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ewalt98's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Hamilton Montana
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Dent in rocker = door closing problem?

Hi All,

I recently inherited an 85.5 944 from my uncle, so I've known and driven this car since new, but there is one thing wrong with it that I never got an explanation on before he passed away.
Essentially, the drivers door jams at the top of the A-piller. I can close it, but it takes a bit of force, and is easier with the window down a bit. After closing, I still have to push the top of the window frame in, to get the door completely closed. I put a little Vaseline on the rubber seal to ease closing, but I would like to know if I can fix it permanently.
My question to the knowledge base here is what is the cause, and how would you fix it.

Here is what I think might be the cause(s):
First, there is a dent in the in the rocker below the door and just ahead of the b-piller. This dent seems to be a compression dent caused by a force applied underneath the car, along the bottom of the rocker. Perhaps caused by the car slipping off a lift. I am unable to attach any images to this post, but I will try to or put them somewhere else. The bottom of the door does not hit the sill anywhere that I can see.
Second, if you run your hand along the rain gutter near the a-piller, it feels like it takes a bit of a dip, but it is hard for me to tell for sure. I know that my nephews when they were around 5 or 6 would play in and on top of the car. There are some slight low spots on the roof and hood thanks to them.

The door seems pretty much aligned, but I still made an attempt to adjust both the hinges and the latch, but I wasn't able to make any difference. I was only able to make it worse, then reset it back to where it was. The door jamb gap does seem a bit wider near the top.

I had a porsche shop (not a body shop) look at it while they were doing both front and rear alignment and it was their assessment that the frame wasn't tweaked, but that was based on the location of the dent and the fact that the alignment was spot on in the rear and easily adjusted in the front after I changed out the shocks/springs. According to them, very often, when the frame is tweaked, it is near impossible to align the rear.

Is it possible that the car slipped off a lift and put the dent in the rocker, which would then cause the door to angle up and bind? Can this dent be fixed and the body adjusted?
Or, is it possible that the kids dented or pushed the A-piller and wind screen down enough to bind the door?
Or, is this a common problem that is unrelated to either of the above?

Long post, but I've been thinking about this for a while!
Thanks for any help.
Eric

Old 11-29-2009, 07:30 PM
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Nice car. I took a look at your garage to better understand.

A body shop could tell your exactly what it needs to fix. My guess is that at one time, the PO (previous owner) let the car down-----and the door was open and got hung up on a jack stand. This is just a theory from my crystal ball and experience. This pulled the lower door hinge away from the pillar, causing the gap at the top.



GL
John_AZ
1988 924S + 1987 924S
Old 11-30-2009, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_AZ View Post
Nice car. I took a look at your garage to better understand.

A body shop could tell your exactly what it needs to fix. My guess is that at one time, the PO (previous owner) let the car down-----and the door was open and got hung up on a jack stand. This is just a theory from my crystal ball and experience. This pulled the lower door hinge away from the pillar, causing the gap at the top.



GL
John_AZ
1988 924S + 1987 924S
Thanks for the suggestion, I will have to take a look at the bottom of the door. I think that would be the easiest thing to fix.

On a side note, anyone know how to pull/push the dent in the rocker out without damaging the paint? I took a look inside for access, and there isn't any direct access points, but behind some of the interior panels, there is an opening which might give some very indirect access to allow me to try and push it out, but it would require a lot of interior panel removal to (possibly) gain enough leverage.
Old 12-02-2009, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewalt98 View Post
On a side note, anyone know how to pull/push the dent in the rocker out without damaging the paint? I took a look inside for access, and there isn't any direct access points, but behind some of the interior panels, there is an opening which might give some very indirect access to allow me to try and push it out, but it would require a lot of interior panel removal to (possibly) gain enough leverage.
This is from my file "I have never tried this but it sounds possible".

Dry Ice Dent removal. Search for more procedures

Remove car dents quickly and cheaply. | Wise Bread
Old 12-02-2009, 08:19 AM
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I have a long gouge in my rocker panel so if there is a way easily remove the panel and to coax out the dent I would like to know about it. I have heard the rocker is spot welded to the unibody and some type of drill can be used to drill out the spot welds. once removed replacement or repair is an option.

Old 12-02-2009, 03:55 PM
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