Door drop.....fhc

Hi All…1960…150 fhc…my driver (right) door dosnt close properly and is quite low at the rear dropping down lower than tne rear wing…the door has been abused prior to me getting the car and obviously slammed shut quite a bit as can be seen from the lower hinge bolt heads hitting the A post…thought it was just an adgustment of shims required but the shut line between front door edge and A post is very good…iv removed the door which is very heavy to look at hinge play…it is very minimal…my thinking now is that the front body has dropped…i have no history on the car so dont know whats been done body wise…im currently refurbing so need to rectify the door…so question…is it realistic to undo the body to chassis mounts on the one side from the door forward…then slightly lift and re shim…any one done this…concerns obviously on roof and windscreen…tbe car is a nice driver with reasonable paint…so can a lift be done…its worse than it looks in this photo…Thanks…Steve

I can’t see this solving the problem without just shifting the misalignment somewhere else.

Thanks for the reply…if i put a straight edge along the bottom of the door and the botton of the front wing they both run in line straight…the vertical shut line between door and front wing is even…shimming the hinge will move the back of the door up …but open up the shut line between door and A post…I could be totaly wrong so looking for ideas…my thinking is lifting front wing which lifts door to line up with rear wing…problem is i dont know whats caused the door to not line up at the rear…Steve…ps…i know door drop is a common problem…often caused by loose hinges…what else can cause it…body dropping on chassis? Ali shims corroding?

I’d be surprised if it wasn’t the hinge assemblies. They are notoriously prone to wear.

As i said above the hinges have very little movement…and the door to A post shut line is very good…Steve

Steve its not unusual for the hinges and pins to corrode together and not make normal adjustment checks show what’s really going on. try and get a look at the the hinges where they mount to the bulkhead if you can. sometimes there is access from underneath the front wings depending on what/who has been before you.

Hi Phil…i have inspected the hinges…they are in good condition…(i have the battery boxes and bulkhead bolt on panels out) … as mentioned above there is very minimal movement in the hinges…with the door just open i could feel almost no up/down movement in the hinges if i lift door up/down…there is obviously some misalignment somewhere…a straight edge run along the bottom of front wing, door, rear wing shows the front wing and door straight and the rear wing and B post high…scratching my head on this as its not obvious to work out what to do to get the door looking nice…the other side is perfect…cheers…Steve

I’ve been pondering this for a day or so, hesitating to respond because my familiarity with XK coachwork is confined to the XK120 OTS and there’s assuredly a lot about 150 coupe geometry I don’t understand. Specifically, I’m having difficulty understanding how the body could have shifted in such a way that a significant misalignment would show up only at one B post, and even then how the striker plates on the door and B post shut panels remained aligned. A shift in one side of the body from the door forward seems especially unlikely because the dash support structure and front bulkhead is the most rigid component of the body structure, and it’s securely welded to the fronts of the sills as well as buttressed by the roof and floor structures.

An initial question is, did the door fit properly at some point or has it always been like this in your ownership of the car?


Hi Nick…iv only had the car 5 months…prior to that approx 25 years by previous owner…think he purchased it at auction…my thinking from a few old photos is it didnt line up in the last owners time…iv been all over the car removeing and refurbing rear axel, springs, shocks, brakes, fuel tank…all front suspension ., battery boxes etc…i cant see any major damage or missalignment of the chassis or body/chassis fixings so im a bit stumped…also i cant see signs that the body has ever been off the chassis…so need to find a workaround way to solve this problem…thanks and all comments welcome…think it needs a bit of a brainstorm…just throw in a few thoughts they all help…cheers…Steve


Have you checked that with the door open, the bottom of the front wing is in line with the rear wing. Piece of taut string could establish that.

Is the top of the window frame also dropped relative to the roof? Left right measurements to check.


Hi Clive…iv taken the door off…a straight edge along the bottom of the front wing and rear wing shows the rear wing is quite a bit higher…hence my thinking of lifting the body …when the door was on the window frame wasnt a good fit to the roof…but then it wouldnt be becase the rear of the door dosnt line up with the rear wing…these two photos are from a photo shoot a year or so befor i got the car…not very clear photos and the misalignment is worse than it looks in the photos…cheers…Steve

Unfortunatly my garage is rather small…so i cant stand back to get a good look…however looking at the side on photo above i think there is possibly an option to add hinge shims to move door rearwards and raise it at the front a bit…this will make tbe door to A post gap wider but might improve the rear…Steve

Achieving good gaps, alignments and elevations of the four hinged panels (doors, bootlid and bonnet) on my 120 required considerable cutting and welding. In other words the body and hinged panels had to be physically made to fit each other perfectly, like pieces of a puzzle. Many, if not the majority, of the cars that left Brown’s Lane were the best possible fitments the bodymen could achieve, but there’s only so much you can do with shims.

Unfortunately, without doing a close physical inspection of the car I can’t visualise correcting the alignment by shimming one or two body mounting points up and/or down. It may actually be more likely to cause damage elsewhere. Your door gaps fore and aft appear to be good, so it looks to me like the issue is a panel mismatch which, again, isn’t uncommon.

I would suggest before you make a move to consult a coachbuilder or bodyman experienced with body-on-frame construction who can examine the car in the flesh to determine what’s do-able. It could very well be the only possible solution is surgery, which of course is problematic on a finished car. Or, you may be able to improve the fitment by shimming the hinges, as you say, though the result may not be perfect.

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Thanks Nick…I have a lot going on with the car at the moment…will get it finnished and back on the road…then deal with the door as a seprate issue…the doors being so heavy and difficult to fit in place dosnt make the job easy…appreciate everyones input and will keep you posted…cheers…Steve

Hi Steve,

How perfect is the line between the wings and door on the other side?

It would be interesting to see if shimming the door makes the window frame top align with the roof from front to back. I don’t know if the frame has any adjustment with the door for this purpose. It may indicate how it left the factory, i.e. door not level, but horizontal lines do meet correctly.


Hi Clive…door fit on left side is almost perfect…will have to get the right door back on and start again…Steve

Before you get crazy adjusting everything take a look at the rear body to frame mounts. It may be that the body shims/isolator bushings are different from the other side ( thicker or thinner side to side). Body shops have been known to remove the body and not label the placement thinking that they are all the same (not true).

I was thinking the same about the body mount in front of the door. It may be collapsed.

Hi Rob…this was my starting point…mounts dont look great…corroded aluminium but still in place and a gap between body and chassis…but i dont really know if its droped…assuming that it might have is it feasible to raise the body that has reasonable paint and glass fitted…Cheers…Steve…ps will get under the car today and have a real good look at the two large brackets off the chassis forward if tbe fuel pump that mount the body…i know they are solid but need a better look at what between the bracket and body…i know shims were used as required…but what typicall is used 1/4in?