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More stuff about doors
Not surprised to hear that Brian's shop has been staying busy! This man's business is "helping people." He's provided us with a number of "basic" tech tips that are a huge help to many folks. His Tech Tip here for the door hinges has some great detail. Mike Bakken also provided a Tech Tip in 2013 on door hinges and his included the procedure to adding bushings!
You may only have to do it once in YOUR lifetime ... so, what are you waiting for?
The “Advance Design” (or "AD") Chevy pickup (1947-54), along with most cars of the day, had no bushings in the door hinges. You simply put the pin thru a hole and that was that. With age and wear, the holes for the pins become enlarged. Instead of replacing a worn out bushing and installing a new pin, you had to drill out the holes to a larger size and install new oversized pins. You could update it as well and install bushings at this time. The way I look at it is, if it took 50 or 60 years to wear these out, they will last even longer being the truck is being driven a lot less than it was when used as a work truck. I have 80 or a 100 years before I have to rebuild them again.
The first step, mark the pieces. It may sound easy, but all the pieces are different yet, look so similar. I mark mine with a letter stamp so I can pick up the piece and not have to figure out where it goes (see photo).
Without a doubt, the toughest part of the job is knocking the old pins out. In the hinges that I have done, I have found them to every extreme -- the pins almost falling out and taking no effort what so ever, to having them rusted in the hinge like they have became one piece of metal!
Now, there is usually a little gap to get the saw blade through to the pin. There is, however, very little gap on some hinges. But don’t sweat it. If you gouge up the side of the hinge in this area, you can “dress” it later with a file prior to painting and assembly. It is still much easier to remove the pins this way.
The problem with grinding off the peened head is that this peening “fattened” up the pin in the hinge. Even after grinding away head flush with the hinge body surface, it is “fattened” up inside as well. This fattened pin is not going to go thru the forged part of the hinge without a big fight! Cutting the hinge as shown worked like a charm. I wish I had done them all that way.
I wanted to see if I could remove these pins without heat so I could show you guys without a torch how to get them out. However, I couldn’t do it. I have no press (as most home hobbyists) so I resorted to the vice. I tried pressing them out using the vice in the same way I used the vice to press in the new ones in photo J. I had no luck -- that pin was in there TIGHT.
So, I pulled out the torch. Come on now guys, if you are going to be working on an old truck like this, you are going to need a torch! I heated up the hinge and drove the pin out with a drift punch and a few good blows of a four pound sledge hammer using the vice to rest the hinge on (photo C).
Two very important things here: you need something SOLID when you do this. Not a piece of wood. Not your concrete driveway. You need a solid piece of metal. Anything else will only absorb the energy of the hammer. You MUST have something solid underneath the hinge. And, you should always use a LARGE hammer. There is a misconception of a lot of people that a large hammer will do damage. Yes, it will if used to smash something. Sure, the bigger the hammer the more damage. However when doing something like this, with some simple common sense, you will do much LESS damage with the larger hammer.
First off, you don’t have to swing it hard, just “drop” the thing on the drift punch and you get the job done. Secondly, it takes far less blows, this means far less damage to your tools and the hinge.
Now that the space is clear
The pins were advertised as 11/32 inch so I went and bought a nice new 11/32 inch drill. After drilling the holes, I found that the pin wouldn’t go through it -- not even close. The pins were not round at the end.
So, I cut them off and chamfered the edge. I then cleaned them up a little with a surface conditioning disc on my angle grinder. They still wouldn’t go in.
I took the pins and drill back to the store to see if they had a little larger drill bit. When there, we checked the pins with a digital micrometer and found that they were a fraction bigger than 11/32! So, I bought a letter S drill (used in machine work which is less than a thousandths of an inch larger than 11/32 inch) and drilled the hinges out to that.
By the way, this was done in a drill press. I know one photo looks like the drill is at an angle but that is only my camera work. The drill and hinge were perfectly vertical. Does it have to be a drill press? I don’t think so. With the hinge clamped in the vice, the drill bit will go right thru where the old hole was pretty easily. If the hole is out of shape from extreme wear, having it clamped in a drill press is going to be needed. However, if you were to drill that hole out and it is slightly at an angle because of the worn hole, it will simply bolt to your door the same way being it has slotted holes and in the real world, it makes little to no difference in the operation of the door. This is not a Swiss watch here. It is a truck door. We can over analyze this stuff, but honestly if the hinges are not loose, you can adjust the door on less than perfect hinges. Heck, where the hinges mount on the cab is probably out of square by a 32nd or 16th inch from original anyway. Don’t sweat it. Make the hinges tight and bolt them back in.
Getting it back together
Prior to assembly, first thing I did was to file off the spacers so the forged piece will be resting on nice flat, greased metal instead of paint. I found that with a trial fit, the forged piece was a little loose in one hinge -- probably one that I beat the pin out of instead of cutting it off as in photo A. Anyway, I squeezed it a little tighter with the vice -- done deal (photo G).
So, I took my angle grinder with a 50 grit disc and carefully ground off a little of these grooves. I then cut the pin to the proper length. This length was determined by resting the pin on the side of the hinge and allowing an eighth inch or so to peen the end. These pins were hardened steel, unlike the original which cut easily in with a hacksaw (photo A). These pins laughed at the hacksaw! I cut them with my die grinder with a cut off disc. Then chamfered the end and cleaned them up real nice with the surface conditioning disc.
You will have two different springs for each door. Don’t go nuts trying to put the bottom one on the top -- it won’t work. They are different. I took a photo of the hinge (I actually had a few originals to look at as well) before I took the hinge apart to be sure I knew how the springs went back in. I put a fair amount of white grease on each end of the spring, sat it resting in its hole in the hinge body while holding it in my right hand as you see in photo I. I then put the forged piece thru, with the upper spring in place in its hole, in the forged piece and with my left hand and slid the piece in until the pin holes lined up and dropped the pin in. One note here -- the grease isn’t only for lubrication later. It is sort of a “glue” holding parts together during assembly. The spacers were well lubed. The pin was coated in oil prior to assembly.
I don't suffer from insanity.
I enjoy every minute of it.