Replacing Door Hinge Bushings

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By AMC Eagle Nest Member "Tennessee_Farmer".

Here are some tips when installing bushings in your Eagle car front door hinges. First of all, do not remove the hinges from the door or car body. It is not necessary, it is difficult to do, and you will have a hard time trying to realign the door. Merely open the door and prop it up with a jack or other supports to remove pressure from the hinges and brace it to hold the door upright. Use a blunt-end driving bar followed by a long needle-nose punch to drive out the hinge pins. Hold the driving bar against the protruding portion of the pin and drive hard with a hammer. The neck at the head end of the pin is splined and that’s what holds it in. Once you have driven the pin as far as it will go with the driving bar, the needle nose punch will help you finish the removal. You may need pliers or vise-grips to wiggle them out. Take the bottom one out first since this will help you with the top one. On the passenger side, it may appear that there is not enough clearance for the top one to come out, but if you move the door around, with the bottom pin removed, it will come out. Rest assured that the pins will come out. Remove both pins because you have to separate the entire door from the hinges to be able to replace the bushings. Drive out the old bushings. I suggest you replace all four bushings, even if some appear to be in reasonably good shape. This will ensure a tight door at the end.

Rarely are the hinge pins defective because they are made of hardened steel. The wear is almost always on the brass bushings, even if they are partially broken. In a severe case, the hinge itsself is enlarged and a replacement hinge likely will be needed. If the outside diameter of the replacement bushings are too large for the bushings to fit in the hole, you will need to file them. Do not attempt to hard-drive the bushings into the holes. If you try hard driving them, you may break them, or at a minimum, compress the bushing holes so the pins no longer fit. File the outside of the bushings until they can be driven into the hinge holes by gently tapping. Make certain that you do not file them so much that they rotate in the hole. You want the hinge pin to rotate in the bushing, not the bushing rotating in the hinge hole. Some advice on filing - I suggest you use a good flat file, a quarter inch or so triangular file, and a quarter inch round file. The flat file will help you remove material quickly, the triangular file will allow you to file close to the lip of the bushing without damaging it. If necessary, the round file will allow you to enlarge the bushing hole once installed if it gets compressed. The best way to file is to clamp the bushing in a benchvise. Make certain your pins are completely free of dirt and rust so this does not restrict entry into the bushing. Put grease in the bushings and on the hinge pins before reassembly.

As you might suspect, reinstalling the door is the hardest part of the job. Two people make it easier than one, however, I have always done mine alone. Four-door cars are easier than two-door ones because the doors are shorter. In fact, with a two-door, you should have a few choice words handy to help with the installation.

When you finish, your door should feel nice and tight and be properly aligned. The job really is not very complicated or time consuming.

If you do have a severely damaged pin, don’t install it in the new bushings. It will cause rapid wear to the bushings. However, I don’t think you will have this problem because the pins are made of hardened steel and usually don’t wear.