For this month's project, the driver's door hinges are going to be replaced because they are worn and the door doesn't close properly anymore.

When the hinges get some slop in them, the front door will contact the rear door here

This hinges hadn't been loose terribly long, so there is minimal wear in the paint where the front door contacted the rear

The door will close if the rear is picked up first

The driver's side footwell area of the rubber floor covering is somewhat worn too.

New hinges from the local ford dealer were special order and came unpainted, so the local salvage yard was visited.

Hinges are the same on the driver's side as they are on the passenger's side. And the passenger's side front door hinges usually have minimal use compared to the driver's side hinges.

This car was involved in a frontal collision, the front fenders/hood/frame are all bent out of shape. But the passenger compartment of the car is relatively intact. Be careful selecting donor cars as the door hinges are load bearing members in collisions.

Normally, there would be a rubber boot with a bundle of wires here. But all of the door wiring has already been stripped out of the car.

All I brought along to the salvage yard was some sockets and straight bar extensions, no swivels. So the front fender is going to have to be unbolted from the car to get access to some of the door hinge fasteners.

There is wiring that runs across the upper wheelwell lip of the passenger's side fender, but the wiring is already mangled from the collision and causing further damage to it isn't a concern.

Lots of space to get at the fasteners now.

Here's a closeup of the upper hinge, to get the hinge off of the body of the car remove two bolts and one nut.

The lower hinge has one bolt to remove from the outside of the car, and a nut to remove inside the car.

Nothing is holding the door on the car now that the wiring and hinges have been removed

The holes in the hinges are oversized to allow door alignment adjustment.

Back in 1992-1994 when crown vics had retractable radio antennas on the front fender, the radio wiring used to pass through the hole with the black plug in it.

Here's the inside of the car showing the area where the top hinge mounts. This area is not accessible when the dashboard is installed in the car.

In this case, the nut is going to be removed so that stud can slide out of the car

Note that the black peice moves around in relation to the body of the car to allow for door alignment adjustment

Here's where the bottom hinge mounts.

To pull the end of the fender outwards, the hood hinge needs to be unbolted. To clear up some space, both hood hinges were unbolted and the hood layed upside down on the front of the car.

Here's a 1995 crownvic with the passenger's front door removed

The upper front hinge on the 1992-1997 crownvics mounts differently than on the 1998-2009 vehicles.

Notice only two mounting holes for the top hinge. The later cars will have 3 holes here.

The lower hinge uses the same mounting system though.

You can see here that the pigment coat of paint is applied after the hinges have already been bolted to the body of the car.

Here's a closeup of the drivers door mounting setup in a 1998 crown victoria

After the dashboard is removed, a black layer of insulation needs to be pulled back to see these components.

Here's the driver's door lower hinge mounting setup from inside the car. You can get at these fasteners with the dashboard still installed in the car, but you'll need to remove the driver's side kickpanel, hood release lever, and emergency brake pedal assembly.

And the driver's side front door mount area with the dashboard out

The lower hinge mount area

The plates that the door hinges bolt to on the door move around in relation to the door to allow for door alignment adjustment.

You can see here that the pigment coat of paint is applied after the hinges have already been bolted to the door.

Here's a 1993 crown victoria, not the door adjar sensor plunger that is not used in later vehicles.

Note that the upper hinge on the 1992-1997 crown vics only uses to fasteners to retain it to the body of the car. One fastener is accessed from outside the car, and the other fastener is access from inside the car with the dashboard removed. On the later 1998+ vehicles, all of the fasteners which retain the door hinges to the body of the car can be accessed without removing the dashboard.

Here's a wrecked 1998 crown victoria with the driver's door removed. Looks like a body shop started to repair this vehicle, but stopped when the insurance company found out that the engine & transmission were both physically damaged from the collision.

