Let's get this over with before you say it. You should not have been
backing up with the door open.
When backing out of my garage, the driver's door caught the grass
catcher on my riding lawn mower. The impact tried to open the door too
far. There is no visible damage, but now when the door is shut it makes
a grinding/clunking noise. The door still shuts and locks properly. I
think I can fix the problem with an adjustment to the hinges and/or the
latch. How do I go about making these adjustments?
IF you don't see any damage to the sheet metal (not too likely from your
description)you can assume that the hinges are "sprung"
In such a case you DON'T want to try to adjust the hinges by loosening
I watch a very good body shop adjust the driver's door on a car that I
owned which had been in a minor crash.
Get yourself a couple of carriage bolts (maybe even more than a couple
of different sizes. I'd start with 3/8 or 1/2 and go from there.
Remove the heads of the bolts and if you have a drill press, drill a
small hole through the bolt into which you can insert a piece of solid
wire. Using this bolt and wire, place the bolt between the hinge
leaves. You want the bolt thick enough that you can spring the hinge in
the correct direction.
If the door is rubbing on the bottom, you'll want to spring or bend the
lower hinge. If rubbing at the top, the top hinge. If this is
confusing, just look at the door and where it's rubbing and think about
the problem. It'll come to you.
As I recall, the body man placed the bolt in place and sort of "rocked"
the door against it with some force but not a lot. It didn't take a
whole lot to get it right.
This is a trial and error fix and while it's fairly easy to bend the
hinge so as to increase the distance between the leaves (your goal) the
reverse is definitely NOT true. Sneak up on it!
Just thought I would follow up. The design of the hinges allowed me to
place a 3/8" bolt in the leaves held in place by the head of the bolt
over the top leaf. I placed the bolt in the bottom hinge first and
gently applied pressure by closing the door. The door stopped about six
inches from closing. I repeated the process for the top hinge. The
door works great! I took me longer to locate a bolt to use than to do
the repair. :-)
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