In cooperation with Rob Grady I have created a Tech Tip on door adjustments. It has always been difficult to know if you needed a new strut or a torsion bar adjustment or both till now. With this Tip you can tell if a new strut will correct your drooping doors or only an adjustment.
BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO REMOVE THE DOOR GAS STRUT BE ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT THE DOOR WEIGHT IS SUPPORTED WITH A SUITABLE BRACE MADE FROM A 2X4 SECTION OF LUMBER PLACED BETWEEN THE OUTSIDE DOOR EDGE AND THE DOOR SILL.
REMOVAL OF THE DOOR STRUT WITHOUT THIS SUPPORT WILL CAUSE THE DOOR TO DROP WITH GREAT FORCE RESULTING IN POSSIBLE SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY.
For the following test the car must be on a level flat surface. First step is to remove the door strut. To do that first remove the retaining clips on both ends. Sometimes it takes a little force to "pop" off the ends of the struts, especially if they haven't been removed for a long time. Sometimes the end of the strut can even break off. You might have to hit it with a piece of 2x4 to do it or pry it off. Don't forget to use a prop to hold the door fully open while you remove the strut!
Next SLOWLY lower the door. It shouldn't close all the way but should remain open somewhere between 2-6 inches depending on how much tension is in the torsion bar. This is relatively unaffected by temperature. I measured this from the edge of the door sill to the lip of the door. If your door is not in this range then you will need a Torsion Bar Adjustment.
If your door is in this range and droops then you will need a strut. You might still need a slight adjustment depending on the temperature and age of the strut but at least you will know if you need a strut. BE AWARE if you need to adjust the torsion bar it can be a DANGEROUS procedure. Get help either on the phone or best if you can get an experienced person. When you replace the strut put a dab of grease on the ball before you pop it back on and don't forget the clips.
Over tightening a torsion bar to compensate for a weak strut will overstress the door system so it is not recommended. You can get by with 1-2 splines but after that you should consider replacing the strut. With 1-2 adjustments struts last for years.
NOTE - See T-Bar Reinforcement information for what to do
when overtorqued bars have separated the cage from the roof.
Technical Editor Delorean Midatlantic and Tri State Delorean Owners
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