Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Jeep Door Hinge Problems

How to Extend the Life of Jeep Door Hinges

My Jeep's corroded Door Hinge

The Jeep Wrangler (JK/JKU's) door hinges use an aluminum bushing sleeve with a steel post hinge. There are a few potential issues that could arise due to the interaction between different metals. 

Jeep's corroded aluminum sleeves

Galvanic Corrosion: This is the primary concern when aluminum and steel are in contact, especially in the presence of an electrolyte (like water with salt, commonly encountered in off-roading or coastal areas). Galvanic corrosion occurs because aluminum and steel have different electrode potentials, and when they are connected in the presence of an electrolyte, the aluminum acts as an anode (the part that corrodes) and the steel acts as the cathode (the more protected part). This can lead to the aluminum bushing deteriorating over time.

The corroded aluminum sleeve

Wear and Friction: Aluminum is softer than steel. Under regular operation, like the opening and closing of a door, the aluminum bushing might wear out faster than if it were paired with a hinge of the same material. This can result in increased play or looseness in the hinge over time, potentially affecting the door's alignment and closing mechanism.

When the corrosion happens it makes it much harder to open and close the door. This happened to me and eventually I couldn't use my door. 

Replacement Solution

I decided to try out an aftermarket sleeve instead. The old aluminum bushing needed to come out. 

Kentrol Door Hinge Liners 👉 Buy Here

Then I replaced the busing sleeve with Kentrol Door Hinge liners. The liners are made from a type of plastic called Black Delrin, or otherwise known as acetal. Acetal is considered an "engineering" plastic due to it's resistance to being distorted/it's strength. This material is low in friction and stiff, making parts made out of it durable and easy to install. Overall, this makes it a heated competitor to metal parts in a variety of scenarios, namely in automotive products.

Preventative Tips

To minimize these issues, it's important to:

  • Regularly inspect the hinge and bushing for signs of corrosion or wear.
  • Consider using a protective coating or grease to reduce direct metal-to-metal contact and to shield the metals from corrosive elements.
  • Ensure proper installation and alignment to minimize undue stress on the bushing.

These steps can help prolong the life of the components and maintain the proper functioning of the door.

For protecting an aluminum bushing in a steel post hinge on a Jeep Wrangler, you'll want to use a grease or coating that provides good corrosion resistance and reduces wear. Here are some options:

Marine Grease: This is a great choice if your Jeep is frequently exposed to wet conditions or salty environments (like coastal areas or roads treated with salt in winter). Marine grease is water-resistant and designed to protect against rust and corrosion in harsh conditions.

Lithium Grease: This is a popular, all-purpose automotive grease that's suitable for most weather conditions. It's good for metal-to-metal contact and helps reduce friction and wear.

Anti-Seize Lubricant: This is specifically designed to prevent seizing, corrosion, and galling where different metals are in contact. It's particularly useful in applications like hinges where disassembly might be required in the future.

Dielectric Grease: While typically used for electrical connections, dielectric grease can also be effective in preventing corrosion in metal joints. It's non-conductive and does not attract dust or dirt.

Graphite Grease: Graphite grease can withstand high temperatures and is also effective in reducing friction and wear between metals.

Steps when applying any of these greases:

  • Clean the hinge and bushing thoroughly to remove any dirt, rust, or old grease.
  • Apply a generous amount of grease to both the bushing and the hinge pin, ensuring full coverage.
  • Reapply grease periodically, especially after exposure to severe conditions or during routine maintenance.

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