Chemical Flaw Brings Out the Worst in Factory Hinges

The only thing worse than corrosion is when you can’t do anything about it.

If you own a Jeep JK built in 2007 or later, be on the lookout for bubbling paint on the outside hinge of your door. At the start of the 2007 model year, Jeep started using aluminum hinges that carry a secret; a flaw in the way that the aluminum is anodized causes oxidation under the paint, even with the absence of air and water.

You will feel it before you see it. From the surface, the paint will feel bubbly to the touch. As it continues to corrode, the paint will bubble further until it eventually flakes and falls off. Our own Peter Taraborelli noticed his hinges were bubbling just one year after he bought a brand new Jeep JK in August 2012, and he investigated the issue.

“What you essentially have is a $25,000 vehicle with hinges that are subpar,” Taraborelli says. “There are still Jeeps out there today that are being manufactured with these hinges, as recent as last year’s models.”

Taraborelli, who hosts our installation tutorial videos, says that sandblasting and repainting the hinges or powder coating the hinges won’t matter. The corrosion will continue because these processes don’t change the actual metal itself. He recommends investing in ready-to-paint hinges and having a body shop do a factory-match paint job.

To meet this need, we rolled out a new line of ready-to-paint hinges that are sandblasted, so they can hold the paint better. We also make some very attractive polished stainless hinges, as well as hinges that are powder coated black with smooth and textured finishes.

The best part is that our hinges are made from stainless steel, so you won’t experience that bubbly, corroded mess.

In addition to looking nice, our hinges are designed and manufactured with brass bushings in the lower portion of the door hinge, whereas stock hinges have plastic bearings. Eventually, the plastic bearings deteriorate and break down, making doors very difficult to open. The brass bushings in our hinges provide smooth metal-on-metal movement, ensuring your doors operate better for longer.

For more information on our ready-to-paint hinges, contact our main office at (330) 549-2235.