Door hinge bushing -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 05-17-2013, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
2011 KK Liberty 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Farmingville
Posts: 207
Door hinge bushing

Is there a way to replace the door hinge bushings on my 02 without having to replace the entire hinge assembly? My driver's side upper hinge has play in it and you have to lift the door slightly to close it easily. I can grab the door and pull it up and see the play in the top pin as it moves back and forth slightly telling me that the bushing is worn out. I have replaced them on other vehicles but this one seem as though the pin can't be removed.

DarkSport11 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 Old 05-01-2017, 09:40 PM
Registered User
2002 KJ Liberty 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 20
Whenever replacing hinge pin bushings, it is best to also replace the pin, as both are worn. The top door hinge carries the heaviest burden on any car or truck, and that's why it gives out first. This causes the latch end of the door to sag. Though it still closes, the bottom of the door will begin scraping against the door frame, and it is also hard on the rubber weatherstrip.

That said, I just purchased a 2002 Jeep Liberty KJ, and the first thing I noticed that it needed was a hinge pin and bushings replacement for the driver door upper hinge, so I went to the local dealership and asked for a pin and bushings. The parts man looked up hinge parts for the Liberty and told me that there is no listing for a hinge pin or bushings, and said that, "evidently the entire hinge must be replaced." He said the cost of a new hinge assembly would be $58 plus tax, so I told him to forget it. I hate the way that hardly anything can be repaired these days, and that everything is sold as an assembly that must be replaced at unnecessary high expense. Sure, I guess I could afford the $58 expense of a new hinge, or I could buy a pair of aftermarket hinges for the Liberty for around half that price, but it ticks me off that I can't just buy a simple pin and bushing set. I checked for listings on hinge pins and bushings at three local auto parts stores, and none of them had a listing for Jeep Liberty. The best they could do was to have me remove the pin and a bushing from the hinge, measure them for specs, and see if they could match that to any of the pin and bushing sets which they sell. I hadn't pulled the old door hinge off, or removed the pin and bushings from it, so I had no idea of the actual measurements when I visited the auto parts stores, but just from having eyeballed the hinge I had a pretty good idea what the size might be. Looking through a catalog at Auto Zone, showing pins and bushings, I noticed a listing for '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee pins and bushings (part # 38422), so I asked if they had one of those sets. They did, and it looked as though it would be pretty darned close to what I had eyeballed. The kit sells for $6 and something. The catalog gave the dimensions for the pin as being .371" diameter x 3.25" length, and the bushings as .374" inside diameter x .504" outside diameter x .285" length. I figured that I'd check the actual measurements on the Liberty hinge parts before buying that.

Back at home, I used a digital caliper to measure the pin length, which came out to be about 3", so the 3.25" pin sold at Auto Zone would work fine if the diameter matched. Who cares if it protrudes a quarter inch further? Not I. The only place I could access the pin diameter for a reading with the digital caliper was the end protruding through the bottom of the hinge, and it only protrudes about 1/8 inch, so I couldn't be sure I was getting an accurate reading, but it appeared to be around .370 to .375, which puts it in the correct range. (EDIT: The actual pin size is .315 inch, as I found out later. The bottom end of the pin measured larger because it had been peened at time of hinge assembly). Thus, the pin is both larger and longer than the original, and the bushings are likewise larger, so this set couldn't be used as a simple replacement. This means, of course, that to use a pin and bushing set one would have to modify the hinge by drilling the flange holes larger, and this would require two different drill sizes - one for the pin holes, and the other for the bushing holes.

Last edited by Rickoff; 05-04-2017 at 02:33 PM.
Rickoff is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 05-04-2017, 10:53 AM
Registered User
2002 KJ Liberty 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 20
Follow-up to my previous post

Not having adequate access to removing the hinge pin, I removed the hinge from my 02 Liberty (by the way, the 5 hinge bolts have 13mm heads). After doing that, I was able to take an accurate reading of the pin diameter, which is actually .315 inch. The reason why my previous reading, at the end of the pin, came out to a bit over .370 is that the assembly plant peened the end of the pin to prevent the pin from moving. While that is both a cheap and effective method of securing the pin, it makes you wonder why they couldn't have made the pin a quarter inch longer with threads that could accept a locknut, or included a groove for an E-clip. This would have made it easy to service the hinge. As it is, one would have to grind down the peened pin end to where it is flush with the hinge surface before driving or pressing the pin out. Problem is, though, even after doing that there is no pin and bushing set available anywhere that would allow you the replace these items without doing a modification to the hinge. Bummer, huh? There is in fact an exact .315 diameter pin made by Dorman (part # 38439) which is made for 1997 to 2001 Jeep Cherokee, but unfortunately the pin is around a half inch too short for the Liberty and there is no listing for a longer pin of that diameter.

