Chuck the Truck's 52 Chevy - Door Weatherstrip

The door fit has been bugging me, so with many recommendations, I ordered new weatherstrip from Steele Rubber It was not any softer (using my Shore A calibrated thumb), but the profile was considerably different than that of the Chevy Duty weather strip. The Steele profile is shown on the left, CD on the right. The narrower base and sharp "V" of the Steele strip work much better, especially on the hinge side door post. The ChevyDuty strip got bunched up and wrinkled in the hinge side, while the Steele lays in there nicely. The Steele door kit included both door seals, the horizontal cab seal that mounts to the floor, and the cab weatherstrip that slides into the channel for a price less than buying the door weatherstrip alone. I'll save the other for later. I removed the old weatherstrip and the door fit was poor after all my tweeking, so I bent the hinges again.

This diagram below illustrates what I ciphered out by trial and error - I never did find any instruction with this detail. My previous tweeking had brought the front of the door out, without changing the back much, so I bent it as shown to bring the leading edge in and forward. It doesn't take much. I overbent the lower hinge and the leading edge came in too far. Rather than take it off again, I placed a 2x4 block between the hinge and the door post and leaned against the door. This brought it out to the correct plane. The rear of the door is a lot closer now with the new weatherstrip - about 1/4". I'm going to let the weatherstrip settle for a couple weeks then tweek again to try to get the fit better still. I have not yet explored the possibilties of tweaking upper and lower hinges differently (I've always done them the same), but I suspect I may find an improvement there too.

I suppose I should have said "Bring whole door in (out)" instead of "leading edge". I know it seems wrong, but that's what I discovered through trial and error as a rank amateur. I've still not found any professional advice specific to this task. The hinges have to come out of the vehicle. Since I had rebuilt the hinges and just used e-rings on the pin, I was able to completely disassemble them, easing the bending job. I used a bench vise and a long piece of c-channel bolted to the door attach points at first, then skipped the c-channel and just used a sledgehammer to bend it. If you overbend it, then you use the block of wood in the hinge while everything is assembled to tweak it back out. If it's painted, make sure to tape all the edges of door and jam and be very careful when checking fit/interference.

3/8/03 2700 miles, and the truck gets its first bath!. 40 degrees out and it feels like spring. Lotsa grit and glunk washed out of there. I'm really glad I put the neoprene fender liners in. It was glowing after the wash. I still need to buff it out, but it still looks great.