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Replacing a door -- try to do it myself?

Let’s see what I can remember. The spring was about 3 or 4 inches long, made of wire about 3/16-in dia. Pretty plain coil spring; open ends. It fit horizontally betweeen the door jamb and an arm of the hinge. There was a little bump on the hinge arm to retain the spring, and I guess there was a bump fitted to the door jamb, too.

The most appropriate tool I had was my Craftsman channel-lock pliers. I can’t remember if they would even open wide enough to get the whole spring. Maybe I wedged one or both jaw tips in between some of the spring coils. Squeezing the channel-locks with all my might, huffing and puffing, would compress the spring enough to fit in. But you could not just put it in. Memory is fuzzy. Maybe the channel-locks could not fit into the space. Or maybe it was that the spring kept popping out of the pliers’ jaws (the jaws had to be on the edge of the coil end, to let the coil fit onto its mounting bumps).

So I ran a piece of barely-strong-enough wire through the spring lengthwise; grunted on the channel-locks to compress the spring; and held the channel-locks with one hand while I twisted the wire ends together. The wire held the spring compressed, but only on one side, so the spring had a bit of arc. I pushed the spring pretty much into place, and cut the wire.

Do not try this at home.

I was replacing the hinge because a pin that stuck out of its top (sort of an extension of the hinge pin) had disappeared. A small-town body shop where I worked had quoted me a big-city price to replace the hinge. I went to the big salvage yard between work and home, got a hinge (same color!), and did the job myself. A few years later, fishing around the door jamb area with a magnet, looking for a dropped bolt, I recovered the missing hinge pin. Turns out, I think, that all I needed from the salvage yard was that pin, which could have been hammered out and in.

I got a lot of little pieces from that salvage yard to keep the 'Chevy – and the '87 Buick Century – happy.

and sometimes one can be had in the correct color.
The odds of that occuring are slim. If you don’t get the same color door, now you have to paint the inside of it too.

They’re better and the total bill is smaller.
How is a used door from an unknown source better than the one that is already on the car? It’s an unknown qty unlike the door the owner has been using and knows it is fully functional. A door skin and the labor to install is much cheaper than an entire door that has to aligned/shimmed when mounted. Remember, they likely will both have to be painted to match the car. Even subtle differences in color fade will show up on a side panel.

We don’t even know what year this thing is
Door skins haven’t changed much in 20 years.

Let Me Explain …

>and sometimes one can be had in the correct color.
The odds of that occuring are slim. If you don’t get the same color door, now you have to paint the inside of it too.

This isn’t a theory. Reread my post and you will see that I personally did this! Not finding one in the same color makes this a moot debate.

>They’re better and the total bill is smaller.
How is a used door from an unknown source better than the one that is already on the car? It’s an unknown qty unlike the door the owner has been using and knows it is fully functional. A door skin and the labor to install is much cheaper than an entire door that has to aligned/shimmed when mounted. Remember, they likely will both have to be painted to match the car. Even subtle differences in color fade will show up on a side panel.

A factory door inherently has more integrity. Sometimes sound insulation is compromised in a shell or skin replacement. We don’t know if the dent has caused damage to the door frame (edges). My door wasn’t from an unknown source. It was from a local salvage yard and was a couple model years newer than mine, had obvious factory paint and had no beginning rust on seams like mine did. It was better! Mine would have been tough to “skin”. I live in the rust belt. I agree that a subtle paint color variance will show on a side panel. Too much of adifference and if it was bothersome then one would have to paint the door and blend the adjacent panels, just like you would be required to with a skin. Remember, my whole bill came to $90 + $5.40 sales tax and an hour of my time. The color was really close and the only aligning was loosening and retightening the latch pin.

>We don’t even know what year this thing is
Door skins haven’t changed much in 20 years.

I was referring to the general value and condition of the vehicle and the fact that used doors of various colors and condition are in greater availability and less cost as the car ages. That’s why it worked for me and only ruined one hundred-dollar bill.

I agree that door skins often make sense. It is my opinion that for a DIY’er it may be too much. Jacweho does not seem to know much about body repair, which is why she/he was asking for "Any thoughts?"
I’ve explained myself to the best of my ability. Now sir, you may have the last word.

I respect your opinions and thoughts. I’ll buy you a beer sometime. Have a good day!

Is it hard to relace a dodge 2005 drivers side door

Depends on how handy you are. It was assembled by folks that barely finished high school in about 15 seconds. They had good tools, though.

Any old 2005 Dodge or a particular model?

I’ve done it a few times. It helps to have one with the same controls as the old one and preferably the same trim panel and extra preferably with the same paint color. ( I have found them like that!)

You’ll probably have to swap the trim panel or at least pop it enough to unplug some wires inside. It’s not too difficult. You need to see if it’s bolted with hex-head bolts or phillips or torx screws. I’ve had large (size #3 or #4 phillips) screws that need the help of a hand/hammer impact driver.

Those doors are heavy. Did I mention that those doors are heavy? I’d block it up first, before unbolting and bolting to make it a bit easier.

It should be somewhere around a 1 six-pack job if it’s your first try.
CSA
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