Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Tear in door around latch

For a while the driver’s side door on my 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 wasn’t shutting quite right. The door was hanging just a little too low on its hinges, so the D-shaped piece of metal would bump up against the latch as the door closed instead of sliding smoothly into it. Well, the wear built up over a few months and this was the result:

As you can see, there was nothing supporting the latch other than the metal shell of the door it was bolted to, which is now torn. Because the latch has fallen about 3/4 of an inch into the door, the door won’t shut and latch.

I tried taking off the plastic/fabric panel on the inside of the door, hoping to get access to the latch so I could push it back into place, but unless I’m mistaken the door is a sealed unit.

Is there a way I can repair this damage, or do I have to buy a new door?

Possibly worn door hinges leading to a sagging door which means the latch won’t hit the striker pin correctly and then leading to a lot of door slamming it appears.

This can be repaired but it may not be cost effective unless you can do everything yourself. Looks like it’s going to involve some welding and painting if you want the repair to look halfway decent.
It would probably be much easier and cheaper to find another door in an identical color and simply change the entire door out.

It would also be impossible to tell you exactly how to do this repair because any worn hinge problem would need to be taken care of first and then getting everything aligned and working properly can be a little bit of wrestling match.

This Is The Time To Get Advice And / Or An Estimate From An Auto Body Shop.

This is what they do. The professionals there know what this entails. They can advise you if you should just hang a “new” used door or whether they have a more practical fix. When they advise you, you may decide to just have them take care of it. They maybe can avoid having to repaint a whole door. They should check the hinges, too. Try a couple of shops that will give a free estimate and then compare advice, strategies, prognoses, and estimates. Ask questions. This should not be scary to a good shop.

Nice photo. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Please let us know what happens. Thanks.

It looks like problem one is the hinges. Since I am cheap and would probably get $ shock at the prices for repair and noticing the rust on figure you might not mind a tightwad approach. there are pin and bushing replacements (first place I looked) online for $10 ea, or if needed complete replacement hinge 50 bucks each. So if you fix the hinges you will need to get the latch back in the proper place, maybe you own or know someone with a hammer dent puller, as an easy way to do that. I would think there would be enough room between the door and the frame for a piece of flat steel with a piece cut out to match the current opening, make a template for holes, screw the flat steel on, paint it white and it would be nothun ya’d notice from a gallopin horse. Disclaimer (I assume no liability or responsibility if you perform any of these actions. Check with a knowledgeable professional before you undertake any of these actions et. etc.)