The MGA With An Attitude
DOOR ALIGNMENT Adjustment -- BD-103A

At 01:09 PM 8/31/04 -0700, Rick Pearlman wrote:
>"Is there a trick to adjusting the doors on my 1960 MKI roadster for a closer tighter fit?"

Wow! I never get that question. A lot people want to know what to do when the new weather seal is too thick and they can't get the door closed.

The "closeness" adjustment for an MGA door is fairly simple in theory, but maybe a lot of grunt work in practice. The hinges and the striker plate are screwed to floating plates inside the door posts. The idea is to loosen the screws holding the hinge(s) or latch striker to the door post, push the door or latch plate inward slightly, and re-tighten the screws.

Problem is that the screws may be rusted in place, so it may take some finesse (and a lot of penetrating oil) to get the screws loose. Also remember that these are Pozidriv screws, not Phillips screws. To get a good grip on the screws you need to use a #3 Pozidriv screwdriver bit (#4 Pozidriv for the MGB).

Using a Phillips driver with a Pozidriv screw can result in the driver bit camming out of the slot and chewing up the slot so you can't get a grip on it. If you do not have a Pozidriv bit, the next best bet is to use a Phillips bit with an impact driver, the kind you hit with a hammer to apply a lot of torque. The hammer strike will force and hold the Phillips bit in the slot for the mili-second it takes to apply the torque. This will likely damage the slot a little, but the Phillips bit will be held in place. If the screw does not come loose, and you keep hitting it hard enough, you are likely to rip the tip off of the driver bit, and likely the screw head will still be functional (within reason).

If you butcher the screw, and it still hasn't come loose, the next step is to drill it out. Best first try for that is a Screw-Out drill bit. This is basically a left handed center drill. If you're lucky, this might actually unscrew the thing before you can drill all the way through the screw head. If not, then you keep drilling until the screw head is gone or separates from the shank of the screw.

If the screw does not come out with this left handed drilling, then you need to use a 1/4" diameter drill bit to drill off the screw head and any burrs left above the flat face of the nut plate. After removing all screws (or screw heads) you can slide the nut plate out of the slot in the door post, inward toward the center of the car. That requires removal of the kick panel. Then the nut plate is replaceable.

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