SECTION 13-B – 1956 BUICK DOORS AND COMPARTMENT LIDS
13-5 1956 BUICK DOOR LOCKS AND HANDLES
Description of 1956 Buick Door Locks and Handles
Each 1956 Buick door lock is operated by a push button in the stationary outside handle and also by an inside handle and remote control assembly which is connected to the lock by a link. The connecting link has slotted holes to permit operation of lock by either the outside push button or the inside handle.
All 1956 Buick doors may be locked from the inside by pushing down the locking knob which projects through the garnish molding. All doors may be locked from the outside by first pushing down the inside locking knob then holding the outside push button depressed while closing the door.
Rear doors cannot be unlocked from outside the car. Both 1956 Buick front doors can be unlocked from outside by inserting key in the outside safety lock. The safety locks are operated by the same key that operates the ignition switch, glove box door lock and rear compartment lid lock.
A “free-wheeling” linkage incorporated in the rear door locks permits adjustment so that 1956 Buick doors cannot be opened by operating the inside handle when the locking rod knob is down. This safety feature, desirable where small children ride on the back seat, prevents accidental opening of a rear door when the car is in motion. Locks are set for “free-wheeling” at the factory and must be reset for positive operation at the request of car owner.
The 1956 Buick door locks on all Series 50-70 except Models 53-73 are the lift bolt type. As the door is closed the lock bolt enters the upper guide channel of door lock striker and is forced upward until the locking mechanism is engaged at the top of bolt travel. When the locking mechanism is tripped to unlock the door, the bolt is forced downward and out of the striker.
The door locks on all Series 40-60 and Models 53-73 are the rotary type. Both types of locks have an interlocking feature consisting of a notch in the striker into which the lock extension engages.
Free Wheeling Adjustment – 1956 Buick Rear Door Locks
To change 1956 Buick rear door locks from “free-wheeling” to positive operation, or vice versa, prepare a 7″ length of stiff wire approximately 1/8″ in diameter with a right angle hook 3/8″ long on one end. Make sure inside locking rod is in the “up” position. Use a small flashlight to locate free-wheeling control parts.
- Model 41. Remove rear door lock upper attaching screw and insert adjusting tool through screw hole. Engage hooked end of tool in loop of remote control connecting link as shown in Figure 13-4. Push tool forward to set lock “out” of free-wheeling or pull tool rearward to set lock “in” free-wheeling.
- Models 43-63. Remove plug from access hole in upper surface at rear of door and insert adjusting tool. Engage hooked end of tool in loop of remote control connecting link. Push tool forward to set lock “out” of free-wheeling or pull tool rearward to set lock “in” freewheeling. See figure 13-5.
- Models 52-72_ Remove upper lock attaching screw. Shine light through screw hole, then insert adjusting tool through bolt slot. Engage hooked end of tool behind free-wheeling trip lever as shown in figure 13-6, View A. Pull tool and lever rearward to set lock “out” of free-wheeling. Engage tool against near edge of trip lever, then push tool and lever forward to set lock “in” free-wheeling. See figure 13-6, View B.
- Models 53-73. Raise 1956 Buick door window. Remove 1956 Buick door trim panel and inner panel access hole cover. To set lock “out” of free-wheeling, reach through access hole and push remote control rod rearward and slightly downward. To set lock “in” free-wheeling, pull rod forward and slightly upward. See figure 13-7. Be sure to seal access hole cover before replacing door trim panel.
1956 Buick Door Lock Striker Adjustment
Before any 1956 Buick door lock striker adjustments are made, the body must be properly shimmed and the door properly aligned. The striker may be adjusted in or out, up or down, by loosening the striker attaching screws. Serrations on the back of striker and on the body pillar, coupled with a floating anchor plate in body pillar, allow for these adjustments.
Before removing the door lock striker or making an adjustment it is advisable to mark its position on body pillar with a pencil. This will permit it to be reinstalled in the same position, or will aid in gauging the amount of adjustment.
