Hanging Doors On A Car - Advice?

Discussion in 'Bodywork' started by MickyP64, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. MickyP64

    MickyP64 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I’m planning to replace all the rusting doors on my 06 plate A Class. I have a full set of replacement doors in excellent condition sourced from two different donor cars (crash salvage - both cars manufactured in 2011). Of course all doors are the same paint code as my car (191 Cosmos Black) so in theory it should be a straight swop…Slight colour match might be an issue, but if is I’ll worry about that later.

    Can anyone give me any advice on how to go about this and tell me if there are any pitfalls to look out for?...I plan to start with one of the less complicated rear doors and take notes as I go. I’ve seen various exploded diagrams on the net from a manual for my particular car and I’ve watched a few Youtube uploads…I’ll study them all in detail before I start…I’m thinking that the task should be a bit of reverse engineering…How many hours should it take a first timer with reasonable manual dexterity and average common sense to replace one door?...Is it a job I could tackle single handed?

    I’ve never done anything like this before so I need to gather as much info and advice as I can before I get stuck in…I read a comment on a separate thread somewhere on this forum that ‘hanging doors on a car is a bit of an art’…is it really that difficult?…
     
  2. Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    Have the replacement doors got all the internal bits and bobs fitted - window regulators, handles, glass etc?

    Main tasks will be removing the internal trim - ie door cards, then disconnecting and removing the wiring, disconnecting the check straps and then unbolting the doors from the hinges.

    Replacement is the reversal of removal.

    Obvious things are to be careful when removing and refitting as it'll be easy to mark/damage the car or the panels, and adjusting the doors on the hinges for a perfect fit.

    Not a difficult task just a little time consuming really. An assistant would be helpful for the removal and refitting stage.
     
  3. DSM10000

    DSM10000 MB Club Veteran

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    Might also help to mark the position of the hinges on the door pillar before removal and use this to help re-align the replacement

    Unless you have specialist equipment available to hold the door then it really is a two person job, they will be heavier than you think plus trying to put the hinge bolts back whilst holding a door is likely to result in damage to either the door or you :)
     
  4. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If you can take the pins out of the hinges rather than unbolt the hinges. Nightmare to realign the one and only time I tried it.
     
  5. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    locks - How to remove driver's side front door handle on a Mercedes Benz 2007 A-class W169? - Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange

    Usually the hinge will have a fixed location on the door? and an adjustable one on the door pillar [ in/out and up /down] It will attach to a moveable internal plate on the door pillar allowing the entire door assembly to be moved via the hinge in relation to the car'door aperture. Best advice I can offer is your 2 fixed datum lines are the sill line and the B pillar/striker plate line - they are fixed in place so you have to adjust to those. Measure the shut line gaps on the old doors [ in " mm"] take some pictures for reference. Note and mark carefully all the positions of the old hinges wrt the pillar and where they attach to the old door. This should afford you a good starting point for adjustment.:dk:

    DSM10000 beat me to it

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  6. Jane270ML

    Jane270ML Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Two people make it a doddle to do, or, place door on a trolley jack, block of wood, towel or blanket when aligning hinges.
     
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  7. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    One possible pitfall that I seem to recall , from the dark , distant past . I can't even remember which car it was , so may not apply to the A Class .

    I was removing a door and undid the hinge bolts from the pillar ( think it was a front door , so it would have been A pillar ) and , on removing the last bolt , the plate with the captive nuts ( or just threaded holes ) proceeded to fall down inside the pillar !

    I've no idea how it was put in in the first place , or how to avoid it happening , but i seem to recall I was glad I wasn't putting the door back on !
     
  8. OP
    OP
    MickyP64

    MickyP64 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Wow what a response!...Thanks for all the useful tips chaps...

    The replacement doors are bare bone so I’ll need to remove all the components from the original doors and refit them as I go.

    As davidjpowell suggests was hoping that I could just remove the hinge pins and leave the component parts of the hinges still attached to the pillars and doors…it certainly looks as if that’s how my replacement doors were removed…I’ll have a closer look tomorrow when I’ve got some daylight.

    Good tips regards possible paint damage (hadn’t considered that)…maybe I could tape some kind of foam edge protector/packaging type stuff (something like the stuff that seems to come with pre-built kitchen units etc.) onto the vulnerable areas of the door when I fit them…

    Jane270ML I’ve seen that trolley jack trick done in a Youtube vid…I might have to consider that as at the moment I’m single handed…I don’t have anyone close by that I can rope in at the moment L
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  9. kingdave

    kingdave Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I think the w169 a-class went through a facelift between when yours was produced and the cars you've found the salvage doors from. I assume you planned this on purpose because the later doors have different welds to the lower seams which seem to be less rust prone.
    The other big difference I can think of is the size and shape of the wing mirrors, might be worth looking at how they attach and are powered etc.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    MickyP64

    MickyP64 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Good point…I’m aware that the doors are from facelift version cars and the rust factor was the very reason for the door change (I have another thread on here regards my rusty doors but it’s time to move on from that). I deliberately sourced facelift doors in order to be well away from the early version ones.

    I’m aware that there were subtle changes to the W169 that came with the facelift but I’m banking on the main structure of the doors being the same as pre-facelift ones as I don’t think MB really went to a lot of bother when they produced the facelift W169, a few pointless tweaks on the headlights, front/rear bumpers etc. I know that the newer mirrors are squarer; I can’t imagine that MB would have re-designed the whole door arrangement around the mirrors but I could be wrong (I’ll find out I guess)…

    The chrome trim is a little simpler than the pre-face but I think it looks a little better.

    It’s probably a lot of work just to get rid of a little rust that doesn’t actually show on the outside of the car but it annoys me…and this way is a lot cheaper than the £6000 quote I got from MB to rectify their manufacturing c***up, (Well £3000 + VAT to me after the 50/50 deal they offered under ESKULAB, but still way cheaper).

    I’ll post my results when I get a chance to swop the doors over…it may be useful to others who might be mad enough to decide to go the same route….

    Oh yeah…I had a look at the door hinges again last night and I’m confident that I can undo the nut on the two centre pins and then split the hinges…I shouldn’t have to physically remove anything from the doors or the pillars…wish me luck!
     
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