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Old 10-10-2009, 01:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Door Hinge Spring Replacement

Drivers door came without the spring in the hinge. Also, the "rocker" that it sits on is missing. I can figure out how to get the pin out and I have a complete hinge that I can replace it with, but it's a pain to get the third bolt out. Looks like it would be easier to file the pin, slide it back far enough to add the rocker, replace pin to original position, then compress the spring and slip it in. Problem is (bless Dodge), although I found a door spring compressor at Harbor Freight (and only 4.00), it is too big and the angle is wrong, so it will not work. Will an angle set of needle nose pliers be enough to compress the spring to insert? Quit trying to figure out why it's gone (must be a doozy of a story)-but really don't want to go through the hassle of the entire hinge...gotta be an easier way...
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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my spring came out too. i have the spring, and everything is in there, but i can't for the life of me figure out how to compress it to get it back in there, i'll be watching this thread
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Replacing that spring is actually rather easy once you learn this aviation mechanic trick. We use this method to install spring loaded pushrod housings on aircraft engines.

I replaced my hinge pins with O’Reilly pins a while back. However, a door mishap had me replace the hinges later. Yes, that top hinge is a pain. You have to move the emergency brake mechanism and work thru a hole to access the bolt. REAL PAIN.

Here is how to install that spring. Pictures help.
Tool needed: Vice, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, aircraft type safety wire, regular pliers but I used the twist pliers on the right. The safety wire and twist pliers can be found at Harbor Freight although not sure on quality as I have never used them. Whatever wire you use it needs to be strong. Safety glasses or face shield would be good. That spring can be a missile if not careful.



Place spring in vice with just the top coil above the jaws. Leave enough space so you can thread a strand of safety wire thru the spring.



Now twist the wire for a tight fit around the spring. Do not over tighten or the wire may weaken.



Once done with first strand, loosen spring so you can rotate it a bit for the second strand. The more space you can get from the first strand the better. But if close that will work. Now add a second strand. Now you can loosen enough to rotate spring to add safety wire on opposite side of first two strands. Once the third strand is added you can compress spring and move the strands so they are about evenly spaced. This is how it will look.





Now you can use your needle nose pliers to place the spring between the hinge and the door open stop bracket.



Once you get the spring installed, cut the safety wire. You may have to rotate the spring for the last strand. Now pull out the wire with your needle nose pliers and you are done.

This is my old hinge, with the new hinge pin, in the picture. On that installation I added some tubing over the hinge pin to keep the bracket from moving up and down. I had lots of up-down wear on my old pin.
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This ROCKS...question though..looks like the spring could be placed in the hinge without taking it off the door (i took a complete hinge off door in wrecking yard). With the door all the way open, the spring is the least compressed. I was thinking that I could use bent pliars to remove from the old hinge and place in the new one. How much tension is one the puppy at the wide open position? Thanks again for the input!!
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, you can do this install with the hinge on the door and door wide open. That is how I did mine when I changed out the pins.

This spring is pretty strong. Wide open it is about 2.5-2.75 inches. In the picture it is compressed to 1,375 in. Installed in the hinge it looks to be about 1.5-1.75 in. Pulling it off the old hinge it is going to fly a bit. Not sure how hard nor how far it will fly. If you want to try pulling it, do it this way. Using the wire trick, see if you can thread a couple of strands of wire and twist as snug as possible. That way when pulling the spring it will just open to the wire and may not go flying. The hinge side has a raised portion that centers the spring and the bracket has a part that goes into the spring.

BTW, the wire size I used was .o41.

Good luck.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So, tell me about pin removal...how is that done and what about bushings??? If I'm going to be in there, want to do it right!
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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where do you get those hinge pins and bushings, thanks
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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About those hinge pins; I had a nice write up with pictures but my hard drive failed and wiped everything. I never got to back up the info. So what I post here is from memory and working with my old door hinge. My truck is a 96 2500 2wd. My door had been sagging for some time. I checked the hinges by lifting the back side of the door and could feel and see movement in the hinge. My door latch did not align with the latch pin on the door frame. The real danger here is that I needed to slam the door to close. With this misalignment, you can crack the sheet metal around the door latch. This then gets expensive and time consuming. I have seen a few pictures posted of doors with damaged door latches.

