More often than not, trucks of any lineage are used and abused, just like they were meant to be. And of the areas receiving the brunt of the abuse, the doors and beds undoubtedly take the most punishment. Even with pickup trucks that were spared the fate of a hardcore blue-collar life, the beds may survive, but the doors eventually succumb to the laws of gravity, requiring at the very least new hinge pins and latches. For those haulers beaten to submission, all is not lost--even the worst of the worst can be brought back to life.

If you've watched the progression of my '75 Cheyenne, you may have noticed that it was nowhere near pristine from the get-go. As a matter of fact, I was told on numerous occasions that I'd be better off starting with a nicer pickup. Even I agreed, but for some reason, I had a soft spot in my heart for the beat-up old Chevy, and I just didn't feel she was ready to be put to pasture quite yet. From the beginning, everything that the "nice" lady who sold the truck to me said was BS--the good-running engine had a flat cam and a couple spun bearings; the rebuilt tranny let Second gear go in a matter of weeks; the solid chassis turned out to be buckled--so my degreed pessimism came in handy. With all these obstacles, do you think a set of heavily sagging doors that refused to cooperate would deter me? I think not. In all actuality, it turned out to be easier to address than initially anticipated.

After consulting a couple of body repair experts, it was clear the best way to overcome the issues at hand was to replace everything--the average hinge replacement would have been a waste of time. The combination of constant abuse and neglect not only wore the hinges beyond functionality, it had literally began to rip the sheetmetal from the doors, not to mention the doorjambs where the strikers mount. After grabbing a set of (four) hinges from the local GM dealership, I headed over to Classic Industries in Huntington Beach, California, to grab a pair of reproduction doors. While I had the option of fully skinning the stock doors, it wasn't something I wanted to dive into, so the choice to go with complete doors was obvious--more importantly, the cost of the entire door was barely more than the skins!

First order of business was to have the new Classic doors jambed, which was done at the same time the front sheetmetal was at Caliber Collision in Costa Mesa, California. The front group was hung right away; the doors would wait until the truck was ready for its major bodywork at Jimenez Brothers Customs in Riverside later down the road, as nobody wanted to waste their time hanging and aligning if it all had to be done over again in the near future.

The day finally came when the Cheyenne was "admitted" for its body abuse rehabilitation. Among the long list of chores that JBC faced, the installation and subsequent hanging/aligning of the new doors was right there at the top. Fortunately, it was checked off sooner than later. At first, nothing jived, but once the wasted cab mounts were replaced, things pretty much started to fall into place (including the front clip, which gave us fits way back when!). Areas that still offered resistance were dealt with accordingly (in other words, "shimmed").

If your truck is suffering from severe door sag caused by rust or damage, let the following be proof that not everything is beyond repair.