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Body tub spread (again)


RAW1969
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Good afternoon all. I have recently bought my first Triumph. A 1967 Vitesse 2L CV. It's in pretty good nick (I think)  - but there are one or two things that will need attention - so there are a few projects ahead......many of which I can see have been discussed on this and other forums.

All the same - I'm after a bit of advice regarding body tub spread as I think I have a case of it &  I'm struggling with the basics on this problem!

 

My passenger door will barely shut. The driver's side one is fine. The front edge of the ventilator is wedged tight on the windscreen (the ventilator distorts when the door does shut) and the bottom of the door sticks out at the B-post when the door's forced shut. It's aligned OK at the top (but won't lock). Having read some old forum posts at some length - I've concluded that the bulkhead needs tipping forward and packing - to address the problem with the ventilator. But the bottom sticking out may be due to the body tub spread.

 

From what I've seen posted on other threads the remedy seems to be to pull in the sides of the car with a substantial amount of force. I've seen Pete Lewis's pictures of his herald being squeezed with threaded bar attached to the lugs at the tops of the saloon's B-posts - and read mention of ratchet straps - looped through seat belt attachments & hood well frame etc. As mine's a CV - I think if I attempt this it will be with ratchet straps - but not sure where to attach them.

 

So my question is this........why would pulling in the sides of the car (and from Pete's pictures - applying the tension at the tops of the B-posts) - do anything to improve doors that stick out at the bottom? I appreciate that the procedure works - but I wanted to understand how it works/ what's going on/ what parts are moving in relation to others - before thinking about what I need to buy to try it.

 

Not going to jump the gun on this just yet - as I know the car's had 2 new doors courtesy of previous owner and they might just have been put on in haste.....so I'll do some tinkering with that first of all to see if there's a less drastic solution.

 

The collective thoughts of the forum are much appreciated & if/ when I do attempt this I'll endeavour to photograph the operation to share what I learn along the way....

 

Cheers

 

 

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Think of it this way: the tub has spread out and is wider at the top than the bottom. Doors which hang vertically now stick out at the bottom, as they’re further out at the top to match the B post profile. If you pull the top of the tub inwards, this will allow the doors to move towards the vertical again and so the bottoms will pull in to match the new profile.  Think of the body like this: \_/ and if I add doors: |\_/| you can visualise how narrowing the top would pull the two vertical sides closer in.

Of course if your doors are improperly skinned they may not be the correct profile at all; the skin should be folded around the door frame and fitted to the car and twisted - often substantially - to fit the profile of the body and the door gaps. Only then should it be welded. If it’s been welded off the car then any distortion will not be a permanent part of the structure.

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yes this sums it up well.    the puller we made was just from odds and sods with some BQ studding

 

if you ratchet strap you need a good wide one ,this takes a lot of load to pull the tops inwards , what happens....lots of crack and groan, if you get carried away the rear deck will buckle upwards . and believe the deeper the rear deck the harder it is to 'pull in'

 

ratchet straps you need to support the top contour of the wing/b  post or you can crush the form and have a bigger nighmare

 

I have toyed with the idea of using seat belt anchors but , that stresses a safety fixing

also thought about making a bracket to fix to the striker cage nuts again your stressing a safety fixing

 

the lugs on the saloon did work well without any distortion but as said they are not on Convertibles 

 

and to correct   1/2 spread you need to over pull the wing tops in by a lot ,  a real lot more   like 1.5."  and let it spring back

 

a quick trial with a strap will show you what can be gained,   whether it will allow enough effort to pull her in  , i have not done this.

 

packing the baulkhead up on its rear  pairs of  mount and the centre outrigger  Floor joint aswell will gain A post clearance

its common on CV to have the screen pillar pulled back due to hood tension

 

we look forward to how you get on with this regular bit of triumphism

 

Pete

post-14-0-90786300-1432838151_thumb.jpg

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the other thing  affect shuts is the silly  oversized bubble door seal the orig was a single flip seal available from  Bill  Rarebits 4 classics

 

and locking , make sure the slide under the B striker is oiled and the wedge works with its weeny spring

 

check there is free play at the push button ,if the inside lever is at all preloaded the door will bounce open

 

make sure its fitted with the hasp and staple anti burst fittings , used on  all TR as well but getting rare and expensive

 

Pete

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Thank-you for your responses. The use of the text character graphics was superb. I hadn't though of the doors being vertical and the wings not. I was labouring under the mis-understanding that the spread was somehow at floor level - hence the reference to using the seat belt anchors to pull in. Comments about those being too low make sense to me now (as do comments about not unduly stressing the safety fixings.)

 

As the problem seems to affect the nearside only - I wonder if it could be corrected by pushing in from the outside - ie protecting the exterior appropriately, parking the car close to the garage wall and putting a jack between the car and wall and expanding it. In my head the pro's include not pulling against the "good" side of the car.....the cons include not knowing the force required - so possibility of just tipping the car on its suspension if not appropriately braced - or even possibly demolishing the garage wall and the car with it! Even a £250 video clip on "You've been framed" would be scant compensation for that outcome!! Also I can see I might need more timber than Noah to prop & protect the car......

