I don’t know if this is a common problem or not but I’d imagine so.
After 40 years of slamming the door.. open, the door check gets its work-out and eventually stretches and doesn’t stop the door soon enough to prevent it from hitting the fender.
Here’s what’s happening, door hits the fender at the circle and gets dented. Anyone can tell this is no good..
The proper way to solve this problem is of course to replace the door check. But you might have problems finding one or just plain want to fix it now. There’s a quick and dirty fix for this problem though and it’s to adjust the door check to stop the door sooner.
Begin with disassembling the door interior. This is very easy.
Start with the lock knob, turn counterclockwise to unscrew it.
Lift off the interior panel mounted topmost, it comes straight off if you lift it upwards. It’s mounted with a few tabs and it’s easy to pull off.
Remove the plastic covers on the vent window knob and the window crank, and pry away the plastic cup behind the door release handle. This is easiest done with a very small screwdriver, be careful not to dent the plastic.
Underneath these you’ll find some screws, unscrew them and the knobs come off. While taking off the door release handle piece you have to pull the handle to get the piece off.
Loosen the door handle, it’s fastened with two screws from underneath
Now you can take off the entire door panel, it’s mounted with tabs on both sides so work your way from top to bottom, take one side at a time.
You can now visually inspect the door check mounting. If yours is as bad as mine it will look something like this. The door check has widened the mounting hole from repeated violent openings and thus has slid quite a bit forward. Since the bolts facing forward still are trying to do their job, to keep the door check at proper place, the door check assembly got bent at the front end. Now, the easiest solution that comes up to mind is to bend it back to original shape, but please don’t attempt this. The door check is a single-piece aluminium casting and aluminium is not friendly for repeated bending, it will break if you try to bend it back to shape.
Take off the door check piece by loosing the single nut and the two bolts. Don’t forget to pull the pin that attaches it to the A-pillar.
It’s time to modify the door check a bit now. Drilling small holes (4mm or something of that size), tap them for your favorite screw size and insert screws into the holes. Please see picture, it should be quite self-explaining. You can see the new screws installed and how they prevent the door check to go all the way and thus your door won’t open too wide now. If you’re unshure which length is appropriate for the screws you can begin with short ones and see if the door check works with them, if the problem still persist use longer screws.
Voilá, problem solved. Install the door check, the door panel and the handles & knobs and you’re done. No more risk of denting your door!
This entire procedure took me about 30 minutes to do. If you find this guide useful please drop a thumbs-up line or declare me a total idiot.