Hard doors wont close

Hard doors wont close


77 CJ 7, 258 i6, 3 speed
Hi all,

I've got full steel doors on my CJ7. I can hardly get them to latch. I can't close the doors by slamming them, I have to manually lift the handle and pull on the grab handle to get it to close.

I tried adjusting the striker plate - that helped a little bit. I enlarged the holes on the latch mechanism and moving it forward a little bit to give the latch a different contact point on the striker - didn't really help.

It almost seems like the latch spring is too stiff. Any of you guys had this problem?

have you lubricated the latch mechanism?
Does it move easily?
Check and see if your doors are lining up with the lines of the door entry. You may need to adjust at the hinges. The 3 bolts can be loosened and adjusted some. When the hinge pins wear (and they do) they will create slop and cause the door to sag. between that and the striker, there isn't much more to work with. Be sure the door isnt adjusted back so far as to contact the tub.

You can lubricate the latch assembly. It takes some time and attention, but remove the inner skin from the door. What I usually do is hit it hard with compressed air to blow out any and all debri, dust, dirt, etc. Then use a spray lube on all the rods where they attach as well as pivot points...anything that moves. I go a bit further and remove the latch assembly fully. You will be amazed at how much smoother the action of the door handle is as well as the locking mechanism.
Adjusting the hinges is the place to start as stated before but should that fail to let the doors close properly there may be one other issue, the frame. CJs tend to experience a hard pounding caused by anything from travelling too fast on a pot hole filled road to someone trying to make their jeep fly. I suspect most of us have seen it done by our fellow Jeepers at one time or another. The result of this abuse is that the frame bends up at a point near the front of the door area moving the front of the body up with it which in turn causes the plain the door hinges are on to move as well. In essences the hinges are no longer straight up and down from each other but rather the top hinge now has moved back towards the rear more than the lower mount. When the door is attached to the hinges the back of the door is lower than before so the latch and the strike do not line up as well as problems with the bottom of the door to tub fitment. The solution can often be as simple as having a frame shop return the frame to spec. When the frame is tugged the body will generally follow and may at least give you enough play in the hinges to allow the door to be adjusted to fit. It may not always work depending upon conditions but it is certainly worth a try.
An easy way to fix that is to shim the center body mount.
To close the loop on this one, my solution had two parts: adjust the striker plate and adjust the hard top.

The striker plate was a little too far outboard causing the door mech to contact it on the straight part of the tongue. I adjusted it inboard and now it hits the door mech on the curved part of the tongue which works much better.

Second fix was to adjust the hard top a little bit. One of you guys suggested that the door was hitting the top in an odd way. Correct! I loosened the bolts and did some fine tuning.

Now I can reliably close both doors without a second thought. No more doors flying open when I go around the first curve of the trip.

Thanks all!

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