External Hinges were used on Minis starting with the first cars off of the assembly line and continued with little change for a number of years, especially on the Vans and Pickups. You will also find them on roll-up window doors used on many Australian made Minis as well as some South African built Minis.
You are likely to find a few different markings on the back (door) side of the hinges to indicate their positions on the car.
With each hinge being made up of two parts, one numbering system was 1/2 for upper right, 3/4 for upper left, 5/6 for lower right and 7/8 for lower left.
Another system numbered the hinges RU, LU, RL and LL for Right Upper, Left Upper, Right Lower and Left Lower.
A third numbering system was 18 = upper right, 19 = upper left, 20 = lower right and 21 = lower left.
The latest version of the hinges now have LHT, (left hand top), LHB (left hand bottom), RHT, RHB. Please note- left hand is determined as you site in the car.
If either the second or third numbering system above is used and the hinges are to be taken apart for new bushings and pins, it is important that the two halves of each hinge are kept together.
There could be other ways that hinges are marked, or some may be found that are not marked at all. Take care when removing and reinstalling hinges noting positions and markings, or marking them yourself, if necessary.
The positioning of the various studs and bolts is not critical, but more one of ease of assembly. It is important, however, that the distance pieces (thick, tapered washers) are positioned correctly and that the hinges are in the right spots (as discussed above). Do take the time to make sure that threading in the hinge holes is deep enough to take the studs and bolts being used, and note that reproduction hinges and some nut/bolt/stud kits are now being issued with the holes and fasteners in metric.
The original bolt/stud pattern was as follows:
The two outer holes (front most, and rear most) in all four hinges took studs.
The upper hinges took a third stud in the second from the front hole; i.e., the front section of the upper hinges were fastened to the body's A-panels by two studs.
The one remaining hole in the upper hinges (second from the rear) and the two remaining holes in the lower hinges (the middle two of the four holes) took bolts.
The lower hinge bolts used flat washers and lock washers. The studs used flat washers and lock washers and nuts.
The upper hinges used flat washers, lock washers and nuts on the front two studs. The rearmost stud and the bolt in the second from the rear hole used the distance piece against the door with its thickness and taper set to compensate for the curve in that part of the door skin. A lock washer and the called for nut or bolt were used.
Article Date: Aug 24, 2012