My doors are falling off.

Barry

VCA Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Posts
45
Reaction score
6
Location
**** Devil Hills, NC USA
I am very disappointed with my now seven year old Viper GTS. It started with the passenger door dropping what feels like a ¼ inch when you open it and it is eating up the weather stripping. Then on a road trip about 100 miles away the drivers door decided it didn’t want to latch anymore. What is it with these doors? Should I just open them up and drive in reverse between two trees or is there a better way to fix these problems?
 

mike & juli

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Posts
11,715
Reaction score
0
Location
Upstate NY
You could possibly contact Chuck Tator at TatorsDodge.msn.com. He's the Viper Wizard/Tech for the NY/CT/NE region....and is EXtremely knowledgeable and helpful.
Shoot him a PM at Viper Wizard, or contact him thru his website...I'm sure he can help you out here. Good luck. ~juli~
 

PDCjonny

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 2, 2004
Posts
5,999
Reaction score
3
The hinges tend to give out and sag over time, as well as fail to hold the door open. There have been threads on fixing the issue. I had Chuck simply replace my drivers hinge completely rather than try to shim them or fix the detent. Not a major expense, and your good as new.
 

CROM

Viper Owner
Joined
Jan 18, 2004
Posts
999
Reaction score
0
Location
Fairfax, VA
Yup, they sag over time. The hinges that keep the door open are poorly designed. Basically two pieces of metal rubbing together....over time one of the pieces snaps...you'd think they would have thought about this..go figure.
 

Mopar Steve

Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 27, 2000
Posts
2,871
Reaction score
0
Location
Newark DE
It is actually a shameful situation on the doors. I've know about it and have accepted that it will be an issue but there is really no excuse. These door weigh almost nothing as compared to older two door cars. I owned a '70 Coupe Deville caddy two door. Those door had to weigh a ton each, and the hinges never sagged or wore. Those older cars also never saw the lubrication and maintenance we give our snakes. These hinges should be replaced by Dodge regardless of warranty period.
 

KURT E

Viper Owner
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Posts
226
Reaction score
0
Location
Kansas City
I am under the impression that the hinges were designed for the Gen I. Add windows and associated electronic mechanisms and the door got heavier. No hinge consideration or change. I could be wrong.

Kurt E

Mine sagged also and I was very discouraged with the design.
 

RedSrt007

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 21, 2005
Posts
82
Reaction score
0
Location
San Diego, Ca
cant they just be adjusted and call it a day?

I adjusted mine and it closes better then when I got it...
 

2000_Black_RT10

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Posts
1,684
Reaction score
0
Location
Up North
I work at the company that manufactured your Viper door hinges.

Since I own a Viper, I brought the subject up with the hinge design group, and spoke to the actual designer of your hinges and he said that the design challenge was mating the hinge to a pillar surface which had a low coeff of friction (the pillar material to the aluminum hinge), a very unusual situation for an OEM vehicle (typically steel on steel).

The hinge position creeps over time on the pillar, it may not be the hinge itself, it's because of the mating surfaces, they slip. Unfortunately there wasn't a method of fixing the hinge permanently to the pillar because the hinge position needs to be adjustable on the pillar at the factory.

I adjusted the position of my doors a few months ago. There is a good Post how to do this. It's easy enough, open the hood, and remove the side plastic gill cover to gain access to the hinge pillar bolts. Loosen 3 (there's 4 bolts) hinge pillar bolts, but leave the bottom bolt tight (the lower one) on the hinge pillar. Lift the door up while the door is slightly open and then tighten the top hinge bolt to lock in the new door position. It may be trial and error to find the best position of the door not to rub the weatherstripping. Put a thick rag under your door on top of the weatherstripping to avoid dropping the door too much while adjusting it. It's better to have 2 people, have your spouse or buddy lift the door while it's slightly open when you tighten the top bolt. Once done, tighten the remaining 2 hinge pillar bolts.

Assemble the plastic gill cover back on, but keep the gill cover bolts loose, and adjust the position of the gill cover so that when the door opens it doesn't rub the gill cover, check this by opening and closing the door and check the clearance gap.

