I just replaced the hinges on the front driver door of my 2004 Saturn Vue. I'm having a hard time adjusting the door to reclose properly after replacement. No matter how I adjust the door, it seems to drop about 1/2 an inch when you open it. Any suggestions?
Remember that there is a little play in the hinges, even new ones, enough that just a slight degree of play at the hinge axis will result in several fractions of an inch movement at the latching end of the door. The key here (assuming the lower hinge is still mounted at factory height with respect to latch) is to adjust the angle of the hinge's axis such that the latching mechanism is 1/2 inch higher than the stiker plate BEFORE tightening down the hinge's mounting bolts, then when you remove your support holding up the latch end of the door it should sag back down approx 1/2 inch and line up perfectly with the latch plate. I used to do this on an old '79 Monte Carlo I used to have and even being the smallest of the Monte's, it still had fairly long, heavy doors for back then even and could get the doors to shut/latch perfectly. I own a VUE now-a-days and its door's are featherweights by comparison so they should be fairly easy to adjust and you shouldn't have to tighten the @#$% out of the mounting bolts during the adjustment, just make sure you tighten them good when the alignment turns out correct upon final inspection.
If your adjustment sags again after shutting the door a few times, then you didn't tighten down the hinge mounting bolts enough and will have to go through the adjust procedure again making sure to tighten things up better the 2nd time around.
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2004 Vue with 6-cyl Honda engine: Dipstick handle is hard to find unless well lit- dark blue and "D" shaped. Driver side, low. Presumably check in Park with engine running and trans at normal operating temp.
The doors Hinges or Striker need to be adjusted to make up for the weatherstrip thickness. To do this, loosen the hinge-to-door bolts for lateral adjustment only. Loosen the hinge-to-body bolts for both lateral and vertical adjustment.
BEFORE YOU START:
Determine which hinge bolts are to be loosened and back them out just enough to allow movement.
To move the door safely, use a padded pry bar. When the door is in the proper position, tighten the bolts to 19-25 ft. lbs. (26-35 Nm) and check the door operation. There should be no binding or interference when the door is closed and opened.
Door closing adjustment can also be affected by the position of the lock striker plate. Loosen the striker plate bolts and move the striker plate just enough to permit proper closing and locking of the door.
TO ADJUST ON A:
F-150, F-250, Expedition and Navigator
HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL ADJUSTMENT
Loosen the front door hinge to front door bolts.
Adjust the front door alignment.
Tighten the front door hinge to front door bolts to 19-25 ft. lbs. (26-35 Nm).
FRONT DOOR FORE AND AFT ADJUSTMENT
Check the rear door hinge adjustment before adjusting the front door hinge.
Remove the front fender.
Loosen the front door hinge to body bolts.
Adjust the front door alignment to specification.
Tighten the front door hinge to body bolts.
Install the front fender.
1999-00 F-Super Duty Models
The following procedure is for performing fore, aft, up, down and tilt adjustments.
Remove the door striker.
Loosen the bolts only enough to allow for slight door movement.
Carefully close and adjust the door until flush with the adjacent body panels.
Carefully open the door and tighten the bolts.
Re-install and adjust the door striker.
Check the door for proper operation and alignment.
Mark the position of the striker before loosening.
Loosen the striker retaining bolts.
Adjust the door striker and tighten the striker retaining bolts.
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My 2004 Saturn Vue had the same problem. I thought the ignition had to be changed and I drove the Vue a long time with the key hard to turn and pushing it in before turning it. I mentioned it to a Saturn Dealer mechanic while having warranty work done. He told me a new key had to be made using the key code (located on the inside panel on the driver door). They made it and it totally fixed the problem. I think any GM dealer can do that for you.
If you can grab the end of the door and lift on,and there's movement, what you need is the door hings bushing, most all auto parts sell this as a kit, cost about $6.00, the only adjustment you will have will be at the striker bolt, that the part where the door latch, latches to, to hold the door close, it unscrews and it will have some adjustment, but not much.There not adjustment for door hing.
You can loosen the bolts that hold the hinge to the door and to the body and make some adjustment. I would suspect that you'll need to replace the hinges, most likely part of the hinges may have bent. Also check for any damage to the door where the hinges attach.