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  #1  
Old 05-17-2008, 11:49 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Natchez MS and Dallas TX
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door hard to shut, 300SD

I have an 85 300SD for about 1 1/2 years now that the drivers door won't completely shut unless it's really slamed, I mean hard. Car has 105,000. I'm 3rd owner and I can see that the front had some minor damage and repainted sometime ago. The visable damage is a small bend in the brace below the radiator on the passenger side and a crack in the radiator shroud on the same side. I have installed new "eye" piece on the door frame (both fronts) and adjusted it so there is no binding or rubbing on closing, tried adjusting the door hinges, moved the eye piece all of the way out so much so that wind whisles at speed. Nothing changes the hard closing. I have checked that the closing mechanism on the door is not any harder to rotate than the rear doors, which close easily - just like all of the doors do on my 85 380SE in MI. Any ideas on what could be wrong? Also the passenger front is a little harder to shut than the rear doors but is acceptable, unlike the driver door. Thanks for any info.

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  #2  
Old 05-17-2008, 11:58 PM
minimike
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: LI, NY
Posts: 320
Just talking to a buddy about that tonite as my two have same problem. he suggested that I check to see: if the rubber weather strip on the bottom of the door is hanging, and also see if the door itself is sagging on the hinges. before you close it, get it close to the strike and see if you can lift it into the opening or if it's already aligned. The fix he says, is to loosen the top two bolts and lift the door and retighten the bolts on hinge.
I've not tried it. so let us know.
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2008, 12:10 AM
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Location: Natchez MS and Dallas TX
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The door is not sagging. It moves smoothly into the eye striker witout binding hen I slowly push the door shut, as shut as it will go - it doesn't latch when I do this but I'm pretty sure that my SE is the same. I looked at the gasket to see if it was mashed any differently than the other doors but nothing looked different. I was wondering if maybe the rubber is too hard and not compressing easily?
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2008, 03:50 PM
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Location: OAklandia in the East Bay
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Check your door chek. Mine wasnt working properly. Besides not "checking" properly, the door had to be slammed in order for it to shut. I replaced it, lubed everything up, and the drivers door is smooth as butter.
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1983 300SD 70,000 WVO Powered miles
1990 300D In driveway with Head Off - Cracked
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2008, 03:54 PM
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There is a small rubber insert in the catch that pushes the latch closed. Look to see if it is dented. If so, it's your problem.

I fixed this on an '83 SD by swapping the rubber inserts from the left front to right rear. The catches are different, but the insert is the same. However, it gets dented in a different place on the left than on the right side. Swapping these inserts was only slightly harder than replacing the catches with a new one, but didn't cost anything.

Last edited by Matt L; 05-18-2008 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Fixed terms to reflect reality.
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2008, 04:03 PM
Blevinsax's Avatar
'91 350SD GreaseCar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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I've had a similar, although opposite problem with my 350SD. The driver door sticks shut and I have to give it a shoulder-thump to open from the inside and I have to yank it from the outside to open. It has been getting pretty annoying, but I have not had time to try fixing it since my wife is due (with our first child - a daughter) in 16 days!

If there is something easy I can check, please let me know - and remember, I am just a saxophone player, not a mechanic! I can fix things pretty well myself, but I sometimes don't know the name of parts, etc... for example, what part is the 'door check?'

Sorry for the ignorance - any help will be greatly appreciated!
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Last edited by Blevinsax; 05-18-2008 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Accuracy
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2008, 04:19 PM
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The door check is located inside the door. It has a metal strap that comes out pretty much center between the door hinges. Sounds like yours is going bad. You have to remove the inside door panel in order to access the check. Here is a pic
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1983 300SD 70,000 WVO Powered miles
1990 300D In driveway with Head Off - Cracked
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2008, 04:55 PM
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What's the piece on the B pillar called, that grabs the latch? I wrote "door check" above, but yes, that is incorrect. Now the correct name escapes me. But it does have the little rubber inserts that close the latch, and it was the problem with our 300K mile '83.
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2008, 05:48 PM
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I think Matt is correct it is probably the catch on the B pillar, you can loosten with allen/hex head wrench, maybe move it forward a 64th or so and that might work. I had the same problem in my 77 300D, put in a door lock mech, and still had the problem. You can get this plastic part for little money and replace, got mine from a pick and pay for $5.
ron
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2008, 05:56 PM
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Yep, door catch. Thanks Moorewr; I edited the above post. Once I swapped the rubber inserts in the catches on that old '83, the doors shut like those on a new car.
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2008, 08:16 PM
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Help, before it gets stripped!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moorewr View Post
it is probably the catch on the B pillar, you can loosen it with an Allen/hex head wrench

