Pined Door Hinge - General for All Trucks
HRB1.gif (56199 bytes)For many of the older trucks, there are no aftermarket sources for new door hinges and rebuilding maybe your only option for worn hinges.  Used hinges are in limited supply and there cost well exceeds the cost of rebuilding many times over.
Whether your restoring your truck or just keeping up with general maintenance, the door hinges will require attention at some point.  With 30 plus years of use and maybe a rebuild or two on them already, hinge rebuilding can present a challenge.  In this article we will be walking through the process of rebuilding door hinges using aftermarket products and materials.  When completed, these hinges will be better than new.
As in most any project, cleaning of the old parts is the first phase.  Here you can see our hinges in the blasting cabinet, ready to be cut down to bare steel.  If blasting equipment is not available, disassemble the hinges by removing the hinge pins and springs.   This will allow you to clean and wire brush your parts prior to any new work.  A parts washer also makes quick work of grease and dirt.
HRB2.gif (46050 bytes)We plan to powder coat our hinges, so blasting is the best option in this case.  Paint stripping and wire brushing can achieve pretty much the same results for those without blasting equipment.
Now that the hinges are clean down to the bare steel, we can tear down and inspect them for damage.  Some of the damage we found included seized & broken pins, broken & missing springs, stress fractures and missing parts. It is important to keep each hinge together as a unit and  not to mix parts.  Each hinge is unique in its position: i.e. left top, left bottom, right top and right bottom.
Once the hinges are disassembled, inspect hinges for damage. One area to look close at are the spring mounting holes in both the hinge frame and the hinge itself.   Another area is the hinge pin hole.  In some cases the pin may have seized in the hinge. This will cause the pin to wear an oval shaped hole in the frame.  In most cases this problem can be corrected with over-sized pins found in most rebuild kits.  If you cannot correct the problem this way, you will have to weld the pin holes over and re-drill them to new pin size.
HRB4.gif (34537 bytes)The photo (right) shows the new pin kit.  This particular kit offers a bronze bushing set.  The bushing set is an upgrade over using just a new pin alone.   The bushings ride on the pivot points where there use to be steel to steel contact.  The bushings also take up any wear in this area and provide a smoother action.   Bushings also prevent your pivot points from further wear.
The new pins are of a hard tool type steel and will not bend like stock pins.  Since these pins also insert into the bushings, the harder steel will not wear the hinge hole either.  Also note, that the head of the pin is splined.  These splines, when driven into the hinge frame will key the new pin into place and keep it from turning in the frame.
Most of the kits offered have oversized pins.  You should make sure of this before purchasing your kit.  A stock pin will not take up the wear areas and does not offer any improvements to the original design.
In the photo (right) we checked the new pin size in order to select the correct drill bit size.  In this case, we selected a bit 1/64" larger than the pin.  We used the same method to select a drill bit for the bushing hole.
Next, the hinge is placed into a vise, were it is aligned vertically to assure a straight hole.  If you don't take the time here to align your work, it will be seen when the door is hung.   Also, the proper operation of the hinge will be effected as well.
HRB6.gif (34529 bytes)The first hole drilled will be for the pin.  Two more drilling operations will be needed to counter-sink the bushing into the hinge.   Counter-sinking is accomplished by measuring the bushing height and counter drilling the hinge hole on both sides to that depth.  This will allow the bushing be inserted into the hinge with only the pivot point resting above the hinge surface.
In the photo (right) you can see the results of the drilling operation.  The pin and bushing have been partly assembled to show the counter-sinking process in its completed form.
In this same photo you will see the one of the spring holes below the pin hole.  There are two "C" type springs that will need to be replaced when re-assembling the hinge.
HRB8.gif (34710 bytes)Below in the photo you will see 2 items that look like washers.  One of these items is a original pivot point which is suppose to be spot welded to the hinge frame.  A few of these pivot points had broken loose and need to be welded back into place.
The other item is a replacement pivot which we cut from a piece of 3/16" plate stock. It will replace one the missing pivots.  After the pivots are replaced, the hinge frame is drilled to the new pin size and made ready for assemble.
The frame to the left is missing the pivot points.  New points are sitting on the face of the hinge frame, ready to install.  The frame to the right shows the pivots in place between the hinge and frame.  The pin pasts through all of these parts to hold the assemble together.
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Above shows the left hinge with the new pivot points.  The assembly is together and  ready to have the pin set.  The right hinge assembly shows someone of the repairs needed.   A stress fracture and missing tab need welding up.  (Right) You can see the how the bushings act as the new pivot surface.
This photos shows one of the "C" spring installed in its correct location.
There are two springs needed for both of the top hinges.
The bottom hinges do not have the slots in the hinge frame, nor a mounting hole in the hinge itself. - CTS