You need to disconnect the wiring from each individual component inside the door and then pull the whole wiring bundle out of the door. The door wiring harness does not have a single large electrical connector to unplug in many other vehicles. Instead you need to remove the door panel, and disconnect the wiring connector from each individual component (window switches, window motor, power lock switch, lock actuator, mirror switch, door ajar switch, power mirror connector).

Now that the junkyard excursion has been completed, lets examine the door hinges from the donor car a little closer.

The upper hinge

The lower hinge with detent mechanism

Both hinges

Now it's time to install the "new" hinges onto the 1998 crown victoria that currently has the wornout hinges

The "new hinges" sitting on the driver's side floor.

A set of gearwrench ratcheting flex head wrenches.

The outside lower hinge bolt with the driver's door open

The lower hinge removed completely

Here's the old lower hinge that was pulled out. The detent mechanism had been worn from the time I got the ~3 year old car with 70k miles. The hinge lasted another couple years before the pins became loose and the door didn't shut properly anymore.

That black peice of plastic near the hinge pin is part of the bushing. To keep the hinges quiet, ford uses an outer metal portion for the hinge pin bushing with a plastic inner.

The wear on this hinge was odd. The door closed properly one day, the next day one needed t slam the door shut to get it to latch.

The wear wasn't gradual, rather a night/day difference in terms of looseness. The hinge works good one day, the next day it is so loose that the door doesn't shut properly anymore.

You'll need something to support the door while you're installing the new hinge. Harborfreight sells special jacks for this purpose.

You could have a friend hold the door up for you with his hands instead, but you better find a trustworthy assistant in good physical condition or you might find your own finders chopped off when they drop the door.

You could improvise too:
-roll window down
-support door from above using rope & large tree in your yard
-or support door from above using engine cherry picker & cloth straps
-or support door from below using floor jack (this option may bend or scratch door)

Now that the lower hinge is installed, it's time to install the upper hinge.

The door alignment leaves a lot to be desired with the upper hinge removed

Now that the upper hinge is installed, use a garden hose to spray some water on the car to ensure that the door weatherstripping is compressed and seals out water properly.

The "new" car door hinges are installed, but will need to be adjusted a few times over the next couple weeks to eliminate squeaks from metal rubbing on metal. Not only do the hinges need adjustment by sliding the mounting fasteners around some on their eleptical mounts, but the sheetmetal door shell itself has been bent too.

I have really nice hand grip strength, and can get a bathroom to read over 200 pounds by gripping the scale base and scale top pedastal between the palms of my hands and my fingers. This allowed me to bend the door back into a shape where metal didn't rub on metal anymore by using my bare hands. My grip strength is unusually high, and other people might have to use an alternate method to reshape their car door though.

Here's the driver door of a civilian 2000 crown victoria lx with about 30k miles on the odometer. This car has never been wrecked, nor have the hinges been replaced. The ford factory door alignment was off and the top portion of the door contacted the roof of the car causing the paint to flake off. I've seen another 2000 crownvic with this issue too.

These pictures were taken a few years ago, and this rust spot is currently much larger than shown.

If I had the project to do over, i'd consider having a bodyshop install a new hinge pin/bushing on the upper hinge. As the fasteners for this hinge are difficult to access even in the 1998+ crownvics. And also when the hinge is completely removed, the door alignment is completly lost. Additionally, in the 1997 & prior vehicles you need to remove the dashboard from the car in order to get at one of the nuts which retains the hinge to the body of the car.

However, i'd consider replacing the complete lower hinge assembly as the fasteners are easier to access. And there does not appear to be an effective way to repair the detent mechanism which is almost always wornout by the time the hingepin bushings fail.

Here are the ford service part numbers for the crownvic/grandmarquis/towncar hinge assemblies:

Part Number
Legacy Part Numbers
Front Door Upper Hinge
(Same hinge used on driver's door as on passenger's door)
(Unpainted Aluminum)

Front Door Lower Hinge
(Same hinge used on driver's door as on passenger's door)
(Unpainted Aluminum)