Because the plastic "lips" are broken, I'm trying to change this catch, but for the life of me, I cannot get the 4 bolts (5mm Allen screws?) off, I'm afraid I'm going to strip the hex pattern.

I just used a bunch of PB blaster, and tapped it, but it is NOT BUDGING! Tried a couple of times. Tried again with Deep Creep, another type of penetrating lubricant. My guess that it is corroded so bad behind the pillar, the lubricant cannot penetrate to loosen. Am I on the right track here?

Please help with any suggestions!

Edit, found this but it looks like if the PB blaster does not work, I am %$#@#$:

Yep, those Allen head screw are really tough to get out even on doors with good seals I've seen bad rust/corrosion that welds these screws tight. I let them soak with penetrating oil for a while like the other members have suggested. Then I use a hammer-type impact wrench to remove the screws (this is the poor man's impact driver that has the appropriate tool attached and then hit it with a hammer to break loose the fastener - my big air compressor is in storage). If you have an air or electric impact gun - then use it because the hammering action greatly helps to loosen these screws and avoid damaging the Allen head portion of the screw. If you should round off the Allen head screw then I've used a small sharp chisel to cut a groove in the screw head, then place the chisel in the groove facing in the direction to loosen the screw, and then strike it with a hammer to loosen the screw (this may take several tries speaking from experience). If this fails then you made need to drill through the head of the screw and then use an easy out.


http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/diesel-discussion/33011-what-do-i-adjust-so-my-door-latches.html#post181910
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1991 300E 124.030 103.983KE 722358 03 412178
207K

1979 240D 123.123 250K (Project car)

2000 Ford Ranger, 187K

2015 Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 37K

Last edited by whunter; 04-01-2009 at 11:54 PM. Reason: repair link
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2008, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbzr4ever View Post
Please help with any suggestions!
You've only got one chance to do this.........or you're SOL.

1) Purchase a hex socket bit for the heads for use in a 1/2" ratchet wrench. Do not use an allen wrench and do not use a 3/8" ratchet wrench.

2) Get a propane torch with a small tip.

3) Heat the head of the screw for about one minute...........not excessively hot.........just enough to lengthen it slightly.

4) Quickly insert the bit and "snap" the screw with the 1/2" ratchet. The ratchet is very stiff and will apply a lot of torque very quickly.

This method should work for you. If it doesn't...........nothing will.........and you'll have to do the hammer and chisel approach as described in the previous post..........not at all fun.
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2008, 02:03 PM
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Thanks Brian, I'm checking to see if I have the right sized hex bit.

I saw a plumber's torch kit at Home Depot for about $20 that I was meaning to get - I'm guessing that will be the same, as long as the tip is small, as you suggest.

I just remembered I had an impact driver, maybe that might be worth trying, too? I didn't think of it before, because I thought it might be too weak.


Wish me luck!
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1991 300E 124.030 103.983KE 722358 03 412178
207K

1979 240D 123.123 250K (Project car)

2000 Ford Ranger, 187K

2015 Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 37K

Last edited by mbzr4ever; 08-31-2008 at 03:08 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-31-2008, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbzr4ever View Post

I just remembered I had an impact driver, maybe that might be worth trying, too? I didn't think of it before, because I thought it might be too weak.


Wish me luck!
If the screws are Phillips heads, then an impact driver is absolutely necessary. But, it won't help much with the socket heads as additional downforce while twisting won't get you a better grip on the fastener.
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  #15  
Old 08-31-2008, 04:35 PM
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Yeah, they are not Phillips heads, but hex, so I will try what you posted above.

OK, off to the store to buy the torch!

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1991 300E 124.030 103.983KE 722358 03 412178
207K

1979 240D 123.123 250K (Project car)

2000 Ford Ranger, 187K

2015 Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 37K
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