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Old 11-27-2007, 06:00 AM
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Door hinge bushings?

After spending hours trying to press the stubborn hinge pins out of my '36 Fords upper hinges, with a clamp, a homemade hinge press, and a commercial one from Drakes, I gave up. After bending my homemade one, the clamp, and breaking the (borrowed) store-bought one. I cut the heads off the bolts holding 'em to the cowl, with a small cut off blade on my die grinder, and punching out the bolts.

Turned out, both the pins were broken off in the hinge plate, and the door plates on both are pretty sloppy. The holes are all hogged out. I priced Wescott's hinges, and while it's not staggering, it kinda doesn't fit my "low buck" theme.

So here's my thought(s):

1) 'line bore' the hinges, and take the holes out to 5/16. Then, fill them with brass, redrill back down to 1/4", and push in new pins.

2) Do the same thing with brazing and redrilling, but instead of pins, drop stainless carriage bolts with the shoulder ground a bit down as hinge pins.

3) Just line bore the hinges out to 5/16, and drop stainless carriage bolts
down thru 'em and call it good. The more I think about it, this seems to be the answer.

I understand the rationale for the splined head, to keep the pin from turning in the hinge plate, but the other half of the hinge rotating on the stationary pin simply transfers all the wear to the rotating plate. Brass (brazing rod filler) would be easy to drill, seem to be a little "smoother" in operation and would be repairable down the road.

A carriage bolt would accomplish the same "fixed pin" operation, be super cheap, I can get 'em today at the hardware store. Just dropping the stainless pin in the bored out hinge would seem to me to last another 70 years, far longer than I will care about the doors sagging anyway.

The other problem is now mounting the lower hinge in line with the upper, so as to keep the door fit right. I think I'll drop a 5/16 rod thru the upper body hinge, and locate the lower, on the rod, to the cowl. Seems this would also work with the door, and hopefully they'll line up right. I plan on using a moveable 'nut plate' on the doors lower hinge, so I'll have a little in and out adjustment. Leaving the doors tack welded to the body would be much easier...

Any thoughts on all this nonsense?

Brian

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Old 11-27-2007, 06:14 AM
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Take a micrometer or vernier with you to measure the true diameter of those carraige bolt shanks. They may well be undersize and you would end up needing an odd drill bit size that you don't have unless you are a machinist

There are repro pins for other makes of cars/trucks which have the splined part and a rounded head. Just cut to your length.....yea, I know you don't want to mailorder
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:00 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Ya, I know, I should just buck up and by hinges. Good idea to check the dia. when I'm "shopping". I was thinking of simply grinding down shank (square) of the carriage bolt a bit, straking it with a small chisel, and hammering 'em into the (heated red hot) hinge plates. My thought is, the hinges are shot anyway, I can't really hurt them. The doors swung and latched on only the upper hinge, with the pins broken, holes all worn, with just the door check strap supporting the bottom of the entire door. How much worse could they be?

Brian
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:02 AM
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I had thought of drilling out the plates and using some bushings, but I believe the boss' are too small to do this.
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynbrian48
Thanks for the reply. Ya, I know, I should just buck up and by hinges. Good idea to check the dia. when I'm "shopping". I was thinking of simply grinding down shank (square) of the carriage bolt a bit, straking it with a small chisel, and hammering 'em into the (heated red hot) hinge plates. My thought is, the hinges are shot anyway, I can't really hurt them. The doors swung and latched on only the upper hinge, with the pins broken, holes all worn, with just the door check strap supporting the bottom of the entire door. How much worse could they be?

Brian

The pins in my Door Hinges in my '35 were also rusted/broken-I went through two of those Drake Tools, and also had a Machine Shop build a better push pin before I realized there was no saving them-I put the Wescott Hinges in (they are of good quality) and would recommend them (if you go that way)-I don't know how many you have to do, but I think I may have a spare set if you need it-

I also considered doing what you are suggesting but was concerned about getting everythin to line up and swing without binding-
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:13 AM
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The tiny slop in the bolts where the hinges bolt to the body and door will more than make up for any misalignment in the pins.

Brian, your ideas will work, just oversized "pins" made from bolts are one way of doing it. Oversized pins from other cars will work as well. You obviously have a good head on your shoulders and you could do it.

I put a "how-to" on doing hinges on the forum a few months ago, maybe there is something there for you?
"Basics of Basics" Door hinge rebuilding (click here)

Brian
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:00 AM
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Before you go to the store looking for bolts, try a good auto parts store. Mine has a plastic box behind the counter (you need to ask for it) with a multitude of door hinge pins and brass bushings in different sizes that you can buy individually from.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:14 AM
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You'll need to heat the hinge plates to remove rusted pins, this is common and I've never seen any pins that can't be removed this way. Bore the holes out to 5/16" and find a pin that fits well. On some designs you can drill a small grease hole in the hinge plate and use a needle point grease gun tip to lubricate the hinge now and then. A spiral shallow cut grease groove cut into the new pin with a dremel tool also helps. I wouldn't buy replacement hinges if your originals are rebuildable.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:41 AM
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Thanks for all the response. I like Bobs idea of a grease hole and grove in the pin. I bought some long 5/16 bolts just now and am prepared to inflict some more vehicular mayhem on the hinges. Spent some quality time in the morning rounding the door corners and building the new inner door panel bottom to finish up the "sectioning. Looks great, and didn't warp the outer skin at all. Nice.

Turns out the carriage bolt idea won't work. I should have known this, but carriage bolts are threaded all the way to the square shoulder, no shank. Duh. But, I can grind the heads down on the ones I have. I'll check out the replacement pins too, I was just assuming they'd be too large diameter from a late model hinge for the very small Ford hinge boss.

I'm adding a couple of photos to show what I'm up to. I think it's starting to look like something.

Brian

Last edited by flynbrian48; 11-27-2007 at 11:12 AM. Reason: added photos
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baddbob
You'll need to heat the hinge plates to remove rusted pins, this is common and I've never seen any pins that can't be removed this way. Bore the holes out to 5/16" and find a pin that fits well. On some designs you can drill a small grease hole in the hinge plate and use a needle point grease gun tip to lubricate the hinge now and then. A spiral shallow cut grease groove cut into the new pin with a dremel tool also helps. I wouldn't buy replacement hinges if your originals are rebuildable.
All VERY good advice Bob!

I know the advertisers on this site don't want to hear this but I boycot repro parts. I am working to use as few as possible on my truck. There are plenty of NOS and good used out there.

Brian
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:21 PM
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HA! It worked! The passenger door is now hanging on the hinges, on the car. I still have to reinforce the bottom hinge area of the door, as this is a "new" location after sectioning the door, but it's on there. Opens, shuts, reasonably well. I have hanging now on the "all thread" thru both hinges, which did a good job of aligning things. I'll adjust it after all the welding is done, and the hinge plates are permanently attatched. It's close enough to fitting that I know I can fine tune the adjustment. On old Fords, this is done by springing the hinges with pry bars and tweaking with blocks, as there is NO adjustment in the mounts. I have a little in and out on each hinge, as I slotted the mounting holes and made nut plates, but it's only about 1/4", if that.

So, tommorow, I hope to finish that side up, and knowing now how to do things, get the other door mounted and fit as well. One more thing to check of the (very slowly shrinking) list of things to do!

Brian
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:57 PM
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You can add and remove shims to the cowl where it mounts to the frame, this is how you raise and lower or tip the door up or down on the old fords. Bending the hinges is also sometimes a necessity.
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