replacing hinge pins

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by phoebeisis, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yesterday,I spent about 2 hours replacing the hinge pins and bushings on the passengers side front door.It had gotten so we couldn't open it from the inside,and it was obviously hanging.

    I suspect that what happened was 2 things
    1)Heavy door and 11 years,so it sags
    2) The bottom of the roller pin bent over time-we continued to use it this way ,despite it being hard=taking a lot of effort-to close. I think this cause it to get pushed downward-bent- permanently.

    It now opens fine, but I it is still visibly out of alignment .You can tell from the creases and trim elements on the door not lining up.

    The tricky part of the job is getting the old bushings out-and seated back in-.You have to support the door and just do one pin at a time, of course. You do have to let it drop a bit out of alignment, so you can get a punch in and get purchase on one side of the bushing.You bang the crap out of one side-maybe tear it apart or get lucky and maybe the whole thing comes out in one piece.

    There seemed to be some sort of flat washer between the two parts of the hinge-It almost seemed to be attached to the original bushings. I'm not sure it is/was but it comes out when you remove then original bushing. Maybe it acts as some sort of spacer, or just a noise abatement device?? Well it is gone now?

    One of those bushing removing tools-about $20 on Ebay-with two 60 degree angles in it so you can get at the bushing- would have made life much easier.

    I still haven't found a good way to fully seat the new bushings- 2 of the 4 are about 1 mm short of fully seated. You have to be carefu about banging them in-first, it is EXTREMELY HARD to get at them to bang them in-second- they bend and break pretty easily( yeah, this explains why I did just one front door when I started the day with 4 pins and 8 bushings- I broke.bent one bushing).This screw up learning curve is about right for me on a first time job with no experienced help at hand. I did need help from my son to put the pins back in-he had to hold and move the door so the pins would slip in.If you just bang them back in-without making sure the hinge is fully in line- you are liable to break/ bend the bushings.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  2. THier

    THier Member

    I just did mine a couple of weeks ago, my '96 has 170k on it, and the bushings were toast. I got one of these as I was doing it myself. This made it a piece of cake. I used on of my custom punches (old leaf spring u-bolt from a semi) to drive the bushings in, and the installer from HF lined the door up perfectly. I also had a spring installer for the hinge spring.

  3. unplugged

    unplugged Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thier, Thanks for the tip. My driver's side is toast so I'm going to drop by the local HF and get a leg up. I guess I should take some pics and post those for the benefit of all.
  4. THier

    THier Member

    Like these?


    My local store didn't have it so I ordered it online, it really made it easy. I didn't even unhook any wires, I just moved the door out far enough to clear the hinges. Also, I used an air hammer to drive the pins out, and to drive the bushings out as well.

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  5. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    THier- yeah wow, I didn't know that there was such a tool. $79 isn't bad considering the PITB it is to do the job by having my son and a jack support and move the door around.
    Besides, I didn't quite get the bushings fully seated.

    A question- I can't tell for certain if our hinges are welded on or just bolted on -mine look just like yours? I see the one bolt head holding the inner side of the hinge to what might be fender support?
    Are there studs on the inner part of the hinge-ones that I can get to from inside the vehicle??

    It would be nice to be able to adjust the rest of the sag out of the door?

    If finances allow, that $79 tool is a bargain!
    Thanks all,
  6. THier

    THier Member

    My sources ( a lifetime bodyman) tell me they are welded, and nonadjustable. This is a great tool, and I broke it down and stored it in my shed. If you have a garage, I know some folks hang the door by rolling down the window and us a sling,, but as you see,, not an option for me.

  7. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yeah, I got a look at the driverside lateral firewall-where the bolts/studs would come thru from the hinge-no bolts or studs just some flat button like structures that must be the backside of the welds.

    A mechanic buddy of mine says you can carefully kinda bend the pillar a bit-by torquing on the door-and get a better fit- since you can't adjust the actual hinge.

  8. crane557

    crane557 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Looks Handy

    Think I'll have to do without it for mine though.
  9. THier

    THier Member

    Did the pins wear through to the hinge itself? My friend says you can get over size bushings from GM and enlarge the holes. I was worried about mine, and was asking him his advise about welding and redrilling, when he said to get oversize bushings from GM. Mine were ok so I didn't have to worry about it.


    I wonder it you did torque the hinges when you were doing the bushings if you did one hinge at a time? If you do try the jacking,, make sure you get the door on the frame not on the body.

  10. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts


    No the bushings weren't worn thru. I did measure the pins, and the old pins were about 1/1000 to 2/1000 less in diameter than the new ones.I guess this was some of the wear. The rest of the wear was on the bushings, but they couldn't be measured,since they came out in pieces.

    I did one at a time-but supported it with a jack/2x4 while doing it.

    I tried to correct the door a bit after replacing the bushings.Just by jacking it up a bit.Of course,I was trying to align the door with the body-actually to the crease in the back door. I don't have anyway to try to align the door with the frame. I'm guessing that it takes special tools to do that. I was strictly eyeballing it.

    The hinge pins and bushings immediately solved the problem I was having. We couldn't open the door from the inside before putting in new bushings/pins. The door was hanging so heavily on the "pin" that the latching mechanism locks on that you had to lift it waaaay up to open the door, and way up to get it to close and lock properly.

    Jacking up the door-2x4 and jack done with door nearly shut- didn't change the crease/crease line up much.My guess maybe 1 mm or less.Those marks a lot lines were drawn after the hinge pin bushing change, but before the jacking up. Maybe you can see the tiny, tiny difference.

    I backed off the jacking pretty quickly.I realized that I should have done that BEFORE putting in new bushings, since the new bushings are transmitting all the force to the A-pillar which I was trying to tweak.

    One of the pictures is the back door same side.You can see that it is also slightly out of alignment. This will make the front of its crease more out of alignment-.So if I tried to actually get the creases to line up, I would be bending too much.

    All it all, better just to change out the pins/bushings and let it go at that if it works.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009

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