Replacement Door Hinge

I have a goal of fixing the small things on my son’s 67 coupe so he can drive it back east for his daily driver while he is in the Army. Some are cosmetic, like the door hinge. The driver doesn’t have a pin for the door stop to work and holding it open with a jack stand is getting annoying while I am working on other things. So, time to replace or repair the hinge.

One of the key rules for this car is that it has to keep driving. No major projects taking it off the road for more than a few days. Since I think rebuilding the hinge is going to take a bit of work, I bought a new lower hinge to swap in and keep the door working.

The new hinge is an entirely different design than the original cast hinges. It does work better than the tired spring on the passenger side, but I think I would like the original style better, but with a new spring for more positive hold to keep the door open. But for now, this is what I have.

Original vs reproduction lower door hing (driver side)

The plan was to leave the top hinge in place and with a jack holding the end of the door up, just swap out the lower hinge. It went OK with the removal, though kind of tight, the replacement would not work. The problem was the lip on the edge of the new hinge. With the original being flat, the ratcheting closed end wrench would fit in, but with the lip, I could not get a thin wrench in, I had to use a socket. There is no room for a socket with the fender on. It escalated quickly.

Some of these bolts must be original since 3 of them sheered off.

Once I had the fender off, I was surprised the cowl area was not looking too bad. The kick panel area was actually pretty solid too. A little surface rust, but I’ve seen far worse.

The new hinge kind of sticks out (in color and size)
The hinge is a lot easier to access and align with the fender off

This project was an attempt to see if I can do one thing and put it back together without all the “while I’m at it” type things. I did pretty good, though I did replace the bumper side fender bolts and brackets which were missing all together. Oh, and I put all new fender bolts on since I had a pile of them, being the most common bolt on the car.

Over all, I like the new hinge. It is solid and has a very pronounced stop, holding the door open very well. I did have to do a little tweaking to get things lining up as I would like. I was able to get it back to the original open and close feel though. There is nothing quite like the sound of a well aligned original door closing on these old mustangs.

Back together by the end of the day

I was able to get everything back together by the end of the day, though not without a little rain. Such is life in Washington.

The old hinge is back in the pile to be media blasted and inspected for repairs. I may leave that for my son to mess with later if he decides he wants to return it to original. With the pin cleanly sheered off, getting it out and replaced is going to be some work.

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