Door cracking

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

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asavage
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Door cracking

#1

Post by asavage » 14 years ago

I know some of you have already discussed this with me via email, but this is a new medium, so I'll rehash it.

The Gen1 doors crack. If your door rattles when you close it, it's cracked.

Image

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The yellow stuff is old glue, apparently factory installed.

This is the bottom of the driver's side front door, just below the power window mounting -- the two 10mm bolt heads you can see are the lower window regulator mounting bolts. Both front doors have identical metal fatigue, and you can hear a heavy rattle/clunk when shutting the doors, when the portion of the door carrying the window motor & regulator oilcans.

Six years ago, I had identical fatigue on my Aerostar's doors, and fixed those using some custom aluminum double plates to reinforce over the cracked area. However, that's going to be harder to do with these doors.

I fixed both my front doors in Apr-2004 like this:

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I did a similar fix to both doors on my '89 Aerostar six years ago, which is my daily driver. On it, I can hear some minor rattling in the driver's door again, so it may have broken loose, or another crack developed. On that one, I used bolts/nylock nuts and a heavier alum. plate, but I didn't have to wrap the lower door edge like I did on the Maxima; there was plenty of solid metal to attach the doubler to, without having it extend around a corner!

I thought about welding, but . . . well, I'm a lousy welder, and once metal fatigue cracks like this, it's difficult to weld it and have it not re-crack, at least, that's what I've found on related projects. Doubler plates have worked pretty well for me for similar projects.

A shop down the street sold and cut me the two panels (9x10") for $5. For both. Can't beat that! I did have to go buy a new hole saw, though. My old ones seem to be missing (again). And I had to buy another box of 100 aluminum rivets.

The big downside to the above fix is that it does show, in a minor way. If you get your head low enough, you can see the "wrap" on the lower edge, because the inside door panel does not cover it. But my car is a rusty '82 wagon that lived its first 15 yrs in Pennsylvania (though it didn't get driven much) and it's starting to lose parts of the rocker panels. The floor is solid but the rockers have a couple of minor (quarter-sized) holes showing.

IOW, the fix is appropriate to the vehicle. If it had been a nicer car, I might have cut a doubler plate that extended in different directions and which didn't show, but I put two of those panels on and did it all (two doors, including pulling/replacing the door panels, and re-gluing the plastic liner sheets so I don't get drafts inside) in about three hours, and to do it nicer would have taken twice that long for only a minor improvement in cosmetics. To me, having the lower edges of the patch panels show is minor.
Last edited by asavage 10 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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kassim503
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mine did the exact same thing

#2

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

my door is cracked right on that same spot, in the exact same way too. it was very annoying, i cured it by welding a small strip of sheet metal over the crack and cleaned and painted it real well, guess i didnt think of riviting it. :lol:

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asavage
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#3

Post by asavage » 14 years ago

If I was a better welder, I might have tried welding it. My experience with fatigue fractures is that welding alone isn't a good permanent solution. But it has the advantage of being able to be hidden. My repair does show, if you look at it from the right angle.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

glenlloyd
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#4

Post by glenlloyd » 14 years ago

asavage wrote:If I was a better welder, I might have tried welding it. My experience with fatigue fractures is that welding alone isn't a good permanent solution. But it has the advantage of being able to be hidden. My repair does show, if you look at it from the right angle.
Correct, if you weld the break, the problem will only be displaced on either side of the weld. For fatigue issues a welded plate is the only fix, otherwise the crack will return, most likely right below the repair weld. They should have used a reinforcement there to begin with...it's too weak.

sa
97 Jetta TDI, 86 VW Golf D
89 VW Fox diesel, 92 MB 300SD W140

gir - won't the sploding hurt?
zim - silence!

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asavage
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#5

Post by asavage » 14 years ago

Well, my Aerostar broke in the same way, and I've seen a couple of other marques with the same problem, always with power windows.

It made it out of warranty, that's all that the mfgrs care about.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

glenlloyd
Posts: 640
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
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#6

Post by glenlloyd » 14 years ago

Yep, if it can survive the warranty period the mfr. is happy. Neither of mine have broken yet, but I can feel the inner door flex when the window goes down. Perhaps it would be a good idea to install a hidden reinforcement before the thing snaps!

sa
97 Jetta TDI, 86 VW Golf D
89 VW Fox diesel, 92 MB 300SD W140

gir - won't the sploding hurt?
zim - silence!

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kassim503
Posts: 1027
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

#7

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

When I open my window at high speed (60 MPH+) the glass gets sucked out of the car by about 3/8th of an inch, probably from the vacuum and wind whatevers going on. Does it sound like a bent track or mabye a loose adjustment bolt? Its kinda a pain b/c the window wont close fully until i slow down to mabye 60 mph or so, and I have grown to become a chronic speeder on the interstates- I follow the traffic in the slow lane :lol:

The window would raise and get stuck on the part of the track where it meets the a- pillar and roofline and not go in its crevice. Could it have to do with my door crack repair? Its just a piece of riveted sheet metal holding the 2 pieces together.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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asavage
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#8

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

kassim503 wrote:When I open my window at high speed (60 MPH+) the glass gets sucked out of the car by about 3/8th of an inch, probably from the vacuum and wind whatevers going on.
Mine does the same. My fix is to roll down a rear window, then I can roll up the driver's window, then roll up the rear.

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kassim503
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Location: Stony Brook, NY

#9

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

asavage wrote: My fix is to roll down a rear window, then I can roll up the driver's window, then roll up the rear.
Thats a good idea, ive been opening the passenger side, but the rear would definitley help reduce pressure better than the front windows. Ill try it the next time im at highway speed
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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