How can I adjust a door?

dodge
caravan

#1

I have a 2001 Caravan. Several months ago, I banged the driver side door on a low (i.e. out of view of my rear-view mirror) construction trailer while backing out of a narrow space in an equipment rental yard. I covered over the gash in the sheet metal, but the door doesn’t close right. Although I can slam it shut, the catch is riding low. I noticed that the upper hinge had bolts through large holes, apparently designed to allow for adjustment. I can’t fit my wrench into the narrow space and while trying to do so, noticed a third bolt tucked behind the corner, completely out of reach. Is there a way to reach these or am i going to have to take it somewhere to get it done by someone who knows what he/she is doing?

Thanks.


#2

My suggestion is to find a service manual for your Caravan and read through the procedure for aligning and adjusting the door and its latch.

I’d try adjusting the catch on the door jamb before loosening the hinges.


#3

And that caravan is old enough that you might even be able to find it at the library.


#4

If the door is hanging low the hinges are probably bent. Open the door just enough to gain access to the bottom of the door at the back. Place a floor jack and a 2X4 under the door at the back and jack up on the door slightly. Lower the jack and try closing the door. Repeat this until the door is realigned.

Tester


#5

You can also place a block of hardwood (a large hammer handle works well) in the lower hinge and close (push) the door against the wood…This will have the same result as Testers method. Body shops seldom mess with the bolts for the reasons you have discovered…


#6

Thanks … Tester’s method - with my trusty bottle-jack - is how I was able to “adjust” the door enough to close in the first place. (A come-along winch was also involved.) I’ll try the wood block approach too.