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stealthninja 02-11-2012 09:18 PM

77pontiac door hinge
Does anybody know which door hinge usually gets the worst in most cars the upper or the lower hinge?

MARTINSR 02-11-2012 11:02 PM

You know, that's a funny question. I have been doing this stuff for a living for decades and have changed a crap load of things or bushings and I can't tell you! I am thinking the top win in the wearing out contest but I am not sure.

Now, why does this matter?


skip99 02-12-2012 06:07 PM

yeah....just replace them both , usually just bushings , right?

MARTINSR 02-12-2012 06:25 PM

Well honestly, you find out which is warn and you replace it or the bushings. If one is real bad the other has at least the bushings gone so replacing them too is of course recommended.

What you do is open the door and have someone lift up on the door from over at the latch area (the end of the door) simply squat down and lift the door up. While this is being done look close at the hinges and see where the movement is coming from, you will quickly see what is worn.

If you are going to replace them come back and see us, there are a few tricks.


deadbodyman 02-13-2012 06:30 AM

the upper wears out worst but the bottom is almost as bad ,as soon as the top starts to wear the bottom has to make up the difference,but they are always BOTH bad...always replace the pins AND bushings on both...I've seen them so bad the hole in the hinge where the bushing goes was oval and the latch and stricker needed to be replaced along with the stricker mounting plate inside the door jamb needed to be welded back in...
The last thing you want to do is shim the bottom hinge to raise the door back into position....

MARTINSR 02-13-2012 08:00 AM

Good point, yes the hole in the hinges are often worn out past the bushing. They require welding and reshaping the hole before you can put the bushing in.


deadbodyman 02-14-2012 05:40 AM

Or you can just get a bigger bushing and drill the worn hole out bigger ,just make sure the pin fits the bushing before you get started. You can even use a chevy truck bushing set with the truck pins but the pins will need cutting

stealthninja 02-15-2012 12:43 PM

the reason I asked was I currently don't have enough money to replace both and the car is still in transit to my house from AZ. I will try all of the above advice once it arrives. I am almost positive that the passenger side just needs pins and bushings. but the driver side needs me to slam with all my might just for it to close all the way. I hope I don't need to weld and do that stuff with the striker. I just want to be able to shut the doors without slamming and them to seal so no water leaks. The doors have all new seals but they still leak water through the tops. Its a hardtop so no convertible or T-tops to worry about.
Thank you very much for you time and recommendations. I will post a repair log asap.

MARTINSR 02-15-2012 02:32 PM

If YOU are doing the work, doing both hinges is about $20 and one is $10, can you afford that? :D Really, these bushings are cheap, if you are going to pull the door off to do one, do them both.

You are probably going to need to align the window when you are done too.

You can possibly align the door to the worn part of the hinge. Yes this is hack, but if you need to just get by a while. If it's the top one that is worn the most, loosen it to the cowl and lift the door up so the hinge moves forward on the cowl. If the the lower hinge is the worse one (or you may need to do both) then loosen the bottom one on the cowl and lift the door which will move the hinge back which will raise the back of the door.

Like I said this is hack, as you still will have worn hinges but it may get you buy a little while if you are in a pinch. It may be hack but if you really can't get to it, aligning it to fit the worn hinges is a lot better than slamming it shut all the time and ruining the latch and striker. Or worse yet busting the metal around the striker which is very common when someone slams those doors shut because of worn hinges.


stealthninja 02-17-2012 06:53 AM

Where can you find door hinges for that car for 20 or 10 bucks? every website I find them on is 200+ dollars... I am doing the work myself with the help of a friend. (I hear its a big help to have someone assist you on this job. I found these pins and bushings for the prices you have listed but the hinges are not so cheap. If you know of a better website then the few I have found please let me know.

MARTINSR 02-17-2012 08:31 AM

The bushings are what I am talking about. Listen, worn hinges on those cars can go everywhere from just a bushing to the hole where the bushing sits being worn out almost to the point of breaking thru the edge of the hinge! You have no idea where you are, you don't know if you simply need a pair of bushings on one hinge, or if both your hinges are shot and will need major repair or replacement.

We can't see it, so we don't now either.

As I said earlier, those doors will often have hinges that were ignored until the back of the door is dropping a half inch and the striker is literally broken off the quarter panel from being HIT by the door, the door latch is often broken all up for the same reason. Worn so bad that the door is hitting the fender at the bottom when it is open and closed, that the glass is hitting the B pillar with the rubber and trim that holds the rubber being destroyed. In that case, yes the hinges are likely worn so much that replacement or serious repair by welding up the hole and grinding it to size again is needed.

But the door is very long, just a TINY amount of wear on those bushings will multiply out to a quarter inch by the time it gets all the way to the end of that loooonnnnggg door. Understand? I don't know the geometry term. But if you door is simply "misaligned" with the back dropping a little so the doesn't open and close real nice, there is a very good possibility that we are talking simply bushings.

Get down on your knees next to the car and open and close the door. Just open it about an inch or so, get your head level with the top of the door and pop it open, then close it and see how much it is dropping. You may be will need to put a piece of masking tape across the opening of the door to the quarter to see it but it shouldn't be too hard to see.

Check that out and let us know how much it is dropping.

Does your door have any electrical connections? Any speakers, power windows? Pulling the door off with some help isn't a big deal at all. I have actually done hinge bushings without even removing the door all the way when there are wires going to the door. I literally had it on a box with someone holding it. Did them in minutes. But this is if there is no wear in the hinge.


stealthninja 02-17-2012 10:32 AM

yes I do have electric windows, and I get what your saying now. I will check that out asap (once it gets here). I am thinking from what you said I will need a new striker, and both hinges. My goal is for it to shut properly and seal like new. Spread the word man I found a sweet website for some older cars. cheap and quality parts.

MARTINSR 02-17-2012 11:31 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by stealthninja
yes I do have electric windows, and I get what your saying now. I will check that out asap (once it gets here). I am thinking from what you said I will need a new striker, and both hinges. My goal is for it to shut properly and seal like new. Spread the word man I found a sweet website for some older cars. cheap and quality parts.

Check out my photo of a pair of bushings. The wall on that bushing is pretty thick and can wear quite a bit before there is damage to the hinge. Just minutes ago we had a Chevy Trailblazer in for this problem. Thinking about this thread I took particular attention at this one. You could see a little movement in the hinge bushings when the back of the door was lifted, the upper hinge bushings. You could see no abnormalities what so ever when looking at the things bushings, they didn't look worn at all just visually looking at the door hinge when the door is open. So this shows you how little it can be worn to throw off the door. This door was dropping a good 1/4-3/8 inch.

Now, that being said, if the door is left like this and it continues to wear as the door is slammed shut over and over and you end up with worn or damaged latch, striker, hinges, quarter where the striker mounts,etc.


stealthninja 02-17-2012 12:21 PM

I really appreciate your help and motivation with my project. I love this car and want to show it some love once it gets here. I will keep you posted.

Formulajim 02-19-2012 09:47 PM

Those doors are long and heavy. I worked for a Pontiac dealer when that car was new they never closed easy when new! If you put the window down a little the door will close easy. Your lucky you don,t have t tops they always leak. At least here in Seattle where it rains more than not! Putting in the bushings and pins isn't hard you can do it. If you use a floor jack with a blanket folded up for padding to support the door with it wide open it works good.

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