How many of you out there have experienced a bent door panel or dinged up door moulding because the door doesn't stop when opened? Another annoying thing is the loud popping noise when you try closing the door after. Many of you have most likely experienced this, which is caused by a broken door check/stopper or the U-bracket at the A-pillar.
However, the door check/stopper can be easily replaced - The part is still available, but the U-shaped bracket is another story. It's not easy to repair, because that bracket is welded on the inside of the A-pillar, reinforced from inside during assembly. If you try to weld a U-bracket at the surface of the pillar, it won't be strong enough; you would only be welding it to the sheetmetal. Welding it properly is an expensive process: You must remove the door weatherstrip and carpeting if you don't want to burn them, as well as requiring spot painting after.
I've thought about how to repair the broken bracket and came up with a bracket design using a reinforcement plate from inside. This design makes it easy to install and is very strong. A zinc-plated bracket is mounted on the outside of where the old bracket is, and a reinforcement plate is installed with a special holder/rod through an access hole from the interior's kick panel. You won't need to cut any additional holes - There is a factory oval cutout about 2 inches by 3 inches.
Left side bracket repair set shown; comes with: Reinforcement plate with mounting rod & studs, U-bracket, guide pin & 2x 6mm nuts. Available for both sides.
To start with the installation, mock up the outer U-bracket piece as best as you can with the old holes where the door brake bracket used to be. Use a punch to find the center of the mounting holes; from there, use a drill bit that is big enough to fit a 6mm stud. Move to the inside kick panel and begin lifting the carpet away - You should be able to see an oval hole that will give you access to the sheet metal at the bracket mount.
Guide the reinforcement plate with the rod holder through the access hole and mount the plate through drilled holes. The reinforcement plate has two mounted 6mm studs. The rod has a unique angle that will make it simple to install the plate. Guide the studs through the pre-drilled holes; once the stud is visible, slide the U-bracket through the studs and install & tighten both nuts. Leave the rod holder intact for now. Connect the door check/stopped to the U-bracket and secure it with the supplied pin and C-clip. After testing the door operation and everything looks well, you can remove the holder rod by twisting & rocking it back and forth.
Undo the C-clip, remove the pin and any broken pieces. You should be left with two rectangular holes where the old bracket used to be. Align the bracket with where it should sit, and then mark the two holes where the studs will go through. You will need to drill out these holes to accept a 6mm stud, each. Next, pull back on the interior kick panel carpeting and begin to wiggle the reinforcement plate up and through the holes. Be sure not to separate the rod until the plate has been secured and door operation has been checked.
Mate the U-shaped bracket through the studs and install the provided nuts. Align the door brake rod between the U-bracket and slide the pin through. Applying some grease on the pin would help the door stopper rotate more freely. Lastly, secure the pin by installing the C-clip at the bottom. You're done!
The whole process/job will take about 30-45 minutes each side. No welding; just drilling two holes for mounting. Now there will be no more popping noise or damaged door panels and/or moldings. You can paint these in body color prior to installment. These repair kits will be available soon and will either come in sets or for individual doors (left or right). You can contact me through my email at [email protected] if you are interested. Thanks again folks for taking the time to read this, and hope this will be something that will help give you that extra peace of mind for your '02!
How it breaks
The original bracket was made using a stamping method, bent into the shape it needs to be and then spot welded onto the body's sheet metal. Over time, as the door is opened & closed (as well as other factors, such as exposure to the weather), the joint has become weak over 40+ years, causing the welds to crack and eventually separate/break from the sheet metal. The constant pushing & pulling of the door brake and its detents certainly don't help as well. The reason that our reinforcing plate is indented is because sometimes the old bracket may not break off cleanly.