How to Repair Hard to Close Truck Doors
Older truck doors can become hard to open and close or become noisy and squeaky. It’s an annoying problem since it means there’s actually something wrong with the door itself. You can take it in to a garage and spend a lot of money to have it fixed but, in many cases, you can do the work yourself to save money.
Step 1 - Support the Door
Open the door wide, supporting the bottom of the door on a low bench so the door doesn’t sag at all. It might need extra support to be completely level, such as a block of wood to help maintain the correct height. Put masking tape along the edge of the door by the hinge and also along the edge of the fender. Top this with a layer of duct tape for extra protection in case of scratches when you use the pry bar. It will remove easily without leaving any marks on the paintwork.
Step 2 - Remove Springs
With the door firmly supported, you now need to remove the detent spring. This is the spring that holds the door open. You’ll generally find it above the upper hinge of the door. If you push a pry bar up and behind the spring, you’ll be able to remove it easily.
To take out the hinges, you’ll need to use a hammer and punch, hitting the pin from the bottom on the lower hinge while grabbing the top of the pin with a pair of vise grips. With the top hinge, hit down from the top and grab the pin from underneath. Work the truck door out from the hinges. You’ll need a friend to help with this and hold the door upright for you.
Step 3 - Remove Bushings
Next, you need to take out the pin bushings. These are in the pin holes on the hinge brackets and you’ll need the hammer, punch and pry bar in order to remove them.
To put in new bushings, press in with vise grips before using the hammer and punch to knock them gently into place. Be aware that on the lower hinge, the pins go on the door bracket, and on the upper hinge, they are on the body brackets. On the bottom, the heads face down, and on the top, they face upward.
Step 4 - Replace the Door
With your friend, line up the door properly and use the hammer and punch to insert the new door hinge pins. Remember that the upper pin must point up and the lower one must point down. To finish the installation of the pins, hammer down to lock the rings on the tips of the truck door hinge pins into place.
Step 5 - Replace the Spring
To finish, you need to replace the spring. To do this, you’ll need to use a spring compressor, inserting the spring back in place, before loosening the compressor so that the spring slides back into place. To finish, remove the tape and the bench and close the truck door. It should now close smoothly and easily.