48 Desoto Doors - Making them fit

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Mar 8, 2008
Hey there, I'm new to this place and have a question on hanging the doors on my '48 De Soto. He's a rust bucket for sure. The hinges were shot and the floor is a mess. Thought I should get the doors back on to see if stuff fits before working on the floors and rockers. So, I found some good hinges and re-hung both the doors. It looks to like the top of the passenger door window frame it bent inward about 1/4 inch and seems to make contact with the door frame. And, the bottom left side of the door does not close flush with the rear 1/4's, sticking out about a 1/4 inch at the point where the B pillar and rockers meet.

Since the hinges are not adjustable, how does one get the top of the window frame back into alignment? Heat and a hammer? Hydraulic tools?

As you can tell I'm a moron and need all the help I can get!

Thanks for any illumination you can provide.

This will be a good question for the guys who know. I used to know a body guy who adjusted doors with a 2X4. He would shut the door on a board placed in just the right spot and bring the fit around. I am sure there must be a better way, but I don't know it.
Welcome to the site.

A friend of mine just gave me the same advice. Low tech is good. Kind of scary though that you can adjust your body with some 2 x 4's. Planning on trying this today. Not sure that it will make much difference on the lower door but we'll see.

The block of wood is a good way to make the adjustments IF your door skin is flush with the quarter. You've indicated this is not the case & that the door skin is "out" that same 1/4" as the window frame (appears to be ) in. This is an indication to me that either the bottom door hinge is "out" i.e. away from the cowl, OR the upper hinge is too far in (toward the cowl). Until you find some semblance of adjustment in the hinges, I'd stay away from the wood trick. It is imperative that you align the door skin flush (to the quarter) first & formost. The window frame is aligned after that.

The hinges don't seem to be adjustable on this car. At least I can't figure it out. Now the floors are mush and the rockers are basically non existent. So, maybe the base of the A pillar has moved??

Well, I did manage to get the door in better shape. I loosened the hinge bolts to the door and bent, yanked, pulled, wood blocked and yelled a lot. They didn't move much but it seems that I picked up about 3/16's. So now it's maybe a 1/16 off instead of a 1/4 inch. I can live with that. The gap of the door and B pillar is too good though. The striker on this side had two shims where the drivers side had one. And the drivers door gaps are more to what I would expect from a 60 year old car. We'll see what happens when I start fiddling with Bear Claws. Here's a few pics. What a rust bucket!



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Well, I meant the picture makes it appear that the door is sticking out further than a 1/16th. It really isn't. Believe me, based on the condition of this car, I'm really happy! There's bigger challenges to come like the trunk floor!


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