Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Moderators: Sluggo, Amskeptic

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Status: Offline

Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:34 pm

Your sliding door is a marvel of precision German engineering. Unbeknownst to most of you young pups, the acceptance of the new baywindow bus in August 1967 was greatly enhanced by that wonderful light sliding door that remained light years ahead of the domestic vans.

This beautiful engineering asks for very little from you, yet . . . too many sliding doors out there are sorely in need of some TLC.
a) lubrication
b) cleaning
c) adjustment

This procedure takes care of the rear hinge assembly only. It is responsible for supporting the door only when open.

Step 1) Remove Sliding Door Cover.
But first! Open door and observe if your slovenly friends have all caved-in the side of the sliding door cover by leaning against it. If you see contact between the hinge assembly and the cover, now is the time to go along the bottom edge of the cover and jerk it back out all along the length. You want a good 1/4 to 1/2" inch gap! Door shuts quieter too!
There are two screws accessible underneath the cover at the ends. The front end screw will require that you open the door a little. Early buses also had a through screw that you had to remove from the interior. There can be a little annoyance involved in removing this cover if it is rusty. To help you not scratch everything to death, please pull down on the front cover tab just released by the screw you removed so it actually bends down a little. The rear tab should already be above the support tab that is part of the vehicle's body. Get a nice piece of straight 1X2 even 2 X 4 wood and stick a rag on the top of it. The top surface of the wood you should then apply to the bottom edge of the sliding door cover near the back. Give it several smart thwacks with an accurate hammer. Stay away from the nice paint on the side of your jewel. Let the rear lift up first, and tap along the front just to get it dislodged. Pull the beading out of the way. Now you will see sharp edges that want to do the paint harm as you get the front tab extricated from the hinge area. The bent-down tab will get free more easily than the one you don't bend down in direct violation of my orders:
Image

Sand and rust-catalyzing primer treat the inside surfaces of the sliding door cover. You can let the primer dry as you work on the rest of the procedure here, then mask the perimeter so you can topcoat the inside surface. If yours is also hideous on the outside, particularly along the beading surface, sand the whole thing down to bare metal, sand the outside with 800 grit, wash with detergent, rinse with hot water, dry quickly, prime 3 coats of grey primer and allow to dry for 30 minutes minimum before a quikNe-z wet-sanding with 800 followed by 1000 grit :
Image

During the hour's cure/dry time, you can clean the rust from the beading, work on the next step of the procedure, then topcoat the inside surface (or whole dang thing). If you had to paint the whole thing, I'd leave it off for a couple of days curing before a 1000 grit gentle wet-sand on the outside, followed by a 2000 grit wet-sand followed by a rubbing compound/wax job. I just did the inside surface:
Image


Step 2) Release Hinge From Vehicle
Get your floor jack (the one that does not ooze downwards) or an adjustable jack stand with a protective towel and get the jack or stand up to the same elevation as the lower sill. Have the jack able to roll in the same plane as the door, you can slide the stand if and as necessary.
Roll the sliding door back until the cut-out on the track lines up with the plastic glide. Lift the door/glide up and get the glide off the rail. That same rail holds the roller in, so move the door to the roller's turn to escape:
Image

The door weighs a bit, be prepared. Set it on the jack/jack stand towel and do not simply release your hold, check out the physics, make sure everything settles in place. The important thing here . . . do not let the door sag backwards or forwards. If the front upper roller gets free . . . oh, you don't want that:
Image

Step 3) Remove Hinge From Door

Amazing but true, remove the four 10mm bolts from the rear of the door, and pull the hinge out. That's it.
Early quality buses have a black plastic trim cover with two rear-facing screws and you work the trim cover out from under the window rubber. Late cheapskate buses have black plastic dress caps over the front bolts. All buses should have a rubber dust grommet that comes out with the hinge assembly:
Image

Step 4) Disassembly/Cleaning
Remove the nut and washer that hold on the roller. If it is stuck on the hinge assembly, try a battery post puller to get it free:

Image

Dunk it in a plastic cap filled with enough oil to immerse it. Though it is a sealed bearing, I have found that sometimes, along with some rotational futzing, you can work a little jeweler's screwdriver under the rubber seal under the surface of the oil to help lubricate a sealed bearing. Sometimes you can't. Then just working the bearing and feeling for play under the oil will help get some in where it is appreciated :
Image

Release the door-pop-open spring from the hinge assembly. It will be at its most relaxed in the open position. Remove the nut from the top of the hinge itself, and *look* at how the spring lever is indexed to the hinge with that square key. Pull the hinge out of the door side of the assembly and keep an eye on washers. The door side of the hinge assembly holds the hinge with just a little circlip. Remove it, and be aware of the door stay cam that is indexed to the hinge with a square key too. All parts - clean! Those little spring-loaded hooks pivot on pins that can take a drop of engine oil.
Image

What the heck, paint the hinge if you don't have one of those bling-bling pre-'73 buses with the chrome (woooo!) hinge. I used the exact same formula as the wheels; Duplicolor Aluminum Engine Enamel 3 coats followed shortly by Duplicolor Clearcoat Engine Enamel 2 coats. Tape off the working surfaces:
Image

Clean the rail and vicinity on the car under the right rear window with gasoline to get rid of the years of caked-on grease. Wipe down with a clean dry rag just after your gasoline rag has picked up the last of the grease. Follow with a flash GumOut-on-paper towel technique to make a suitable bonding surface for your subsequent rust catalyzing primer on all splintered paint/rust areas, and allow to dry as you continue with the procedure. Topcoat touch-up the cover tabs and under the window where the retainers reside. Be thorough here, you only need do this once in the life of the car:
Image

Step 5) Reassembly/Lubrication

Note how the hinge has to bear the weight of the door. On the inside end of the hinge, the hinge itself is hanging from the roller/guide. Lubricate the weight bearing surfaces with moly grease.
Insert the threaded end of newly-painted-or-not hinge in the roller/guide's hinge hole and install the door stay cam as shown in the photograph:
Image

Is it not ridiculously cool how simple and elegant this thing works? Once the door is open, the hinge is held perpendicular to the car with this hook. The hook is only released within inches of the door closing, when the catch is shunted by the . . . shunter on the shunter/open door catch/sliding door cover holder assembly bolted to the car at the very front edge of the sliding cover
Image

Lubricate the load-carrying surfaces of the washer and install the nut and tighten to 10-12 ft/lbs. Use engine oil in the port provided for the rotating surfaces of the hinge inside the roller/guide assembly (remember this spot so you can lubricate henceforth with the sliding door cover installed). Install the roller with its sealed bearing. You may need to gently tap on the inside race edge with a socket that surrounds the shaft's threads until you can draw it down with the washer and nut. Here is the assembly so far with arrows pointing to the load-bearing surfaces:
Image

Now get the orientation of the door-pop-out spring figured out. Consult the photograph:
Image

As you install the door side of the hinge assembly onto the hinge, you need to have this lever indexed correctly to the square key. The spring wants very much to make the hinge perpendicular to the car. When the hinge is parallel to the car, the spring must extend:

Image

Since the door rests on the outside hinge shoulder, you will recall that it is a punky little circlip holding the hinge to the door side. Get this all assembled before you pull the end of the spring over the barb anchor in the door side assembly. It is a small screwdriver-bending moment. Persevere:
Image

You can now install the completed hinge assembly back into the door. Any touch up required under where the hinge assembly goes? Now is the time. No scratches! Make the rubber dust grommet sit pretty. Install the four 10mm bolts and preload the hinge downwards just a tad (this has the effect of lifting the door a tad in the rear when all is installed. Tighten the bolts to snug + a little hoi-cha! and put the decorative black plastic caps on the front two bolts for you later buses with no plastic cover. Early quality buses required that you work the plastic trim cover under the rubber window surround and install two little screws in the end of the trim.
Image

Now you can put your door back on the car and get rid of the (rickity, in my case) jack/jackstand. Just get the roller in the slot, move door forward a little and slip the guide onto the rail.
Note in the below photograph:
Green Arrow - shunter contact area
Yellow Arrow - shunter that releases catch at
Red Arrow - hinge "cam" catch.

There are the lubrication ports too, by the way. Use engine oil at the purple/green arrows. And you can see that VW did not even bother to remove the holes for the screws for the earlier trim covers:
Image

As the door is closed, you can see the release of the catch that allows the hinge to arc parallel bringing the door in to the rear striker plate. The red arrow here represents the door-pop-open-spring getting extended where it waits for you to open the door next time so it can throw the rear of the door away from the body BEFORE the latch can tear up the surround seal:
Image

Apply the beading to the cover with an adhesive just in dots down the length of the cover. Do not glob on huge blobs of adhesive unless you like the thought of water-capturing rust-outs. Start the front just enough to engage the retainers and get the front tab stretched over the shunter/open door catch/sliding door cover holder assembly. You have to firmly/gently press the cover down on the retainer tabs all along the window while babysitting the beading. Man, if you just painted the cover, I hope you have quality paint that dried hard. Once you have it down geta towel-coated piece of wood and tap into place with the beading expertly laid down along the window rubber. Install the screws lightly in the tab at the rear (tinnerman nut still in place??) and in the shunter/open door catch/sliding door cover holder assembly. Pull the ends of the cover to a nice flush appearance before your final tightening.
Do NOT let your slovenly friends lean against the cover any more. Get all prickly "HEY! Don't touch my car, man!". I have seen hinge assemblies worn unbelievably by a steady diet of screeching down the caved-in cover.

