Two doors were used on the Second Generation Camaro. They run from 1970 to 1974, and then from 1975 to 1981. The major difference is the door handles. The early style door has an inner handle assembly that's bolted to the door while the newer door has a cheap chrome spring loaded door handle pop rivited to the door shell. Both doors will interchange providing the correct inner handle is used. The handle is located in the same position on either door.
The external door handles differ in length with the 1975 and newer style cars having a shorter door handle (5.5") whereas the early handle is 6" in length. Repop door skins are designed for the short handle. If you put a long door handle onto a replacement door skin you'll notice the outer edges of the handle will touch the door skin. This is generally acceptable and shouldn't harm the door skin. Another door swap consideration is a door used on a custom interior car will have a different window regulator than a standard interior door.
Click to view exploded diagram of interior door hardware.
Related info: Interior Door panel
Template/Measurement for drilling door for bullet mirror.
Door Hinges (Upper & Lower)- Items 47 & 62.
Striker Assembly - Items 58, 59, 60
Window Regulator - Item 35
Inner Door handle Assembly - Item 72 & 74
Outer Door Handle Assembly
Window Molding - Item 3
A Camaro door weights upwards of 100 pounds. They're heavy and they put a strain on the hinges over the course of the years. Eventually, your door will not want to shut correctly. To test or check your hinges, open the door and try and wiggle the door. The door shouldn't wiggle but will try and move the car.
BROKEN DOOR HANDLES ARE EXCELLENT EVIDENCE of worn out door hinges. After a couple months of lifting the door up and slamming it shut, the chrome exterior handle will break in 1/2.
If your door doesn't want to shut, or is tough to open, the easiest thing to do is check the alignment of the striker.
Door latch "difficulty". Defined as - "my freekin door won't open".
Step 1 on this would be to check the obvious. Make sure the door isn't locked. Next is usually because the latch is stuck around the striker and won't release it. Now you get to play stock car driver to get into your car. This can sometimes be attributed to worn out subframe bushings in addition to a worn out or broken latch. Because of this, you may be able to free the door by jacking the front of the car up - then trying to open the door. Sometimes, getting into the car and taking it for a 10 mile ride over bumpy roads might free the door up. If these solutions fail to open the door, and you're sure it's not still locked - have a helper operate the handle (try both inner and outer) while you "assist" the door in opening with your shoulder. Don't play linebacker on it or you'll be buying new door panels. Just put enough beef against the door to force it off the striker.
Once you get the door open, lubricate the piss out of the latch with lithium grease to keep it from sticking again.
If this problem happens again and your sure the striker (cheap) is not the culprit, then replace the latch (expensive).
Door Alignment procedure: Ah yes, the definition of a fun time. You need 2 people, 1 floor jack, some wood shims and a bunch of patience. Generally, the easiest way to deal with the door is to have the fender off the car too. Bolt the hinges to the door loosely. Remove the door jamb striker. Then with your help and the floor jack, lay the door into the car. Set it on a thin shim of wood so the doors not sitting on the sill plate. Position the door so it looks like its where it needs to be, then tighten the hinge bolts. Check the operation of the door. It should be smooth and the gap between the rear and bottom of the door should be consistant from the 1/4 panel and rocker panel. Tighten the hinge bolts completely and install the striker snug. Shut the door and the striker will be moved into the correct position. Then torque the striker.
Author: MadMike Maciolek
North Georgia Classic Camaro
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Exploded diagrams courtesy of GM Parts & Illustration Manual