View Full Version : Door hinge spring compressor

04-15-2014, 02:49 AM
I noticed on Sunday that the hinge on my left door is missing a spring that is in place on the right door. That explains why the left door always wants to swing closed and will not stay open.

A replacement spring is available for only $1.25 (plus $8 postage).
See: http://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_falcon_mercury_comet/door-hinge-spring-used-on-lower-hinge-falcon.html (http://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_falcon_mercury_comet/door-hinge-spring-used-on-lower-hinge-falcon.html)

I saw a "door hinge spring compressor" for sale on e-bay for $24.99 + $5 postage.


Have any of you replaced these springs? How difficult is it, and is the spring compressor an absolute necessity?


04-15-2014, 10:26 AM
I've changed them many times. I compress them almost to fully compressed in a vice and then use zip-ties to hold them compressed. You can usually get tighter once you've fed the zip-ties through and have them cinched up a bit. Then hold it in place in the hinge and clip the ties. Be sure to close the door enough so that the spring is captured on both ends when you clip the ties. Can be easier said than done on a hinge that is installed, but far cheaper than $30.

04-15-2014, 10:29 AM
Oh, and the zip ties need to be strong enough to hold - so not the wimpy thin ones. If you have any with the metal bits to hold the zip part, they are best. I use real nylon Thomas and Betts ties, which I have a few left of from years ago. Just release the vice slowly to make sure they're holding if you use the local hardware store variety.

04-15-2014, 04:03 PM
I just used the big arse screwdriver method. Really fun when you don't quite get it and the thing goes flying!!

04-15-2014, 05:31 PM
Replace the bushings too while you're in there. Bushings are cheap.

04-15-2014, 05:57 PM
Replace the bushings too while you're in there. Bushings are cheap.

Does that require removing the door?

04-15-2014, 06:17 PM
It's best to remove the door so you can place the hinge in a bench vise. It's usually just the drivers side that wears. There is a kit available that comes with all the wearable hinge parts. Give your door a tug up and down to see how much slop is in the hinge. Realigning doors take some skill so maybe this is more trouble than it's worth.

04-15-2014, 06:42 PM
It's best to remove the door so you can place the hinge in a bench vise. It's usually just the drivers side that wears. There is a kit available that comes with all the wearable hinge parts. Give your door a tug up and down to see how much slop is in the hinge. Realigning doors take some skill so maybe this is more trouble than it's worth.

Hello, Patrick.
I am at a disadvantage in that I do not have a work bench or a bench vice. :( I know that my driver's door is somewhat misaligned because I need to slam it harder than I do the passenger door to get it to close. But it is not quite so bad as to exceed my extreme reluctance to start removing doors. For the time being I will take your advice about "Realigning doors take some skill so maybe this is more trouble than it's worth."

04-16-2014, 02:44 PM

Do these things - they are free to do, and easy too! :)

1) Grab the door in the almost closed, but open/unlatched position, and lift/relax/lift/relax. How much movement is there?

2) Almost close the door (don't enter the latch portion of the door) and look at body lines of the door relative to the body - straight on. Are they low or high relative to the body?

With this knowledge you can decide how much "WIAI" to apply. Some not so easy to do, but still free. :(


1) If the bushings are relatively OK and the door seems to be aligned to the body, then push it into the latch. Does the door want to raise or lower as you do this? If so, the latch needs adjustment to keep it from moving the door up or down. If it doesn't move up or down then the latch may be too far in and that is why you need to slam it to catch. Adjust it outward a millimeter or so. The latch (catch) is on the body jamb and this is what you adjust.

1a) If the bushings are relatively OK, but the door is not aligned, then with the car on a nice flat surface place a bottle jack (with protection) under the latch-side of the door, in its almost closed position, and then locate the three upper hinge bolts just parallel to the bottom edge of the dash where it meets the door frame. With the door held in a neutral position with the bottle jack, loosen the three hinge to body bolts. Then raise the jack while gauging the movement of the bolts to where they were before. When you've raised the door/hinges a small amount - tighten the bolts, remove the jack, and check the door alignment (not the latch catch yet). Rinse and repeat until you get the door to body reveal the same. Then adjust the latch to match the door.

