Jump to content

Adjusting spitfire door

Recommended Posts

I have a similar problem, but I beleive that this was caused by my mechanic not bracing the door gap when new sills and other panels were fitted. I don't think that I can solve this without either twisting tbe whole door, or major surgery to the bodywork. Not much help for you, sorry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It could be a pattern sill that was slightly thinner than original so, when welded to the floorpans, sits in too far and the door stands proud over it. Replacing sills is a sort of 3D affair; as Badwolf says you have not only the front and rear gap to brace, but also the in/out dimension as well. A lot of bodyworkers seem to gap the door aperture from A post to B post and weld the sill to the floor without ever checking the bottom of the door.

Have you tried closing the door with the door seal removed? If your door sits correctly when this is done (loosen the B-post door catch bolts to allow it to move with the door) then your seals are too fat, and you'll need to source thinner versions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Colin - You are probably correct about the pattern sills. In many cases there is little of the original sill left to measure and compare with, so the pattern goes on without the door being hung to gauge the gapping and then it's too late to fix it. I feel that  my sills/panels being fitted on the body but off the chassis, with no door bracing, has cause the 3D probems that I have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi. Looking at the restoration photos i dont think the sills were off  . I will try removing the seal and maybe beating the seam back a bit never thought of a too thicker seal. Anyone know where you can get thinner ones. I missed bristol. Thanks everyone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So all the panels are supposed to line up?  That would be a first.  Mine's factory spec so you can either put your finger in the gap, or the panels rub against each other and fetch the paint off. 

I'd guess the OPs doors are prefect, it's the rest of the car that needs to be adjusted.😉

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The door frames are identical and I think the latches are too, so MkIV doors ought to fit a Mk3. But if your problem is with alignment there's no guarantee swapping the doors will help. If you have rotten Mk3 doors and can source decent Mk4 ones then you can fit new Mk3 skins to the Mk4 doors and rebuild them with the internals of your old ones to get a good pair of Mk3 doors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 22/06/2019 at 11:31, Chris Bracey said:

Hi. I have a spitfire whos door stands proud along the bottom but before i undo  too many bolts is there any guidance on the site about the sequence of adjustments.

Thank you

Hi Chris,

Have you made any progress with this?

There's a lot that can be said above door-fit on Spitfires/GT6s!

Firstly; OE panel fit was never that good. If one looks at Triumph's original publicity photos from the 70s one can see panels alignments that look hideous by modern standards.

Secondly, as commented on by other members, is that poor sill replacement can be a problem - further compounded by problems with the floor pan and rear wing if these have been worked on. A relevant check is to use a long straight edge (a six foot steel rule is ideal) and check the straightness of the full length of sill from the front right back to the rear wheel arch. Both in plan (side) and in elevation  (bottom edge) the structure should true to within a couple of mm. Concave or convex deviation is all too common on repaired cars.

Then there's the matter of doors which have been repaired. Doors which have had full skin replacements can (often) be distorted so worth inspecting for witnesses of this. The shape can also be lost if repairs have been made to the bottom of the door and/or lower lip. Best detected by removing door cards and inspecting for evidence of welding from the inside.

But less of the doom and gloom!

To adjust the doors one has to bite the bullet and then engage in a lot of trial and error. Remove the striker plate, remove furflex door seal and protect all edges with masking tape. Slacken off all six fasteners which attach the door to the hinges ( four bolts and two countersunk, croos-head, setscrews). This should allow the door to move on and out but also pivot (top moves out while bottom moves in and vice versa). One has to be prepared to push and shove and make repeated attempts.

If there is insufficient adjustment all is not lost. One additional factor can be hinges which have been replaced. Some aftermarket replacements are too thick on the face which bolts to the scuttle. On one car I had to skinny off 3mm off both to get the door to sit inwards far enough. Conversely one can add shims under these faces to increase the adjustment - Even just a 1mm paper shim under the top hinge will throw the bottom of the door in quite a bit.

Hopefully some or all of the above might produce a satisfactory result. Once the alignment is correct the striker and furflex can be replace and adjusted/remedied as required.

I hope all of this is some help. My only other thought is not to engage in cutting/welding or panel beating until every other avenue has been explored.

Good luck





  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...