Check the hood to door gap also, the rear hood catches can be adjusted up / down to lift or lower the hood. I had to adjust my hood for a nice level fit / gap with the door.

In the end, this took me about 45 minutes to do both doors taking my time, it's really quite easy. No rubbing, and the doors open and close smoothly as they should.

If you do need hinges for any other reason (if worn out), let me know, but don't waste your money on expensive door hinges without adjusting them thinking they are worn out.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,
Mike
 
Last edited:

GTSnake

Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 26, 2000
Posts
2,700
Reaction score
9
Location
Motor City
You say it's "easy" but my experiece says it's not exactly easy. Not only do the hinges have to be adjusted for fore-aft postion but up-down as well. So you're trying to locate within 4 degrees of movement by trial and error. I can't remember how many times I've loosened and tightened the hinge bolts. I thought for sure something was going to break. In the end my door closes and is mostly in alignment but it's not perfect. It's easy in terms of one tool and access to the bolts but a PITA in terms of amount of time to get it right.

IMO when the door system was designed they should have allowed it to be adjusted while it was latched so that way you loosen the bolts, adjust the door while it's closed for perfect alignment then tighten. Simple one step and you're done. I'm sure I'm over simplifying it but hey how many people open programs in DOS anymore.
 

v10kingsnake

Viper Owner
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Posts
1,116
Reaction score
0
Location
south jersey
I am very disappointed with my now seven year old Viper GTS. It started with the passenger door dropping what feels like a ¼ inch when you open it and it is eating up the weather stripping. Then on a road trip about 100 miles away the drivers door decided it didn’t want to latch anymore. What is it with these doors? Should I just open them up and drive in reverse between two trees or is there a better way to fix these problems?
barry, i work in cherry hill off 70 and live in marlton, nj.we can meet up and I can look it over for you. Josh
 

red900

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Posts
7
Reaction score
0
Man, I will just **** your doors off if you want me too...
 

aliga

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
15
Reaction score
0
I had mine adjusted twice, and as soon as I drove 60 miles home from the dealership, they dropped. Chuck T indicated that its not the hinge.

Any ideas?
 

CROM

Viper Owner
Joined
Jan 18, 2004
Posts
999
Reaction score
0
Location
Fairfax, VA
Well, what did he indicate was the problem? The hinge is the only thing holding the door on. I can't think of any other reason a door would sag.
 

mike & juli

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Posts
11,715
Reaction score
0
Location
Upstate NY
I had mine adjusted twice, and as soon as I drove 60 miles home from the dealership, they dropped. Chuck T indicated that its not the hinge.
Any ideas?

Well, what did Chuck suggest? He would know if anybody. What else could it be BUT the hinges?? Guess Chuck must have some other ideas....I'd ask him again. ~juli~
 

Viper Wizard

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 28, 2001
Posts
5,258
Reaction score
4
Location
South Salem, NY USA
The Viper doors/shell are made from two fiberglass halves glued together and when the start separating [you may not see this] it is hard to keep up with the adjustment! Which is what I'm thinking is going on with Aliga's doors?


I had mine adjusted twice, and as soon as I drove 60 miles home from the dealership, they dropped. Chuck T indicated that its not the hinge.

Any ideas?
 

2000_Black_RT10

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Posts
1,684
Reaction score
0
Location
Up North
You say it's "easy" but my experiece says it's not exactly easy. Not only do the hinges have to be adjusted for fore-aft postion but up-down as well. So you're trying to locate within 4 degrees of movement by trial and error. I can't remember how many times I've loosened and tightened the hinge bolts. I thought for sure something was going to break. In the end my door closes and is mostly in alignment but it's not perfect. It's easy in terms of one tool and access to the bolts but a PITA in terms of amount of time to get it right.

IMO when the door system was designed they should have allowed it to be adjusted while it was latched so that way you loosen the bolts, adjust the door while it's closed for perfect alignment then tighten. Simple one step and you're done. I'm sure I'm over simplifying it but hey how many people open programs in DOS anymore.

