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Doors are aligned but hard to close / open


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My 02's doors were sagging quite a bit when I got it. By loosening and adjusting the latch mechanism I was able to get both doors flush and aligned with the body crease. However in this state it takes a strong swing to close them and a hard push of the exterior button to open them. They seem to be under a lot of pressure in this state of alignment. What can I do to alleviate this?

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Do the latches (on the door) have their requisite little plastic "corn kernels" on the end of the piece that rotates?  Those door latches take a very hard slam to close/latch properly without those little pieces.  If yours are missing, you can substitute a small section of plastic tubing forced over the metal tang while you order the proper parts.  


If your latches have their "kernels" in place, it may be that the hinges themselves are out of alignment--they are adjustable on the door end (and welded to the body) so perhaps you need to do a little hinge adjusting in addition to the latch/catch adjustments.



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I had door issues when I first got my car.  I lacked the kernel (or rather, they were painted over and very stiff), further, the mechanism themselves were very sticky so I took them apart and cleaned out the lock mechanism.   You can check this by just turning your C-lock mechanism by hand and then pulling the door handle to basically lock, unlock the door and see how smooth the operation is.  On my passenger side, it had operated very slowly.  I added some soundproof pieces to the door and redid the vapor barrier with all that.  They are much better now, but still not perfect.  Like you, my door also sags a bit.  I'm going to be replacing the door brake which hopefully will help with overall door feel, but I'm sure there are other fixes for the sag.    

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 By loosening and adjusting the latch mechanism


The doors are are hard to close now because they're riding up the latch, and the latch is lifting the door.

It's not really designed to do that.

I suspect if you look carefully at the striker on the door, it'll already be worn on the top

(as the doors sagged, and wore the latch slowly to match)


The way to fix the hard closing is to open up the door, and raise it with the hinges.

It's fussy, but the hardest part by far is getting the door apart.  I start by REMOVING the striker entirely...

Then loosen one hinge ever so slightly, lift the door just a little, retighten, and recheck gaps.  You may have to 
adjust both hinges a little to get the upper, lower, front and rear gaps as best they can be.  If your door sits in or out

too far, that's harder fix, involving shims or bending, depending on which way the door's off.  I

get the door exactly where I want it, (or at the best compromise) align the door glass AND the vent window too,

and then reattach the striker where it fits easily, so that all it's doing is holding the door closed and

in alignment.


There's a lot going on in there...




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1 hour ago, mataku527 said:

How does one improve the sag? Moving the hinge up will just make the sag start from a higher point.  Should I try to add some washers or retap the holes or just get new fasteners or something? 

If you look closely at my pic (center right side), you'll see 2 of the 3 holes that the bolts pass through to secure the top hinge. They are square and allow for adjustment up-down & tilt forward-aft. The later can be used to remove door sag. Same at the bottom of the door for the lower hinge mounting.


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The hinges are non- serviceable, as they're welded to the body.


Oiled. they last a million miles, but no- one does that.

And lets face it, if you rehang the door, it's going to take another

40 years for it to sag again...  these doors don't weigh a 10th of 

what '70's 2 door GM products did...


I vaguely remember that there was a thread a long time ago

mentioning that there might be a bushing in there.  BMW does not admit this.

Even if there is, it would be a significant effort to re- bush the hinge welded to the

car, as the door and fender would have to come off to access it...



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Ahh, I didn't realize the hinges were adjustable until I took the door cards off to grease the regulators. Adjusting the sag out of the doors helped tremendously. It looks like the reason for the binding pressure in the driver's door also has a bit to do with the shoddy door card revamp by the previous owner. It's pushing against the edge of the dash. I'll have to address that later.


Thanks for the tips.

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