Fixing Those Old-Age Sags | Early Classic Enterprises

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The premier manufacturer and distributor of quality suspension and restoration components for 1960-1972 GM pickups, blazers, panels and suburbans.

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Fixing Those Old-Age Sags

Publication Name: 
Classic Trucks
Publication Date: 
August, 2004
Section: 
Getting Pinned

One of the most annoying aspects of many older vehicles is door sag and alignment problems. This problem is generally caused by worn-out hinge pins and bushings due to wear over the years. Every time you open the door, it drops down slightly, and closing it requires you to slam the door to latch it all the way. In most cases, this dilemma can be solved by simply replacing the pins and bushings in the door hinges. The rebuild process isn't very difficult. The hardest part will be removing the hinges and getting the doors re-aligned after the hinges have been rebuilt. We were able to witness just how easy this rebuild was recently while we were at Early Classic Enterprises, and we watched them go through a set on a '65 Chevy C10.

How To Steps and Images: 
To replace the hinge pins and bushings, the door must first be removed from the truck to allow for access. Generally, the paint covering the hinge bolts provides a mark to re-align the door during reinstallation.
The door check retainer also needs to be disconnected and should be replaced if necessary.
A floor jack and a block of wood offer a tremendous amount of help during the door removal process.
Having a buddy to help steady and balance the door is definitely another requirement.
After decades of service, it's common to find the pins seized in the hinge. To make the job a little more pleasant, ECE highly recommends soaking the hinge pins with penetrating oil for a few days prior to starting the project.
With the door removed, the hinge pins were driven out using a hammer and punch.
The original hinge pin bushings were made of a nylon-type material, which tends to break down after time. The Early Classic replacement bushings are made of bronze, and with proper lubrication, should be the last set your truck will ever need.
Installing the new bushing can be done easily by gently squeezing them into the hinge using a bench vise.
A liberal amount of white lithium grease was used during reassembly to lubricate the mechanism. The two hinge halves were mated back together and the new pins tapped into place.
To prevent the door from opening too far and hitting the fender, GM used a door check retainer to limit the travel on the '60-'66 trucks. Starting in 1967, the retainer is built into the upper door hinge (also shown here on the top hinge). The retainers on this truck were still in good shape, so they were not replaced at this time.
With the same steps taken on the lower hinge, the door was now set back in place and realigned using the paint shadow outlines as reference. This should place the door back to factory positioning, barring any previous attempt at realignment. With the door back in place, it was gently closed and latched to test the fit. Note: any prior adjustments with worn-out pins and bushings will make the door alignment process more involved.
With the pins and bushings installed, the body lines are back to factory alignment. This is a fairly simple and relatively easy project for the weekend enthusiast and something everyone who drives their truck will appreciate for years to come.
Category: 
Technical Articles
Sources: 
Company Name: 
Early Classic Enterprises
Address: 
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---, CA ---
United States
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