1982 MUSTANG GT DIFFICULT DOOR CLOSING

Jun 9, 2019
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Washington
I'm having difficulty closing/latching my doors since I restored my Mustang about 8 years ago. Prior to this time, I don't recall issues with door closure. Closing the doors requires tremendous pressure. I have ripped the door arm rests off several times and friends can't open the door from the outside because the handles require so much effort to open. Recently, I replaced the door seals with no improvement. I noticed the upper door frame was rubbing the roof trim so I adjusted the hinges to eliminate this contact and obtained as even a gap as possible around the door. The door striker bolt is properly adjusted as the door aligns properly with the fender surfaces. I used Playdoh to measure the gap between door and seam weld lip all around the door with seal removed. It ranged from 0.44 to 0.67 inch (see sketch). I used a rubber mallet and piece of 2x4 to increase the minimum gaps to 0.49 inch. I removed the seat belt retractor button since it requires a substantial force to work. Would like some advice on what else to try. I even though about using a heat gun to reduce seal thickness.
 

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79 Fox

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May 21, 2019
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There may have been some kind of bushing that could've worn out. I am not entirely certain, but it seems like a possibility. Just my 2 cents. I don't exactly have much experience with foxbody stangs, but I think that this can be an issue.
 

CarMichael Angelo

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I'm having difficulty closing/latching my doors since I restored my Mustang about 8 years ago. Prior to this time, I don't recall issues with door closure. Closing the doors requires tremendous pressure. I have ripped the door arm rests off several times and friends can't open the door from the outside because the handles require so much effort to open. Recently, I replaced the door seals with no improvement. I noticed the upper door frame was rubbing the roof trim so I adjusted the hinges to eliminate this contact and obtained as even a gap as possible around the door. The door striker bolt is properly adjusted as the door aligns properly with the fender surfaces. I used Playdoh to measure the gap between door and seam weld lip all around the door with seal removed. It ranged from 0.44 to 0.67 inch (see sketch). I used a rubber mallet and piece of 2x4 to increase the minimum gaps to 0.49 inch. I removed the seat belt retractor button since it requires a substantial force to work. Would like some advice on what else to try. I even though about using a heat gun to reduce seal thickness.
if you Take the weatherstrip off completely, does the door operate properly?
All weatherstrip kits are not created equal. If you have one of the cheaper sets, they are part of the problem, if not entirely.

If your door was hard to open with the old, worn out gasket in place, it will become even worse when you install new w/s.

It’s not rocket science...If the latch doesn’t open the door smoothly when there’s no gasket then replace or lubricate the latches. if the door isn’t aligned with the striker, it will raise, or drop when the latch hits the striker...adjust it. If that’s not the problem, then the striker is set too deep...adjust it. If the door is twisted one way or the other excess pressure is being put on the gasket at one point or another.....that’s a hinge adjustment.

Remove the gasket. Adjust the door and/ or the striker till you get a nice even fit that matches the body lines. Once that’s done reinstall the gasket. If it becomes too hard to get them to close. Throw them away, invest in the good ones.

I have cheap gaskets on the Monster. I had similar issues. I removed the striker, and I used a ratchet strap inside the car to pull the doors tight( er) than they’d ever be able to go, and kept it that way for xyz days ( I don’t remember).

After that process, I was able to get the doors to shut, but it still required a hard pull.

Nowadays is just slightly harder than a normal close.
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
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With the cheaper door weatherstrip the seal holds air when closing...kind of like a balloon. The better gaskets have little holes in them about every 10 inches or so to let the air out as the seal gets squeezed.
 
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Jun 9, 2019
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The door operates properly with the seal removed. Equal gaps all the way around. Door surface flush with fenders. Original seals were replaced in 2003 when problem began. This week I replaced the door seals again and doors still don't operate properly. After closer examination of the door seals I have, there is a 1/8 inch thick rib between the rubber bulb and base adding to the seal thickness. I'm going to look for a seal with a lower profile. If anyone with properly operating doors could measure the door seal height and let me know, this would be helpful. My door seals are about 0.80 inch above the base.
 

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LX Dave

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Jul 2, 2017
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I've never seen a Ford seal with that "rib" in it. I put seals in my '84 from LMR and I couldn't be happier. Closes really nice with no force just like the factory ones.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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nickyb

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I replaced all my weatherstripping with LMR's.At first they were tight but here in hot
as hell nevada,and the fact I daily my Fox it was all good in a week or two
 
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