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Old 08-06-2017, 11:31 PM   #1
79vette
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Gaps and Wind Noise

So my drivers door and tailgate haven't fit right since I bought my truck, and I have a lot of wind noise on the highway. The driver door also needs a good slam to shut it tight. Passenger door and tailgate close easily, almost like a new car. I dont know what I'm looking at here, so I'm going to describe whats going on as best I can and hopefully you guys can help me figure out what I need to do.

The door has a pretty large gap at the rear and the previous owner shimmed the striker out with a bunch of washers to make it close . The striker plastic sleeve is also gone and the pin/bolt is badly worn. I can replace the striker with a new one, but the whole door needs to come ~3/16" or more toward the back or the latch will hit the head of the bolt (hence the washers in there right now). It already rubs enough to make the door hard to close, even with the washers in there moving the bolt forward. I'm not sure how the door could have got this far forward (doesn't seem like normal sagging) and I'm not sure how to fix it.





The wind noise is mostly coming from the front of the door, level with the bottom of the window. The actual weatherstrips all look good, even on the wing window. Pics show the gap between the fully closed door and the weatherstrip. Its hard to photograph, but you can see sunlight through the gap so both inner and outer weatherstrips are failing to seal. The rubber is still fairly pliable and has no tears, so I dont know if replacing them will fix the problem. I'd just do it, but its a lot of time and money to waste if something else is the problem.





The hinge pins and bushings look ok, but there are what appear to be cracks around the hinge locations on the door. Is this something common to these trucks? Should I consider pulling the door and welding it, or do I need to find/paint a replacement door?





As for the tailgate, I dont think it leaks or makes noise so I dont really care. But it isnt sealing in the middle, and really looks like the tailgate itself is bent. That seems insane to me though, to have the tailgate bent OUT. It would have had to be hit really hard from the inside of the truck to bend it like that, but it is definitely not lining up with the tailpan in the middle. With the gate fully closed (and all body lines look good on the outside) you can see the road through a gap in the middle.





Any thoughts, on either the door or tailgate? I'm not going for perfection here; all I want is a truck that is quiet/comfortable on the highway so I can enjoy driving it to the trails. If the door is a lit
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:25 AM   #2
B. W.
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Re: Gaps and Wind Noise

IMO the door hinge cracks are more common on the 66-72 trucks. Doesn't matter though, yours are cracked. I'd look for a replacement door. Until the cracks are repaired / door replaced you are chasing your tail trying to adjust it. I believe replacing the door may solve a lot of your fitment issues.

tailgate looks bent to me also. See that a lot on trucks due to being worked / overworked. Not so much on the K5's. I'd keep a look out for a clean used one. (My problem is when I look for parts I end up buying a whole truck - that starts a whole new project!)
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Gaps and Wind Noise

weld the cracks and re align the door correctly , once a tailgate is bent that bad all you can do is replace it . Looks like it had an engine sat on it and they just can't take that amount of weight .
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:55 AM   #4
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Re: Gaps and Wind Noise

Thanks for the input. I haven't pulled a squarebody door in awhile, but I recall they are pretty heavy. I think a floor jack under the door seems like the way to go. I'll try to get it off this weekend and weld up the cracks and see what that gets me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy old man View Post
once a tailgate is bent that bad all you can do is replace it . Looks like it had an engine sat on it and they just can't take that amount of weight .
As for the tailgate, now you mention it... I definitely dropped that spare tire off the roof onto the open tailgate shortly after I bought the truck. I didnt realize how heavy it was when I was taking it down the first time. I am sure it weighs less than 1/6 of a SBC, but falling from several feet I am sure it had some momentum when it hit. I bet thats what bent it.

Any recommended sources for a new tailgate? All my glass and hardware are good, but a quick search didnt turn up anything used for sale in my area.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:43 AM   #5
Keith Seymore
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Re: Gaps and Wind Noise

A couple comments:

a) Be reminded that these things were noisy when new. Wind noise, particularly in the A pillar area, was a "hardy perennial". Secondary door seals would come (when customers would complain) and go (when management was looking for cost reduction opportunities) over the various model years and trim levels.

b) As a diagnostic technique - you can tape up the gaps and joints on the outside of the door and remove small sections to help you pinpoint where the noise/air is coming from. Tape up all the way around with masking tape or duct tape and then remove a section from the A pillar to see what happens; tape that back up and remove the section from the window belt molding/seal and see what happens, etc.

c) Panel fitment can also be cheated to help. "Shingle" the rear edge of the fender so it is slightly outboard of the leading edge of the door. Tuck the top of the door (in the A pillar area) so that it is slightly inboard of the A pillar portion of the cab. These will help with airflow over the vehicle but will not be obvious to the casual observer.

d) Even with everything perfect and new - you may still have some wind noise from the vent window area.

K
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:47 AM   #6
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Re: Gaps and Wind Noise

(reread the original post)

Replacing the plastic bushing on the striker will make a HUGE difference. Night and day improvement in door closing effort.

I'd do that first and then re-evaluate.

K
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:12 PM   #7
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Re: Gaps and Wind Noise

I'd agree with you that the door is a bit far forward. The dinged up paint along the front edge of the door suggests it is digging into the edge of the fender when you open/close the door.

The door can be adjusted back by loosening the 3 hinge bolts attaching the door to the cab and pulling the hinges back a bit assuming they aren't at the limit. Hard to reach all the bolts with the fender in place but doable I believe. I adjusted my own with the fenders off.

I don't think it is uncommon to find these doors cracked around the hinges. I had to weld up cracks in that area for both doors on my 78.
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