Projects & Repairs --> Mechanical --> Door --> Hinge Detent Roller

GM truck hinge.

Replacing A GM Door Hinge
Detent Roller

Keeping The Door Open Properly

In This Article:

The door is removed from the vehicle, the detent roller pin is cut apart and removed, and then the roller and pin are replaced.

Related Articles:

Skill Level: 3-4 (Intermediate to Advanced)

Time Taken: About 2 Hours

By Jim Wilk, Licensed Auto Body Technician


This GMC Jimmy had a problem with the driver's side door. First, the door had begun to sag because the hinge pins had become badly worn.

Second, the door would swing too easily. Sometimes the door would swing shut unexpectedly (especially on a windy day or when the car was not parked on a level surface), which can cause the door to hit the person getting into the vehicle. Also, the door could open too fast and strike an adjacent car in a parking lot.

Car doors usually have two detent positions, halfway open and fully open. A detent is a device that holds something in place... for example an automatic transmission gear shift usually has detents that keep the shift linkage in the desired gear. A car door detent device may also be called a hold-open mechanism.

When a car door swings uncontrollably, it's possible that the detent mechanism has worn out.

Car or truck door hold open or detent device. On this GM truck, the detent mechanism has three main components:
  1. A "toothed" metal bar with two "valleys".
  2. A roller mounted on the bottom of a pin.
  3. A spring that pushes the metal bar into the roller.

But when GMC Jimmy car came into my shop, the roller had broken off, so I had to install a new one.

Installing a new door hinge roller requires that the door be removed. I also replaced the hinge pins because they were worn out.

To remove the car door, the hinge pins must be removed. On this job, I was able to support the door next to the car, so I did not need to disconnect the electrical wiring between the door and the car body.

Car door being removed.

Click here to read about removing (and replacing) hinge pins.

If you don't have an easy way to support the door, then the wiring can be disconnected once the interior door panel is removed. Click here to read about removing the door panel on a GMC Jimmy or Chevy Blazer, or view our list of door panel removal articles.

Detent roller and pin.

This is the new roller and pin assembly.

You can't see it in this photo, but there is a washer on the right-hand end of the roller. The washer needs to be placed towards the longer pin when these parts are assembled.


The door has been separated from the car and moved a few inches away. I supported the door on an ordinary hand truck (the kind delivery guys use to move boxes). I put a plastic milk crate on the dolly and some blocks of wood to support the door at the proper height. Then I strapped the door to the dolly bungee cords, and I placed cardboard over the door skin to protect the paint. GMC SUV driver's door with hinge pin removed.


Grinding off top of hold-open roller pin.

Removing The Old Pin:

I used a die grinder to grind the head off the pin.


Then I used a cutting wheel in the die grinder to cut the pin about a half-inch above the bottom of the hinge bracket. Cutting door pin with grinder.


Removing old pin. I pounded a big screwdriver into the gap to wedge the two pieces apart.


Then I hammered the screwdriver downward to drive the lower part of the pin out. Punching out door roller pin, General Motors.


Driving out part of roller pin, GM. To remove the upper part of the pin, I clamped a pair of vise grip pliers to it and hammered on the pliers to pull the pin downward.


The door hinge bracket with the pins removed. Car door hinge.


Installing new detent roller pin, GM. Using a hammer, I tapped the new pin assembly into place from below.


The new pin and roller after installation.

I also installed the hinge pin bushings, which is mentioned in our article about replacing hinge pins.

GM truck hinge with new roller and hinge bushings.


GM truck door hinge after replacing pins and detent roller. Then I re-installed the door.

I used a MIG welder and tack-welded the top of the roller pin, and the hinge pin, just to make sure they don't go anywhere.


More Info:

Tools Used:

  • Die Grinder With Grinding Stone and Cutting Disc
  • Large Flat Screwdriver
  • Vise-Grip Pliers
  • Hammer

Materials Used:

  • Hinge Detent Roller And Pin

Related Articles:



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Written March 12, 2009