View Full Version : On replacing door components...What a PAIN!

10-23-2007, 09:14 AM
After several months of enduring a balky door that sagged badly, and took it's toll on my door handles, I finally broke down last night and fixed everything...

First off was the door pins themselves. Before you start trying to knock them out it is a good idea to support the weight of the door with a floor jack and piece of scrap wood. Start by removing the stiff spring underneath the upper hinge. It is difficult to do but necessary. That should allow you enough access to the pin. If the pins are stock look carefully in the middle to see if there is a metal cuff around a recessed groove. This will severely impede the pin coming out if left on.

Next see about taking your door apart because I found that even without power locks or windows there were still wires going into the door. It's pretty straight forward until the moment of truth when you are sure you have all the screws out and you have to use a sharp outward/upward jerk to pop the panel off. I found two connectors with yellow and black wires going to the seat belt reels and one with orange and blue going inside the door. After carefully disconnecting them and removing the rubber hose I was ready to take the pins out.

I used a long heavy chisel to offset my blows enough to where I wasn't attempting to swing into the crevice. Then a suitable diameter screwdriver to knock it the rest of the way. Not always easy again because of the odd approach angles. Once the pins cleared the first half of the brackets they seemed to come out ok, although some WD-40 and some door jiggling does help too. This is where having someone to help is handy, though not always necessary.

After removing the door and gently resting in on some sawhorses I set to removing the plastic vapor barrier and whatever pieces prevented me from doing so. The plastic is tough but not indestructable so be careful because you will need to put it back on afterwards.

With that removed, first up was the inner door handle which had broken where the metal rod connects. Drill out the rivet holding the handle assembly in place and look carefully at the rod to see if the metal catch is still on there. If not search the inside of the door for it. It may or may not be necessary but was lucky enough to find it. Once the new handle assembly is in place either use a new rivet or short nut & bolt to reattach. The metal catch will go on at the top of the rod where it goes through the handle then curl back to clip onto the rod below. Easy.

The outer handle is just as simple. Reach into where the rod attaches to the handle and flip the plastic keeper up then remove the rod. Use a 7/16" wrench (ratchetwrench :cool: ) to undo the nutserts that hold the handle onto the doorskin. Install the new handle and make sure the plastic keeper matches up, if not, just use the old one. It's also a good idea to spray some lube on the latch parts from the inside while you've got all this stuff opened up. Don't go crazy about putting the door back together, instead worry about getting it back on first.

The pin kit had brass smooth bushings that I didn't use and grooved bushings that matched up with the existing holes. Make sure you get all the old bushings knocked out and check that the pins will fit with the new ones in. I found that the door had the grooved bushings going in toward the center of the hinge at the bottom. The top hinge took bushings on the car half, again sliding in towards the center. If the bushings have a tendency to fall out daub some axle grease on them to hold them in place. Having some help here is nearly always necessary as the doors are heavy and aligning the door up to get the pins back in is difficult. Check to see that the grooves on the pin with somewhat line up before attempting to pound them into place.

Now check your work. Open and close the door to see the difference of replacing the worn pins and bushing made. Check the operation of both inside and outside door handles. I found that I had to straighten the outside door handle rod considerably to make it work properly again. Once satisfied, check the inside of the door for any loose bits and start putting the rest back together.

All in all this took me six hours to do... Phew, now I'm wishing I'd taken pictures!

10-23-2007, 01:33 PM
NIce write up. Pitcures would help others who havent done it before better understand what your talking about. I have so it was pretty easy but most havent.


10-24-2007, 12:19 AM
I almost hate to tell you this, but with this tool (http://www.kalyx.com/store/proddetail.cfm/ItemID/586961/CategoryID/20500/SubCatID/9810/file.htm) to remove the spring and this tool (http://www.nextag.com/Steck-Door-Hinge-Pin-548679127/prices-html) to remove the pins it is muuuuuuch easier!!!!



I bought these back in my bodyshop days and they pay for themselves the first time you use them! The spring tool compresses the spring for easy removal and the other tool has the correct offset to easily remove the front pins. The flat bar is used to drive the pins down where the chisel cannot access them. I changed the passenger door on a Citation (With no wires) in about 30 minutes! Dont ask about the drivers though, the bushing had worn through and we had to fill the worn out spot with a welder and re-drill it!

10-26-2007, 12:57 AM
Yes, those tools make the job much easier and faster. You will find that if you ever have to do those jobs again, it will take you half as long or shorter (I can do it in less than an hour). I would like to add one thing though, regarding the clip on the inside door handle rod. That clip goes on the rod before the handle does, it's not needed to keep the rod from unhooking (because of the angles the handle has to rotate to become disconnected). It's an anti-rattle clip to keep the rod from jingling. Also, there is also a very cheap tool that can be bought to pop the door panel clips away from the door. Great write-up though.

I stole grandma's cutty
10-29-2007, 01:54 PM
yes thank you very much for the write up. I plan on taking off the drivers side door panel due to the fact that A) my window motor is shot B) I can no longer open the door from the inside and C) Apparently there is a switch on the inside of the door latch that controls the dome light and since my dome light does not turn off this may be the culprit. Anyway the part about the inner door handle points me in the right direction since the Haynes manual is pretty sketchy on the door panel stuff.

I stole grandma's cutty
10-29-2007, 01:55 PM
Also I almost got into a confrontation with a security guard as I tried to explain to him why my window wouldnt go down and I couldnt open the door either lol