Door alignment on 124 Spider

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miker
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Door alignment on 124 Spider

Post by miker » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:48 am

My driver side door is sagging. It is a replacement door from my resto/repaint 23 years ago.

I was thinking that I could use a floor jack to take the weight off the door when I loosen the allen bolts holding it in place, but other than that, I really don't know how to go about this. I assume I have to loosen both the lower and upper hinges, taking off the trim panel.

Any other advice?
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MikeR (mirafiori.com since 1995)


1977 Fiat 124 Spider
Previously owned:
2012 Fiat 500 Prima Edizione #236 (now owned by my son David)
'86 Bertone X1/9
'81 Fiat Spider 2000 #236
'78 Fiat 131 four door
'76 Fiat 128 4 door
'74 Fiat 128 4 door
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friedman
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Re: Door alignment on 124 Spider

Post by friedman » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:50 pm

Where the hinges bolt to the body is adjustable but the hinge also bolts to the inside of the door and that provides a lot of adjustment. Check the door for fatigue cracks where the upper hinge bolts to the door, very common. Yes, I use a jack under the door to support it.
Carl in Virginia
75 spider
86 Bertone
77 X1/9
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Re: Door alignment on 124 Spider

Post by fp55scca » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:47 pm

friedman wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:50 pm
….Where the hinges bolt to the body is adjustable but the hinge also bolts to the inside of the door and that provides a lot of adjustment.
….Check the door for fatigue cracks where the upper hinge bolts to the door, very common.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
--Door hinges are bolted to the A-pillar, and also to the door itself. The bolts attaching the hinge to the door are used to rotate the door clockwise and counter-clockwise, and move the door fore and aft. From the pics Mike, it looks like you could rotate your door slightly counter-clockwise. Even with a jack under the door, it's an easier task if you have a helper to steady the door as you make adjustments.

--Bolts on the A-pillar move the door in and out, and up and down.

--A tip when removing a door that is already in proper adjustment, such as for painting: drill two 1/8" holes in each hinge where they attach to the A-pillar. Then unbolt the door from the A-pillar and remove it. When replacing the door, bolt the door hinges loosely back to the A-pillar, use a 1/8" drill bit or suitable probe, to align the hinges to the pre-drilled holes....and tighten.
Jim Scurria
Norfolk, VA

1972 Fiat 124 Spider
1971 Spider - SCCA FP-24
1974 CSA Abarth Replica
1981 Fiat Spider Ratrod
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Re: Door alignment on 124 Spider

Post by fp55scca » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:58 pm

--The pictures aren't clear, but you may also be experiencing some "chassis sag" on your Spider. This is common.

--After you make your adjustments to your door to remove the door sag, check for "chassis sag" with the door closed, and observe the door lines between the door and the fenders at the A-pillar and the B-pillar. If your chassis is sagging slightly, you door lines will be wider at the top of the door, at both the A and the B-pillar. No amount of door adjustment can relieve this, but the best you can do is to center the door to even the lines front to back.
Jim Scurria
Norfolk, VA

1972 Fiat 124 Spider
1971 Spider - SCCA FP-24
1974 CSA Abarth Replica
1981 Fiat Spider Ratrod
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jgoodfellow
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Re: Door alignment on 124 Spider

Post by jgoodfellow » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:41 pm

What Carl said.

When I had that issue on my '84 it was indeed metal fatigue and cracks in the sheet steel in the door above the top hinge.
It was welded and has held up fro 20+ years.

The body guy who fixed it said don't lean on the door when you're getting in and out!

John
'84 Pinin Spider Azzurra
'72 124 Sport Spider
Long Island, NY
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Re: Door alignment on 124 Spider

Post by fp55scca » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:34 pm

jgoodfellow wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:41 pm
...When I had that issue on my '84 it was indeed metal fatigue and cracks in the sheet steel in the door above the top hinge.
It was welded and has held up fro 20+ years
-----------------------------------------------
--Hi John, you're mighty quiet here lately! :lol:

--Just for others who may not be as familiar, the "door-hinge cracking" issue applies much more so to the '79-85 Spiders than to the early Spiders. I think the Spider Mike has pictured here is a '77.

--The whole door structure was changed in '79, and particularly the hinge design. Early Spiders ('68-78) have a much more robust design. A classic example of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"!
Jim Scurria
Norfolk, VA

1972 Fiat 124 Spider
1971 Spider - SCCA FP-24
1974 CSA Abarth Replica
1981 Fiat Spider Ratrod
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Re: Door alignment on 124 Spider

Post by nitrate » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:40 am

Jim, Is the procedure for adjusting doors on the later cars the same as the early cars? RB
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Re: Door alignment on 124 Spider

Post by fp55scca » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:01 am

nitrate wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:40 am
Jim, Is the procedure for adjusting doors on the later cars the same as the early cars? RB
-----------------------------------

--Yes, the procedure for adjusting early and later Spider doors is just the same.
Jim Scurria
Norfolk, VA

1972 Fiat 124 Spider
1971 Spider - SCCA FP-24
1974 CSA Abarth Replica
1981 Fiat Spider Ratrod
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Re: Door alignment on 124 Spider

Post by jgoodfellow » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:17 pm

Ha, - You're right Jim I only check in now and then. Will start driving the '84 again soon and wrenching on the endless '72
project car, so I will likely be whimpering in the corner here for support and / or sympathy :roll:

But hey my signature panel says I have 2700 posts...(1996 was a long time ago my friend) :D

Happy Spring!

John
'84 Pinin Spider Azzurra
'72 124 Sport Spider
Long Island, NY
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