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Whoa! It's not a simple R&R.


RivNut
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I was having trouble lining up the door skin on my '64 and we thought that perhaps the inner door may have been sprung (there is evidence of some earlier damage.) I pulled a '63 inner door from my shed and was going to bolt it on only to find out that the inner doors have different structures and different ways of holding the door to the hinge. The '64 has a plate to which the hinge bolts and that plate is caged. The '63's plate just hangs on a hook that's stamped into the metal. If you're going to try to bolt a '63 door to a '64, make sure that you get the plate that goes with the door. I didn't :(

Ed

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I need to add some more details to my post above for the benefit of anyone thinking they can switch 63 and 64 doors. One of the hinges on my '64 showed that it needed a new pin so I took a '63 hinge into the shop today to swap them out because the pin in the '63 hinge looked okay. I found out today that in '63 the door is bolted to the hinge; in '64 the hinge is bolted to the door. '63 door hinge bolts are inside the door; '64 door hinge bolts are outside the door. At least the power vent windows from the '63 work on the '64. That's the main reason that I got the doors in the first place. So if anyone is in need of some '63 door parts, let me know.

Ed

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I had the same realization about 4 years ago. The bottom of the inner door on my 63 had rust. I found a very clean 64 door at CTC Auto Ranch. I prepped the entire thing and swapped all the hardware from my door. I went to attach it and boy was I pissed. I literally walked around the car about 5 times, trying to absorb it. Drove back up to CTC with my beautiful inner door and swapped it for a 63. Complete and utter do over. PRL

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After looking at it, I can see why it may have been done - my opinion anyway. If you want to adjust the door on it's hinges on the '64, you can do it easily because all of the hing bolts are accessible inside the door jamb. On the '63, to loose the door from the hinge and adjust it, you'd have to remove the door skin. I'm glad they made the change. We were adjusting the door today after putting in a new hinge pin and bushings. With the skin off (as on a '63) you'd have no body lines for reference for the alignment.

Ed

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I agree Ed. I think the entire saga revolves around the real world practicality of the door skins. My guess is that by late 1963, Buick HQ got about a million dealer complaints about the service headaches of removing the skin that resulted in non customer billable body shop repairs. Imagine that you are a technician tasked with fixing a malfunctioning window lift and suddenly you are removing a body panel. Nicks, scratches, alignment issues etc. What a pain. Revising the hinges was probably the fastest, cheapest half measure. By 66, the skins were gone. The first gen is a wonderfully engineered car, but the skins always make me scratch my head. Actually, I find the prospect of removing them hair raising. PRL

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I agree Ed. I think the entire saga revolves around the real world practicality of the door skins. My guess is that by late 1963, Buick HQ got about a million dealer complaints about the service headaches of removing the skin that resulted in non customer billable body shop repairs. Imagine that you are a technician tasked with fixing a malfunctioning window lift and suddenly you are removing a body panel. Nicks, scratches, alignment issues etc. What a pain. Revising the hinges was probably the fastest, cheapest half measure. By 66, the skins were gone. The first gen is a wonderfully engineered car, but the skins always make me scratch my head. Actually, I find the prospect of removing them hair raising. PRL

Does anyone know of any other GM car from the same era that had bolt on door skins? I've owned many vintage GM cars over the years and I have never seen another one. I found it much easier taking the skins off my 64 and 65 to service items inside the door than it was taking the inner panel off my 69.

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