Door frame to body fit

(6 speed) #1

I’m in the process of fitting my rebuilt doors to the body of my 1965 FHC. The doors are sitting quite well I believe, but when I install the door frame for a test fit, things are not what they should be. These chromed frames are sitting properly on the door shells and are spaced from the vertical quarter glass bar correctly but I have no clearance between the door frames and the body, specifically in the upper corner.
The two photos attached are of the LH frame, door closed, touching the body. The other is of the RH frame, door frame seal installed, illustrating I can’t close the door with the seal in place.
Now surely, even with a bit of space, you’re not expected to trim that door frame seal to account for a tight fit.
Any examples of your car or suggestions for a fix would be greatly appreciated.
Ken Hiebert

(Erica Moss) #2

An ideal fit that looks right and won’t cause the seal bind miserably is about 3/16. So you are way too close. Assuming the door itself is centered well on the body aperture and you have no shims between the door top and the window frame, I think you’re going to have to do some mods on the window frame, or perhaps the top of the inner door where the frame sits.

(Karl) #3

The window frames are meant to be shimmed to fit right. The quarter window may have to be adjusted to. Then you have to adjust the lateral pitch with the L brackets in the bottom of the door. After every possible effort I could make on both sides of my coupe, I had to do a great deal of trimming of the top frame seal. Scribe for a close fit razor, scribe again, razor, then sand the edge with coarse sandpaper to fine tune. Then fine paper to finish. This was very frustrating for me as well. The fit of the frames I have seen so far is pretty poor.

(Karl) #4

Take a look at the six mounting screws and see if you have a stack of shims in place.

(Larry velk) #5

Are the doors original to the car? Can you post photos of the door fit to the body? How about a shot of the top inside of the doors?
One of the few things original to our car were the doors and window frames - the fit was tricky because the roof wasn’t welded on evenly at the factory. The opening for the frame in the body itself is different side to side as a consequence. Perhaps you can make a cardboard template on one side and compare to the other side to see where you are at.
I haven’t heard of anyone doing it, but, as Erica suggested, modifying the top on the doors would be a possibly last resort. In our case this would be needed if I wanted to get the fit any better than it is.

(6 speed) #6

Thanks very much for the answers so far.
To answer some of your questions:
Doors original?
Technically yes but I had to do extensive repairs to the inner doors and have now installed new door shells. But when you look at these attached photos, I think you’ll agree, they are sitting properly in relation to the B-post and A-post.

six mounting screws and see if you have a stack of shims in place?
No shims, sitting flat on inner door.

make a cardboard template on one side and compare?
I compared frame to frame and opening to opening and they are essentially the same. Problem exists equally on both sides.

Modify frame:
Being a finished chrome unit, I didn’t want to risk damage, (unobtainable).

Modify the top of the inner door where the frame sits:
That was my first thought but that direction only gains you space at the top, not the front corner, (you’re moving down parallel to the A-post).

Move frame rearward:
-The frame is already pushed to the back of the inner door.
-Quarter window mounts would have to be moved. That gap, quarter window to door frame is now a perfect parallel 3/16" with the quarter window perfect in it’s opening. I’m hesitant going that route.

Easiest, modify door frame seal:
With that seal being 1/2", I can see a 3/16" gap would be ideal. But when you trim it down, I’ll be promoting seal bind since the seal gets thicker closer to the frame, (an even greater problem when I have next to no gap).

I think in the end, I’ll try to squeeze a little space where I can and end up trimming the seal.


(Erica Moss) #7

You seem to have some metal working skills so I don’t think you’ll destroy the frame. You might have to shave something, notch something, relocate a member etc. Then you’ll need to rechrome it.

Trimming the seal might be easier but it’s a bandaid. It looks goofy being so close, and one side looks worse than the other. Technically modifying the frame is a bandaid too. Ultimately the problem must have occurred when you rebuilt the doors. But at this point I’m guessing you want to move forwards rather than backwards. How evenly are the frames sitting in the slot in the door? Is the gap messed up on all 3 sides or is it much bigger at the B post than at the A Post?

The one dimension you can’t really modify is the distance between the two vertical rails because the glass has to fit. But you should be fine to modify it so it sits lower in the door, or modifying it slightly so it can move backwards in the door.

(Larry velk) #8

I pretty much agree with everything Erica gave as advice. In my case, which was quite similar (except my doors were as built) the best solution would have been sectioning the inner door top - moving the whole assembly down. If you go too far you can shim up. I would note the frame is NOT parallel to the a-post, so moving it down will help your issue. The mounting tabs on the frame are brazed to the brass frame and I wouldn’t mess with them. I never considered that. As I said, mine ended up “close enough”, but sectioning the inner door top would have been my option. The thickness of a 9 inch grinder cutting disc might be what you need - take a slice and weld the top back on, short the kerf. You may need more.

(Karl) #9

Ken, here are a few photos of shimming, and trimming I was forced to do.

Take a look at your bottom gap, you may be able to gain a valuable bit by dropping your door. Also I had to move the glass frame rearward for clearance. It looks like you could gain there too. This took me a couple days of gaining fractions everywhere.


(6 speed) #10

Thanks again all three of you.

I did a fit of the LH frame without the door to show, what I believe, proves a point, it’s nothing to do with the doors. All valuable suggestions but I don’t think they apply in this case.

I mounted the quarter glass bar in it’s proper place, added 3/16" shims and taped the frame to that. I did this at two different heights, first was 3/8" clearance to the top drip rail, second was an exaggerated 2" clearance to the top drip rail. Dropping the frame while maintaining the proper clearance to the quarter glass didn’t gain me anything.

I believe you have to keep door frame and the quarter glass parallel and 3/16" apart so if you move the angle of the one, you must move the other. Tilting the quarter glass too much will look goofy and you may lose your weather seal.

Erica & Larry,
“modify it so sits lower in the door”,
“sectioning the inner door top would have been my option”
Thanks, but as I said above, lowering the frame gives me nothing.

“modifying it slightly so it can move backwards in the door.”
Yes, that’s the direction I need.

Thanks for the photos. I was at a British Car show a few weeks ago and I was studying the door fit of the car that was there but I didn’t take note of the door frame seal fit. Your photos help.

As you say, " move the glass frame rearward for clearance", is the way to go.

Looking at all four components, body, door frame, door and quarter glass, I think if I can’t gain what I want or need by shifting things around, I need to reshape/metal work the A post. It’s all just time and money.
Thanks again,

(Karl) #11

Before cutting up your door, I would gain as much rear movement of your 1/4 glass as you can get. It is adjustable., then I would forfeit the gap at the b pillar / 1/4 glass to an 1/8"+. See what is left at the A pillar then.

(Erica Moss) #12

I know the doors were worked on but are the rest of these parts original to the car? It seems amazing to me that those two frames in the photo, door window and quarter light frame are original to the aperture in the body. Have you done a trial fit of the quarter light in that frame to verify that what you think is the correct placement of the B pillar really is? It all looks really funky to me.

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(6 speed) #13


I did that last night. The original manufacture at Jaguar didn’t allow adjustment but I opened things up to get the lower captive nuts to move rearward. I’ll keep working on that.


The door window and quarter light frames are original to the car. And yes, I have done a trial fit of the quarter light in that frame to verify the correct placement of the B pillar.

I reviewed the photos I have of the car before I took it apart to see how the frames fit. There was no smoking gun photo but IIRC, and looking at the photos, it was always a very tight fit. Now’s the time to fix it.

Car when I bought it:

Thanks again. I’m understanding how all these components fit together much better now and will post my results.