 

Plenty to think about.

 

Richard

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youre right to have a good think , as  the cheap and cheerfull pull wont  appreciate only one side is 'out'

 

   also think about pulling  O/s tension from somewhere  from beyond the  N/s    rather than 'pushing'  just another option .

 

     anyone got  a ground anchor lurking ??? 

      

      but do do a soft ratchet or tourniquet across the wing tops just to confirm the idea will give a result to your door proudness

 

        whilst there's some slide on the door to hinge bolts it never solves spread. and pushing the lower hinge in and top one out just ends up with a mess  of tapers and flush/proud down the a post and bonnet gap.....  Grr!!

 

        let me know when to tune in to UBF  ????

 

                  Pete

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  • 10 months later...

Bumping this thread back up - as having finally solved the speedo pinion oil seal "project" (with thanks to help and advice from here) - I've returned to the ill fitting passenger door.

 

I started to undo bolts & screws in an attempt to tip the scuttle (bulkhead) to put packing washers in as suggested. Already a bit stuck - regarding the extent of dismantling required. Assuming at least one sill needs to come off. I've removed the hex screws from under the car. There remain however a number of small screws (maybe self tappers)  through the vertical edge of the floor panels into the sills. These have been painted over and try as I might I can't budge them. Considering drilling them out as think they may have originally been rivets? Not sure if this is a bit drastic - or even necessary though. Similarly the hex-screws through the floor into the chassis cross member - all but one came out easily. The last one is stuck. Isn't that always the way? WD40'd it and left for now. Is there a recommended method/ tool for extracting stubborn screws like this please?

 

In my struggles I've taken out the door seal - and now find that with the seal out the door fits a little better. It will click shut much more easily - though still a little proud at the bottom. Also less impact on the windscreen - particularly when the window is wound down. Wondering now if the ventilator/ window can be adjusted instead of packing up the scuttle. Not sure if I need to totally rethink what I'd planned to do.

 

Finally - I've also bought two MASSIVE ratchet straps to attempt a one sided tub pull. Without the door seal (which I think must be the wrong seal - per Pete's suggestion above) - there's not as far to pull. The straps have sturdy hooks on each end. Was considering just hooking into the top of the B post. Is there a danger I'll bend the inside of the post though? (I've read a post from CV owner (sorry I can't find the post just now) who pulled one sided on seat belt anchor with lump of wood in the hood cavity  (presumably with hood frame removed). As with everything I'd like to minimise the amount of dismantling - so doing it with hood in situ would be good - if I don't damage anything! 

 

All thoughts/ observations gratefully received.

 

Thanks

Richard

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The side screws are the original type, the hex ones into the siderail who knows (somebody will!) as I have seen the straps welded, screwed, pop riveted and even just bent round the siderail, and sometimes missing altogether. 

There are also a couple of fixings up into the rear wing....

 

As to stubborn screws, an impact screwdriver can be helpful as it twists as you hit it. Otherwise a hammer-through screwdriver (or improvise) and a few whacks can get them moving. If all that fails drilling will work fine. But a hammer is your friend for loosening screws, bolts etc.

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yes there s a  couple sill screws  vertically just behind the b post somewhere , 

 

if there are screws you could with a dremmel disc cut a nice deep driver slot in the old head,    I refitted with large dia  shallow head pops as these can be easy to drill off if ever it needs .

 

 

a saloon has some decent lugs on the top of the b post waist to pull in with a CV doesnt have any,  if you tourniquet straps  across the body make sure you use something to spread the load or you will dent the wing panel.

 

if the door is fitted and OK at the A post for flushness you can see the variation in the tub by a measured look at the seal flange to door gap down the B post

i bet is all over the place with big gap bottom and touching at the top 

 

you have to pull the tub till the gap is parallel  down the B post

 

most seals sold unless from bill at rarebits4classics will be an oversized balloon seal

 http://www.rarebits4classics.net/  

 

other suppliers are CEBaines   worth a look for any seals you need

http://www.coh-baines.co.uk/pdfs/catalogue_compressed.pdf

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Yes there is in out up down fwd back on the hinge fixings, and the card water seal

When there's tub spread none will work as you might align door flush to the bonnet or to the Bpost but

Never get both as the verticals just dont match the door flush,

 

if you get it half right and the rear lower door is proud of the B post you have to cure the spread or

seriuosly bend the door carcass or bend the bonnet wing extension to match a door shut which now

is well out to the sill line it goes on forever

 

pete

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Thanks all for suggestions. I bought the seals from Rarebits yesterday - and also an impact driver off Amazon. The reviews on Amazon convinced me it's a must have for an oldish car. I'm building up my tool kit pretty much from scratch and am coming across a number of tools I've never heard of before (impact driver/ crows foot sockets for example). Finding that there's only so much that screwdrivers/ spanners/ sockets/ jack/ stands & Swiss army knife can achieve. Think I've seen a thread on here (or maybe on CT) regarding "must have" tools to acquire - so might revisit that. Been considering a Dremel - and or maybe an angle grinder. Worried I might get a bit gung-ho though and start cutting all sorts of bits that shouldn't be cut :). Slotting a bolt head with a Dremel is something I wouldn't have thought of - but sounds promising....

