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Stainless tailgate hinges

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The hinges on my tailgate are reasonably rusty and nasty. I had them off a few years ago and pampered them a bit, but they're still quite nasty a few years on. They're mild steel so it's inevitable really.

so.. firstly, does anyone know anyone who makes stainless replacements? I figure they'll fit all Stevens models from '88 to end of the V8 production.

Secondly, if they aren't already available in stainless, is anyone interested in a group buy if I can get someone to make them? If there is interest I'll post in the V8 section as well.

Lastly.. anyone got a spare set I can send to someone so they can use them as a template? :)

I'm happy to do the research and front the costs up front of there is interest as I really want a set myself. Just figure it would be cheaper, and we can all benefit it I get a load done.

I may even see if some of the suppliers would be interested as well. I'm not after making profit out of them, just be a great upgrade!


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  • 2 months later...

Allright.... Let me poke around. How much are the originals and how much is fair for an upgrade?

The hinges are borderline horrible. the only reason I say they arent is mine seem to be working really nice.

  I think maybe just maybe I can hand bend them if I buy a few more tools or can source a brake if its a small batch. The only thing is ya would need to either A drill the holes your self of B have my buddy do them on his drill press or C another forum member could slot them on a milling machine laser or water jet. Because I am real interested in a set my self.

The only reason I ask about money is if I make a set for me money and time arent a big deal. If I make a set for yall I would hate to spend too much on em and either you dont want em or feel burned.

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  • Gold FFM

These need to be mm perfect. Anything less and frankly they risk looking shite.

its such a nasty job just aligning the hatch as it is - you'll only be wanting to do it once unless you really are some kind masochist

Only here once

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  • Gold FFM

Just after I bought my car, I noticed that the morons who last took the tailgate off had put one of the hinges on upside down, and had bent it to make it fit, which was why the alignment was out. So I bought a new pair for about £35 each.

As Barry says, they need to be absolutely perfect to achieve the correct tailgate alignment.

Margate Exotics.

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No need to go Titanium, there are several grades of stainless steel exhibiting excellent strength

High Strength Stainless Steels

An alloy is generally considered a high strength stainless steel when it meets several key requirements. First, it must have an ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of 225 ksi (1550 MPa) or more, and a minimum yield strength (YS) of 200 ksi (1378 MPa). Tensile ductility must be good, with a minimum 10% elongation preferred.

To further qualify as a high strength stainless, the alloy generally exhibits fracture toughness as least as good as that of 15-5 PH stainless (S15500). It also must have general corrosion resistance similar to that of Type 304 stainless, with good resistance to stress corrosion cracking (SCC).

Six Carpenter martensitic, precipitation (age) hardened (PH) stainless steels meet all the defined requirements. They are CarTech 15-5 PH stainless, CarTech Custom 450® stainless (S45000), CarTech 13-8 (S13800), CarTech Custom 455® stainless (S45500), CarTech ustom 465® stainless (S46500) and the newest addition, CarTech Custom 475™ stainless

The military and aerospace, among other sectors, would like to capitalize on the light weight advantages of metals like aluminum and titanium, to the extent permitted by strength requirements. One high strength stainless, CarTech Custom 465 stainless in particular, addresses the need for light weight. It offers a strength-to-weight ratio approaching that of titanium. Furthermore, it offers a still higher ratio capability in rolled strip, wire and small diameter bar.

CarTech Custom 465 stainless excels in damage tolerance, an attribute coveted by the military and aerospace. This, in effect, is a measure of the alloy’s ability to absorb energy and continue functioning in the presence of a failure. Materials specifiers have been willing, in some cases, to trade off strength to get more damage tolerance and corrosion resistance.

Positioning of the CarTech AerMet 100 alloy indicates that it offers the best combination of strength and toughness. CarTech AerMet 310 alloy provides the highest strength, with slightly less fracture toughness than its predecessor alloy. CarTech AerMet 310 alloy offers the ultimate high strength-to-weight ratio of this family of alloys.

The well known CarTech 4340 and CarTech 300M ultra-high strength alloys have less strength than the two CarTech AerMet alloys and distinctly less fracture toughness than AerMet 100. The titanium grade, Ti 6-4, has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, but lower fracture toughness than all the other steels shown. It is also a more expensive material. 



selectaStainless steel.gif



Edited by MrDangerUS


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Hey John if you want to build a set I would bet there are like 5 buyers depending on the cost. I dont have the mill. And under MM perfect not mm perfect guys. There is no effing way you would want a mil out on your latch I bet the factory stuff is up to a mil out and that leads to why my hatch is just a bit harder to close than it should.

I think the only reason to do titanium is literally to say so. you know if you wanted em and sure they would be indeed strong. I am wondering how hard it would be to incorpirate a bearing. I have been trying to find a good bush or pivot but quite frankley stuff is on hold. I am waiting to shell out the next months lotus payment and see what I have so unless we got an ok price and a list of ten or more buyers I aint taking a break from my intake plenum project for this. I am serious guys who wants em?

The other forum got zero responses.

Another thing is... This is where this conversation goes out of my domain in a hurry. These latches could be made from an aluminum alloy if one wanted but... It would have to be done in cad or by someone who damn well knew their stuff with strength a term that is hard to define on paper without testing. Aluminum can be strong and probably stronger than the factory hinges but I am not doing it.


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  • 2 weeks later...

hi folks.

thanks for the mention @Chillidoggy

I've had a quick look online, but can't see a decent picture of a hinge. Reading some of the posts above, yes, titanium would be cool, but in reality the cost of the material and the difficulty working with it make it prohibitive (in my opinion) -any bends have to be done with the parts heated up or it will crack etc. I've made some replacement brackets for Evoras and the Exige in 316 (marine grade) stainless and I've been able to shave off some weight so they are lighter than OEM (and look better). Strength has not been an issue so far. 

If anyone has any pictures I'd be interested to see what's involved. Without a drawing, making a set would involve reverse engineering them which can be a problem if these have to be mm perfect. Having said that I've had no problems doing the same on others. 

From the sounds of it, there may not be a huge market so costs could be a problem, but happy to give an indication.

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I do have an spare pair of hinges that aren’t rusty. Pm me your address and I can lend them to you, to get the project going.

They do have to be fairly precise, but I don’t think they have to be accurate to the thou. The holes are slots, allowing some forward and backwards movement, and the diameter is larger than the bolts that go through, so there is some room for movement.

a complete fibreglass Esprit body and tailgate are never going to be 100% perfect dimensionally together, so there has to be some room for adjustment.. and there is in the brackets.

material wise, I’d go with 316 stainless with a bead blasted finish.

Edited by Glyn Harper
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3 hours ago, Chillidoggy said:

@Miguel I was going to drop the hinges off to you on the way to work the morning, but it looks as though it’s covered.

Hi Ian, would be good to have a look at those if you have them -i'm in tomorrow from 8am if it's convenient?

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