The Sagging Door
Ford Explorer Door Hinge Replacement


Contributed by Jeff S.

Some of the usual auto parts stores apparently sell a door hinge kit to fix this problem. The kit is actually just a replacement pin and bushing. Some have seen it listed as the Ford F-150 hinge pin kit and others have mentioned that it might be for "Most Fords 1985 and up". Do your homework and make sure it can be returned if it is not the right part.

Also, most people seem to be getting satisfactory results by just replacing the lower hinge and not messing with the vastly more involved replacement of the upper hinge (which requires removal of a lot of the dash).


Contributed by Kevin L.

I had the same sagging door problem on my '93 Explorer. I ordered the lower door hinge from the dealer for about $20 and set aside an abnormal amount of time since I have nearly no mechanical skill.

The first thing I did was to bring the car into the garage where I could use a rope through the window and 'hang' the door from the trusses overhead. This seemed more stable to me than propping the door up from underneath, especially when my only helper was my 3 year old little girl.

Next I took off the cover just inside the door to the left of the clutch pedal to give me access to one of the nuts (just a couple screws and a pop tab). Before you remove any of the nuts from the hinge, be sure to stuff a small towel or something in the door jam where the nuts could easily fall into. It would be a pain trying to fish them out if they fell out of your socket.

I had to kind of heave-hoe on the door a little to get the old hinge out. The new hinge was in the closed position when I got it so I had to use a vise and a large screwdriver to close it before I put it into place. Be sure to only close it as far as the hinge you removed.

 

With a little more heave-hoeing you should be able to get the new hinge back in place. This is much easier than removing the old one. You'll notice the new hinge has a slotted place for the bolt instead of just a hole. In my case I ended up having to bring the hinge all the way back (towards the back of the Explorer) in order for the door to hang right.

Tighten up all the bolts just enough to hold the door. Remove the rope and softly start to close the door. If it doesn't align properly, you may need to move the hinge either forward or back on the bolt a little. When the door is aligned properly and seems to close smoothly, then tighten the nuts all the way.

The whole procedure took me about 45 minutes. I'm sure most people could do it much quicker.

NOTE: To get at the most forward nut that you see through the opened door, you have to use a ratchet with a small 3/8" gooseneck in order to avoid bending the door panel. I also wrapped a small towel around the ratchet to keep from scratching the paint. When I was putting the nut back on, I found it most helpful to wrap the nut in plumbers tape so it fit snuggly into the socket. That way it didn't fall out while I was reaching it through.


Contributed by Steve M.

I bought the complete lower hinge assembly (which includes the pin and bushings) from the Ford dealer. Cost about $25. You unbolt the old hinge assembly from the door and from the car body, and you bolt on the new one. No drilling out of the pin required if you replace the entire hinge assembly. The lower one is easy to replace. I didn't do the upper one because it requires removing the dash to get at the nuts that screw onto the bolts on the body side of the hinge.


Contributed by Dean M.

I just completed resolving this problem on my 1992 Explorer XLT. Knowing the difficulty of replacing the top hinge, I approached the situation with the hope of applying a bushing kit to both hinges without completely removing the hinges. Solution, remove the door but not the hinges. By removing the door from the hinges rather than the hinge from the frame, I was able to gain enough access to cut the hinge pins in half with a hacksaw. Once in half each piece of the pin could be pushed out, allowing the portion of the hinge containing the bushing to come free.

The bushings pushed out of the hinge half without much difficulty. I did have to place one hinge half into the bench vise in order to gain a little more stability for this task. I also used the vise as a backing when tapping the new bushing into place.

Once equipped with new bushings, the hinge half was ready to made whole. Simple enough, just place it into position and slide the new hinge pin into place. This completed, just reattached the door to the hinge aligning to the paint marks.

I got the bushing/pin kit from Auto Zone. I cannot recall the brand, but they have all sorts of replacement parts on red backed packages. The kit, which includes 2 pins and 4 bushings, ran me just over $7.00. The are 2 kits available for Fords. I believe either will work, but I used the F150 kit. Yes, it is as easy as I made it out to be. A project I anticipated to take several hours took less than two. Just be sure to have some help when reattaching the door.


Contributed by John S.

It may look like the new hinge will not work but it will, it just has to be in place to flip the hinge into shape.

The forward bolt is very difficult to reach with out a 13mm box end wrench I loosened the upper to get it with a socket and then I had to bend the quarter-panel in a bit to get it off.

The final hinge bolt is nearly impossible to get out if you drop it. I had to cut the body to get the washer nut out of the panel so be careful.

Finally I did it all by myself and paid the price. Get help if at all possible.


 

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Updated September 18, 2001

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