Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
November 9, 2000

Step By Step

View Photo Gallery
You can purchase the hinge pins and bushings separately in the Texas Mustang catalog. The photo above shows enough parts to repair two hinges on one door. If you wish to do all four hinges, then order four pins and eight bushings.
The top hinge on the driver side had some cracking in the bronze bushing and was showing signs of age.
The lower hinge on the driver door was the real culprit of our sagging door syndrome. The bushings have been quite badly beaten up and the pin is severely worn (notice the dust around the bushing as it powders).
Using several lengths of masking tape, protect the leading edge of the fenders by completely wrapping the tape around the edge. This will help prevent any scratches or paint chipping when the door is separated from the body.
Using a floor jack and some sort of padding, raise the jack until it just touches the bottom of the door. You want to support the door, not raise it, which would put a load on the hinges.
We used a small high-speed rotary tool with a grinding stone to grind away the head of the factory hinge pin. These tools are indispensable and usually come with a supply of stones and cutting tips.
Keep checking your work every few minutes, as you want to grind away only the head of the pin, not the stamped hinge itself. At this point, we are about halfway through the swedged tip of the pin.
When you get the main pin body, there will be some small grind marks on the hinge itself, but there isn't any way around it. Just make sure the pin's entire head has been ground off before proceeding to the next step.
To drive out the pin, you will need a small punch. Use a punch/chisel holder similar to the one shown here (or at least use locking pliers) to hold the punch, as the working area is rather tight.
Using the punch, tap the hinge pin out just enough to release the pin from the top layer of the hinge. We'll completely take out the pin once the bottom pin is ready.
Here's a second shot of the upper hinge pin. Simply tap it downward until you clear the first layer of the door hinge as shown.
Using the high-speed tool again, this time loaded with a miniature cutoff wheel, carefully cut through the lower hinge pin as close to the bottom of the pin as you can. The angle of the cutoff wheel will be pointing upward, but you can still easily get through the pin.
After three cutoff wheels (they easily break when they're that small), we were able to get through the lower pin. Using a small punch, we tapped up the top half of the hinge to unseat it.
At this point, you will need a helper to hold and steady the door for you while it comes free of the body. Make sure your jack is in place and completely tap out the upper hinge pin.
On the bottom hinge, the top half of the pin is easily tapped up and out of the hinge. The bottom pin requires the use of a punch and hammer to knock it out toward the bottom as shown.
Now that both hinges have been separated, the door can be carefully pulled about an inch or two away from the body. This doesn't require removal of the body wiring or anything--simply pull out the door a bit. Use a small chisel and hammer to break out the old bushings. Due to their age, the bushings break rather easily.
Next the new bushings are installed. Use a wooden dowel or a piece of solid plastic or nylon to tap the bushings into place. Make sure the bushing lip is facing the correct way so that it ends up between the two halves of the hinge as shown.
Have your helper carefully guide the door back into place and insert one of the new hinge pins into the upper hinge from the bottom. Some light tapping with a small hammer might be needed to get the pin all the way through, but don't use excessive force.
The lower hinge pin is easily tapped into place from the top side of the hinge. Notice that our doorjamb switch is broken. We accidentally nicked it with the hammer. Hindsight being what it is, you might want to remove yours while working in these tight areas.
The only item you will have to supply will be either a roll pin or cotter pin for each new hinge pin you install, as they do not come packaged with the hinge pins. We found a long roll pin in the junk drawer of our toolbox that worked; we simply cut it in half. Tap the roll pin or cotter pin into place to secure the hinge pins.
If you really want to cover your work, pick up a small spray can of your Mustang's body color and respray the newly repaired hinges with a shot of factory color. No one will be the wiser.

Keeping our Mustangs on the road and the show field and enjoying them to their fullest extent is what this hobby is all about. But for multiple Mustang families with Mustangs that play different roles, sometimes one of the Mustangs gets a little more attention than the others. Daily-driven Mustangs are sometimes the unfortunate benefactors of this neglect. The show Pony sits in the garage all covered up, while the vintage racer is in the workshop out back getting ready for the next weekend autocross event, and the daily-driven Pony sits outside looking like an automotive paint-fade testbed. The windshield wipers are dry rotted, the dash is filthy, there are soda stains in the console, the door weatherstrip is torn from years of ingress and egress, and the doors noisily creak when opened. Sound familiar?

The daily-driven Mustang, the one that many of us depend on to reliably get us from point A to point B, should be cared for and maintained adamantly. Regular oil changes, scheduled tune-ups, coolant flushes, belt changes, and more should be conducted as required to keep your car on the road. Many of our how-to articles are geared toward keeping daily drivers on the road.

Door hinges on the Fox Mustang are welded to the door shell and then the hinge/door assembly is bolted to the Fox body. Unlike a vintage Mustang where you can simply replace the complete hinge assembly, the Fox Mustang hinge requires the use of a cutting and welding apparatus to replace the hinge for major repairs. Luckily, a major repair is quite rare (like accident damage).

The most common problem associated with the Fox door hinge is a bad hinge pivot pin and pin bushing or a bad door check roller. Both of these maladies can be repaired with the use of regular handtools and some help from a friend. Check out the door hinge pin repair we completed on an '89 four-cylinder sedan with a set of replacement Ford door hinge pins and bushings from Texas Mustang Parts.