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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2016, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Adjust Door Hinge

I just did my lower door hinge pin and I still get 1/4" of drop when you open the door. I found one article that said adjusting the upper hinge is also important but the comments are hard to find again after all the reading I have done.

I would theorize leaving the top bolt of the upper hinge section attached to the door the tightest so you lose the least amount of existing adjustment there. This assumes the fit at the upper hinge is already is already good and the hinge parts attached to the car are not moved. Am I right here?

As far as keeping the door panel from hitting the fender, you would pull the door away from the hinge as you tighten the bolts?

Feel free to chime in with your successful method but I never touched the upper hinges when I replaced my lower pin and still got some sag. My first thought was more upward pressure on the door with a jack during adjustment but it would be good to get more loading of the weight on the upper hinge too.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 05:18 PM
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Gordonm1,
I've got a similar situation on my '95. Drivers door was sagging considerably, from a sloppy lower door hinge. Eventually I got around to replacing the lower hinge with a NOS one I picked up on ebay many years ago. Followed the instructions in posts provided on this web page. Cured the sag but realigning the door is a bear for a novice like me. Fit is good, tight on the seals, but alignment is amateur. Lines on the door are lower than the front fender. So last week I took another crack at it. Loosened up the lower hinge inside and out, and tried to raise the hinge by hitting it with a hammer. Floor jack on the bottom of the door and I got what I thought was a good alignment on the fender to door lines. But alignment at the striker was way off as well as almost binding with the bottom of the fender. By this point I just wanted to get the door back on, so I re-loosened the hinge bolts, hung the door on the striker, tightened the hinge bolts, and reset the striker. Working alone, I couldn't get enough lift on the front of the door while tightening the bolts to get the alignment right. Ford manual says "loosen the door hinge bolt just enough to permit movement of the front door with a padded pry bar." Not sure where the padded pry bar is supposed to go, maybe between the bottom of the door and rocker panel, but I'd hate to fold in the bottom of the door panel. I tied a rope from the top of the door with the window open to a ceiling joist in my garage, but haven't come up yet with a method to lift the front of the door to raise the hinge horizontally, while maintaining the lower hinge in the proper vertical position. Maybe a cable with turnbuckle assembly. Or helper(s) to lift up the door while I'm tightening the lower hinge bolts. Sorry I don't have the answers you are looking for, maybe my experience will help you develop a plan of attack that will work for you.
Good luck,
Jim
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 01:26 PM
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So I revisited this door job, got tired of seeing the lines on the fender and door not matching. Loosened up the three bolts holding the lower hinge, jacked up the door with a bottle jack (since I don't have a "padded pry bar") while lifting back of door with a floor jack, then tightened the bolts. I had never touched the upper hinge in the first place, so I guess now it's pretty close to where it was before I changed out the lower hinge. It's far from perfect but the lines look a lot better now.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input Jim but I have bigger fish to fry and my gaps look better than your photo. My Grandpa was big in quality control at Ford and he could probably have gotten my Bird door perfect if he hadn't died 35 years ago. I still think of him when I play with my Bird.

I got good gaps by jacking the door up while cranking down the hinge bolts with the door wide open for access to the hinge bolts. There is a bit of drop when the door opens but I am happy.

1992 Tbird LX 5.0, 3.73 gears, 1995 Cobra intake, deleted air silencer, 2.5" mandrel bent dual exhaust, SCP shorty headers. Updated four-hole fuel injectors. SK shift kit in AOD. Vogtland 0.9" springs, Tokico and Bilstein shocks.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 09:10 AM
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I think in a lot of cases, the hole in the hinge gets egged out, and replacing the bushings only doesn't do any good because it just drops back in the egged out part.

You have to either replace that part of the hinge, or get the egged out bottom hole partially filled in with weld, then re-drill. This is what I did, and it turned out great, though I wish I had known you could replace the rubber roller because mine hardened up from the welding.

Al

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 06:27 PM
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I can't remember the details or part numbers, but it was essentially following a guide posted here... but I recall when I did hinge pins on the bird a couple years ago, I used a slightly larger diameter pin. So I just re-drilled the hole slightly to reshape it to a circle again, then put the pin in and re-aligned the strike and set of the door when closed.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 06:59 PM
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If you buy the kit, it has larger bushings you have to drill for.

The hardest part is making the holes round and line up, lol.

Dorman, Bill, Amazon all have these.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 08:15 AM
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At 220k miles, mine was REALLY egged out on one side. Far more than the larger bushing size.

Al

97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 68k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 Crown Vic Police Interceptor - Brenda's car
Previous cars:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years
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