The 1956 Buick door lock striker should be adjusted in or out to secure good contact of 1956 Buick door weatherstrip with body and to permit positive locking of door lock. The striker should be vertically adjusted so that the lock enters centrally into the guide channels of striker. The dovetail wedge and striker should support the lock side of door without upward or downward strain. Long vertical serrations keep the striker at the proper angle to insure proper contact with dovetail wedge when the vertical adjustment is correctly made.
Whenever a door has been removed and installed, or realigned, the door should not be closed completely until a visual check is made to determine if the lock extension will engage in the striker notch. Where required, door lock striker emergency spacers should be installed so that door can be closed and an accurate check made to determine emergency spacer requirements.
To accurately check engagement of the lock extension in the striker notch apply modeling clay or body caulking compound in the striker notch. Then close and open the door to make an impression. Measure the extension to striker clearance as shown in figure 13-8.
If dimension “A” is less than 3/16″, one or more spacers must be inserted behind the striker as necessary to bring this dimension up to 3/16″. If spacers with more than 1/8″ combined thickness are used, longer striker attaching screws must be used.
1956 Buick Door Outside Handle Replacement
All 1956 Buick door outside handles are equipped with bell cranks which actuate the lock levers by means of connecting rods. At the lower end of each connecting rod there is an adjusting nut which screws on the end of the rod and can be adjusted to provide proper action of the attached lock lever.
- Raise 1956 Buick door window. Remove belt finishing moulding. Remove door trim assembly and large access hole cover.
- Through large access hole, detach connecting rod at the lower end. See figure 13-9.
- Through small access holes in line with handle, remove handle attaching screws. Then remove handle and gaskets with attached connecting rod from door. Remove connecting rod from handle as a bench operation.
- To install 1956 Buick door outside handle, reverse removal procedure making sure handle gaskets are installed between handle and outer door panel. Before attaching the push button connecting rod adjusting nut, adjust nut so that door handle bell crank just contacts handle push button, then attach adjusting nut to lock lever. Check all operations of the door lock before installing access hole cover and door trim assembly. Then seal door inner panel.
1956 Buick Door Lock Replacement
- Raise 1956 Buick door window. Remove door trim panel and access hole cover from door inner panel near the lock.
- Disconnect the door lock remote control connecting rod from the lock by removing the remote control mechanism.
- On 1956 Buick front doors, remove the glass run rear channel. (On closed bodies, it is only necessary to disconnect lower end of glass run channel.)
- Through access hole, detach all connecting rods from lock levers. See figure 13-9.
- On cars having lift bolt type locks, the outer door handle must be removed.
- Remove lock attaching screws and lock washers. Remove lock and gasket through access hole.
- Install door lock and other parts by reversing removal procedure. Lock must be sealed to lock pillar with caulking compound. Check all operations of door lock before installing access hole cover and door trim panel. The access hole cover must be sealed when installing it on the door inner panel.
13-6 1956 BUICK DOOR AND REAR COMPARTMENT LID WEATHERSTRIPS
Description of 1956 Buick Doors Weatherstrips
Molded rubber weatherstrips are cemented to the door flange on all 4-door Riviera doors and also on Series 50-70 2-door Riviera doors. A sheet metal retainer attached to the door gives support to the cemented weatherstrip along the bottom edge of the door. This retainer has a scalloped flange which is crimped over the base of the weatherstrip after it is cemented in place. On the rear face of 4-door Riviera front doors the weatherstrip is also supported by a sheet metal retainer.
The weatherstrips are of the clip-on type on the doors of all models other than 4-door Rivieras and Series 50-70 2-door Rivieras.
On Riviera and convertible bodies, the rear and top edges of the door window glasses bear against weatherstrips mounted on the rear windows and the roof side rails. On 2-door Riviera bodies only a mechanical “flipper” type roof side rail sealing strip assembly is used above the door windows.
The rear compartment lid is sealed by a molded rubber weatherstrip cemented to the lid around the edge of the lid flange on Series 40-60 bodies. On Series 50-70 bodies the weatherstrip is cemented to the body around the gutter flange.
