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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Stuck door

So, I managed to do something stupid, but I'll spare you the details. Basically, my driver's side door on my 94 TBird was forced open, farther than it's supposed to go. After attempting to close the door, it moved into a position about a foot from closed - it barely moves a few inches either direction.

The front part of the door looks a little bent outward and gets caught on the quarterpanel when trying to open. Attempting to close the door causes something to catch on the hinge.

Any ideas on how to fix this? I'm not entirely sure how to remove the door, especially since it's in such an awkward position. Thanks in advance!

I'll try to get some pictures up tomorrow.

Last edited by onecelledwolf; 12-15-2017 at 01:44 AM. Reason: added details
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 05:45 AM
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Ouch!

Without seeing pictures it's hard to know just what happened. Sounds like the front edge of the door curled out and it's making contact with the fender. Hopefully you didn't over extend the hinges, check where the hinges bolt to the door and the frame to see if the metal pulled out.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 05:51 AM
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hinge damage.... big ole heavy doors too..

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 09:22 AM
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X2 on the pictures.

See how the hinges look in comparison to the passenger side door to try to assess if the problem is with the hinges, the body panels, and/or structural.

If it's the hinges, search this site for info on how to replace door hinges, there are instructions with pictures.

Maybe a few blows with a rubber mallet on the front of the door skin will allow you to get the door open without further damaging the fender. Sounds like you are going to need some bodywork anyway. Otherwise, you may need to remove the fender to access the hinge bolts.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 10:09 AM
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At best, you need a door and hinges. At worst, you bent the hinge pillar and the car would have to go on a frame straightening machine. Either way, the whole dash has to come out to replace the hinges, and you are going to have to paint the door, and likely the fender and quarter too. What kind of shape is the rest of the car in? It honestly may not be worth fixing.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onecelledwolf View Post
So, I managed to do something stupid, but I'll spare you the details.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 02:07 PM
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I saw that in a McDonalds drive thru awhile back, lol.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, everyone. I tried to get some decent pictures, so I even got all fancy and made you guys some gifs:

Here's as far as the door will open and close.

door.jpg

Kind of hard to tell what's happening here, but this is me attempting to close the door. The view is from the top of the hinge, through the bent portion of the door. Something is hitting the hinge.

hinge.jpg
top.jpg

This is from the front of the door. I'm trying to open the door in this one. Looks like it's getting caught on the quarterpanel.

fender from front.jpg
fender.jpg



Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
Either way, the whole dash has to come out to replace the hinges, and you are going to have to paint the door, and likely the fender and quarter too. What kind of shape is the rest of the car in? It honestly may not be worth fixing.
Man, I literally just took the entire dash off to replace the heater core... The car isn't in the greatest of shape, but it's definitely better than when I first got it. Engine is running lean, sometimes idles pretty rough. I still need new struts and gotta do some other suspension work. I'm not worried about the paint right now, the entire car looks pretty terrible. Also the odometer doesn't work. And my turn signal housing broke off. Actually, I could probably keep listing things, so I'll stop now.



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While this is essentially what I did, I'd have to say that it was MORE stupid than that (although I did only bend the door out perpendicular to the car).
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 07:30 AM
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"What'd you do?!?" Lol man that sucks. I can't see the body side of the hinge but it appears the door is bent heavily where the hinge bolts up. You can take actions to bend it back, but I feel it makes more sense to hit the pick n pull to grab a door, hinges and whatever else you need. Top hinge has a bolt or nut that comes in from behind the dash too.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 07:57 AM
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 02:41 PM
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Junk yard, door and a set of new hinges from ebay (where ever) and replace the whole thing. Otherwise, It will never be right. May need to bend the body back out a bit with the old hinges if the frame/body was compromised.

Sorry to hear this happened. Sucks when you do something that you just feel like a total doofus for doing. I know, "been there, done that".

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 09:29 AM
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Start with a non-metal hammer, like a rubber mallet, and work the front of the door back into shape so you can open it further. Start where the damage is the least and work to where it is the worst. Where the fender is binding, pull it out as much as needed with something that won't further damage the fender. Open the door more and you will see what is preventing it from closing, probably the spring mechanism in the lower door hinge that the roller rolls on is messed up.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry to revive a dead post, but I just thought it might be helpful for someone down the road (pun DEFINITELY intended) who might have had a similar problem to me.

