Has your truck started showing signs of age? One of the components that can wear with regular use is the bushings on your door hinges. Although this isn't a something that will cause you major problems, it can lead to your doors sagging and may make them difficult to close. If this has happened to your truck, follow this guide that will walk you through the steps required to change the hinges.
Forewarning. This will involve working with strong, compressed springs and may lead to injury if not done correctly. Make sure you are wearing adequate protective clothing and eye protection. This guide is to be used as reference only and NewGMParts.com does not accept any liability for any injury that may occur while completing this work.
- Flat head screwdriver
- WD-40 or similar lubricating fluid
- A sacrificial object you can use to help hit the hinge pins. This can be a long ratchet extension or even a piece of wood.
- A thick rag or cloth
- A jack
- A vice
- Box-cutter or Stanley Knife
- Three strong zip-ties
- Another person to steady the door when it’s removed from the hinges
- Replacement bushings, hinge pins and lock rings for both top and bottom hinges
Removing The Top Hinge Pin
The first step is to remove the retaining lock ring at the top of the highest hinge. Use a combination of your screwdriver and pliers to get this done. It doesn't matter if you damage this part as it will be replaced.
Once this is removed, you will need to remove the door spring from its housing under the top hinge. This can be pried out with a screwdriver from underneath and should come out with no real issues.
Spray the top hinge pin with WD-40 to help loosen it. You can now use you sacrificial part (extension or piece of wood) to help you strike the top of the hinge pin. You need to be careful here not to hit the body or windshield of the truck. Once the pin is free from the top of the hinge, you should be able to remove it by hand from the bottom part.
Removing The Bottom Hinge Pin
Start by removing the retaining lock ring from the bottom of the hinge, again by using a combination of both the screwdriver and pliers.
Use the jack to bear the weight of the door and have your helper get ready to stabilize it as you will now be removing the bottom hinge pin.
Pro Tip: You may want to use a piece of wood between the jack and door the prevent any damage to the paint.
You will now need to strike the hinge pin upward to release it. Spray it with some WD-40 to help loosen it and then wrap the head of your hammer in the thick rag to help protect the body of your truck.
Once the pin is free from the bottom of the hinge, you can use your pliers to remove it from the top. Have you helper position the door in a way that will make it easier for you to remove the pin.
When you remove the pin from the hinge, move the door away slightly from the rest of the truck. There’s no need to disconnect any of the wiring as you only need a few inches of extra room.
Replacing The Bushings
Remove the old bushings from the hinges. You should be able to pry these out using the flat head screwdriver. Make sure to note which way they’re aligned for when you replace them.
When installing the new bushings, you need to install them in a certain order. They come in two different diameters, the larger of the two being the bushing for the head of the pin. On the top hinge, the wider bushing will go on the bottom end of the hinge. The bottom hinge will have the wider bushing on the top.
Use a hammer to help install the bushings, making sure not to damage them. You should also make sure that you install the bushings into the hinge piece that is mounted on the vehicle and not to the door.
Replacing The Hinge Pins
Once the new bushings are installed, you can install the new hinge pins. Ask your helper to align the door so that you are able to install the pins and use the hammer to knock them into place. Once the pins are in place, you can install the new retaining lock rings.
Replacing The Door Spring
This is the most dangerous part of this job. To get the spring back into its housing, you need to compress it. The following is a safer way to do this, but there is still a risk of injury.
- Loop three zip-ties to the top and the bottom of the spring and close them.
- Put the spring in a vice and compress the spring slightly.
- Tighten each of the three zip-tie to hold the spring in place.
- Repeat this process until the spring has been compressed to a size that will allow it to fit back into its housing.
Note: When handling this compressed spring, it is important that you don’t hold it at the top and bottom, especially when it is inside the housing. Instead, hold it by the side. Should the zip ties fail (which is unlikely, but it is better to be safe) then you will be less likely to become trapped between the spring and housing.
- Place the spring into its housing and close the door slightly to hold it in place.
- Once held in place, use your box-cutter or Stanley Knife to cut and break the zip-ties. Cutting two of the three should suffice. The third one will break on its own. Test the door by closing and opening it. This motion should be enough for the final zip-tie to break and the spring to press into place.