Checking Contact of Weatherstrips
To avoid dust and water leaking through 1956 Buick door or compartment lid openings, the weatherstrip must be in good condition and securely cemented to the metal surface on which it is mounted. The lip of the weatherstrip must make firm contact at all points. This can be checked by closing the door or lid on a slip of paper placed at intervals around the opening. If paper can be withdrawn, an adjustment of the door or lid may be necessary.
Moving the 1956 Buick door or lid inward for closer contact of rubber weatherstrip may be accomplished by lock striker or hinge adjustment. If door or lid is in proper alignment in body opening, however, correction of air or water leak will probably require correction of rubber weatherstrip condition. If weatherstrip is loose or distorted it should be loosened sufficiently to permit proper adjustment and recementing. If damaged or deteriorated, the weatherstrip should be replaced.
When re-cementing or replacing a rubber weatherstrip the following procedure must be used to insure permanent adhesion.
- Carefully remove old weatherstrip or portion to be re-cemented.
- If the weatherstrip was attached with the original factory adhesive which has a neutral color, clean the adhesive from metal surface with a putty knife or a dry rag. It is not necessary to remove this adhesive from the weatherstrip. Do not use solvents (oleum spirits, gasoline, etc.) to clean off this type of adhesive.
If the weatherstrip has been previously reset with the black adhesives used in service, it may be necessary to use oleum spirits or a similar solvent to clean off the old adhesive.
- Allow surfaces to dry, then brush a coating of 3-M Weatherstrip Adhesive on mating surfaces of metal and weatherstrip.
- Keep coated parts separated and allow cement to air dry until “tacky,” which requires about 15 minutes. If parts are joined when cement is wet the weatherstrip will not adhere properly.
- Press weatherstrip firmly into place, being careful not to stretch it. When attaching weatherstrip along bottom of 1956 Buick door be careful not to close drain holes in door inner panel.
IMPORTANT: Do not close the door or lid for at least a half hour after re-cementing or installation of weatherstrip. If time permits, leave open for a longer period. If door or lid is closed before cement is thoroughly dry, the pressure against lid of weatherstrip may cause weatherstrip to pull away from its cemented base and early failure of the installation may result.
Adjusting Side Roof Rail Weatherstrip on 4-Door Rivieras
- The attaching holes in the side roof rail weatherstrip are elongated to provide “in” and “out” adjustment for proper contact with the front and rear door window frames as shown in illustration. To adjust weatherstrip, loosen attaching screws along area requiring adjustment, move weatherstrip “in” or “out” as required and retighten screws. NOTE: The amount of “in” and “out” weatherstrip adjustment is small and is not intended to correct for improper ventilator or door window alignment. If proper weatherstrip contact cannot be obtained by the “in” and “out” weatherstrip adjustment, the door ventilator and /or windows must be aligned to obtain the proper weatherstrip contact. See figure 13-10.
- The side roof rail weatherstrip can also be shimmed downward to provide proper contact with the ventilator frame and door glass frames. To perform this operation, detach weatherstrip from side roof rail sufficiently to install tapered waterproof shims between the weatherstrip and the side roof rail. Do not bend the integral metal insert. Shims should be securely cemented to side roof rail, and specified sealer should be re-applied to weatherstrip in affected area.
CAUTION: Shims should be well tapered and long enough to provide a continuous sealing surface along the length of the weatherstrip. Shims which are not tapered or are too short may cause local irregularities in the sealing surface.
13-7 1956 BUICK DOOR ALIGNMENT; ADJUSTMENT OF DOOR HINGES
Checking 1956 Buick Door Fit in Body Opening
A 1956 Buick door which is hard to open and close or which does not fit the door opening in body with even spacing all around and close flush with adjacent body panels should be carefully checked for fit in body opening before attempting any adjustment of hinges or door lock striker. Sometimes a combination of adjustments are required and time will be saved by checking as follows:
- Check for even contact of door rubber weatherstrip with body by closing door on a slip of paper placed at intervals around door. If paper can be withdrawn an adjustment of the 1956 Buick door hinges, door lock striker or weatherstrip is indicated.
