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CJ7 hard door alignment, gaps, general fitment problems

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I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. I was going to just live with the way the doors close since they will only be used during the fall/winter but now they won't close with the super top hardware on the windshield and above the door striker.

The windshield hinge is flush with the cowl. I dropped a threaded rod to the lower hinge to get both the upper and lower hinges on the tub in alignment with each other. I adjusted the hinges on the doors with the doors shut to get the gaps to look even. The problem is the striker is at its outside limit and it takes a little effort to shut the doors. I probably needs another 1/4" to be right. The strikers are new (I don't remember if they were crown or omix), maybe they suck?

Also both doors stick out at the bottom, they are not flush with the tub. This could be caused by the tight striker but I don't know.

This would all be perfectly fine for this project but now the doors won't close at all with the new super top hardware. There is interference with both the bracket on the windshield and the vertical support bar bracket above the striker.

Are there any other adjustments I can make to the doors? Are there shims to push the hinges out.

The last pic shows how much the door out from the tub.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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1984 Jeep CJ-7 Renegade
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Without using OEM hinges and hardware, It's hard to say what adjustments you can make.

The ability to move the door around can only be achieved by loosening the hinges on the door so the plates inside the door panels float to make the adjustments needed and then tightened up once the gaps are even.
Your striker is an early version of pre-paddle handle doors so I do not know how those are adjusted. Paddle handle doors have the striker bolt that is adjustable just by loosening it and moving it around and it can also be shimmed to match the door closing easier.

When you set your hinges using the rod method, were they set 12-3/4 inches apart on center? That is the measurement spacing between door hinges on factory steel doors.
 

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As I stated on the other recent hardtop/doors fitment thread, your troubles are pretty typical.

The aftermarket door seals seem to be made of harder rubber than OEM. I had to adjust my strikers outward to be able to latch the doors after replacing the seals. Even then, it still took a solid slam for them to latch, and the bottom of the doors stick out from the tub. That was 10 years ago, and the seals have "broken in" some, so the doors close a lot easier now, but they still aren't flush with the tub at the bottom.

I've never seen anyone run a soft top with hard doors due to the interference problems you're. having. I think your best bet is to either find a hardtop, or use soft top doors.

Good luck,

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think the issue is the horizontal bar bracket on the windshield. The instructions from bestop says to line the bracket flush to the upper corners of windshield frame. At this location the bar interferes with the door. I think if I position the bracket to the inside corners of the frame it will raise the bracket enough for the door to clear, at least the horizontal bar.

Frustrating to say the least.
 

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1984 Jeep CJ-7 Renegade
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My 84 CJ-7 came with the factory soft top for steel doors, made by Whitco, and I believe Whitco was bought out by Bestop back in the late 90's.
Does Bestop use the same design that Whitco used for soft tops for Jeeps with steel doors?
Do you have any pictures you can post?

Attached are instructions for the Whitco top I bought in 1989 to replace the factory Whitco top that deteriorated. The instructions may be similar.
 

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So I pulled the weather stripping off the doors and they shut much better and the horizontal bars fit but with essential no gap.

does this seem right?
Did you find a specific OEM - part number - for this weather stripping? Or did you use generic? I have had to contact chrysler about this kind of issue before and it can take for ever for an actual parts department to get back with you on any RW information lol as long as it goes in smooth, it should be fine
 

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1984 Jeep CJ-7 Renegade
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There's also a company that makes seals for the Jeep CJ and are made in USA. I bought both the tailgate seal and hardtop rear hatch seal from them years ago and they fit like OEM.
Metro Molded Parts Inc: Catalogue

Fairchild is also a good company for rubber parts. Just avoid all rubber replacement parts from Crown and Omix-Ada, they are the worst IMO. Don't get me wrong, they make some decent replacement parts for our CJ's, but rubber pieces from them are not.

Font Material property Publication Circle Advertising
 

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There's also a company that makes seals for the Jeep CJ and are made in USA. I bought both the tailgate seal and hardtop rear hatch seal from them years ago and they fit like OEM.
Metro Molded Parts Inc: Catalogue

Fairchild is also a good company for rubber parts. Just avoid all rubber replacement parts from Crown and Omix-Ada, they are the worst IMO. Don't get me wrong, they make some decent replacement parts for our CJ's, but rubber pieces from them are not.

View attachment 4161868
Glad you posted this Keith(y)
 

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I have had fitment issues with hard doors on various jeeps over the years. Tubs and door openings seem to move a little over the years. It looks like the gap between the windshield frame and the front of the door frame is wider at the top than the bottom and of course the same is true at the back of the door to the tube. The window frame placement is a little sloppy naturally depending upon the gasket under the frame to the cowling, but it is easy to pull the frame back hard as needed then tighten the hold downs. Not a big deal with a soft top but more problematic with a hardtop. The trick I have used in the past to adjust door fitment is to loosen the door hinges then place a piece of cardboard over the door threshold to act as a spacer. Close the door hard as see how it fits. If OK, tighten up the hinges with the door still in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bestop has been 0 help. Customer service is awful. They are only taking calls by emails and only responding once a day.

So, here is where I'm at. The windshield brackets or the frame is out of spec so the doors come in contact with the horizontal bars. Bracket is placed too low on the windshield. I moved the brackets higher and the doors now clear the bars (but there still isn't enough room for weatherstripping. This problem is more or less solved.

The next issue i'm having is the top is pulling the windshield too far back so the top of the windshield is now touching the door frame at the top of the windshield. I've tried to adjust the windshield out but the top keeps pulling it too far down and now I'm at the limit of the adjustment bracket. How are you keeping the windshield from moving if the top is too tight? I'm sure over time it may loosen up but what do I do until then?

Attached are pics on where the windshield is hitting the door frames. The last pic is how much further I had to mount the bestop windshield brackets to clear the horizontal bars.

Are all aftermarket Jeep parts crap. I don't have these issues with my other classic car.
 

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1986 CJ7
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Bestop has been 0 help. Customer service is awful. They are only taking calls by emails and only responding once a day.

So, here is where I'm at. The windshield brackets or the frame is out of spec so the doors come in contact with the horizontal bars. Bracket is placed too low on the windshield. I moved the brackets higher and the doors now clear the bars (but there still isn't enough room for weatherstripping. This problem is more or less solved.

The next issue i'm having is the top is pulling the windshield too far back so the top of the windshield is now touching the door frame at the top of the windshield. I've tried to adjust the windshield out but the top keeps pulling it too far down and now I'm at the limit of the adjustment bracket. How are you keeping the windshield from moving if the top is too tight? I'm sure over time it may loosen up but what do I do until then?

Attached are pics on where the windshield is hitting the door frames. The last pic is how much further I had to mount the bestop windshield brackets to clear the horizontal bars.

Are all aftermarket Jeep parts crap. I don't have these issues with my other classic car.
This is similar to the issue I just had with my new to me CJ7. I bought it with hard doors, but no top, and the doors closed just perfect. I nstalled the Besttop Supertop per instructions and it pulled the windhield frame back so far the doors wouldnt close even after adjusting the windshield frame to the max allowed by the brackets.
I replaced the cowl seal and ordered new brackets. Afer installing the new cowl seal, the windshield was far enough "forward" that the doors fit with the top on. I also had issues with the doors hitting the horizontal bar to the windshield, but am replacing with soft doors.
 

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I have the same problem with the Bestop Supertop I bought. Started the install today and noticed even the soft doors don't seem to be fitting right then I put a hard door on and it fits the same. It will not shut without hitting the vertical support bar either. I see no way to help that either. Right now I'm having serious buyers remorse over getting this thing.
 
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