Since I bought my 1953 Chevy Belair in 1990, I always had issues with the front driver’s door not closing right. I must have re-adjusted the striker 100 times. It would loosen up and shift position, and sometimes the door would get stuck closed and I’d have to pry it open (nerve wracking!)
It got much worse over the last 15 years or so…once, the door popped open when I hit a bump. Not cool. I tried everything, except replacing the striker. Eventually I learned to live with it, just be careful.
Last month I changed out the electric door poppers for new ones (the old ones were now more than 15 years old and giving me issues). While working on the driver’s door I noticed the striker looked like it had gone through a meat grinder. I guess the years of it going out of alignment did a job on it. So I decided to get a new one. I posted that I was looking for one on the Facebook 53/54 Chevy group, and in no time had several people offering. I got one in like new condition for $45, including the ride.
When I went to put the new one on, I got a big surprise…it had a backing plate. Mine…on the car…has no backing plate. So I’m thinking, what the hell??? Apparently, sometime between October of 1953 when the car was built, and April of 1990 when I bought it, for some reason someone removed the backing plate off the striker, or for some reason it never had one. I’m honestly not even sure if that’s the original or even correct striker that’s been on the 53 Chevy since I bought the car!
I took the old one off, put the new one on (took longer to find the right screwdriver than it did to install), lined it up and tightened it…and the door shut almost perfectly. I made one adjustment…and now it shuts flawlessly, the door popper works correctly, and the door is lined up exactly as it should be.
Moral of the story…I should have replaced it 20 years ago.