- Remove door lock striker to allow door to hang free on hinges without support from the dovetail wedge on door lock.
- Close the door and check the spacing of door in body opening at front, top and rear edges. The spacing should be uniform in width along each edge and should be approximately equal at all three edges.
- Check the belt molding or horizontal crease line at belt line of 1956 Buick door and body. This should be in continuous alignment along the side of body from front edge of front door through the rear quarter panel.
- Hold 1956 Buick door closed and check door flanges for being flush and in uniform alignment with adjacent body panels.
Careful consideration of door spacing, belt molding or crease line alignment, weatherstrip contact and door flange alignment will show whether correction can be made by adjustment of door lock striker or door hinges or a combination of both. It also will show whether the door or door opening requires truing up by other means than adjustment.
If a front fender is not in proper alignment with the front door, the fender position should be adjusted; do not attempt to shift a properly fitted door to obtain alignment and clearance with the fender.
General Instructions for Adjusting Door Hinges and Lock Strikers
The following general instructions apply to all 1956 Buick doors. For specific instructions on adjustment of 1956 Buick door hinges see subparagraph c.
Adjustment and fitting of a door in body opening should always start at the hinge side of door, with door lock striker removed to allow door to hang free on hinges.
Before making an adjustment at the hinges it is advisable to mark the location of hinge on body and door so that amount and direction of hinge movement can be measured as an aid in adjustment.
1956 Buick doors are heavy and hard to handle if all hinges are loosened during door adjustment and it may require the services of two men, one to hold the door at the correct adjustment while the other man tightens the hinge.
The in and out, or fore and aft adjustment may be simplified if only one door hinge at a time is loosened, adjusted and then tightened again.
To facilitate easy adjustment of the door up or down, use a car jack placed under the center of the door when it is in an open position. When the hinge screws are loosened, the jack may be operated to move the door up or down to the correct adjustment with very little effort, after which the screws may be tightened again.
In some cases it may be necessary to use a combination of vertical, in-and-out and fore-and-aft adjustments to secure proper fitting of door in body opening and proper contact of door weatherstrip with body.
Alignment of 1956 Buick door and body belt moldings or crease lines at hinge pillar should be obtained first, by vertical adjustment of door at hinges. Then align door flange so that it is flush with adjacent hinge pillar by an in or out adjustment of one or both hinges. Finally, obtain spacing of uniform width along hinge side which is approximately equal to spacing on lock side of door by fore or aft adjustment of one or both hinges.
When door is properly adjusted at hinge side, uniform spacing and also alignment of belt moldings or crease lines should exist at the lock side of door. In order to obtain alignment of moldings or crease lines at lock edge of door it may be necessary, in some cases, to adjust hinges so that door spacing on hinge side is not exactly uniform in width; however, the spacing must not be noticeably tapered on either the front, top or rear edges of door.
After 1956 Buick door hinges have been adjusted for proper fit of door in body opening install and adjust the door lock striker as described in paragraph 13-5 (c) .
1956 Buick Door Adjustment at Hinges
On front doors, up, down, in and out adjustment at hinges is provided through slotted hinge bolt holes and floating hinge bolt anchor nuts mounted in front body hinge pillar. The hinge bolts in the body are accessible with door opened. Forward and rearward adjustment, together with a slight up and down adjustment is provided by the slotted bolt holes in the hinge gooseneck strap where the strap is bolted to the door. However, it is necessary to release the door trim pad to reach these bolts. See figure 13-11.
Forward or rearward adjustment of front doors will seldom be required unless the hinge or door has been distorted by an accident. A bent hinge should be removed and straightened or replaced.
On rear doors, up, down, in and out adjustment at hinges is provided through slotted hinge bolt holes and floating hinge bolt anchor nuts in both the body hinge pillar and the door hinge pillar. All hinge bolts are accessible with door opened and hinge cover plates removed. See figure 13-12.
