'Bolters helping 'Bolters is a beautiful thing!
A might good number of tips and tricks have come from the Door Clinic (now a sub-forum of Paint and Body). Many real money savers, like this one from Vic.
Fabrication, makes it happen !
As is the case for many people that are fixing these old trucks, sometimes you need to hum a different tune. The hinges on my 1951 Canadian Chev 1/2-ton were re-buildable, but the face plates were partially rotted out and thin. After looking to all the parts suppliers for these old trucks, I found no replacements for hinge face plates.
Instead of replacing the whole hinge, first I installed new door bushings and a pin kit ($10). Then I used the damaged hinge face plates as a guide to shape a template 1/8" thick. This was very easy to make. All that is required is a little patience.
Fabricate a thick steel template, which if reversed, can be used for the left or right side. The one in this photo happens to be the top one.The bottom plate is a different shape. Just repeat the procedure for the bottom plates.
Once the template is made, start with a blank piece of tin that is the same gauge as the original door plate. Let it overhang the template by 3/8 inch. Drill top and bottom hole patterns of the template. Bolt tin blank to template. Cut out centre and sides but be sure to leave a little extra stock to be curved over the edge like the originals.
This piece can easily be shaped by cold hammering the light gauge steel to the shape of the template. No heat required!
Once you have the new plates made, tack weld the back to the hinge body and just sand them on a belt sander to the thickness required.
Measure. Check. File. Fine tune.
This was not hard to do, but templates required time and patience to make. It only took me 45 minutes. If you look at the photo, it looks stock. Installed and ready for primer!
Hinges for the Advance Design Chevy trucks from 1947 to 1953 will fit and so will the fabricated face plates. If you look in the aftermarket catalogue parts suppliers, new advertized hinges will fit '47 to '53 Chevy pickups.
The cost of brand new complete hinges can be very high. Example: Classic Industries lists theirs for $125 per side + tax and shipping approximately. So about $165 / US delivered ... per side!
So, for me ... easy math: one-hour fabrication cost me $20 to rebuild the originals, compared to $330 to get four new complete hinges.
A bonus is the challenge of doing it myself, and the satisfaction and accomplishment when it's finished. That's priceless.
Save the VINTAGE DOOR ART!