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akorna

Hatch Alignment - Bottom left

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I noticed on my 72 Z and in photos of other Z's that the bottom left corner of the hatch is higher than the corner of the rear quarter panel (is not flush) - I'm not sure if this is related to the single strut support or some other issue. Anybody address and correct this?

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I have seen many many Z's with this same alignment problem. Rumor has it that they even came like that from the factory. Recently, I had a body shop take a look at that same left rear corner of my 280Z and they had to lower the entire hatch seal lip to get it to line up. They did it by "bending" the rear deck area and lip down just a hair. Another alternative would have been to trim the metal lip that retains the hatch seal.

Anyone else have a fix for this?

Before: (original non-accident factory mis-alignment)

515168267_kNW3G-XL.jpg

After:

643420757_QCrST-XL.jpg

Edited by cygnusx1

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You need to adjust the Dovetails on either side of the Hatch, then adjust the Latch.

If your Dovetails are nasty, you could clean/paint/replace at this point so you would not have to disturb the adjustment in the future. The parts are readily available and not very expensive.

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The dovetails were not the problem in my case. Hopefully it's that simple for you though.

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My 71 has the same minor problem. I attribute it to the single lift arm located on that side. Since I can't see it from the driver's seat it really doesn't matter enough to address it. Maybe when I pull the car down for new paint one day I'll try to fix it.....

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You need to adjust the Dovetails on either side of the Hatch, then adjust the Latch.

The dovetails are not the issue in my case either, have them adjusted as much as range allows. I can push down on the corner and it will improve - but the hatch springs back - appears that the curvature of the hatch is more shallow than the opening.

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Well, you may have to try what cygnusx1 did and have a body shop "Bend" the hatch. I hate to say the word 'Bend' when referring to a ZCar, It sounds too Neanderthal, but sometimes it is necessary. I was shocked when I saw the body shop that did my paint work use a 2x4 and a Mallot to adjust panels prior to paint. They were not going ape, but it sure did look primitive.

Sometimes, the Hinges can be higher on one side than the other. This could also cause one of the corners to lift because the frame is torqued. Try it with a piece of cardboard and you'll see what I mean. If you attempt to adjust your hinges, loosen the dovetails and put them in the lower most position first, then adjust the hinges. When you are satisfied, bring the dovetails back up to snug the hatch and prevent wiggle. What ever you do to correct this issue, make sure you check for leaks afterwards.

Edited by ZCurves

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Something else you may want to look at is the vertical positioning of the hatch lock striker. If it's too high, the hatch won't sit flush with the body.

The striker is right behind the license plate light housing and is secured by two bolts.

Simply remove the LP light housing to access the bolts. Then loosen them a little and see if you can slide your striker down, say 1/16" or so. If so, tighten the bolts and you should see some improvement. Then make further adjustments as necessary.

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It is of my opinion the problem is caused by the power of the strut. One quick test. Remove the strut from the bracket and close the hatch, see how it fits.

There is a large amount of power on these closed struts forcing up. Just a thought.

Bonzi Lon

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Thanks all for the feedback. At one point I removed the strut, dovetails, and latch - issue still there. I also saw some puctures of a 280z with two struts that displayed the same alignment problem (of course the right strut could have been bad for years...). It's possible the strut may have caused the deformation over the years, or maybe it's just a panel stamping problem.

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