medium blue
No I was not mad at you. I use caps most of the day and had them locked on when I wrote that.
I will just have to live with the different gap. It's nice to see a car that has been worked on and has a even gap. It makes you wish.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
1,060
Location
Motorcity USA
Corvette
1973 L-48 Coupe
No I was not mad at you. I use caps most of the day and had them locked on when I wrote that.
I will just have to live with the different gap. It's nice to see a car that has been worked on and has a even gap. It makes you wish.

I totally agree, I look at it as a defining part of my car.
Chas:w
 
G

GaryS

Guest
I am surprised that no one suggested that the upper hinge bushings may need to be replaced. Isn't that a possibility?

Gary
 

muddywaters

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Aug 25, 2002
Messages
765
Location
wilkes-barre,pa.usa
Corvette
1988 white 4+3 coupe 99 Torch Red 6spd. coupe
Gaps

I've had 4 c3's, all had wide gaps in that area, check the latch side of your door, is it sagged below rear quarter panel? After an accident with my 70, I removed old front clip and installed new one, managed to close gap so it looked better, once fenders are glued no adjustment is possible. I know some body guys that built up that area to get the gaps equal, but I would think that it would chip easily.
 

jdp6000

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Joined
Aug 23, 2004
Messages
646
Location
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Corvette
1982 CROSSFIRE
You have to apply the old caprenters rise and run rule. An 1/8 of inch diffrence at the lower right will make a 1/4 inch difference in the upper left. Provided your hinges are good you can adjust the 1/2 down to a more acceptable gap.

Jim
 

LVMYVT76

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Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
664
Location
springfield, mo
Corvette
1976 medium blue
Replaced all hinges, still no change, the gap on the latch side is perfect. The gap along the bottom is also perfect. It must be a factory thing since I have seen others with the same gap.
 

LVMYVT76

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Apr 21, 2006
Messages
664
Location
springfield, mo
Corvette
1976 medium blue
what would raising the door acomplish? Its aligns up other than the gap is wide on the front top area.
 
Y

yarb

Guest
gaps

I have to agree with Mike.Also the problem may not be with the door but with the top surround panel. I have many years experience repairing corvette bodies. Yes the factory gaps were often inconsistent in the early cars but I never saw one with half inch gaps that hadnt been fussed with after it left good old GM. Close inspection of the top surround may reveal a repair or replacement at one point before you owned the car. Yes you can "hang" fiberglass in that area and tighten the gap, but eventually the "fix" will show. Has nothing to do with the talent of the body man. Its just the nature of fiberglass repairs. I always tried to convince my customers to replace the panel with OEM parts. Fiberglass repairs continue to shrink for a long period of time. A repair that was invisable when completed eventually shows some evidence of repair if caught at the right line of sight.
 

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