Door hinges - revisited

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Door hinges - revisited

Postby Todd TCE » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:22 pm

Hi All

I recently got my Mirage back from a local body shop that had all but abandoned any work on it for me the past couple of years. Long story. Anyhow, they took the doors off the car with the intent of repairing the hinges. The drivers side of course the worst of the lot.

With the parts in my shop I examined the issues: busted bushings and egged out holes. No surprise. Debating a couple options we set about making some 18ga plates to weld to the outside of the door portions and aligned then with a gage pin for welding. Then massaged them up to .498 or so for a light tap fit of some new bushings I got from Clyde. That combined with new pins I'd hoped would be the end of it. (knowing the 18ga/bushing combo won't last forever yes..)

When I put one (passenger) side back on we found some oddities. The plates on the A-pillar are about 1.625" apart up top and 1.750" apart on the bottom. BUT, on the door both the inserted portions are now 1.600 thick. This including my 18ga plates (.048 under each bushing) plus the top hat of the bushing. No' fits right into the slot of the upper hinge. When fit the upper pair are not too bad. However, the lower pair now have an air gap of about .125 under the lower of the two bushings. Meaning the door is fit to its highest point.

The door does need to come down some for alignment. That's part of the problem. To do so would require we remove the bottom bushing from the upper door boss and grind off the plate. That alone would only net me the .048" tho. AND would mean there's an air gap on BOTH sides of the lower hinge pair.

Clyde and I have been talking about this and he says there's no shims in the pin assemblies to adjust the height of the door relative to the paring of the hinge halves. No reason not to believe him here. But I still have a hug gap and can't figure out how or why. Looking at an old pin they pounded out the witness markings seem to show the A-pillar plates are not way out of whack in how wide they are. A .375 pin easily fits them so I don't believe they are spread way apart. Certainly not .125" on th e lower pair!

I feel all of this still needs some work. But I'm lost as to why we have these differences and what's best to do to correct it. ?? I'm about to ask him for some new door portions (maybe, if he has them) and remove the welded ones completely and bolt on the new ones with an oversized single hole to align them then weld up the tabs.

Here are some pics. Anyone who can shed some light on this, it's greatly appreciated.
Upper pair showing near 'Zero fit' to the plates. Can't see it but no gap on the bottom here it's a slip fit set.
P1010274.JPG (96.6 KiB) Viewed 787 times
Lower pair showing the huge gap. Obviously not carrying any load it can't be right. We can shim it if need be but seems odd.
P1010275.JPG (87.25 KiB) Viewed 787 times
Drivers side lower. You can see the old pin marks nearly match the 1.75" spread top to bottom suggesting that what I have for spacing is correct.
P1010276.JPG (75.72 KiB) Viewed 787 times
Todd TCE
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Re: Door hinges - revisited

Postby Todd TCE » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:47 am

24 views and no comments or suggestions?
Todd TCE
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:14 pm

Re: Door hinges - revisited

Postby cjbiagi » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:17 pm

Todd, as I look more and more at your pics it appears to me the only way to get the door to drop down is to spread the bottom of the hinge down shown in the first picture. That is where you have no gap at the bottom and that's what is preventing the door from dropping down. I don't know how or why these hinges got so far out of whack or why they needed to be welded but there is no way that door is going to drop unless you open up that gap in the first pic.
Clyde.........75 Monza 2+2
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1975 Chevrolet Monza

Re: Door hinges - revisited

Postby Todd TCE » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:59 pm

Yes I agree with you.

There are two ways of doing that:

1. Grind off the patch I put in the lower plate and refit your bushing. That will drop the door only about .050" as that's how thick the steel tabs were.
2. Bend the lower plate down some and hope I don't go too far to prevent the pin from fitting back into it- obviously we can't create a hug mis alignment for the pin.

Kinda leaning towards 2 as it means I can keep the patches for busing fit and probably get more than .050 out of it. Doing both would be the next stop for even more.

Lowering the bottom plate of the upper hinge will drop the door (part of my need) but then I'll have a gap on the top of the pairing now. Meaning you could actually come along and lift up on the door (thunka-thunka-thunka) and float it on the pins. What has me TOTALLY perplexed here is that looking at all the plates now they are equally sized side to side and top to bottom. There's now way someone spread the body plates shown by the old pin and I doubt the pinched the door plates closer- only on the bottom pair? Everything being equal-equal in size and location it's a puzzle.

Next stop; see if I can find a local owners car!
Todd TCE
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Re: Door hinges - revisited

Postby paranoid56 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:58 pm

your screen name seems super familiar. are you also on Nasioc?
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Re: Door hinges - revisited

Postby HAULIN' IT » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:14 pm

Todd, I see a few things that may be factors in your situation & also have some thoughts. One question from looking at the photos...Can I assume your car was Maroon originally? I see flaking on the body half hinges...does not appear to be on the Right door shell/hinge like the rest, leading me to think that the door was replaced at some point.
The way the doors are installed on the vehicles with welded hinges are similar from what I've seen. The entire hinge assy. is attached to the door, guides put in the jamb between the rocker/quarter, ect. & the hinge welded on the post. This leaves some room for error in the "airgap" if for some reason the one was slid up on the pin as the welding starts.
You can purchase over-sized bushings that you drill/ream out the hinge holes & install which work fine for all but the absolute worse egged out holes which would require welding the holes up.
Your 18ga. plate idea is not the best for a couple reasons: one you found, may raise the door. Two, 18ga. metal is not near thick enough to carry the weight/load of the door. I realize that this is likely a hobby-car that the door isn't being used like a truck on a construction crew, but it's just too thin...the bushing will be loose in no time.
Another concern is that you have to remember all 4 of the bushings need to be straight in line...anyone out-of-line makes the pin work at an angle & any hinge (house, mailbox, ect. that is not in line does not work properly & WILL tear out (break) the new bushings, sometimes as little as a few uses. This comes to mind as you talk about bending/spreading the hinge...the bushings become not-in line as you do this.
We also must remember while working on these cars...they were built in the era of some of the poorest fitment of parts in automotive history...some alterations may be needed to make things work & look to the likeness of what we feel they should be like.
Having all the weight sitting on one hinge, top or bottom is not that uncommon & really isn't anything to worry about. Like you mentioned, you could always put a shim under the bottom, but GM didn't/doesn't worry about it & unless you get selective shims in a few thousandths variation & keep installing & checking, your really still only having the weight on one of the Two hinges...might only have .006 gap, but the weight is still all on one. Hope something here helps. Just my Two Cents, Lorne
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