Most classic car restorers decide to prepare their classic cars for bodywork and paint themselves. This involves removing the car doors, boot lid, rebuilding door hinges, removing fuel tanks and getting any old paint that is on the body work blasted away. Rust is a separate issue here and is dealt with separately. In this article we are going to be looking at removing doors and rebuilding door hinges.
Removing the Doors off your Classic Car
Taking the doors off a classic car is a relatively simple task to do. Most classic car doors are held on by bolts that run through the hinges which are then attached to a cowl. Undoing the fasteners and removing the bolts will allow for the door to be lifted off. Take note that the car door is heavy so make sure you have a second person to give you hand when removing the door. After this you can work on rebuilding the door hinges. This is a inexpensive procedure and is highly recommended when doing classic car restorations.
Classic cars have heavy doors. The doors put weight and strain down on the door hinges. After a good period of time, roughly around 30-40 years there is a good chance that the doors will no longer close properly. A good test to see if your door hinges need replacing is to open the door and try to wiggle it. If the door hinges are in good condition it shouldn’t move. A new door hinge should be strong and solid enough to actually move the car but old car doors will wiggle about a little. Door handles that are broken are an indicator or worn door hinges. This is because to be able to latch a swinging door that is on a bad hinge you will need to lift it and slam it into place, which can cause the outside door handle can become damaged and eventually break. To fix this you will need a hinge rebuilding kit
To replace the hinges, start by opening the door and supporting it with a board on a jack. Then remove the bolts from each hinge to the door. It is possible for you to acquire a S-shaped wrench which is designed for tasks like hinge bolts. If you do not have one or don’t want to get one then it is possible to use a regular.1/2 inch open ended wrench and a socket to remove the bolts. Once you have removed the bolts trace the positions of the old hinges. Make sure that this is done for both the door and car sides before you remove the door. The reasoning behind this is when it comes to putting on the hinges back you will know exactly where the new hinges need to be placed. Once you have traced the hinges remove the door and place it somewhere safe, where it won’t get damaged.
Do you have a classic motor vehicle which could do with some TLC??
After you have installed the hinge rebuilding kit you will need to fix the hinges back onto the car in the spots that you had traced earlier. Remember that the hinges had been rebuilt so there may be some small adjustments before the hinges are fitted securely.
And with that you have successfully replaced your door hinges and made sure that your classic car doors will remain operational for many years to come.
Contact us to discuss your classic car restoration.