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Driver (& Pass) Door Handle Hinge Replacement - How To w/ Photos (long)

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Driver (& Pass) Door Handle Hinge Replacement - How To w/ Photos (long)

 
Old 05-13-2016, 12:21 PM
  #61  
dr bob
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Stan--

I'm debating whether to go ahead and pull the latch assembly out for full cleaning and re-lubrication. The exterior moving parts have been lubed as much as possible with white lithium spray, but it's quite obvious that this does nothing for the major latch plates inside the door. IMO, this aging grease in the latch is the prime contributor to the hinge failure.

Removal doesn't look to be too hard, once I build a map of where the release and lock linkages all attach. I'll dust off the camera if I decide to get into this seriously.

Guidance from those who have done this before is certainly welcome.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:41 PM
  #62  
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I just did this job a couple weeks ago. I followed the instructions in this thread which were very useful. The only tip I can add is for the reinstallation of the little Allen-head cap screws that connect the hinge to the handle. To install the rearmost cap screw I cut a 1ö section of an Allen wrench, and then taped it to the cap screw. I was easily able to install this difficult to access screw using this. Once it was in finger tight, a standard Allen wrench can be used to tighten it up.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:14 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by rbrtmchl View Post
I just did this job a couple weeks ago. I followed the instructions in this thread which were very useful. The only tip I can add is for the reinstallation of the little Allen-head cap screws that connect the hinge to the handle. To install the rearmost cap screw I cut a 1ö section of an Allen wrench, and then taped it to the cap screw. I was easily able to install this difficult to access screw using this. Once it was in finger tight, a standard Allen wrench can be used to tighten it up.
Good stuff! With the link removed it's easy to get onto that rear capscrew with a long ball-head Allen, but only after you get it started with nimble fingers or by your method.

I looked more closely at the internal portion of the latch mechanism and there's no real benefit to removing it. It will get some spray-lube in place, per Stan's suggestion.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:46 PM
  #64  
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I'm a little biased by WYAITitis right now, but since your inner latch mechanism is detached from the door handle right now, and your inner door panel is off, I would pull and clean it. 2 cap screws through the outer latch body, 3 phillips screws on the interior door handle, and whatever attaches the electric lock actuator thingees, to remove the inner latch mechanism. We noted a huge improvement in the door latch smoothness after running the inner mechanism through a thorough cleaning and re-lubing.

38 years of door atmosphere, Eastern San Diego desert, last November:



Better now, fresh white lithium grease:



Likewise, it is a bit frightening how much petrified grease there is in the lock cylinder, and it's quite easy to disassemble them, clean out, and re-lube. 2 extra (tiny) screws with the alarm contact on the cylinder.

Hello, nasty:



Cleaned and lubed with Superlube grease:

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Old 05-15-2016, 03:42 PM
  #65  
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Rob--

Thanks for the pics and description. Mine is incredibly not anywhere like the one in your pictures, is clean and nice except for the obvious orange staining where the original grease has turned to wax/soap residue. The basic oil/petro components have moved on.

I'll pull the assemblies out tomorrow and share pics of the process. Afternoon concert today or it would be coming out right now. Chilly and precipitating outside right now, with a combination of rain and yellow aspen/ponderosa pollen. Garage door is closed, warm and comfortable inside. Still going to the concert. The local symphony gets the support the LA Phil and Pasadena Pops used to get.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:42 PM
  #66  
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I too have just completed this operation on a RHD ,91 ,S4. Allan's instruction were excellent and a great help.
Being a little over 6 foot tall, and a tad old and decrepit, I struggled to contort myself to spy up into the door. So I removed the inner window trim from the top of the door. This enabled a good view down into the door.
One small trap for young players is to note that the hinges are left and right handed. I had a parts car and the mental note to self was remove drivers door parts on both cars. I forgot the parts car is LHD, so took wrong side off. I have now done this job 3 times, so almost got the hang of it now.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:41 PM
  #67  
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So I removed the inner window trim from the top of the door.
This is a great tip, makes seeing stuff (and getting a long screwdriver or prybar onto the lock-to-latch and latch-to-door-handle arms) much easier. The inner trim is very straightforward to R&R.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:38 PM
  #68  
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Closing out my little portion of the lesson here--

-- I removed the latch and lock mechanisms. The latch was pretty much as-new clean, except that the factory lubrication had deteriorated to soap. All cleaned out and with new grease, it works... exactly as it did before. The critical part to lubricate, in my estimation, is the lower arm that does the "latching", on the outside portion of the assembly. Note that you can safely and easily remove this by removing the two large Allen screws on the outside. The inner portion has captive threads and stays indexed in the holes in the door. Once removed, you can clean and re-lubricate that section. The two moving parts pivot on the sleeves that surround the bolts, with no way to disassemble without destroying. Regardless, mine got a thorough cleaning, and an intense barrage of Teflon spray Super Lube between the plates, thinking it will run in and fill the area where the plates fit around the sleeves. The upper sliding plate engages the pin in the other half of the latch when the door is closed, so gets EP grease in the section where it wraps around the pin. The lower sliding plate has two separate places where it "latches" the top plate, once when the door is partly closed, a second where it holds the upper plate in the full-closed position. EP grease on those contact points helps a lot with wear. The lower plate is "activated" via a spring-loaded pin that passes from outside half of the latch to the inside half, and this is how the latch is released from the inside. A dab of EP grease through the little hole in the door where that pin passes through might do some good. Reassembly of the outer half back onto the door takes a few seconds. Just be careful that you get the pin indexed correctly, and that the latch is in the full-released position before you try to close the door the first time.

A need to resize some pics, and will add them later.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:41 PM
  #69  
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What an awesome year--both driver's side and passenger's side failed within 12 months. After doing this job twice, the only thing I can add is, it is sooooo much easer to do this job sitting on the floor instead of a stool. The angle is much better to see what you're doing and to unscrew/screw on the bolts with finger tips. Wearing a headlamp light to see was nice too. Much better than trying to hold a flashlight or a lamp that's always in the way or hands/body casting a shadow.

Just a deep thought (by Jack Handy), would there be any value packing JB weld around the weak area on a new hinge before installing it?
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Last edited by NoVector; 02-12-2017 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:48 PM
  #70  
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Timely thread bump. Having just removed the handle from my red 80 for paint, I'm debating on replacing the hinge now since I'm sure it's the original one.

Or just lube it and leave it in there?
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:02 PM
  #71  
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I just replaced my driver side hinge last month as well. My car is a '90, so if yours is an '80 and still original you would have to think that it's on borrowed time. Pretty easy job, especially if you already have the door apart.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:14 PM
  #72  
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I've done the job in situ as well on my 87, just one of those things where a voice in the back of my head keeps saying "leave well enough along".

I've also wondered if there was some design change causing the later design to be more prone to failure. Do the later lock design possibly put more pressure on the handle?

I guess if anything I would then have a "good spare" in the parts box in case of a weekend failure to get things going again.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:04 PM
  #73  
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Gonna fit one of these next time..., no problem when this break's .

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Old 02-12-2017, 03:45 PM
  #74  
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I've installed a preemptive measure.

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Old 02-12-2017, 04:41 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Hacker-Pschorr View Post
Timely thread bump. Having just removed the handle from my red 80 for paint, I'm debating on replacing the hinge now since I'm sure it's the original one.

Or just lube it and leave it in there?
Replace it now. You are in there already, and you'll have piece of mind that the new one will last.

I did mine last year, and it's one less thing on my mind when I wonder "what will I need to fix next".
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