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Front door hinge spring replacement

Discussion in 'Tech Discussion' started by Backfoot100, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. Backfoot100

    Backfoot100 Full Access Member

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    The hinge spring on the drivers door of my 86 Sub is busted and needs replacement. I never realized what a PIA it is to not have the door stay open before. I've been scowering the threads, wiring diagrams and component locator views to get a game plan in place.

    I was originally thinking that I had to remove the front fender to get at the hinge. That in turn means I need to remove the cowling as well as the headlights, bezels and trim around the headlights. I'm reading that it may be possible to leave the hood in place and prop it up but it's probably easier to remove that also.

    After looking at the component locator views it looks like there should be wiring connectors just inside the kick panel coming from the door. If that's the case, I'm now thinking that it'll be easier to remove the door to get at the hinge. Keep in mind I have power windows and locks. See the attached locator view.

    So what do the experts say? Fender or door? Which one is the right way to go?

    Front door wiring component locator.PNG
     
  2. yevgenievich

    yevgenievich Full Access Member

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    Just take the hinge it self off. There is just enough room to do so. Or take the door off, but would have to drill out the rivets that hold the pass through rubber conduit piece. Wiring harness does disconnect on inside and hole is large enough to pass the connectors. Mark things for easier alignment
     
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  3. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    Do not need to remove anything! You can get one end of the spring in place and pry bar to get the other side in. Sorry I can't explain it better, and it has been a while but I have replaced several this way. You're creating a whole world of work taking off the door. I know it doesn't seem likely possible but it is.
     
  4. Aceroth

    Aceroth Junior Member

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    +1 to just removing the hinge. There are a bunch of youtube videos on this. The only trick to it is that there is one bolt that you have to get from the inside.

    I'm sure there are guys here who are skilled enough to change springs with it on the truck but those springs are no joke and I dont want to find out if I'm one of them.

    You can get new springs for 10 or 15 bucks for both sides or get new hinges for like 30 bucks each. That was an easy call for 20 year old me and it's an easy call for 45 year old me. Just not the same answer.
     
  5. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    It's like pulling the engine to change the oil...
    Please don't advise someone to do more work when it's not required.
     
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  6. Backfoot100

    Backfoot100 Full Access Member

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    Thanks for the feedback gents.

    I did already look at several you tube vids on changing the spring which included the pins and bushings but all of them had the fender off already. Ill have to search again about actually removing the hinge. I did see where the one bolt is accessed from inside too so I'm prepared for that.
    The forward most bolt on the hinge seems to be the problem child. It's accessable when the door is open and going between the door and fender with a u-joint socket is about the only option but it still looks really tight. Ill have to look at revisiting that.

    I already have the spring from LMC and the pins/bushings are fine. The hinge is solid with no sag at all so the only issue is the spring at this point.

    I'm not so sure I'd try changing it with the hinge on the truck. That just seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

    Ill keep you all posted.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    I slept on it last night and I remember a bit more. You get the spring in place and the top can get hooked in, but sitting high. Then with the big pry bar you can swing the lower part of the S over the location and with one hand on the bar, the grabs a hammer and taps spring down into place. What looks impossible
    is really not that difficult.

    I wish someone else here would chime in... I'm sure I'm not the only guy here who has figured this out.
     
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  8. idahovette

    idahovette Full Access Member

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    Back in the day our guys in our Chevrolet body shop did that very same thing. No door removal . Can't beat flat rate that way!!
     
  9. chengny

    chengny Full Access Member

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    1. This may be the most critical step - get a plan in place to support the door while the upper hinge is off and the spring is being replaced. Those MF'in doors are GD heavy.

    2. Locate the "hidden" bolt. It is accessed from inside the cab - through the A pillar. There is an opening way up on the inside wall - almost up near the grounding bus block - that hole allows access to the bolt head. The bolt heads are all 9/16" IIRC.

    3. Release the 2 easily accessed bolts (the ones that screw into the pillar), and then remove the one that is threaded into the hinge plate from inside the cab.

    4. At that point, the hinge can be removed from the door (3 more bolts) and taken to the bench - where the spring can be replaced.

    5. Reassemble

    2.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  10. Backfoot100

    Backfoot100 Full Access Member

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    Success guys!!!!

    I ended up using a combination of different suggestions. I first tried to get the spring in like Shiftpro and Idahovette suggested without removing anything. That didn't go so well.
    I had the spring hooked into the bottom of the hinge and was pushing it up and then tried to figure how to get a pry in from the top to get it into its final resting place. It looked like the most logical way to try and install it in my feable mind. I was obviously wrong. Sometimes, admittedly I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    So I took the dash and kick panel apart and got the wiring connectors disconnected, which was a real bitch by the way. Got the door supported and took the bolts out then. Before I drilled out the rivets for the wiring grommet so I could remove the door completely, I realized that there was a quite a bit more room to get at the hinge so I took a second shot at putting the spring without without removing anything else.
    This time I was able to get the spring in just like it was originally suggested...from the top. The spring dropped in from the top and then I pried from the bottom. Once it was levered over far enough a few light taps from the bottom with a hammer while still having pressure on the lever and it was done. It was truly effortless. I bolted the door back into place and hooked everything back up.

    Afterwards I took a few pics to try and show how I levered it for others benefits.



    20181223_150054_zps8nmnc36s.jpg


    20181223_145940_zpsciqyp4mi.jpg

    20181223_150635_zpsvmhtymov.jpg


    The pics show the spring in place already but I wanted to show where I was prying to get it into place. Now knowing what I did and how to do it, it would be easy to do it without removing anything as suggested.
    The only issue I forsee is getting the right pry. You need to be able to get around the little wheels on the hinge (as pictured) while levering against the spring. A little experimentation to find the right lever will take a lot longer than actually putting the spring in.

    Thanks again to all for your assistance.
     
  11. norman baker

    norman baker Junior Member

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    great job
     
  12. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    :favorites13:
    If I did one, say... yesterday... I could have been more helpful describing the game. I'm sure the next time I need to do this I will be puzzled for a bit.
    You're going to appreciate this job every time you swing that door open and it doesn't swing back shut on your leg.
     
  13. rpcraft

    rpcraft Full Access Member

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    Can't beat flat rate so much they no longer do it...
     
  14. rpcraft

    rpcraft Full Access Member

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    Why in the world is anyone still using photo bucket?
     
  15. Backfoot100

    Backfoot100 Full Access Member

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    Probably the same reason I still have a hotmail account and a carb sitting on top of my engine.....LOL.

    I hate EFI and back up cameras and figure if you need a car that can parallel park or brake by itself you shouldn't be driving.
     
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