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Door sag 2002 ST driver side

Discussion in '2001-2005 Explorer Sport Trac' started by Howard Hughes, January 10, 2019.

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    1. Howard Hughes

      Howard Hughes New Member

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      I read the excellent write up about sagging doors here on the forum and I have this problem on my 2002 sport trac. I cannot confirm for sure who and what p/n of hinge pins and bushings I need to secure beforehand to do my front drivers side door. I’ve checked autozone and oreillys and they don’t show a repair kit for my vehicle. I’m hoping you can supply a correct source and part numbers that will work. I don’t want to cut my old pins out only to find no replacement pins and bushings available.
      Thanks in advance,
      Howard
       
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    3. Mr. Alligator

      Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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      Just a thought: I replaced twenty year old front door bushings using Dorman bushings. Found them in the “HELP” section at Discount Auto. Perfect, I thought. “How can a manufacturer screw up door hinge bushings???”, I thought....

      The after market bushings fit well. But a few months later, the aftermarket bushings are already out of round. When they start grinding and popping soon, it will be super annoying. And I will have to redo the time consuming project.

      Almost surely should have used OEM bushings from the rear doors of a salvage vehicle. The rear doors get less wear, and it looks like lower rear hinges are the same as the upper and lower front hinges. My twenty plus year old rear hinge bushings are in better shape than my six month old aftermarket front bushings.

      Maybe the aftermarket pins are better. How can a manufacturer screw up door pins??? ( I think I can guess the answer now: by using inadequate material).

      Good luck.
       
    4. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      I replaced a worn lower hinge on my '01 ST's driver's door with a good used one from a older 4-door Explorer, so the hinge does not appear to be unique to the Sport Trac. I've seen them advertised on eBay and my local CL for around $30.

      Replacing the hinge helped my door alignment, but a bigger issue with door alignment is disintegrated body mounts. This is very common on the ST. The ST's body mounts are made from some sort of weird foam material that rots over time. I replaced my foam body mounts with a kit of polyurethane bushings from Prothane. I bought mine off Amazon for around $120. They're around $105 now (link below).

      https://www.amazon.com/Prothane-6-1...&keywords=2002+Sport+Trac+Prothane+body+mount

      The kit comes with a full set of replacement bushings for all 8 body mounts from front to back (designated as positions A, B, C, and D (front to rear). The B and C bushings are the ones that are made with the foam and that rot. I did replace my A, B and C bushings, but the D bushings are usually fine as they are made of a more durable material so I didn't bother with the D's.

      Replacing my body mount bushings brought my doors back to like-new alignment and made a HUGE improvement in ride quality and control.

      Replacing the bushings is a fairly big job, but I was able to do it in about 1 day and I was super happy with the results. Now that I've done it once I think I could do the job quicker. There are write-ups on how to do the job in the ST Useful Threads section (link below).

      Body Mount Bushings
       
      Last edited: January 10, 2019
    5. Howard Hughes

      Howard Hughes New Member

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      Mr. Alligator, thanks for your reply. Did you replace the pins also when you used the aftermarket bushing? Did they come together in a kit and if so do you remember the kit p/n? Was it a Help! Brand? I guess if I need to replace again in short order, at least drilling and cutting will not be required.

      Thanks Howard
       
    6. Howard Hughes

      Howard Hughes New Member

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      Thanks Koda2000, I know my body bushing are in need of replacement also. The Prothane bushings appear to be of hard plastic, does this translate to a harsher ride? I suppose it still is a improvement over the deteriorated one on there now.
      Thanks Howard
       
    7. Mr. Alligator

      Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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      I only replaced the bushings, because they creaked and snapped when the door opened and closed (even after lubrication). I am not certain of brand or p/n.
       
    8. Howard Hughes

      Howard Hughes New Member

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      How did you reuse the original pins? I would of thought they would be destroyed removing them to change the bushings.
      Thanks Howard
       
    9. Mr. Alligator

      Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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      The primary pins hold both halves of the hinges together like a clam shell. You are right: If those pins are removed, they would almost surely be destroyed. Door sag was not a problem for me, so I did not want to remove or change the primary pins.

      Therefore, I supported the door from above using a rope attached to workshop rafters (you could probably rig something with a ladder) and also supported the door from below with a bucket. Then unbolted and removed the hinges entirely, one a time. The bushings could then be easily punched out and changed without removing the primary pin. The bushings are captured by a much smaller retaining pin, but that pin only retains the bushing and has no impact on door sag.

      Good luck.
       
    10. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      @Howard Hughes - The Prothane bushings are made of polyurethane. They are not hard plastic. I do not fine the ride to be particularly harsh (it is a truck which uses leaf spring suspension after all). It's certainly not as harsh as no bushings at all (which is likely what you have now) and they also made a big difference in my front door alignment. It's not that the hinge sags, it's that the body sags in the center when the foam rots away. Just replacing/rebuilding your hinges will likely not get your doors to align correctly.

      As I said earlier, my ride and vehicle handling was hugely improved after installing the Prothane bushings. It is also quieter over bumps. I haven't read where anyone here was dissatisfied with the poly bushings.The OE foam bushings are difficult to find, are ridiculously expensive if you can find them and will no doubt rot away w/in a few years. I wouldn't have installed another set of OE bushings even if they were the same price as the poly bushings.

      I think there's another popular brand of aftermarket replacement body bushings made by by a company named Daystar(?). There still made of polyurethane and cost about the same as the Prothane.
       

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