Anyways, what I decided to do is to purchase a new hinge, but I will do the needed modification on the old hinge to accept the closest size pin and bushing set that is available, and will keep that hinge to use as a replacement when another hinge gets worn out. The front upper and lower hinges for both sides of the 2002-2007 Liberty are identical. The original Mopar part number is stamped 55177026AA, but that was superseded by same number with an AB suffix, and currently with an AC suffix. I ordered the new hinge from and the price was $42.79 plus $7.99 Priority Mail shipping. I did find a hinge at that sells for $38.13 plus $10.57 shipping, so might have saved a couple of bucks, but I'm more than a bit wary of ordering anything from a business that doesn't list their address or telephone number on their website.

After I locate the best pin and bushing set to use for a modification repair of the old hinge, I will share the details of the modification so that other forum readers will know how this can be done. The advantage, of course, would be the cost savings realized. Typically, a pin and bushing set will sell for about $7 or so. The necessary modifications would also include the need for two drill sizes: one to drill the top and bottom flanges to the new pin size, and the other to drill the inner flanges to accept the outside diameter of the new bushings. These two drills will of course add to the expense of repairing the hinge, so that's something to keep in mind, but even if that adds $10 or so to the cost then having spent about $17 to renew a hinge would be a lot better than paying your Jeep dealer $58 plus tax.

Last edited by Rickoff; 05-04-2017 at 10:04 PM.
Rickoff is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 05-04-2017, 02:08 PM
Registered User
2002 KJ Liberty 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 20
Exploring the pin and bushing options available from Dorman products, I found that the set best suited for a Jeep Liberty hinge modification would be their part number 38388, which can be found at the website.
The specifications are as follows:
pin diameter = .370 inch (.055 inch larger than original pin)
pin length = 3.110 inches (only about 1/8 inch longer than original pin)
bushing outside diameter = .495 inch (larger than original bushing, but not so large as to weaken the hinge flange)
Note: the pin is splined at the head end for a press fit into the outer flange, so no other pin retention is needed if you install the head of the pin at the top of the hinge.

To modify the hinge, two metric size drills will be required:
9.4mm drill (.3701") to enlarge the outer flange holes for the new .370" pin.
12.5mm drill (.4921") to enlarge bushing holes in the inner flanges. This is the closest drill size to the bushing's outside diameter, and as you can see it will require slightly enlarging the drilled hole just .0029" to accept the bushing. That's only about 3/1000's of an inch, so not a big deal, and can be accomplished using either a curved swiss file or a small diameter Moto-Tool grindstone. If using the latter, move the stone gently in a circle within the drilled hole, without applying force. Remember, you only need to remove a very small amount. Just go once around and then see if the bushing fits. It is better that the bushing fits snugly than loosely, of course, so if you are at the point where the bushing seems that it will go in if you could apply just a little more force than your thumb can apply, you have the hole sized properly and should be able to tap the bushing in by laying a small block of wood against the bushing and striking the wood block with a hammer. Just don't try to force it in if you haven't sized the hole properly. If sized correctly, the bushing will start into the hole and remain there when you let go of it.

Finding these two metric drill sizes in a metric drill set would be very expensive as well as just about impossible, as normally those sets only include even sized bits, so you'd need to search for individual drill bits. If you do an internet search for bits of these sizes you will see that most are from sources in China, and unless you feel like waiting for a month or two (and maybe not receiving the bit at all) I'd highly recommend finding a source in the USA.

It would also be preferable to pre-size all holes before doing the finish drilling, so as to reduce the possibility of chatter that could cause distortion or oversizing of the holes. Here are the best suggestions for doing that:

Use a 23/64" bit (.3594") for the .370" pin holes
Use a 31/64" bit (.4844") for the .495" bushing holes
Notice that using these drills prior to finish drilling will leave only about 10/1,000's of an inch for the final cuts. Also, grinding a slight chamfer on the the pre-sizing drills, as well as the finish drill bits will help prevent them from biting, and give the hole a smoother finish.

Finally, be sure to hold the hinge parts securely in a vise before drilling. DO NOT attempt to hold them with one hand while drilling with the other, as you would be very sorry for doing that if the drill bit bites and rips the flange from your hand. Fastening the hinge to a drill press table, and drilling with the press, would be the best solution, but if you are using a hand held electric drill then you must secure the hinge flange in a vise. Apply some oil to the surface you will be drilling, and let the drill bit do the work - don't use force.