The pins that came with my truck are stepped pins. That is the head part is larger than the pin part. So, the two holes on the hinge are different sizes. See picture you can just make out the different size. On my new hinge the pin is one size.




For this repair I needed to drill out the holes for new hinge pins. The hinge pin kit that I used I found at O’Reilly Auto Parts. It is kit number 384232. You will need 3 kits; upper hinge, lower hinge and bracket. The kit is about $7.00 each.




It comes with 2 pins, 2 large bushings, one smaller bushing and 2 pin clips. The 2 large bushings are missing in this picture. The two pins are different length and diameter.



Now comes some memory work. I made a door holder and pressed the old pins out with a C clamp and a piece of tubing. I wanted to save the old pins. You can tap or cut them out. My old pins were held on by a compression type washer that I pried off. Then I removed the hinge from the door. Before you do this, mark the location of the hinge so you can reinstall it in the same location. This way you should not have to do any adjustments.

I drilled out the door hinge bushing holes to 31/64th. I drilled all the holes in increments. This helps to keep the hole square, prevents wobble and an out of round hole. I used a 3/8th bolt, washers and nut to press in the 2 new bushings. On the truck side hinge I drilled the holes out to 3/8th to accept the pin. Drilling can be done with the hinge installed. All this is for the door hinge pin.

The door detent bracket pin is a bit different. The pin is mushroomed in so you have to cut it to get it off. As I recall the small bushing in this kit is too small for the bushing hole. So there are two ways you can go. One way is to drill the hinge pin holes to 3/8th on the hinge. Drill the bracket hole to 31/64th and press in a large bushing. This way you use one large pin and one large bushing. The pin will be a little long but with a small spacer that is no problem. When I did this job I didn’t think about using the large pin so I did the bracket a bit different. I drilled out the bracket to 31/64th, pressed in a large bushing and then pressed in the small bushing into the large bushing. This way I used the small pin. It worked really good until I messed up my door. If I had to do over I would use the large pin and bushing.

Since I had a lot of wear by the up and down movement of the bracket. I supported it by adding some tubing above and below the bracket. This holds it in place. You can see it in these pictures. You can also see the double bushing.





The dimensions I give are from memory and should be accurate but double check with the hinge pin kit that you use. Hope all this helps.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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im thinking of replacing mine but seems like its a pain?? i was told that you could maybe use a big motors valve springs to give the door a more firm feel.

just the other day i got into my friends 6.7 and noticed how nice the doors held in their hlafway and open position, mine barely stay open if the truck is parked uphill

so must be the srpings are softer now from all the use, cuz the 6.7's mechanism is alsmost identical
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The problem is that if the bushing is worn and you have play in the detent bar, you will still have the problem. My door was weak in the hold open position too. When I replaced the hinge pin and bushing it closed and opened really good.

The Dodge bushing in my hinge had some kind of plastic type material that wore easily. After I had the part out, I could pick this bushing material out of the bushing. The detent bar wore a flat spot on the pin.

See if you can move that detent bar up and down and left and right. There should be no movement other than rotation.
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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stupid qustion..what is the detent bar??
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel Trill View Post
stupid qustion..what is the detent bar??
No stupid questions here. All are good.

Look at the last 2 pictures in this thread post #8. You can see the detent bar in the hinge and flat for display. The spring pressure forces the bar against a roller on the cab side hinge. The detents in this bar is what holds your door half open and fully open.

Now go up to post #3 last picture. You can see how the spring is mounted. Once the spring is released it keeps constant pressure on that bar. If you have a worn bushing and worn pin the detent bar will be loose on the pin. The bar looses some of its holding power and the door will not hold open. My bar, also, wore at an angle due to the up and down movement on the pin. It made a loud bang when I closed the door.
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