After deciding how much money I wanted to spend on it, I decided to start by replacing the hinges. It turns out that neither the frame nor the door were the problem; just the hinges themselves.

Since my car already looked like garbage and I'm a poor college student, to get the door to open again I just took a rubber mallet (suggested by Jim3inVirginia) and just used some "heavy persuasion" to work it into a somewhat decent shape. I used a little pry bar to pry the fender out, and I eventually managed to get the door to open. It was sagging before I bent the door out, and after doing so, it started to sag more. The bottom of the door and fender would still bind some, but overall the door actually opened. There was a small gap (~1cm) at the top of the door when it was closed, so I couldn't really drive it around. After failing to take off a hinge from the junkyard, I managed to get a new upper hinge for $40 directly from the Ford parts website. Since it felt like the door was just tilted sideways, I only thought it was the top hinge.

To replace the hinge, I had an assistant help me hold the door while I stood it on some jacks. I opened it all the way and jacked it up until it was level, and then undid the bolts from the part of the hinge connected to the door. We rotated the door back to the closed position and pushed it toward the rear about ~1/2ft from the normal position of the door to gain access to the main part of the hinge. Since there is a bolt going into the hinge from the inside of the car, I decided to just replace the half of the hinge that connects to the door - it was clearly bent out of shape. I used an angle grinder to cut through the rod on both the mounted hinge and the new one I bought, and replaced the half by using one of those Dorman HELP! rod and bushing kits. After (somewhat obviously) not fixing the problem entirely, I looked and found that the bottom hinge was also bent out. Since I didn't want to shell out another hundred bucks (cheapest price I could find with shipping was seriously almost $100), I decided to just cut off the outer part of the lower hinge.

After replacing the top hinge and cutting off the bottom, the door closed an adequate amount to keep water out, even though there is some wind noise. However, due to not wanting to spend my hard-earned (read: financial aid) cash, the compromise was that the driver's door would sag ridiculously - too much for me to be comfortable opening the door. So from then on, I entered through the passenger door and climbed over the center console.

TLDR; If you bend out your door (and are probably a lucky person), take a look at your hinges first. You can tell if they're bent out, especially if the hinges are really dirty. Just compare it to the other side. Be gentle with a mallet and a prybar; that can really beat up your car. Buy a couple of those Dorman HELP! bushing and rod kits, and attempt to get the hinges from the junkyard. Make sure that the cars are far enough apart that you can open the door all the way, or else you'll get your nice ratchet wrench stuck in the hinge and then not be able to get it back, unless you can cut the door with some tool you have that I don't. Replace the outer part of the hinges on your door, and it should be back to normal!

Thanks again for all your help everybody!

Last edited by onecelledwolf; 03-06-2018 at 02:18 AM.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onecelledwolf View Post
Sorry to revive a dead post, but I just thought it might be helpful for someone down the road (pun DEFINITELY intended) who might have had a similar problem to me.

Thanks again for all your help everybody!
NICE JOB Wolf Man!

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 02:37 PM
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Do you think that removing a fender would give better access to the hinge? My car's hinges seem ok except that the roller on the drivers lower hinge is worn. I simply rotated the roller until the worn spot was in another position. It makes the door work well but occasionally has to be done again. The TBird door is super big and heavy and can cause major damage if it flies open. I read somewhere it is easier to take the fender off and replace the hinge pins without removing the hinges from the car body. When I've replaced or rebuilt hinges on other cars I've removed the fender. From what I read, it's a best to leave the hinge to body bolts alone if possible. The Dorman roller kit is less than $5. But I'm sure it's not easy to install.



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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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NICE JOB Wolf Man!
Thank you!

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Do you think that removing a fender would give better access to the hinge?
If you remove the fender, I do think it would be easier. There's plenty of space it covers up. But, from what I remember from both research and what I saw (correct me if I'm wrong), the fender is welded to the frame. Make sure you buy two rod and bushing kits. Let me know how it goes!
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 11:41 PM
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Thank you!


If you remove the fender, I do think it would be easier. There's plenty of space it covers up. But, from what I remember from both research and what I saw (correct me if I'm wrong), the fender is welded to the frame. Make sure you buy two rod and bushing kits. Let me know how it goes!
The front fender is not welded to anything. It is bolted on.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 06:54 AM
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onecelledwolf,

Thanks for the update, glad you decided to take on the repair!

Jim
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