In this post we will cover a 1963 Corvette door hinge detente spring replacement. It is quite common for the detente springs in a Corvette door hinge to break off and need replacement. This was the case with a couple of the springs on our Corvette. For this project a special riveting tool is required, so we fabricated our own, they can also be purchased.
This is the detente spring on the Corvette door hinge. This is what holds the door open and prevents it from closing when the vehicle is on a gentle slope. After many years of use these become fatigued and break. They are visible in the jamb so they can be judged and thus we need to fix any broken ones.
You can see here that the upper spring has broken off. The first thing that need to be done is removing the old rivets.
Using a pneumatic cut-off wheel the heads of the rivet are ground off.
After the heads of the rivets are gone, the broken spring can be popped off with a screw driver.
The rivets are then ground down to flush with the hinge.
Using a punch, the rivets are driven out.
The new spring and rivets are set into place. Notice the hollow tip of the rivet, this needs to be flared out.
We fabricated a riveting tool using a metal lathe and a C-clamp. The key is for the tool to have a cone that flares the hollow point of the rivet out and to have a rounded recess to form the correct look of the factory rivets.
Here is the tool in action.
This is the finished product and it looks just like it did from the factory.