I understand your point GTSnake. If you were to start with a fresh door install, sure that is tough. I was only chatting about a quick rotation to kick the door up, technically there's only 3 degrees of freedom, fore - aft, up - down and rotation about a cross car axis. If you were to loosen all 4 bolts, good luck, anyone is better off to bring the car to a body shop and let them align the gaps if the quick adjustment I described doesn't solve the problem, so I agree, that would not be relatively easy, it'd be quite frustrating.

The problem with mounting the door and then just tightening the hinge bolts at the factory wouldn't work, there's the problem with tolerance stack-ups due to clearances and component / material deflection. The doors are composite, we also made carbon fibe parts for race cars (inc Vipers) which is more stiff, yet the OEM Viper doors are still a bit heavy. The pillars get hot, the alloys, etc.. are susceptible to thermal expansion & contraction, reduced coeff of friction between mating surfaces, vibration, stiff suspensions, etc.. all the price to pay to own a low volume exotic car.. These types of performance cars are not designed for long term durability / reliability, the goal is performance, light weight, serviceability and cost which contradict eachother especially with Vipers which had a relatively low budget, shorter design lifecycles and reduced resources (i.e. less engineering / design staff, carry over parts when possible, limited tooling, etc..) compared to high volume platforms.

This keep guys in the downstream of service like Chuck busy! (who is a great help, I enjoy his Posts / info, a very knowledgable fellow and deserves quite a bit of respect). I do think at times that engineering needs to exchange more knowledge & experience with the fellows in service, I've worked at 2 of the big 3 in design and engineering so far, it's obvious engineering does not work with the folks in service enough.

Sorry for the lengthy babbling ..

Best regards,
Mike
 
Last edited:

GTS02

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Posts
103
Reaction score
0
When I adjusted my door so it just cleared the bottom, the top of the window pinches the rubber seal and if I lower the door to allow the seal to fit the window, the door rubs at the bottom ( is there a window glass hieght adjustment?). this is on the drivers side only, the passenger side is perfect.
 

viper spray

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Posts
1,297
Reaction score
0
Location
Austin, Texas , USA
You can also lift the rubber weather stripping up where it hits and rubs , then with your high speed grinder take the ridge down a little, (it holds the rubber strip up). This will give you more adjustment and may let you keep your door gaps perfect while fixing the lower rubbing issue. It works!
 
Last edited:

2000_Black_RT10

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Posts
1,684
Reaction score
0
Location
Up North
You can also lift the rubber weather stripping up where it hits and rubs , then with your dremmel tool take the ridge down a little, (it holds the rubber strip up). This will give you more adjustment and may let you keep your door gaps perfect while fixing the lower rubbing issue. It works!

Somebody is thinking, good idea viper_spray. I noticed the jog up in the weather strip along the path where it could rub the door panel.

I just snapped some pics, the image showing where there could be some of the weather stripping ****** removed / cut. I don't see any problems doing this to increase clearance to the door panel.

You must be registered for see images




You must be registered for see images
 
Last edited:

Viper Wizard

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 28, 2001
Posts
5,258
Reaction score
4
Location
South Salem, NY USA
I do think at times that engineering needs to exchange more knowledge & experience with the fellows in service, I've worked at 2 of the big 3 in design and engineering so far, it's obvious engineering does not work with the folks in service enough.


YES YES!! There are MANY times I am working on cars and I say to myself " WHAT THE F$$$ were those engineers thinking?":mad: Not just you Mike persay!:smirk:
 
OP
OP
Barry

Barry

VCA Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Posts
45
Reaction score
6
Location
**** Devil Hills, NC USA
I want to say thanks to all of you for your suggestions.
I did the adjustments over the weekend and with a little patience a floor jack and a lot of bolt turning, the door is working fine. Now all I need to do is get the other door to latch. Chuck tells me it’s a wiring problem and I tend to believe him. I wiggled the harness and the door kind of worked. Looks like its time to skin a door.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
152,423
Posts
1,676,184
Members
16,838
Latest member
Madsmokey12
Top