VIDEO... Door gaps hand brake conversion

Having a bit if trouble with not any clearance on the top of the door window frames… Any ideas?

A very good starting point wrt gaps, Jim - far better than what my 120 OTS presented. I found that latitude to adjust the edges of the hinged panels - bonnet, bootlid and doors - to fit their respective openings in the body is limited by structure and aesthetic, and in order to achieve consistent, even gaps all around it was necessary to to tweak the body openings themselves by carefully cutting through the steel closely following the shut edge. The freed shut edge can then be precisely repositioned either in or out to even the gap with the hinged panel, tacked in place then seam welded. Done deliberately the weld can be ground to level, requiring little or no filler - I use body solder - to achieve that perfect gap. If you have no further latitude to perform surgery on the door to increase your window frame clearance you may wish to consider systematically raising the shutline of the roof panel - sounds a little daunting but if you’re reasonably skilled at welding and take the time to mitigate heat distortion it would not be too difficult a process.

Looking good.

I wasn’t aware the crown across the 140’s side is greater than the 120’s. Where yours is an inch from B-post forward to the front wheel arch I reckon it’s a quarter inch in mine. Perhaps the change was made to give the 140 a more graceful, less flat side presentation?

Thanks Nick
I have learnt to step away when I get a problem and think about it. Cutting the roofline could have a knock on effect to the rear side windows not fitting. I think I could take a few mm off the bottom of the quarter light frames which would do the job.

This is probably not going to read well but I had this problem with my 120 FHC. Following the body work the doors with window frames fit perfectly. After paint the frames hit the roof. I sent the car back to my body man. He released the body from the chassis and reinstalled the shins (between chassis) in the sequence from his notes. He also reset the rear 1/4 light as I hadn’t quite got that right.
Once those adjustments had been all was well.

A good plan. I will play around with the shims before anything more drastic.

A bit more trial and error and it seems to be working.

Looking better indeed. A thing one learns when doing bodywork on these cars (and watching period film footage) is they were by no means perfectly fitting assemblies when they left the factory. Panel gaps and elevations are in general always irregular. The only time you will see perfect gaps and elevations is on restorations. My approach has been to have the body completely assembled with all hinges, handles and catches in place and then take the time to achieve the best possible fit by shimming (packing) the hinges. From there optimising the edges of the hinged panels to improve the fits, finally tweaking the edges on the body.

Because the door hinge panels are at an angle, 45 degrees in the case of the XK120, the gaps and elevations at the rear and front edges are affected in three dimensions by the hinge packing - add a shim to the top hinge, for example, and the top of the shut edge drops. At the same time the forward gap at the top of the door widens, the edge is pushed outward by half the thickness of the shim unless one moves the hinge mounting plate to compensate. In the case of the 120, the lower hinge mounting plate is fixed in position to the inside of the door hinge panel by two rivets while the top plate is held in position by two bolts. If the rivets and bolts are not removed to allow the hinge plates to float during the shimming exercise it will not be possible to achieve a best fit. In my case I filled the holes in the hinge plates with weld and ground them flush. Only after I completed the bodywork and paint prep with the doors in their final-final position did I drill through the door hinge panel and hinge plates below to re-establish the rivets and fixing bolts.

Looks like you’re doing a brilliant job, Jim, and enjoying yourself in the process. You might want to mount the rear wings while you fettle door gaps to avoid a surprise misalignment later on.

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