Projects & Repairs --> Body Mechanical --> GM Van External Hinge Pins

Installing greasable hinge pins on a GM van.

Replacing Stock Hinge Pins
With Greasable Pins On A
2007 GM Full-Size Van

Also Covers Rear Doors On GMC Yukon and Chevy Suburban

(Covers Model Years 1993 to Current)

In This Article:

Original hinge pins are removed by hammering them out. New grease-able hinge pins are hammered into place and greased.

Related Articles:

Skill Level: 3 (Intermediate)

Time Taken: About 3 Hours

By Jim Wilk, Licensed Auto Body Technician


This GMC full-sized van belongs to a local carpet cleaning company and is used 8 to 10 hours a day.

On the last van he owned the hinge pins had rusted and split after only two years. In fact, three hinges had that problem, and the entire hinge had to be replaced. Replacing an entire hinge is expensive because the hinges are welded to the body.

Replacing GM van door hinge pins. 


 Applying masking tape and sheet metal to protect the door skin while removing hinge pins.

I did the side door towards the front of the van first, to get the feel of the job. This way, I could open the front passenger door and not cause damage to the surrounding area.

I lined the area with masking tape, then I taped a piece of sheet metal over the tape to shield the door from damage.


Removing The Top Hinge Pin:

To remove the original hinge pin, I used a 5/16" metal punch and a hammer to drive the pin upwards.

Driving van door hinge pin out. 


 Grabbing hinge pin with Vise-Grip pliers. I used a pare of Vise-Grips to grab the pin underneath the head.

Then with a hammer...


...I knocked the pin the rest of the way out by hammering on the pliers. Hammering on pliers to remove hinge pin, GM van. 


 Replacement van or SUV hinge pins with grease fittings, GM. These are the greasable pins and bushings that we bought. These are sold under the Help! line of auto parts. This is part #38455.

The vehicle was still fairly new and the factory bushings were not worn, so I did not replace them.

Note the middle section of the pin... the diameter is slightly smaller. This allows the grease to flow around the pin and reach the bushings.


If the bushings need to be replaced, the door must be completely removed, which requires removing both upper and lower hinge pins. Refer to the related articles near the bottom of this page.


I oiled the new hinge pins to help them slide into place easier. Applying oil to new hinge pins before installing. 


 Applying tape and sheet metal to protect the body from damage. I moved the metal shield to the top of the hinge.


I placed a block of wood on the head of the pin to prevent damage to the pin. Using a block of wood to protect the hinge pin. 


 Driving in a new hinge pin with a sledge hammer. I hammered in the pin with a small sledge hammer.

A bigger hammer was necessary to drive in the pin the last quarter-inch, because that section is knurled.


View of new greasable pin on the top hinge.

The grease fitting (grease Zerk) is on the bottom on this hinge.

New van door hinge pin, General Motors. 


Removing The Bottom Hinge Pin:

 Using an pneumatic hammer to break loose the lower hinge pin, GM van. The bottom hinge was very stubborn, so I used an air hammer to break the pin loose.

The bottom hinge pin is installed the opposite direction as the top, so the pin needs to be driven downward.


Then I used a metal punch to help knock the pin through. Driving out a hinge pin with a punch and hammer. 


 Using pliers on the pin to drive it out. I clamped Vise-Grips on the pin just above the head...


..then I used a hammer to knock the pin completely out. Removing hinge pin, GM van or SUV. 


 Installing new hinge pin with a hammer. I moved the shield to the bottom of the hinge, and then I hammered the new pin into place.

Note that the grease fitting was installed while I drove in the new hinge pin. I did this to prevent dirt from getting into the passageway inside the pin.


View of new pin after installation. New van door hinge pin. 


Greasing the new hinge pin, GM full-size van.  Then I greased the pin with an ordinary grease gun.

They say this grease is good for about 20,000 miles.


Then I moved to the rear side door... Replacing hinge pins on side doors on a GM commercial van. 


 Replacing van door external hinge pins. ...and repeated the same procedure.


View of both doors completed. GM full-size van. 


More Info:

Tools Used:

  • 5/16" Diameter Punch
  • Hammers
  • Vise-Grip Pliers
  • Pneumatic Hammer
  • Grease Gun

Materials Used:

  • Greasable Hinge Pins
  • Masking Tape
  • Small Piece Of Sheet Metal
  • Grease

Related Articles:



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Written May 28, 2009