A slight rearward movement of a rear door may be obtained by placing a full-width water-proof cardboard shim between the hinge and the body pillar. Greater movement may be obtained, if necessary, by placing a narrow shim between the outer edge of the hinge and the body pillar to tilt the hinge and move the door rearward.
To move the door forward, place a narrow shim between the inner edge of the hinge and the body pillar to tilt the hinge and move the door forward.
When a door hinge adjustment is completed, be sure to reinstall all hinge cover plates. The weatherstrip should be checked all around for proper contact.
NOTE: Whenever possible, adjust only one hinge at a time to avoid loss of proper door height.
Front Door Check and Hold-Open Devices
On front doors, flat steel springs are mounted in the upper and lower hinges to provide check and hold-open devices. Each spring contains a channel which engages the gooseneck strap of hinge when door is fully opened, thereby limiting door opening and holding door in opened position.
Rear Door Check Links
On rear doors, a check link is used which contains a spring for counterbalancing the door to hold it open, while the toggle action of the links establishes a definite hold-open position. The check link is not adjustable.
13-8 1956 BUICK REAR COMPARTMENT LID, HINGE, AND LOCK ADJUSTMENTS
Description of Hinges and Lock
The 1956 Buick rear compartment lid is attached to the body by two concealed hinges. The strap portam of each hinge is attached to the inner panel o… lid by bolts and floating anchor plates which permit adjustment of the lid in the body opening.
The 1956 Buick compartment lid counterbalancing and hold open features are accomplished by torque rods which are attached between the hinges and the body.
The compartment lid is unlocked by the ignition key. When key is inserted in lock and turned clockwise the lock snaps the lid into an unlocked position from which is can be easily raised. The key is not used when locking the lid.
The lid lock striker is mounted at lower edge of body opening on Series 40-60 bodies; on Series 50-70 bodies, it is mounted on the rear compartment lid. Slotted bolt holes in striker permit adjustment to provide positive locking and proper pressure of lid against the weatherstrip.
Lid, Hinge, and Lock Striker Adjustments
Adjustment of 1956 Buick rear compartment lid, hinges, and lock striker is required whenever an edge of lid is noticeably out of alignment with adjacent body panels, upper edge of lid contacts shoulder of body rear panel when lid is opened, or lid does not lock properly. Adjustment also may be required to correct dust or water leaks provided the weatherstrip is in good condition and securely cemented in place.
Before making any adjustment examine the fit of rear compartment lid in the body opening. The spacing along the top, bottom, and sides should be approximately equal and spacing along top edge of lid must be sufficient to prevent contact with shoulder on body panel when lid is raised. The edge of compartment lid should be fairly flush with adjacent body panels all around.
If spacing is objectionably unequal adjustment may be made by loosening hinge strap attaching screws and shifting lid in direction required. A dowel pin mounted on lid engages a hole in a pilot bracket welded to body adjacent to lock striker. It may be necessary to shift the position of the dowel pin to obtain the required movement of compartment lid.
The spacing along top edge of lid may be correct but the lid contacts shoulder of body panel when lid is raised; this is because the hinge side of lid is set too low. On the other hand, the upper edge of lid may stand away from the body panel because it is set too high. Either condition may be corrected by shims placed between lid and hinge strap on side requiring adjustment. To raise edge of lid at either hinge, place a shim of proper thickness between lid and the forward end of hinge strap. To lower edge of lid, place shim at rear end of hinge strap.
After the hinge side of compartment lid is properly aligned, the lower or lock side of lid may be adjusted for alignment with body rear end panel and proper contact with weatherstrip by adjusting the lock striker up or down as required. There are adjustable rubber bumpers on each side to steady the lid near the lower corners. These should be adjusted to contact when lid is closed, but not so that lid cannot contact the weatherstrip.
