I'm new to the forum and have been reading for about a month now. I haven't posted much, but hopefully that will change soon. I was having some jeep problems and was searching for repair tutorials when I stumbled upon this great website. I thought I'd contribute by creating a nice tutorial on my first jeep project. Because I'm a newbie and unable to post images, I created a web page for the tutorial showing lots of detailed pictures. Hopefully this guide will help many of you ZJ owners with solving the dreaded saggy door problem!
Tutorial Web Page Address
This tutorial was created because:
1. There weren’t any ZJ specific guides.
2. The Chilton’s manual is completely crap on giving directions to disassemble/reassemble the door.
3. To help out other fellow Jeep owners.
I was lucky enough to get a free 95 ZJ from my dad (he upgraded to a 02 Mercedes ML320), however it needed major work. One of the problems was the saggy driver-side door. The cause of this was worn out bushings from frequent door use so it makes sense that the driver side door would be the first to go. I ended up buying a door pin and bushing kit from Florida Auto Fastener (eBay) who, by the way, is a great seller with good quality parts. The cost came to $11.50 shipped, and received it in 3 days (FL to MN). The project took most of my Sunday mainly because I was taking my time making sure I was doing everything correctly.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Removing the door
Step 2: Removing the door pins and hinges
Step 3: Installing the new door pins and reinstalling door
- Door pin and bushing kit
- Door hinges (optional.. depending on the shape of your hinges)
- 10 mm socket wrench, both deepwell and shortwell, and/or extension
- Philips screw driver
- T30 torx driver*
- Torque wrench in ft/lbs
- Variety of pliers (needle-nose and slip-joint)*
- PB Buster, Liquid Wrench, or WD40*
- Silicon lubricant spray
- Dremel or grinder w/small 1 1/2" fiber blade that can cut through steel*
- Safety glasses/goggles*
- Rubber hammer/mallet*
- Round pointed chisel*
- Shop light/lamp
- Shop towels
- Extra set of hands to hold door
If you don’t own a Dremel or grinder, you can always rent it at Home Depot. It shouldn’t cost much since you can purchase one for around $25-$30.
Dremel, Slip-Join Pliers, Shop Towel, PB Buster
Step 1: Removing the door
First, I took off the door panel. This will help you disconnect all the wires to completely remove the door. There is no need to pull all the wires off the door; you only need to disconnect the main harness next to the door hinges.
Next, you will need your partner to hold the door. Open the driver side door and remove the four (4) 10 mm bolts attached to the door hinges.If you’re having difficulty removing the bolts, spray some PB Buster and let it sit for a couple of minutes. The pictures below show the location of the door hinges.
Top Door Hinge
Lower Door Hinge
Then, remove the two (2) Philips screws holding the harness on the door. The best way to remove them is to have your partner slightly close the door and then unscrew from the front of the door. Removing these screws will help loosen the harness to allow you to get to the torx screw.
2 Philips Screws
Next, remove the torx screw located in the middle of the harness cap on the door. Remove it the same way with two Philips screws. After that is done, the door will be completely off. Set the door on an old towel or piece of cardboard.
T30 Torx Screw
Harness - Male Connector
Step 2: Removing the door pins and hinges
OK, here comes the tricky part. Chilton’s manual says to first remove the door pins before you remove the door hinges. This step is almost impossible because the factory door pins has both top and bottom hats so there’s no way to tap them out with a chisel. Your only option is to cut the pins. You can do this doing two possible methods:
You could either:
1. Use a Dremel with a small 1 1/2" fiber blade and cut the middle of the pins (route I chose), OR
2. Use a grinder with a small blade to cut the hats off the pins (not sure if this method will work because there is very little room).
Below are side by side comparisons of the door pins and bushings.
Left, Old - Right, New
Using a Dremel, we will begin cutting the pin. Since there is very little room to work with, you will want to cut the pin at an angle. The best possible angle I found was a location up at the top at a 60 degree angle. Below shows the location where I cut the pin.
Cut Pin Location
Before you cut the pins, make sure you are wearing safety glasses and gloves on to protect yourself from sparks. Once you’ve finished cutting the pins, use your pliers to grab the hats of the pin and pull. If you’re having trouble getting them out, soak it with PB Buster and wait a few minutes. It was a PITA for me to get the pins to slide off. I practically used up 1/3 of my PB Buster just to get it loose. You could also try to chisel it out. After they come off, use needle-nose pliers to pull off the old bushing gasket/washer.
Old Bushing Gasket/Washer
Then, use your slip-joint pliers to grab the hats of the bushings and pull off. Below, the pictures show the worn out bushing versus the new bushing.
Now, hose down the door hinges and bolts with PB Buster, and then clean them with a shop towel. Then using a rubber hammer/mallet, pound down on both hats of the new bushings so the outer door hinge can slide in easy into the inside door hinge.
New Bushings Installed
Step 3: Installing new door pins and reinstalling door.
First, we want to install the outer door hinges to the inside door hinges. Make sure you don’t tighten the bolts too tight otherwise you won’t be able to align the hinges for the pins to go in.
Next, you will need your partner’s help again to hold the door up while you insert the pins in the hinges. Before you do this, spray some silicon lubricant onto the pins and bushings. With the top hinge, there is really no way to insert the pin from the top so you’ll have to insert it from the bottom up. Using your round-tip chisel, hammer the pins in place. Spray some more silicon lubricant on the contact points. If you have a welder, you can put a spot weld on the top of the top door pin to insure that pin won't ever fall off. For now, you can leave the top pin the way it is because of how tight and narrow the new bushings are. Once they’re in, readjust the hinges so the door alignment is correct. Basically have your partner lift the door up while you tighten the four (4) 10 mm bolts. The torque specs for those bolts are:
Front door hinge bolts: 26 ft/lbs
Rear door hinge bolts: 21 ft/lbs
Next, reinstall the wiring harness and door panel. You’re finished! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and celebrate with a nice cold beer.
- Brian (sayc0002)
Extra thanks: bstewart