What are folks’ preferences for door hinge repair kits? I’m thinking ⅜” stainless pins with grease nipples, top hat bushes for the sheet metal pivots and Oilite bushes. Does anyone make such a kit?
Somebody on ebay has a door hinge box repair service. But for the price, I simply repaired my own. How you go about repairing yours could depend on whether you have an OTS car as opposed to DHC and FHC. The latter are heavier with hardware and windows so, the addition of grease nipples might be a good idea. I have an XK120 OTS so all I did was drill the hinge arm holes oversize, fit graphite impregnated bronze bushings (McMaster-Carr) and turned a shouldered bolt on the lathe for the hinge pins. From past postings this seems to be the standard way of effecting a repair. By the way, if you have any sill repair work to do, the hinge boxes are soooo much easier to remove if you’ve already cut away a portion of the sill directly below the door pillar area. They drop straight down. Note the bottom box on each side usually has a shim.
I opted or a simple mod. I used a stainless M8 bolt which fits perfectly and weld funny shaped plate to the head which fits between the the hinge box sides . This stops the bolt turning , which is also very useful when fitting and removeing the pin as you only need one spanner . Grind a point on it as refitting is mostly done by feel.
I had a Lotus Excel which has a similar problem . I repaired it and fitted a grease nipple . With my best intention I don’t think I ever greased it again.
I bought mine at limora.com
They have a set. Bolt and bush
Thanks all - the ebay guy doing repairs looks good, but I don’t really want to pay the shipping or take the risk of losing hinge panels with them flying back and forth across the Atlantic over the next few weeks! I’m going to go the oilite bush and shoulder bolt route with a grease nipple fitted, but first I have to get the old hinges and pins out. With the trim removed I can see that at least one of the lower hinge bolt heads has been welded to the metal bracket already, so that’ll make it fun - at least it means the hinge is turning on the pivot so that might help.
Thanks Jim. The current suggestion I’m following is to open out the hinge arm hole to take a couple of Oilite bushes, leaving a gap between them - this will act as a small grease reservoir if the nipple is fitted mid-way up the arm ‘tube’.
Oh well, I suppose things were going a little too well…
Careful removal of the LH door has revealed, as expected, the hinge pivot bolts rusted into the hinges and turning with the door. The top one has the normal 3/8W hex head, whereas the lower one has had the hex head welded to the hinge sheet metal to stop it turning. It’s done that alright - but the ‘fix’ (ha!) didn’t work and the pivot bolt has obviously snapped off inside the hinge somewhere as whilst the welded head is staying put, the nut underneath is moving with the door. Great. Oh, and the other side is the same.
So it looks like I have a day or two ahead armed a hacksaw blade wedged between hinge and bracket to cut the bolts through, probably followed by trying to remove (drill out??) the remnants of the hardened pivot pins. Oh joy.
When doing this, how does one avoid damaging the actual hinge casting or steel bracket?
On the LH side the lower face only of the square-section side framework has rusted through due to mud entrapment. The side faces of this piece are good, as is all the rest of the frame. What thoughts - should I just cut the wing away to access the whole lot, or is a localised welded repair to the bottom part of the frame likely to succeed with the wing in situ?
On mine there was a washer brazed to the arm either side which the saw blade sort of followed. I ground off the remnants and brazed on a stainless washer either sde. If you are talking about the box frame work , I managed to repair it from inside the car although to a slightly different way of design .
I think it will be impossible to remove the hinge box with a bolt head still welded to it .
The old pin will come out of the arm when on the bench with some heat .
Thanks Jim, so it’ll be fun time with the die grinder as well! Metal splinters in my socks for another couple of months!
Yep, a real fun job! It’s right up there with changing the bottom rad hose as one of the worst things to tackle on an XK.
I’ll look forward to that one, then! Is it harder than changing the bottom hose on a Cooper S? Have to do that now and then…
Well, after a long afternoon I have removed the top left hinge, probably the easiest one to do. Some saw damage to the hinge but if necessary I can add a washer. At least the hinge panel came out easily enough. It seems you have to leave the forward two screws for the door in the hinge as they are too long to clear the body in any hinge position - that’s one to remember on reassembly! You then have to loosen the hinge bracket in the A post and move it outboard to allow the hinge boss to clear the door stop in the hinge panel.
I’m looking at the lower hinge and can see no way whatsoever to get the saw to the top and bottom of the hinge as I did for the top one. The sill’s in the way. I’m guessing best option is to grind the head and nut off with the die grinder and drill as much of the pivot out as possible from both top and bottom.
Apparently fitting the chrome trim to the tacking wooden rail is the worst job on a DHC, so I’m really looking forward to that!
Or… the speedo cable??
Hrm…Jag lower hose, or Mini lower hose??
An air saw helps slightly with the lower.
I deliberately sheared off the bolt head but the tiny stub left on still stopped it coming out .
Unfortunately the hex heads on my lower hinge bolts are both a mullered mess of weld - hence the die grinder coming into play.
I have a sneaky fix for a failed Mini Speedo cable which works most of the time.
Just an update - I read somewhere on this forum of a so-called ‘fix’ for rusted door hinge pivot pins, suggesting welding of the pin to the box and very careful twisting of the door to try to free it off. This advice was given with caveats, but I would advise very strongly against such a brutal and crude attempt at a fix.
During dismantling, I discovered that this had been attempted with my car. I found that both bottom hinge pivot pins had been welded to the boxes. As a result, both pins had snapped just under the old (now welded) bolt head, leaving the hinge pivoting only at the bottom of the box, the top free to move around excessively. Needless to say, the pin was still rusted solid in the hinge arm. Both 1 1/8" thick timber panels the hinges were fixed to in the doors are now split along their full length where the door was twisted with the pivots welded rigid, so I have to consider new timber (or doors).
When I eventually got the hinges out, made even more difficult by globs of weld to saw off from beneath the top plate of the box, the hinge plates that bolt to the door had been badly mis-shapen, presumably from brute force attempting to free everything. This means that the door fit will now have changed (although that was impossible to judge accurately with the broken lower pivot anyway). This might explain why there were no shims in the upper hinges).
Please don’t try this dumb bodge - you will regret it!
Some of my hinges looked like that and I presumed someone had bent them to reduce the amount of shimming required . Rightly or wrongly I made them flat again .
That’s my plan. BFH, presumably? Did you need heat?
No heat needed , but I found that afterwards the bolt heads fouled each other , so I had to fit countersunk bolts , so maybe they should be bent to give clearance ?