1a-note: You can adjust the upper hinge some and then the lower hinge some. Depending on how much droop there is, taking it all out on only one hinge may tighten or loosen the door gap and possibly cause the door to rub the fender or somewhere else. I generally try one hinge (90% of the time the hinge that wears the most is the upper) and if that doesn't give me the reveal gap the way I like, I go and split the difference between the upper and lower hinges.

2) If the bushings are sloppy and the door seems to be aligned - do the same as #1. Essentially the slop has been adjusted out to align the door to the body, but the latch was not adjusted.

2a) If the bushings are sloppy and the door is out of alignment, then barring the bushing replacement you can take the mindset that the bushings are worn in the direction of the weighted side of the door. Yes, they are worn, but the door weight will not show that unless you lift on the door. Eventually it may just be ugly sloppy, but a worn bushing is generally only noticed when it begins causing the door to drop creating interference with the latch. In this case you can follow step 1A and adjust the hinges until the weighted door on the sloppy hinges are at least aligned. Assuming the latch was in the right spot and the door was what dropped, then you may not need to adjust the latch.

General door alignment

For what it is worth, the doors are always adjusted first without the [jamb] latch installed so you can adjust and push the door towards the body with zero interference with a latch. You adjust first to get a nice reveal of the door to the body at the latch-side jamb, and upper and lower reveals. With a hardtop the upper reveal would be the top edge of the door and the wing window interference. Then you adjust the fender to match the front of the door.

Many people try to adjust a door to a misaligned fender, which causes grief untold. You can usually tell just with a reading of the door gaps, but you need to take into account the hinge slop, if any. Marking the jamb latch and pulling it temporarily will help you along this line.

Also, if you have new weatherstripping, this can really fight the closing of a perfectly adjusted door, as well, until the weatherstripping has relaxed a bit. This can take a couple months.

Have fun!

04-16-2014, 05:29 PM
Hello, Roger.

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. I'll print it out and have it in hand while I examine the door. Trying to figure out how to make the door close easier has been on my "to do" list for some time, but it was always low on the priority list compared to everything else. Now most of the "everything else" has been corrected (Yay!).

It won't be this weekend, though. I want to drive the Falcon over to my Mother's house in Orlando this Saturday and take her for a surprise drive over to Kennedy Space Center. She has been hearing about this car for almost two years now and this will be the first time that that she will get to ride in it. I haven't told her that I will be bringing the Falcon. It should be a fun weekend.

Thanks, Dennis.

04-17-2014, 03:09 PM
Sounds like fun. I'm sure she'll enjoy it!

My mom lurks on this forum to see what's happening with me (Hi Mom). I drove my wagon down to Oregon in 2001 and we went together to a national meet in Sacramento and I visited again with it a few years ago after a regional in Oregon (my trip from hell due to carburetor problems). Other than that she only sees my cars if I post pictures here.

You should set your mom up with a forum account!


And no sweat on the instructions, may help others as well.

04-23-2014, 06:07 PM
I bought a set of springs off e-bay for $5.00, postage included. I'll give the other spring to a friend at work. He has a '67 Fairlane Hardtop with a broken hinge spring. I don't have a bench vice, so I bought the spring compressor for $21 + 4$ postage from Summit Racing. The hinge compressor tool was bigger than I expected:


It compressed the spring, but the tips of the compressor tool were too wide to use it to install the spring. I ended up doing a combination of what Roger and Kenny suggested. I put a nylon tie-wrap around the compressed spring (as per Roger), removed it from the compressor, and put one end of the spring over the longer inboard prong. Then I levered the other end back with a big screwdriver (like Kenny said) with one hand and pressed down it with a wrench with the other hand. It wasn't pretty, but the spring snapped in place.


I parked the car pointing up a slight incline and swung the left door open. It stayed open whereas it would have simply swung shut before (which was kind of annoying). The spring works! Whoo hoo!