 

Will reassess door alignment with seals out - along B post flange. As mentioned - I've now got the ratchet straps for a tub pull (or wrap around squeeze) - but it's a one sided problem - so favouring an internal pull. Thinking I've got some steel plates I can "Heath Robinson" some sort of spreader pad from  - for inside the B post so the strap hook doesn't pierce through the interior metal. 

 

Still think windscreen needs tipping forward - if only by a millimetre or two - so will need to get the final bolt out of the floor. That said I've only taken the bolts out of the passenger side. Any views on whether they all need to come out and sills off both sides before trying to adjust the scuttle? Also as this is dismantling to adjust the scuttle rather than rebuilding from chassis up - how best to adjust the position? Was thinking I'd brace a jack in the door aperture and push sideways - then slot the washers in the gap created between floor and chassis. But would lifting the floor by the chassis cross member with a jack to tip the scuttle forward be a better idea?

 

Both issues (tub spread & ventilator hitting windscreen) look far better with the fat seals out - though not fully cured. Shows sometimes the simple fix is the one (thank goodness!).

 

Again - any thoughts/ suggestions greatly appreciated. At some point I will be in a position to put back some advice.....a lot of learning required before then though!

 

Thanks

Richard

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dont forget when tipping the front tub to increase Apost clearance that there are a set of bolts thro the floor joint into the centre cross rigger  under the seats 

 

C washers are fine , when I did mine the repaired straight jigged chassis needed lots of packing to align a 50 yr old wonky body  you may need lots of washers

 

only use one rubber pad on the side mounts .  i used truck rubber canvass truck mud flaps and hole saw .. very tough very cheap 

 

 

on the  other post i mentioned making wooden spacers for the door shut to fit over the seal flanges 

 

 

door gap gauge  

mine was a length of 2x1 timber with slot each end to drop between the seal flanges ,  the ends being cut at an angle or you cant insert them at an angle to drop in and then positioned horizontal   the  gap between  slots  on mine ( not to say thats right ) is 40.25" 

if you make them longer you can adjust the angle to change the gap widtths

they fit in with or without the doors on .

 

the body manual uses wedges whacked in the door shuts ,   didnt find that very intuative  

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Quick update. Did a "test pull" last night - the two ratchet straps looped through driver's side seatbelt fixing and simply hooked into the hood cavity over the top rail of B post. Ratcheted tight and quite soon had the door shut so flush at the bottom. Hooray!

 

When released - it springs back out again (maybe not to full extent). So next tried a slight "over-pull". Much, much stiffer to ratchet once past the vertical - and some alarming creeks and groans (mainly from me though). Still sprIngs back when released. Very nervous of the full over-pull possibly required. convinced something's going to either rip or explode. Have left it strapped up in the vertical whilst I've come to work. 

 

Who needs seats & seatbelts anyway when you've got nice straight doors?!

 

Richard

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  • 4 weeks later...

Richard did you loosen off the bolts etc before you attempted to ratchet the tub in? Reason I ask is my passenger door pokes out at the bottom and drivers at the front so will a attempt this also. By reading all the posts it seems as though I need to ratchet in small amounts until I've gone over its pre stressed point and hopefully returns in a better shape.

 

Thanks

 

Rich

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Thinking about it its right to remove or slacken the rear tub outer mounts

when its pulled in you will need a bit of extra packing, if the wings move in the floor must

rise at the outer and probably reduces the spring back after an over pull

 

Cant remember if ours was held down or not , it was a few years back,

If the roofs on then this again stiffens the rear deck makes the pull harder

I wonder if you dont get the spread on a coupe with the deeper deck panel

 

Im no expert on this just down to needs must , there, s always a solution ......somewhere

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rich - in (very slow) answer to your question - no I didn't. It didn't occur to me to do that as I was trying to pull the tops of the B posts in and leave the bottoms where they were. Need to revisit this as it's still only a partial success. I got distracted by trying to tip the scuttle forward so the door didn't hit the windscreen. That did require the floor bolts to be undone. Eventually another only partial success...though and I now believe the real culprit on that front to be the window pushing the ventilator forward when it's fully up - as the door now shuts OK with the window down!

Anyway - back on the tub sag - the biggest single improvement on he door shutting for the least effort - was achieved by swapping the door seals for the correct type courtesy of Rarebits. I'm confident the "over-pull" will sort he rest of that. Not sure if your driver door being proud at the front is typical tub sag? Might be able to shift that on the hinge adjustment?

 

On a more positive note I reassembled the car sufficiently for a blast around the block on Sunday and still found some shoulder clearance on the B posts :)

Richard

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  • 3 weeks later...

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