Repairing Droopy Doors
By Michael Albee
I recently replaced the pins and bushings on the door of a 90 SC. The pins and bushings are not available from Ford as a replacement part but I used the pins and bushings for a Ford F-150 and just cut the pins down to fit.
This job is fairly easy to do, but in order to make the job enjoyable it requires a few tools that not everyone has.
•Hydraulic Floor Jack
•1/2″ Hand Wrench
•Medium Hammer (1-2#)
•31/64″ Drill bit
•Drill press (Optional)
•Air or Electric Cut-off Tool and/or Die Grinder
•Air hammer and tapered air chisel bit (Optional)
•A buddy that won’t have to leave in the middle of the job
Step 1. Disconnect the battery. You won’t have to disconnect any wiring inside the door to do this job, but if you have any wiring problems or if you pinch a wire you can cause a short and blow a fuse or damage a component in the door. It’s better to play it safe.
Step 2. Open the door to it’s “full open” point and position the floor jack under the door to support it. To keep from scratching or damaging the bottom of the door, I suggest that you use a block of wood on top of the jack and then place a towel or a few shop rags on the wood to protect the paint on the door. Get your buddy to hold the door steady while you remove the bolts from the Door. (There are two bolts on each hinge). ONLY the bolt on the DOOR SIDE of the hinge will need to be removed.
Step 3. Gently pull the door out away from the car as far as the wiring will let you. (6″ is about normal, some will be less). If you pull to hard you may damage the wiring so be careful. Now you can see and get to the tops of the hinges. With a permanent marker, mark the bottom of the hinge so you will remember the position of the hinge during the reassembly process.
Step 4. With the cut-off tool or die grinder, carefully grind off the top of the pins and remove them. Be sure to check the orientation of the hinge and the old bushings as you disassemble the hinge. To remove the old pins, drive the pins out of each hinge with a tapered punch or your air chisel. Using a flat-blade screwdriver, knock the old bushings out of the door side hinge half.
Step 5. To install the new bushings you may be required to drill the bushing holes out on the hinge. If this is the case, secure the door side hinge half in a vise or on the table of a drill press. Using a drill bit the same size as the OD of the bushing, run the bit through the two holes. Then install the new bushings in the same position that the old ones were in.
Step 6. Next you need to shorten the new pins. To do this use your cut-off tool or a hacksaw. When cutting the pins, remember to cut them about 1/2″ longer than the old pins. Remove the jagged edge of the pin by rounding them off with a file or a grinding wheel.
Step 7. Now it’s time to reassemble the hinge and put the door back on. As you reassemble the hinge be CAREFUL to align the stop on the hinge so that it will allow the door to close correctly. (Check your mark on the bottom of the hinge to be sure you have the hinge facing the right way).
You can drive the pins in from the top and they are knurled at the top to seat them and hold them in the hinge. I used an air hammer and chisel to set the pins but you can also use a hammer and punch, it may just take a few extra minutes to seat the pins.
Step 8. After the pins are set, reinstall the four (4) bolt back into the door and tighten them. Remove the floor jack. If you didn’t move the door to much your alignment should be really close and the doors should close without hitting. You may need to adjust the height of the door slightly to make it close properly. If the door striker is worn, you may also need to replace it.
Step 9. After the door has been adjusted, and everything fits, thank your buddy for the help and buy him dinner and a couple of cold ones.