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View Full Version : MN-12 Lower Hinge Rebuild and Striker Replacement



Scott D
08-21-2010, 10:46 PM
I figured (more like suggested to me) I would post some how to stuff.

This one is going to cover the lower hinge rebuild of an MN-12 ('97 'underbird) Thunderbird/Cougar.

All of the pictures I am going to speak of are posted in THIS THREAD (http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/showthread.php?t=28425&page=6), on page #6.

First thing first, I ordered the lower hinge rebuild kit from SuperCoupePerfomance.com (link in linked thread). Then, I gathered the tools I would use for the project. A Dremel w/cutting wheel, a 13mm box wrench, a 13mm socket and ratchet, a hammer, a T50 Torx bit, and a pair of needle nosed pliers.

To start off with, I marked where the hinge mounted on the car, then I raised the sagging door, slightly, with the help of the factory jack and a cloth to protect the paint of the door.

After the door was raised, I removed the trim along the inside the door jam (rocker panel, I guess is what it's called?). That was held on by four metal clips. Be careful removing the trim so you don't pull the clips off of the moulding, or break the clips inside the attachment points.

Then, I removed the kick panel. It was held on by two push pins. Be careful removing these, or you'll need to make sure to have new ones to re-attach the kick panel. Then, I moved the carpeting from the inside body work, to gain access to the first 13mm bolt.

Using a 13mm socket and ratchet, I carefully removed the bolt. If you lose it, it's now inside the paneling and you might as well expect rattling afterwords :rollin:

Next, I used the 13mm wrench to remove the two bolts from the front of the hinge. Some folks are able to use wobble sockets to remove these bolts, but due to the moulding on the outside of my car, I had to stick to the wrench and take my time.

Following the bolts attaching the hinge to the body, I used the 13mm wrench to remove the bolts holding the hinge to the door. I also loosened the upper bolt on the door-side of the upper hinge, and the lower bolt twice as much, so I could raise the door a little more and get the lower hinge out.

With the lower hinge out, I replaced the roller assembly. Then I took my Dremel and cut the hinge pin, in the center, and took it out.

I removed all of the garbage that had started life as a good hinge, and drilled out the holes to 15/32", so the new brass bushings would fit into the old hinge. Then, I tapped the brass bushings into the upper and lower holes of the hinge.

With the brass bushings in, I tapped the hinge pin into place and finished it off with an e-clip at the bottom. Then the hinge was rebuilt and ready for re-installation.

Re-installation is basically the opposite as removal. With the body of the car marked, little to (in my case) zero adjustment was needed to get the door aligned to a proper fit.

The striker bolt was an easy swap. Just take the old one off with the Torx bit and reinstall the new one.

After all was said and done, the door opens and closes like it did when it was new. Best of all, I don't have that ugly sag thing going on :headbang:

1WLD BRD
08-22-2010, 08:35 AM
it is MUCH easier and faster if you take the side out from the door, and leave the side attached to the door post. Here is a great video from you tube of the procedure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVVozUkfDO4

20thanniver-ls
08-22-2010, 09:21 AM
Great write up and great video. I need to do this to my driver side door as it sags horribly and completely misses the striker bolt when I try and close it.

Scott, maybe one weekend when we both aren't busy I can make a drive up there and you can give me a hand ;)



Plus, I don't have a dremel tool.....:D

Scott D
08-22-2010, 12:22 PM
it is MUCH easier and faster if you take the side out from the door, and leave the side attached to the door post. Here is a great video from you tube of the procedure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVVozUkfDO4

Too bad that's the upper hinge and, nine time out of ten, not the issue on our cars :)

The lower hinge is the one that supports the weight of the doors and is the one that wears out first.



Great write up and great video. I need to do this to my driver side door as it sags horribly and completely misses the striker bolt when I try and close it.

Scott, maybe one weekend when we both aren't busy I can make a drive up there and you can give me a hand ;)



Plus, I don't have a dremel tool.....:D

Sure, dude, I'd be more than happy to help you out. I've got all the tools needed, you'd just have to bring the rebuild kit & the car. Just let me know when.

merccougar93
08-22-2010, 03:08 PM
i did mine not to long ago, but i should have done it sooner. I put it off for too long and one day after getting home, i opened the door and it caught the rear window trim and it got bent, i was able to straightn it up some with some fingertongs and some superglue, but it still messed it up.:punchballs:

was your rebuild kit just the roller & pin, and the lower hinge pin? or was it a complete lower hinge kit?

Ok. i was able to see what you ordered finally, the page wouldnt load for some reason, but i got the same stuff from rock auto(except for the striker bolt) for $18 shipped to my door for both sides, depending on how much the striker bolts are, they might be the cheaper route.

Scott D
08-22-2010, 03:28 PM
was your rebuild kit just the roller & pin, and the lower hinge pin? or was it a complete lower hinge kit?

http://www.supercoupeperformance.com/partBrowser.aspx?partId=284 <---that is the lower rebuild kit, I bought.

It came with the brass bushings, hinge pin, e-clip, roller & pin, and striker.

Scott D
08-22-2010, 05:20 PM
Ok. i was able to see what you ordered finally, the page wouldnt load for some reason, but i got the same stuff from rock auto(except for the striker bolt) for $18 shipped to my door for both sides, depending on how much the striker bolts are, they might be the cheaper route.

I'd much rather support the "small guy" than a "big corporation," even if that means spending a little bit more ;)

merccougar93
08-22-2010, 05:24 PM
supercoupe performance is a good place, all kinds of stuff there, i think you got the link from a thread i put up.

Scott D
08-22-2010, 05:29 PM
supercoupe performance is a good place, all kinds of stuff there, i think you got the link from a thread i put up.
I found SCP.com from SCCoA.com's message forum. They've bought ad space in the form of banners, so I said "WTF, I'll try 'em out." They've been awesome fast with shipping & communications. I am more than pleased with them.

merccougar93
08-22-2010, 05:31 PM
ah i posted a thread 2 days ago about em.

1WLD BRD
08-23-2010, 08:48 AM
Too bad that's the upper hinge and, nine time out of ten, not the issue on our cars :)

The lower hinge is the one that supports the weight of the doors and is the one that wears out first.


ok and that makes a difference how? I used this tecnique on both hinges and made it very easy and fast for both of them. and if one is worn.... chances are both of them are worn.:hick:

Scott D
08-24-2010, 08:58 PM
ok and that makes a difference how? I used this tecnique on both hinges and made it very easy and fast for both of them.
What if you can't fit a drill in there to round out the holes? The situation dictates the tactics and gear, my friend :)


and if one is worn.... chances are both of them are worn.:hick:

My lower hinge was shot, the upper hinge was still like-new :dunno: