Apparently, when MG built these cars they used bushes, made of recycled Yugos, in the door hinges.
After a while, the bushes break down and lead to play in the door hinge which causes the door to clunk when you go over bumps. It can also lead to the door dropping when you open it.
Good old Mike Satur sells an upgrade kit. The kit comprises of 4 stainless steel bushes, enough to do 1 door, or 2 hinges.
To fit the new bushes, you obviously need to remove the old ones. The kit comes with a nice guide on how to fit them, but shows the hinge removed.
I thought I would try doing them in situ. My advice........ Remove the hinges. I’ll go through both methods and you can decide for yourself.
Let’s see why.
First thing to do is support the door.
Obviously, you need to take the weight off the hinge to make removing it easier. Also, when you remove the pin or the hinge the door will sag and put more strain on the other hinge. I used an axle stand, but be sure to put something between the stand and the door to protect the paintwork. You can also use a jack. This has the advantage that you can raise or lower the door to get better alignment.
So, we have the door open and supported and you should have full access to the hinge. First job is to remove the circlip that holds the top of the pin. A circlip is a round clip that pushes over the pin and sits in a groove, holding the pin in place. There is a small cutout in the clip that allows you to place a screwdriver tip in and twist, which should unseat it. Then using the blade of the screwdriver, lever the clip away from the pin until it is fully freed. Try to hold your hand in a position that you can catch the clip as it WILL fly off and find the nearest drain etc.
The red cardboard was just to protect the paintwork.
Once the clip is removed, retrieved from the nearest drain, keep it in a safe place as you will be screwed without it.
Now, using a punch/drift, hammer the pin downwards
until it is clear of the hinge.
Next, to get access to the bushes, you need to remove the door half of the hinge from the door. It is held in place by 2 x 13mm bolts. You can get a socket on the top bolt
But, you will need a ring spanner for the bottom bolt as access is limited.
And remove the half of the hinge.
Slightly blurry, but you can see the bushes now.
And you can see how bad they are.
You can either drift the bushes out using a suitable drift, or use a screwdriver to lever under the flange (fnar fnar) and ultimately lever out the old bushes.
Be careful not to stab yourself with the screwdriver. Sounds daft, but I nearly did it a few times.
Now place the new bushes in place.
With the flanges facing downward and push them into place. They might just push in or you might need to hammer them in. If they are too loose you may need a new hinge.
Now clean the pin and add some copperslip or lube of your choice.
Offer the half of the hinge up to the other half and loosely bolt to the door.
Lining the holes up best you can.
And hammer the pin in from below.
Or you could drop the pin and watch it disappear into the hole that is the inner wing, spend ages trying to fish it out and then realise the only way you will ever see it again is to go in through the wheel arch.
Also, even though I knew that the bushes were different sizes, I still managed to put them in the wrong way around. I only realised after trying everything I could to get the pin back in place.
The bushes are both the same outer diameter, but one is a smaller inside diameter than the other.
The one with the bigger inside diameter goes at the bottom of the hinge, otherwise the pin will not go completely in.
Anyway, hammer the pin back into place which is awkward due to limited space.
Remembering to put the clip back in place in the groove
And tighten the 2 x 13mm bolts back up.
Err, no. You still have the bottom one to do. Well you can forget doing that in situ as there is no way you would be able to hammer the pin back in again due to lack of space.
So, the only way to do this is to take the whole hinge off.
To do this you need to take the wheel off and the wheel arch plastic liner out. This will give you access to the 3 x 13mm bolts that hold the inner half of the hinge to the body.
Use a ratchet with a long handle, or use a tube to extend the grip. It is fiddly, but you will get there.
Remove the 3 bolts and put them somewhere safe. DO NOT attempt to open the door while the ratchet is in there as you will damage the door.
Now remove the 2 x 13mm bolts that hold the hinge to the door.
And remove the hinge. You will need to fold the hinge and jiggle it about a bit to get it out.
You can now work on the hinge outside of the car.
Pretty similar to the procedure above, but the pictures are clearer.
Prise off the circlip with a screwdriver
Now hammer out the pin
Using a drift
To push the pin fully out.
And remove the old bushes
Using a screwdriver
Or drift if needed
The lower bush of the bottom hinge was a little, errr, worn.
Take the new bushes and push them into place. You can see in the pic that one has a larger hole or inside diameter. As said above, this is the bottom bush.
The next pic is shown upside down as the flanges go to the bottom.
The new bushes are now fitted.
Clean the pin up with a bit of wet and dry.
Apply some copperslip and push the pin in from the bottom of the hinge.
And hammer the pin in the last little bit.
And push the clip back into place.
Now, refit the hinge
And you are finished.
Try closing the door and make sure the door shuts smoothly and that the shut lines look ok. Hopefully, as you supported the door it shouldn’t have moved.
You can now refit the wheel arch liner and wheel.
I haven’t taken it for a drive yet, but the door does seem to have less play in it now.
As per usual, you do these jobs at your own risk. Use the correct equipment to support the car if you are working in the wheel arch as the car could fall if just supported by the jack.