The first mod in the how-to section that I'm going to show you is my version of how to swing them doors in reverse mode. SUICIDE! Please do not be afraid to perform this little modification as it is definitely worth the time and effort. What you will have in the end is a ride that most car and truck enthusiasts only dream about, not to mention that your hot little girlie friends get wet over. Just make sure that she sits on a towel the first few times she rides with you, because what you will have is a puddle of love soaked into your fine passenger seat interior. God Bless the Hot Chicks!
The first thing when starting this task is to leave the stock hinges in place. Don't remove the door yet. You will need to keep the door swinging to get your exact location of the new door pockets that accept the new hinges. By doing it this way takes a lot of aggravation and guesswork out of the job. It's important that you find a good location to mount the new hinges that won't interfere with the window tracks or any moving parts inside the door.
After you finally have the new hinge pockets tack welded into the jamb of the cab, and into the door in their exact location, is when you can finally remove the pins in the old factory hinges. DO NOT REMOVE THE HINGES YET, JUST THE PINS!
When you know that the new pockets are securely tack welded in place, and I mean not just 4 little tacks, you need to tack each piece at least 8 to 10 good times. You are going to be giving your door a test swing, and you don't want the tack welds to pop on you. After the old hinge pins are removed you will need to sit the door in place and bolt the new hinges to the door pockets. The old hinges will help you prop the door in its original location. It is a good idea to remove the factory strike pin to ease this situation. Otherwise the door will latch and cause you grief. We are already dealing with a suicidal situation here and grief is what we don't need.
After the door is fastened in place you are ready to test it out, you will notice the door dropping about a 3/8 to a ½ inch when it slides off the factory hinge. This is happening because the inner door skin is flexing out due to the weight of the door. Proper bracing and stiffening of the inner door skin will come later. That is small potatoes compared to getting the door aligned to perfection.
After you stop jumping with joy because you just witnessed your door opening in suicide mode, it is time to remove the door so you can finish welding the hinge pockets to the cab, and to the door. You want the opening around the hinge pockets to be extremely minimal! In other words take your time when cutting the holes where the hinge pockets will be going. Cut them a little small if you have to, and use a hand file to remove the extra metal slowly. If you don't do this and you have a large gap around the hinge pocket it will be very difficult to weld it up. You will experience burn through and it will severely piss you off to the max. Exact fit is important.
Let's pretend you are done with the hinge pockets. It is now the time to figure out where you want the new latch to be located. I usually put it about center of the old hinges unless something is getting in the way, or the door is shaped funny. You don't want anything to cause problems with the operation of the new latch.
The new latch plate is tack welded into place now. We have to figure out where the strike pin gets located. I crawl inside the cab and close the door. With a marker I draw a line on the cab jamb that's perfectly even with the front of the latch. Then measure the latch with the new strike pin locked in place. You want to measure from the front of the latch to the center of the strike pin. Since the strike pin is locked in its exact location you will be able to get a really good idea where it needs to be by taking that measurement and measuring back towards the outside of the cab from the line you drew. This might sound complicated but you will know what the hell I'm talking about when you get to this point. After you figure this out you trim down the strike plate, cut a hole in the cab, and tack weld it into place. Remember, don't cut the hole to big!
When the strike is in place you can now test out the latch mechanism and make any adjustments to the strike pin that maybe necessary. The strike plate that comes in my kit allows the strike pin to move all around in every direction at least a half an inch, so you will be able to get it dialed in so the door shuts smoothly all the way.
If you have made it this far you can finish welding in the latch and strike plates and get the welds ground down in preparation for filler. Don't grind the welds down to far. You need the meat there to take the impact of the latch hitting the strike. The same goes for grinding down the welds on the hinges. If you remove too much the weld could crack. It's easier to leave a good amount of weld and just flow the bondo into the welded area to smoothen it off. If it cracks after you have it in paint your gonna get pissed.
Bracing the door skin so the door won't sag. This isn't really that hard to do. I prefer using 1/8" steel plate and welding it to the door skin. To find the flex points you have to open the door and watch for the skin to bow in certain places. You might have to open and shut the door 100 times to determine this, but once you've located it and plated that area your door will be solid, and you will be happy. I just usually tack weld the plates in place about every inch or so. There is no need to weld them in solid. The weight of the door wanting the flex the inner skin is not enough to bust a set of good tack welds. If the automobile manufacturers would use some good thick steel for the inner door skins we wouldn't have this problem. They can kiss my white hairy ass!
Ok, now you can remove the factory hinges and weld up any holes that may be left from drilling out the spot welds that held them on.
Once you have all this accomplished you can mix up a good batch of fiber re-enforced bondo and start to smoothen off your grind marks and welded areas. When your done sanding everything smooth and it is straight as an arrow……… primer it! You will see your defects when it's in primer and can go back to fix them. The primer really brings out your bad bondo spots.
All the details I've listed above are just an introduction to what you are in for. Please click on the link below to see install photos of my 2000 S10 daily driver getting suicided along with installation descriptions. There are only 25 pictures, but it should give you a good idea of what's involved. There are a few steps that I should of taken a picture of, but I was so engrossed with the install that I forgot, but I will mention them in the descriptions.