When I was searching for a used Escape with about 100k on the clock one of the common issues I found was the driver door hinges were worn. This would lead to the door sagging when open. The one that I purchased for my GD was a good example of the worse one’s found to the point that it started to scrape the paint on the driver’s side second seat when it was closing. Another characteristic is that it take a little more force to close the door and if you watch it carefully, you can see the back of the door rise as the latch engages the door striker. The easiest way to check for worn hinge bushings is to grab the back of the door while it is open about a foot and try lifting and lowering the door. There is always some movement with new bushings, but when worn there is quite a lot. The door lift on the striker is the best determination.
Ford only sells new complete hinges at $32 MSRP and $24 discounted each. Plus you have to remove the front fenders to get to the bolts when replacing the entire hinge. The two other options are to buy replacement bushings from sources like McMaster or get the Dorman Kit from places like Rock Auto. I did the latter as I was not sure how worn the hinge pins would be, and I would not have to play around measuring. Part # 38465, Rock Auto $8.84 plus shipping for each door.
In reading about others who had installed the kits there were some issues about bushings being hard to remove or breaking them. Here is how I did them on this vehicle without any issues. DO ONLY ONE HINGE AT A TIME!
I didn’t take any pictures of the floor jack holding up the door, but you want to put a folded heavy towel on the jack pad to protect the door, then place the jack at the outer end of the door and raise it just enough to take the weight off one hinge. Again, you will do only one hinge at a time
If you’ve done bodywork in the past you know that hinge alignment is a critical issue, and can be very frustrating to get it right when you are starting from scratch. The ideal method with this type of repair is to first mark the location of the hinges so you can get them back in the same spot, easily done with a magic marker, and easily cleaned later on with alcohol. Depending on the tip of the magic marker you will either have no space between the mark and hinge, or a slight one. I mark both hinges at the same time so if there is a space I can reference the other hinge when putting things back together, and mark which end is the top.
Once marked, the first thing I did was slightly loosen the hinge bolts on the one I'm working on while the hinge pin is still there to take any twisting force. Once loose, I then pulled the circlip with needlenose pliers. The hinge pins take some hammering to push them out as they are an interference fit at the serrated end. You might not have a striking instrument that fits in the door cavity. I have a large amount of metal strips in my toolbox to use as striking punches so I had no issue, but (and I hate to say this) you could also use a long screwdriver if necessary. With the pin out, remove the two bolts all the way and maneuver the hinge half out the rest of the way. Note that the top pin faces up and the bottom hinge pin down.
With hinge half on the bench (tailgate) its time to remove the bushings. Keep track of the flanges and sizes, as the pin will only fit one way as it is stepped. There will be some rust that forms between the bushing and hinge that increases the force to dislodge the bushings. Trying to use a screwdriver to pry the flange like others have done resulted in the same problem they had, the flanges break off. So with some 5/16” bolts in the garage, I made my own puller and press.
I used a 3/8 drive socket that was larger then the bushing flange so the flange could be drawn into it. For the end of the bushing without the flange, a washer between the nut and bushing was used. This bolt was a little too long so I put a 3/8 nut up top as a spacer. This setup only allowed me to move the bushing 1/8 inch at most, but that was enough to break the hold the rust had on the bushing. I then used the threaded end of the bolt as a driving punch on the non-flanged end of the bushing and tapped it out. The other bushing was dealt with the same way.
As you can see from when I was all done the bushings were quite worn. And a picture of the old pins for reference.
To install the bushings I first cleaned the hinge of any corrosion with a three sided scraper, but even the edge of a flat blade screwdriver would do. With a little oil on the bushings, I used another 5/16” bolt to pull the bushings in. With this type of method, the bushings’ flanges are pressed flat and the bushings are forced in straight rather then hammering on them and getting them crooked.
With the new bushings installed it is just a matter of getting the hinge half back into place, lightly tightening down the hinge’s door bolts, then tapping in the new pin and installing the new circlip. I was missing one circlip so I just reused one of the original clips.
With the top hinge installed, the magic marker alignment checked and bolts torqued down it was time to move on to the bottom hinge, which was completed in the same way.
And here we are with the door in perfect alignment and easy to close.
Hopefully you will get to yours before the paint starts to get marred. The hinge pin repair took me about 45 minutes to complete.
To fix the rear door paint I probably spent about 2 hours putting on basecoat, coasts of clear to rebuild up to the factory thickness, then block sanding with an eraser and 100,1500, 2000 grit before polishing to get it to look like new. And if someone needs a Dorman kit let me know, I’ll sell the extra.