Nice and clean with the cover on. Just a light coat of grease on the rail will do:
Image

Image

Door shuts easily and opens with alacrity. As it should.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

User avatar
Jaffa
I'm New!
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by Jaffa » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:45 pm

Excellent write up Colin. I just did mine but only to the extent of cleaning out the track (full of dried old grease and grit) and cleaning the hinge mechanism. WHAT a difference, the door rolls open and closed at the touch of a finger!

Now I have to tidy up and paint the slight rust on the cover and re-install. Question, the fornt of the cover has two screws. One on the bottom and the other on the inside. On mine this inside screw is about 50mm long, countersunk head, chromed and is mated to a nut on the outside at a hole in the cover. There are no seals or anything on this so I am worried water may enter the pillar and rust the bottom. Is this normal.

Craig
1974 Deluxe Campmobile 1800 AW Dual PDSIT
Craig

Image

User avatar
glasseye
IAC Addict!
Location: Kootenays, BC
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by glasseye » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:59 pm

An absolutely masterful job of wrenching, photographing, Photoshopping, describing. :salute:

I'm gonna take up a collection on my Sprinter list to buy you a Sprinter so that you can do stuff like this for us. :shaking2:
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:35 am

Jaffa wrote: inside screw is about 50mm long, countersunk head, chromed and is mated to a nut on the outside at a hole in the cover. There are no seals or anything on this so I am worried water may enter the pillar and rust the bottom. Is this normal.

Craig
1974 Deluxe Campmobile 1800 AW Dual PDSIT
I think that the secured screw was considered weather-proof by virtue of its location under the "awning" of the cover. But you and I, people who care, would come up with a small sealing washer of sliced vacuum or windshield washer hose, wouldn't we?
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:41 am

glasseye wrote:
I'm gonna take up a collection on my Sprinter list to buy you a Sprinter so that you can do stuff like this for us. :shaking2:
Please:

late model Mercedes badged two-stage metallic madiera with tan leather interior
full-windowed (I think horizontal slat blinds are classier than an enclosed potato chip truck) AMG massaged Mercedes V8 with 6-speed manual transmission.

Then I will get right to work on write-ups.

How To Get Unstuck From The Mud Puddle In The Driveway

How To Replace The Speed Sensor (weekly maintenance)

How To Repaint The Roof After A Simple Offroad Excursion To The Back Yard

:flower: :cyclopsani: :flower:
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

User avatar
Jaffa
I'm New!
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by Jaffa » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:49 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Jaffa wrote: inside screw is about 50mm long, countersunk head, chromed and is mated to a nut on the outside at a hole in the cover. There are no seals or anything on this so I am worried water may enter the pillar and rust the bottom. Is this normal.

Craig
1974 Deluxe Campmobile 1800 AW Dual PDSIT
I think that the secured screw was considered weather-proof by virtue of its location under the "awning" of the cover. But you and I, people who care, would come up with a small sealing washer of sliced vacuum or windshield washer hose, wouldn't we?
Colin
All done now and back on the bus. Used a "washer" made from old bicycle tube for between the cover and the body.

Cheers.
Craig

Image

User avatar
airkooledchris
IAC Addict!
Location: Eureka, California
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by airkooledchris » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:54 am

well, I busted mine before ever doing a lick of maintenance on it unfortunately.

I picked up my girl from school, as it's just the two of us for a few weeks here, and when I went to slide the door closed it felt like it 'caught' on something - and then I heard something fall to the ground.


Image


From the pictures above it looks to be either part of the bearing itself, or something that holds the bearing in place.

I had to manually slide the plastic guide along the door till I could pop it closed until I can spend some time working on it.

Id like to get whatever part/s I need before next Sunday when I have my visit with Colin, so if anyone can chime in on what I need based on what ive described and shown above, that would be great.

'doh
1979 California Transporter

User avatar
airkooledchris
IAC Addict!
Location: Eureka, California
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by airkooledchris » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:52 pm

I think this is what I need:
http://busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=211843359B

Image


description:
Roller with Bearing
for sliding door, on track, attaches to hinge assembly.

Description: Fits the track whch runs under the rear window behind the sliding door
Part Reference Number*: 211843359B

look about right?
1979 California Transporter

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:37 am

airkooledchris wrote:I think this is what I need:
Roller with Bearing
for sliding door, on track, attaches to hinge assembly.
look about right?
Looks about right. Your IAC Deferred Maintenance Demerit wall plaque will arrive shortly.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

User avatar
rallybug
Getting Hooked!
Location: North Salt Lake, UT
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by rallybug » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:19 pm

Just fitted a Westy rear sliding door handle to my '79 and it looks like it'll be rubbing against the track cover - doesn't sound right to me! :scratch:

I've also noticed that the catch on the rear of the sliding door doesn't seem move much, if at all, although given a good slide the door does shut nicely at both ends. It doesn't help that, at some point, the door came out of the top track towards the front and now it has a tendency to do that at inopportune moments.

