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56 Doors

CT Car Guy

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We finally got a decent day to take the T'Bird out. I just bought this for my wife. I've been trying to get her involved with classic cars for 10 years. I did notice the lower section of each door was not aligned with the body. I thought a simple striker adjust would do but it was not to be. The gaps in front of the door are narrow at the top and wider as it goes down. The bottom gap is straight. Any thoughts? While I do a lot of mechanical and electrical work on my antiques, when it come to paint and other body work, I farm it out. Before going any further, I wanted to see if you had any ideas. Pictures below.


In Connecticut where it snowed yesterday but today is in the mid 60s!








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Scroll down about 9 items, there's some notes on alignment and weatherstripping. Door problems on birds are pretty common, and yours look way better than mine. I'm told really good body men can shim the body/frame mounting and improve things. That is beyond my talent.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi Larry,

It sounds like whoever installed the weather stripping after the car was painted didn't do it correctly. Check at the following website for instructions:

www.classictbird.com. Check in the ThunderEnlightening archives for issue #2 where there are instructions for installing the weather stripping. That should help you get them in correctly.



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  • 9 months later...

CT car guy,

# 1, the repop rubber has wrong elasticity and does not work well at all.

Guess the Chinese have wore out molds now, that is what happens to metal repop parts also.

I would say your body needs to be re shimmed.

You will end up " bending/swisting " your doors also.

The hang over in the cormers is terrible to get right. Takes two to bend them correctly, will crack the one area of the door though. No big deal, but hold the door in its new position when welding it back up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BIG problem with doors on 55-57 birds. Just did one about 6 months ago from St Louis, had to readjust the whole body & bend the doors. Owner was amazed that he could gently close the doors now/

Just takes time and knowledge of how each shim moves the body from front to back.

Matter of fact, just helped a friend in Illinois with the same problem.


Good luck, as it is tedious.

BTW, great thinking in getting it straight NOW. !!!!!



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