View Full Version : Drivers side door hinge replace ?

10-28-2003, 01:43 PM
I have read many posts about repairing the door hinges on our cars. But I need to Replace my drivers side lower hinge; I'm sitting on a new hinge that I cannot return.

I took a stab at it this weekend and after removing some interior panels and a couple wire harness brackets I still couldn't get to a point where I could even see the nuts. They are completely burried behind a nest of wire harnesses, brackets, etc.

I'm not positive I even need to get back there. Are these nuts held in place with clips or are they going to fall down into the abyss when I remove the hinge bolts?

If anyone is familiar with replacing the Drivers Side Lower Hinge please advise.


Andy 94SC
10-28-2003, 02:32 PM
What year is the car? Either way, if you pull the kick panel the hinge should be right behind the big hole that the electrical harnesses go into.

If it is a late car that has two bolts and a stud, the only way to get the nut off the stud is by removing the panels and accessing it from the interior. REALLY sucks for the upper hinge.

An early car is easier, there are only the three bolts, no stud. These three bolts go into a threaded metal plate that is somewhat held in place, meaning there are tabs to keep it there, but if you are not careful you can push it out of place. So you shouldn't need to do anything from the interior, unless the plate falls out of place.

10-28-2003, 03:19 PM
Thanks for the reply Andy.

It's a 94. I had the kick panel off this weekend, but it still looked like a lot of work to get the wire harness's and harness brackets off to get into that hole.

Sounds like I'm gonna have take all that crap apart for access. Bummer.



Andy 94SC
10-29-2003, 07:55 AM
Actually I was doing something similar this past weekend on my '94.

You should pull the battery cable and let the car sit for a while before you start working. Then there are two green screws near the front of the hole holding one of the crash sensors. You need to take that out of the way, and unplug it to get room. If the battery is hooked up and there happens to be power to the airbag system when you remove this sensor you could easily blow the airbags, so make sure the battery is disconnected.

The harnesses can be pushed out of the way. The black plastic with the foam on it gets in the way somewhat, but you should be able to bend it out of the way.

10-29-2003, 08:11 AM
Are you sure you need to replace the whole hinge? Most of the time it's just the brass bushings in the hinge that is bad. You can buy a hinge pin kit from AutoZone. It's got new bushings & a new pin.

The OEM hinge pin is a ~~~~ to get out. You hve to hacksaw it in the middle, then drive each half out. Drive a screwdriver between the 2 pin halves, one or the other will pop out, then use a long narrow drift to drive the other half out. For some unexplainable reason Ford Rolled BOTH the top & bottom of the OEM pin. That's why you have to hacksaw the middle to get it out. Can't drive the OEM pin through from either the top or bottom.


Andy 94SC
10-29-2003, 09:00 AM
The '94 hinges are different that the early ones, the bushings are not brass, they look like steel with some sort of plastic/teflon coating. None of the bushings Autozone carries are the correct size for the newer hinges.

I tried drilling mine to the next size up and using the bushings, but it didn't last too long. A new hinge is better than fooling around replacing pins and bushings every year.

10-29-2003, 10:48 AM

Thanks for the tip on the crash sensor. I can just picture the air bag deploying during this project; that would have been neat!

Looking forward to having a door that closes soon.


10-29-2003, 05:47 PM
I have had 5 thunderbirds so far and on everyone of them the driver door saged. What I did was to put a 2x4 under the door about 1 foot long and use my floor jack under the door that was opend only 6 inches. It was a quick fix but it did no dammage to the door and they still work perfect to this day. Much easer than changing the hinge or pin.