So, I think that it is time to have a look, especially as camping season is over (just converted back to 7-seater today) and I will be following this guide - I've picked up a used lower slider that hopefully will be better than the existing one, as I think that one is bent slightly, probably from the same cause as the top slider issue.

I'll live with the top track issue - just cut out the roof of a '74 Westy pop-top that is in the garage, including down a few inches from the gutter, so if/when I get the roof changed, I'll get a better slider track \:D/

Probable bits that would need changing?
Harvee the Wonder Bus - a 1979 CA-spec 7-seater bus

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:49 pm

rallybug wrote:Just fitted a Westy rear sliding door handle to my '79 and it looks like it'll be rubbing against the track cover - doesn't sound right to me! :scratch:

I've also noticed that the catch on the rear of the sliding door doesn't seem move much, if at all, although given a good slide the door does shut nicely at both ends. It doesn't help that, at some point, the door came out of the top track towards the front and now it has a tendency to do that at inopportune moments.

So, I think that it is time to have a look, especially as camping season is over (just converted back to 7-seater today) and I will be following this guide - I've picked up a used lower slider that hopefully will be better than the existing one, as I think that one is bent slightly, probably from the same cause as the top slider issue.

I'll live with the top track issue - just cut out the roof of a '74 Westy pop-top that is in the garage, including down a few inches from the gutter, so if/when I get the roof changed, I'll get a better slider track \:D/

Probable bits that would need changing?
What rear catch are you speaking of? There is a latch, there is a striker, there is a hinge at the rear.

Are you saying the lower roller support is bent slightly? It is adjustable, it accepts shims, and the top roller support is also adjustable vertically. Are you saying that the adjustments are all maximized to keep the roller in the track, and the door still slips out?
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

User avatar
rallybug
Getting Hooked!
Location: North Salt Lake, UT
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by rallybug » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:18 pm

Amskeptic wrote:What rear catch are you speaking of? There is a latch, there is a striker, there is a hinge at the rear.
The bit at the base of the yellow arrow in this pic stolen from Ratwell:

Image

Maybe a terminology issue.
Amskeptic wrote:Are you saying the lower roller support is bent slightly? It is adjustable, it accepts shims, and the top roller support is also adjustable vertically. Are you saying that the adjustments are all maximized to keep the roller in the track, and the door still slips out?
Colin
I have yet to adjust anything - all I have for my top roller is the sort-of 'L'-shaped support, then a metal cylinder with a bolt coming out of it, to a 13mm nut on the end, IIRC.

I'll take a photo tomorrow of what bits of part 34 in this fiche that are fitted:

Image

[Edit]In fact, here we go:

Upper roller parts:
Image

Missing a lock washer, according to the fiche, but the rest seems to be there.

Upper roller in situ
Image

Rear latch/catch
Image

Front latch
Image

Lower slider
Image

Image

Image
Harvee the Wonder Bus - a 1979 CA-spec 7-seater bus

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:39 pm

rallybug wrote: Maybe a terminology issue.
I see lubrication/adjustment issues. The top roller should spin freely right off the spindle once it is free of the track, engine oil not grease between the spindle and the roller. When you re-attach the upper support to the door, you move the support up with the provided elongated holes until the roller is within 2mm of the track ceiling. Don't even bother until you have the lower roller lubricated and adjusted to hold the elevation of the door such that the belt line is line up at the b pillar.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

User avatar
asiab3
IAC Addict!
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by asiab3 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:29 pm

Yep. That was the ticket :cheers: It was almost shocking how many pounds of dirt and grease were hitchhiking in there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ytz4pAY_Lg

And of course a new rubbing block since Colin pointed out mine was near death. It still sounds louder than I remember the BobD bus sounding, but I could not get the grit out of my lower support bearing try as I might.

Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
145k miles with me.
322k miles on Earth.

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Status: Offline

Re: Sliding Door Hinge Assy Refresh

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:00 am

asiab3 wrote:Yep. That was the ticket :cheers: It was almost shocking how many pounds of dirt and grease were hitchhiking in there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ytz4pAY_Lg

And of course a new rubbing block since Colin pointed out mine was near death. It still sounds louder than I remember the BobD bus sounding, but I could not get the grit out of my lower support bearing try as I might.

Robbie
Advanced Operational Aesthetics 401
Sand the lower track to a glossy shiny lightly lubricated delicious smoothness. If yours has slight rust pockets, the rollers rumble . . .
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

Post Reply