93Explorer- sagging door

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Old 01-26-01, 02:44 PM
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'93 explorer sport driver side door is sagging ... will not close unless lifted and slammed. what can i do?
 
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Old 01-26-01, 04:04 PM
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Hi Hilda,

Door alignment is extremely difficult to accomplish at home. If you are thinking of doing it yourself, here are a few tips.

First. You can make the door much worst than it is right now once you loosen the hinges bolts, which, are actually large phillips head bolts as I recall. No matter. To prevent making a bad door, worst, scribe a mark around the hinges, so that you can at least get the door back to where it was, if you mess up. Also, write down the number and location of thin metal shims used behind the hinge, if any. I seem to recall they can fall out after the hinge is loose. When loosening the bolts, be careful to not leave them sticking out, which could interfere with closing the door. Better to just remove all but 1 or 2 bolts in each hinge, until you are finished.

Second. You must align the door thru trial and error. Loosen, relocate, tighten, close door. Repeating this as often as needed. Once the hinge is loose, you must invent a method to fully support the door weight, and be able to make fine adjustments, independently to either the top or the bottom hinge. This is the really hard part.

Here is how I did it in my home garage.
  • I put a concrete block (or wheel rim, or jack stand) on the floor under the body chassis frame near the location of the hinges. This prevents the car body from moving up and down as you work on the door with your weight, etc. It keeps the laser reference mark, accurate. The car body must not move during this process. Get a block or jack stand that doesn't require you to jack the car up more than a couple inches. Prefer to keep the car level as possible.
  • I taped a $20 pocket size laser pointer to the door frame, pointed at the ceiling of the garage. Actually I used magnets to hold the laser in place. Then I marked that red spot on the ceiling. The laser must not move after this. This reference mark will speed up the process greatly. Later on, and before you loosen the hinges, open and close the door, and insure the mark is dead center time after time.
  • Then I put a 2x6 along the bottom of the door for the jacks. See next step. I formed a course valley down the middle of my 2x6 to prevent slipage under the doors edge.
  • Then I put a hydraulic sissor jack under the left end of the door by the hinges, and another under the right end of the door under the door handle. Snug these up against the 2x6 to support the weight of the door, but no more. Trial and error works find. Jack them up till the car body shows a sign of lift, then back off just a hair. Hydraulic floor jacks are great because they offer infinite degree of lift, and everyone has them.
  • Now the car and door are now fully supported. Loosen the hinges, then experiment with the door as mentioned above. Loosen, locate, tighen, close door, ...repeat.
    Oh yes, I almost forgot,,to close the door; You will have to relieve the weight of door off the jacks. You could either jack up the car frame with a 3rd jack, then close door - open door - lower car back down on the chassis block that you put in earlier. Or you can lower the door jacks. If you lower the door jacks then you will have to reestablish their height and supporting weight of the door each time. After a while, you may get the 'feel' for it.

Concentrate on raising just the jack under the car handle if you just need some lift for the door latch to work.
Warning; you must loosen all the hinge bolts for each fit. You can not loosen just one hinge and expect to move the entire door a degree. However, you need only tighten and loosen 1 bolt on each hinge for a fitting.

Watch your ceiling mark. It will serve as a visible unit of movement, since the door will only move 1/8 inch at a time and you cannot see that small amount. But you will see the multiple factor of 1/2" or more, reflected by the spot on the ceiling with the laser dot. The location of the laser spot, relative to the pencil mark will tell you if the door moved left/right, in/out, forward/backward, etc. Without the mark, you could spend hours guessing.

If you fail to control the car body movement and door lift from front to back, as I described here, then you may never get the door back on properly, and you could make it so bad, that the door won't even close. My point is, don't shortcut these steps. In other words, you can not simply muscle the door into place. Without the laser dot as a reference, you have almost nothing measureable to make adjustments by, so don't underestimate the need for the laser dot.

Good luck
 
  #3  
Old 01-27-01, 07:52 AM
Joe_F
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A couple of things:

1) Doors don't usually get out of alignment unless the pins or the hinges wear. That is why I grease them myself at every oil change . An Explorer Sport is a 2 door to my recollection, so you have heavy doors on little miniscule hinges. Don't worry, I've been there done that. Remember I own old GM cars that are coupes (79 and 80 Trans Am, and 84 Delta 88) which have huge doors loaded with options and are BIIIIIG doors! Hinges and pins are so common on these cars that GM still has them available after all these years and the parts fit back to like 1938 or something like that. Lol.

2) You can try to align the doors, but my guess is that a hinge is out of alignment. The striker on the door jamb may have also moved. However, do not use this to align a door! It's a bandaid solution. when you adjust doors on a Trans Am like mine, the trick is to use the QUARTER PANEL (not the door/fender up front!) to align the car. The quarter panel doesn't move, where as the fenders and doors have moved and have adjustment .

3) Open the door about half way. Grab it with your hand and try to move it. If you feel "play" or movement in the hinge area (have someone watch the hinges move if you want), your hinges are shot and no amount of adjusting will fix it. Time for new hinges or pins/bushings from the Ford dealer. GM offers two types of bushings, a smooth one and a serrated one. The latter is used to compensate for the hole in the hinge body getting oblong from wearing out. I suspect Ford, if they service the parts of the hinge does the same thing. Most auto parts stores should stock the hinges and bushings as well or can order them. Some trucks, like the Jeep Cherokee, use a welded stamped hinge which cannot be adjusted/unbolted. As Mark pointed out, he can adjust his, this is probably not the case with the Explorer.

Try this and let us know what you find.

 
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Old 10-18-07, 11:33 AM
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1994 Explorer drivers door sagging

Hi,

I have a 4 door Explorer and my drivers side door is sagging. There is a lot of movement when I lift the open door. I purchased the pin set. Would this be a logical first step? If so what's the easiest way to replace the pin?
I've also considered replacing the entire hindge set and although it does not look difficult I can see one bolt and one pin. What's on the other side of this pin? Would I need to remove interior trim to remove another nut? I just don;t want to make it worse than what it is now and after reading your thread I do believe you in that I can possibly cause a major alignment problem in which case I wouldn't be able to close the door.

Thanks for any help.

Frank
 
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