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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone give me a few tips on replacing the driver door hinge pins on my 71? Can i change them out one at a time if I support the door from below? I'll be attempting this by myself. I bought a set of pins from the local parts store, so if anyone has any ideas I would sure appreciate them. Thanks.
 

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1974 Nova, 1977 Nova
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It would be possible to remove & replace the pins one at a time. But without taking out both pins and moving the door away from the car, you won't have room to replace the bushings.
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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I remember when I replaced my door hinge pins and bushings several years ago... I was also working by myself. I tried to support the door from just the bottom, but that didn't work out to well because the door was too wobbly and unstable when only supported from the bottom.
I then used an engine hoist with a couple of ratchet straps holding the weight of the door and this worked fine. I looped the ratchet straps around the bottom of the door (one strap towards the front of the door - and one strap towards the back for stability) and raised the hoist to hold the weight of the door... I did not support the door by the window frames. I know this was probably overkill, but I used what I had on hand.

As Ray mentioned above, it is normally the door hinge bushings that wear down and also need to be replaced along with the door hinge pins to reduce/eliminate door sag.

IIRC, you are also going to need a GM Door Hinge Spring Compressor to remove and reinstall the hinge springs if attempting to replace the door hinge bushings and pins.
https://www.amazon.com/Performance-Tool-W84603-Door-Spring/dp/B0187IOXJA
Note: The same type of tool is also available on eBay and many auto parts stores.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. The engine hoist seems like the way to go. I had forgotten about the door springs. I ordered the compressor from the site you suggested. This would of been a lot easier if the hinges were bolted in and not welded. But then nothing I attempt is easy it seems. oh well, thanks again guys.
 

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Also, those hinge pins are a lot more difficult to remove than folks think - especially if the door is still on the car, so factor that in as well.

Bolt on hinges were / are indeed easier, but GM transitioned to weld-on hinges around Jan of 1970 and it's been a PITA ever since!
 

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1972 Nova
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A small hammer and a punch/metal tube work great to drive the pins and bushings out and in. It's amazing what the bushings do to the door. Mine were really loose (could move the door up and down probably 1/2"), but after the bushings and pins the door just moves the whole car when lifted.
 

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72, 2 Dr, 383, 700r4
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My front fenders were already off so it helped a lot to tap the pins out. I have the welded hinges and had the detent arm broke off with some of the hinge. It was either replace the hinge or repair the bracket. Repairing the bracket was the way to go. To much work to replace a hinge.
 

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My front fenders were already off so it helped a lot to tap the pins out. I have the welded hinges and had the detent arm broke off with some of the hinge. It was either replace the hinge or repair the bracket. Repairing the bracket was the way to go. To much work to replace a hinge.
That was a smart move!! I've removed those hinges from a car, and it takes a 1/2" drill bit and a pretty big welder with a lot of heat to put them back on! I couldn't get the door / fender adjusted the way I wanted, so we moved those stupid weld-on hinges....I'll never use a passenger side NOS door and NOS fender combination again, junk, total, useless junk!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
so far so good. I have what probably will sound like a silly question but exactly where are the hinge springs? I was assuming they would be in or around the hinges but I don't see them. Is it possible someone took them off and didn't replace them? As you probably guessed I have never attempted this before. Thanks for the help.
 

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1974 Nova, 1977 Nova
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so far so good. I have what probably will sound like a silly question but exactly where are the hinge springs? I was assuming they would be in or around the hinges but I don't see them. Is it possible someone took them off and didn't replace them? As you probably guessed I have never attempted this before. Thanks for the help.
The lower hinge assembly should have a coil spring that pushes against a notched detent bar that rides against a roller wheel. That roller detent mechanism provides some resistance to hold the door in the halfway or full open positions. If the spring (or other parts) are missing, the door will swing freely on the hinge.

Philip posted some good pics here --> https://www.novas.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16471
 

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72, 2 Dr, 383, 700r4
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so far so good. I have what probably will sound like a silly question but exactly where are the hinge springs? I was assuming they would be in or around the hinges but I don't see them. Is it possible someone took them off and didn't replace them? As you probably guessed I have never attempted this before. Thanks for the help.
It's a small spring 2" long maybe 1" diameter on the lower hinge between the detent link and the base of the door hinge. In my case it was broke from rust so the spring was gone and the detent link was barely hanging. I was able to weld the link back on because of where it broke. Somebody could of pulled them off and never put them back. They are a little tough to get back on but there is a little spring compressor you can get to put it back on. You definitely need them otherwise your door goes flying when you open the door.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the info. I was looking at the top hinge. for some reason it didn't occur to me to look behind the hinge.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
After looking at the hinge and comparing it to the pass side I found that the hinge had broken where the spring connected to the hinge. So my next question is, can I just replace the pins and bushings in the hinge? It's not a show car, just a once in a while driver so it doesn't need to be factory correct.
 

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All the parts can be reused if they are in working condition and disassembled carefully. The bushings and detent rollers seem to wear the most so I would plan on replacing those at a minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks to everyone for the info. the pins finally came out after a lot of fussin and cussin. now the door operates great.
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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big PITA ... for sure .

even, the bolt-on door hinge ... but, somewhat better, 'cause you can remove each / or both hinges to replace the p & b's.
But, that makes you re-align each door / fender.

Tip : with "bolt-on-hinges" ... make ( TWO ) aligning bolts -- by matching your door-bolts : cutting the 'Heads off' and insert one bolt at the top -- and one bolt in the bottom position (bottom hinge) for "guide-pins" -- JUST - HAND - TIGHT -
Then 'rest the door on your legs / knees' and push guide pins & door towards the top hinge .............. get the 'picture' .................
makes installing the 'door-hinge-mounting-bolts' ALOT Easier into that "Floating Plate".

I have done that several times by my self -- and, was not that easy , even when I was alot younger .. mostly before I 'Painted anything'

............. (I know -- not on welded door hinges) .
 
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