The striker must not be set so low that the lock cannot snap into a securely locked position when lid is pressed down. To check the amount of engagement of the lid lock bolt with the striker, press a small wad of modeling clay into inner end of lock bolt slot, then close lid with a moderate slam. Open lid and check thickness of clay remaining in the slot; this should be 1/8″ to 1/32″. See figure 13-13. If proper lock bolt engagement cannot be obtained by adjustment of striker, insert a spacer under striker to get the desired engagement.
Replacement of 1956 Buick Rear Compartment Lid Lock Cylinder or Lock
The lock cylinder is retained by a flat steel retainer on inner side of the lid outer panel. To remove lock cylinder, pull on upturned end of the retainer to disengage it from the cylinder. When lock cylinder is installed by reversing removal procedure be sure to cement the gasket which is placed between panel and the outer flange of lock cylinder.
To remove the rear compartment lid lock assembly, remove lock screw, the lock and cover plate screws, and the cover plate. Lock assembly can then be removed from inner panel.
Replacement of 1956 Buick Rear Compartment Lid Hinge
- Open the 1956 Buick trunk lid and brace it safely before attempting any work on the torque rods.
- Remove the screw and clip which attaches outer angle of torque rod to body.
- Place a short length of pipe over outer end of torque rod and lift the rod up and toward center of body to release it from the bracket. See figure 13-14.
- Work torque rod loose from hinge and remove it.
- Scribe hinge strap location on lid inner panel, then remove strap attaching screws. Bend up the retaining tab and remove the pin which retains the hinge strap to the hinge box and remove the hinge.
- When hinge is reinstalled be sure to place gasket between hinge strap and compartment lid inner panel.
- Insert the torque rod into the hinge, using care to get it all the way up into the hinge cutout.
- Use the short length of pipe to get the torque rod back to its position on top of the bracket. Install the clip and screw.
- Remove the brace and try closing the lid. If it does not close easily, the torque rods have not been inserted into the hinge cutouts properly. They can usually be shifted into the correct position without loosening or removing the rod.
- Adjust hinge if necessary to align compartment lid in body opening (subpar. b, above).
Adjustment of 1956 Buick Rear Compartment Lid Torque Rods
The torque rods on the rear compartment lid hinge assemblies can be adjusted to obtain the desired effort required to open and close the lid. With the torque rod set in Position #1, a decrease in the effort required to open the lid can be had by adjusting the torque rod to Positions #2 or #3. A corresponding increase in the effort required to close the lid results from this adjustment. With the torque rod set in Position #3, a decrease in the effort required to close the lid can be had by adjusting the torque rod to Positions #2 or #1. A corresponding increase in the effort required to open the lid results from this adjustment. It is NOT necessary to adjust the left and right hand torque rods at the same time or to the same final position of adjustment. See figure 13-14.
13-9 1956 BUICK INSTRUMENT PANEL COMPARTMENT (GLOVE BOX) DOOR AND LOCK
The 1956 Buick instrument panel compartment door is attached to instrument panel by a butt-type double hinge and is provided with a separate curved stop to support the door in open position.
Where the hinge is attached to instrument panel the screw holes are slotted to permit adjustment of door in cross-body direction. Where the hinge is attached to door the screw holes are slotted to permit up and down adjustment of door. See figure 13-15.
The door is held in closed position by a lock with a sliding latch which engages a striker on instrument panel. When the lock cylinder is pushed inward the latch is retracted to unlatch the door. When lock cylinder is turned to locked position by means of the ignition key, the cylinder cannot be pushed inward to unlatch the door.
The door lock striker is adjustable to provide proper contact of upper corners of door with rubber bumpers mounted on instrument panel. The striker should be adjusted to prevent rattle but not tight enough to interfere with operation of the lock.
The lock assembly may be removed from the compartment door by removing screw and retainer on inside of door. The lock cylinder may be removed as follows:
- Insert key and turn to locked position.
- Insert a pointed tool into opening in lock barrel and push down and out on retaining tumbler then remove cylinder.
- To install cylinder, insert cylinder with key into lock barrel until retaining tumbler engages inner rim of lock barrel.