I bought mine with the same thing, I tried to fix it by cutting out that whole section and welding in a new plate, but that didn't work, so I just bought a new door. From what i've read it's caused by the door pins being bad.
2001 TJ Wrangler, 2.5l, 5 speed, Stock.
'98 XJ, 3.5" lift, 31" BFG A/T, Aussie Locked D30 with Alloy Shafts, 8.25 rear, SYE, Skids, JCR Front bumper, Roof Rack
1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2" lift, 31's, V8, NP242...
1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Stock, 230K miles.
Yes, 4 years later November 2013 , I created a CAD DXF file that you can give to a CNC plasma cutter machine to create a Door Latch Panel Patch Plate to MIG weld over the existing cracked and broken thin sheet door metal. Use 16 gauge sheet steel and counter sink the 3 T-30 Torx screw
holes to match the side you are placing the patch on (left or right side). PM with your questions. This Patch Panel allowed me to keep using my present Jeep Grand Cherokee door. Yes I replaced the door's lower hinge pin with Doorman Products Part 38422. The Doorman # 38423 is used for Dodge RAM 1500 and Dodge Dakota trucks. The # 38423 might work for the upper hinge pin replacement part that has a groove and a C-clip for mounting the pin upside down.
It happens because your hinges are worn out and the door is misaligned. Everytime you slam it closed the striker on the body is hitting the latch assembly in the wrong place and this fatigues the metal over time until the day when this happens.
So, I guess the lesson here is that if your hinges appear to be wearing badly fix them ASAP!
I bought two of the 38422 and one of the 38423 use one of the 38422 for the bottom hinge use the long pin from the 38423 and the bushings from the other 38422 for the top hinge. The bushings from the 38423 aren't right for the hinge
The bushings from the dealer have an inner teflon like coating and press fit into the outer hinge, so they only move around the pin and don't wallow out the hinge. The ones in the green jeep are still factory, and I've only had to replace the top bushings on the niner. Should be good for another 16 years now.
1996 ZJ Green Laredo V8, 2.5" OME and Bilsteins, 33's, Holes drilled in the roof.
1998 ZJ Platinum Limited 5.9, Backyard parts fodder
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1
I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
This is good info.. I bought a set of OmixAda replacement door pins and bushings (brass) for the front doors. I though they may not survive more than a year or two especially on the drivers' door since it's beeing used often and weighs so damn much. If the bushings go bad, I'll go grab the OEM bushings if they're still good.
Btw., even though my drivers' door wasn't too bad the latch was already starting to separate from the door. I'll have to drill a relieve hole at the end of the crack on the sheetmetal to prevent it from extending further.
I had the "torn sheet metal" problem on one of my 5.9s last Summer. Once I replaced the hinges and readjusted the striker, all was well functionally, but next Summer I plan on doing a repair.
There is a repair you can do using the metal piece from a door lock actuator, which has all the bolt holes and counter sinks in the right places (no welding required). This is what I plan to do, since I have a bad door lock actuator sitting on my dining room table.
There is a write up on this board (with pictures) about this fix. See if you can find it. It's a good fix.