Last edited by Rickoff; 05-04-2017 at 10:15 PM.
Rickoff is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 05-04-2017, 10:43 PM
Registered User
2002 KJ Liberty 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 20
Follow-up to my previous posts

I ordered the Dorman 38388 pin and bushings set today at the local Auto Zone store, as they didn't have that one in stock. That should arrive in a couple of days. I also ordered the 9.4mm and 12.5mm drill bits, which I was able to find from separate sellers on eBay. It may take 5 to 7 days for those to arrive, but in the meantime I'll remove the old pin and bushings from the hinge to get it ready.

I didn't make previous note of the Dorman 38388 pin having a rounded end, and the flat surface must extend at least 2.722", which is the measurement from outside of top flange to outside of bottom flange at the holes. It appears that won't be a problem, though, since the total flat surface distance of the pin is 2.930" from the underside of the pin head, which will actually allow the flat area of the pin to extend .208" beyond the outside surface of the lower flange. Also, since I had to order the pin and don't yet have it in hand, the 3.110" given length measurement of the hinge pin may only take the flat surface into consideration. If that's the case, the pin would be about .180" longer than stated, but in either case it is sufficently long enough to do the job without having much excess length.

If you look at the above photo of this hinge pin, you will note that the pin features an area between two grooves which has a tab that can be raised, after installation, to prevent the pin from walking out of the hinge. It's doubtful that would happen anyways, because of the splined press fit area just under the pin's head, but it's a nice extra safety feature to have. Of course the pin's head can always be installed at the top of the hinge, depending upon which side the hinge is used on, and so there is virtually no chance the pin could fall out if oriented that way.

If one wanted to remove the pin at some future date, to replace bushings, the tab would of course have to be pushed back into the recess. If that weakens the tab to where it might break again by raising it after the new bushings are installed, one would have the choice of either using a new pin and bushings set or drilling a cotter pin hole near the tip of the pin. If the latter is the case, I'd suggest placing a 3/8" stainless steel flat washer over the tip of the installed hinge pin before drilling the cotter pin hole.

I'll provide further information about drilling the hinge flanges in my next post.

Last edited by Rickoff; 05-04-2017 at 11:12 PM.
Rickoff is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 05-14-2017, 05:20 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2017
Location: kingman
Posts: 46
I used a small cutoff wheel to take the ends off and a hammer and chisel to push it through. The hard part is geting them off its easier to take off the door and hing then cut the pin.
ChainsawMonkey is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 06-14-2017, 09:06 AM
Registered User
2002 KJ Liberty 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by ChainsawMonkey View Post
I used a small cutoff wheel to take the ends off and a hammer and chisel to push it through. The hard part is getting them off its easier to take off the door and hing then cut the pin.
Yes, because of the very limited access to the hinge bolts, it is very slow work to remove hinges. Taking the door off is certainly one way to allow for better access. Removing the front fender from the affected side provides best access to the hinge bolts, and makes realigning the door very easy.

Here's a photo in which I labeled the hinge parts. This shows how the hinge pin end was peened after assembly to mushroom it. As one can see, there would be no way to drive the pin out unless the peened end is ground flush with the outer flange surface.

The flaking that you see in this close-up view is actually paint that has lifted off. After disassembling the hinge, the flanges can be wire brushed to remove any loose paint or surface rust, then given primer and finish paint coats.
Attached Images
Rickoff is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 06-14-2017, 10:34 AM
Registered User
2002 KJ Liberty 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 20
The hardest part of rebuilding the Liberty door hinges is actually in sourcing the four needed drill bit sizes (23/64 and 31/64 for pre-drilling, 9.4 mm and 12.5mm for finish drilling), at reasonable prices that will make rebuilding a better option than buying a new hinge. I was able to find all these sizes on eBay and opted to purchase three of these sizes in pairs so that I'd have a spare available. The best deal I saw going on the 9.4mm drill bit was for a set of 24 Morse drills that size for just $11.99 plus $6.99 shipping. I certainly don't need all 24, so if anyone would like to get a pair of these then just let me know. I'd sell and ship a pair for just $5. My total cost for all the drills, and the Dorman 38388 hinge pin and bushing set, was $41.00, so even at that it saves about $10 of the cost of a replacement hinge from Rock Auto, or about $20 of the cost of buying a hinge from a dealer. By getting the 9.4mm pair of drill bits from me, the total cost would be reduced to just $27 and makes rebuilding the Liberty hinges well worth doing. Of course if another hinge needs rebuilding later on then the only cost involved will be the $5.19 hinge pin and bushing set.
Rickoff is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome