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View Full Version : Door hinge repair, trailrider version!


xjtrailrider
January 29th, 2013, 20:55
I'm no sheet metal mechanic, thats my disclaimer! But I just picked this 94 Country up and the drivers door was falling off. I had to fix it. Here is my write up;

So it started today! I attacked the drivers door that was about to fall off.

Here is the problem;

The XJ/MJ drivers door top hinge is know to just come loose from the welds. Part of that is because Jeep had the bright idea to weld 1/4" steel to two layers of 12ga sheet metal...Duh!
So it pulls loose due to use, people hanging on the doors etc. Mine had been welded back a few times as evident by the bubble gum around the hinge
http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0129131428_zpsa55bd8e7.jpg

To get to the hinge to make repairs you need to remove the fender flare, inner fender, front header panel and then the fender. Takes about an hour
http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0129131428a_zps7f2383a1.jpg

So my plan was to make a brace to support the weight of the door. I simply found some stock, cut it, drilled it, tapped it to 5/16"x24 and also welded on some 5/16"x24 nuts.

http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0129131922_zps7dd32a0f.jpg
http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0129131630_zpsa6a64b8a.jpg
http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0129131921_zps1de6b8cd.jpg

So I drilled the hinge and panel to match my brace
http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0129131923_zps0dfed323.jpg

So, how do I get the brace up into the hole? Time to go fishing! Fish a wire from the top hole down to the large hole where the rubber bellows comes out of the jamb, you will have to peel the bellows out of the hole but its easy to get back in. The attach the wire to the top hole of the brace and form it into a "T" so you can pull the brace into place. This goes easy but you do have to deal with the door pin wire harness and fish it around that. Its tight in there but it will make the trip.

http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0129131949_zpsd836f030.jpg

After you get the brace into place, start the grade 8 5/16"x24 bolts through the holes and tighten the hing back into its original position.

After that, seal it all up! I used Lord Fuser single stage seam sealer. It seals well, is paintable and its cheap!

I will pick up some duplicolor touch up spray tomorrow and paint the area with it so it will blend in.

http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0129132054_zps282ab0cc.jpg

So the whole project took me 4 hours start to finish, including removing the body panels. I spent a total of $6.82 on some grade 8 hardware and I will never have to deal with it again.

Mnkyboy
January 29th, 2013, 22:58
Thats similar to the kit the dealer offers.

http://comancheclub.com/topic/26948-busted-door-hinge-repair/

xjtrailrider
January 30th, 2013, 03:17
Thats similar to the kit the dealer offers.

http://comancheclub.com/topic/26948-busted-door-hinge-repair/

I've seen those but your relying on two rivets to do the work that I have two grade 8 5/16"x24 bolts. I also wanted the brace inside of the jamb, not for looks but for strength. The brace I made is 1/4"x1"x6" so it spreads the load over a large area of the jamb.

Mnkyboy
January 30th, 2013, 07:05
I thought the rivets were kind of hokey.
Your brace just reminded me of it.

xjtrailrider
January 30th, 2013, 20:22
A little Chrysler "flame red" paint to cover up the ugly!

http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0130132036_zps0d3c7b46.jpg

xjtrailrider
February 3rd, 2013, 07:29
I forgot to add in the picture of the brace bolted in place and before smearing the seam sealer all over it. As you can see I used a large washer over the large hole where the plastic plug use to be. I had to trim this washer to clear the fender mount and I had to trim the fender to clear the bolt. I used a set of shears to trim the fender and then primed it up so it wouldn't rust.

http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0129132017.jpg

kastein
February 4th, 2013, 23:48
I like what you did, but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with that few bolts... rather, bolts all on a single line, which means not much resistance to the metal twisting when the hinge opens and closes. WrenchMonkey did a writeup on a similar method he used a while ago: http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=986973 (in FAQ section here too: http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1084411)

(I like a combination of your setup and his - his is lacking washers to spread the load, and doesn't keep the hinge mounted at the same depth on the unibody due to the sheetmetal under it getting removed, yours doesn't have quite the ridiculously overbuilt strength/bolt count overkill I usually aim for)

It's really too bad they made such a stupid design decision and tried to weld 1/4" plate hinges to a few layers of stamped sheetmetal, I don't know what they were thinking there. In mid 1997 they solved it by switching to the stampled 1/8" plate hinges, but those ones aren't as easy to mod for doorless use... no such thing as a free lunch!

xjtrailrider
February 5th, 2013, 15:53
I like what you did, but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with that few bolts... rather, bolts all on a single line, which means not much resistance to the metal twisting when the hinge opens and closes. WrenchMonkey did a writeup on a similar method he used a while ago: http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=986973 (in FAQ section here too: http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1084411)

(I like a combination of your setup and his - his is lacking washers to spread the load, and doesn't keep the hinge mounted at the same depth on the unibody due to the sheetmetal under it getting removed, yours doesn't have quite the ridiculously overbuilt strength/bolt count overkill I usually aim for)

It's really too bad they made such a stupid design decision and tried to weld 1/4" plate hinges to a few layers of stamped sheetmetal, I don't know what they were thinking there. In mid 1997 they solved it by switching to the stampled 1/8" plate hinges, but those ones aren't as easy to mod for doorless use... no such thing as a free lunch!

I wanted a larger plate as well but there is not much more room than what I had for what I fed in there.

Squarecat
May 22nd, 2013, 05:47
I'm looking to do this same repair but don't have the equipment for cutting thick metal or welding. I'll be asking around but, otherwise, any ideas about the type of place/business that could do that part?

I talked to a guy at local body shop who was interested in this solution since re-welding the hinge doesn't solve the underlying problem. He did suggest offsetting the holes/bolts so they aren't all lined up. I didn't think to ask him about the fabrication at that point but I will.

kastein
May 22nd, 2013, 07:46
Buy a Ryobi 4.5" angle grinder at Home Depot for 30 bucks and a 10-pack of 4.5" cutoff wheels at Heleta.com for 7. They'll come in useful a million times over on your jeep... and probably be cheaper than labor costs at the shop.

You'll want a drill/tap of the right size for the bolts you intend to use, too. Those are around 10 bucks for the pair at Home Depot, you can get a prepackaged set with a tap and the proper size drill. I love the Irwin taps they are selling right now, they have a nice straight lead-in tip that's the same diameter as the drill so the tap starts straight without much trouble.

Squarecat
May 23rd, 2013, 15:29
Thanks for the tips!

Buy a Ryobi 4.5" angle grinder at Home Depot for 30 bucks and a 10-pack of 4.5" cutoff wheels at Heleta.com for 7. They'll come in useful a million times over on your jeep... and probably be cheaper than labor costs at the shop.

An angle grinder and a stack of the cutoff wheels are both headed my way. (Wen with a B&D--has a tad more juice for the same price.)

You'll want a drill/tap of the right size for the bolts you intend to use, too. Those are around 10 bucks for the pair at Home Depot, you can get a prepackaged set with a tap and the proper size drill. I love the Irwin taps they are selling right now, they have a nice straight lead-in tip that's the same diameter as the drill so the tap starts straight without much trouble.

Picked up the tap/bit set, hardware, and a rattle can of matte black for rust protection today. I'll be tackling this first thing Saturday and will report back.

Thanks again!

Oh and I just joined NAXJA in the middle of typing this since finding this thread saved me $$.

kastein
May 23rd, 2013, 17:09
Welcome to the madness... your bank account will never be the same again.

Squarecat
May 23rd, 2013, 21:41
So I've heard... :cheers:

sandsgg
May 23rd, 2013, 21:41
LolSoTrue

xjtrailrider
May 23rd, 2013, 21:46
I never posted a finished pic of the Jeep

http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp266/xjtrailrider/little%20red/0216131336.jpg