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Old 07-17-2009, 09:17 AM
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New Door Panels

I have a 1971 chevelle 2 door hardtop. I ordered new door panels and already have them, I was not suspecting that I would have to recover the old door panel "frames" with the panels that I just got, but I do. I was wondering if anyone else has done this and if so how? The top of the old door panels have a metal frame on the top half of the panel. The metal frame has a curve in it to hang on the top of the door, and the bottom half of the panels are cardboard, on the original door panel had the metal connected to the cardboard by a punch like hole which put a little hole through both metal and cardboard and put a little spread of the metal on the back side to make sure the cardboard didn't slip off. It looks almost like a little star with the edges of it hanging like a flange over the outside edge of the hole/ How do I get the cardboard to reconnect with the metal piece? Also how do I get the new fabric to stick to the metal? I was thinking spray adhesive but it takes so long that I am scared to use it and have them come loose, or wrinkle during the drying period. What about hot glue?

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Old 07-17-2009, 10:28 AM
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You take the cardboard panel and glue it to the curved metal piece with HHR (high heat resistant) contact adhesive. After the cardboard is glued in place, drill some small pilot holes through the cardboard and metal in about five places. Screw the two pieces together with small phillips flat head screws from the back through the metal, and after they are snug, grind off the part of the screw that sticks out flush with the metal.

Attach the new vinyl over the top of the metal with the same HHR contact adhesive. It will not wrinkle because it will already be dry when you mate the vinyl to the metal.

While you're at it, put new belt weatherstripping (window sweep) on the top of the metal. The old sweeps have to come off anyway to glue the vinyl on. You can buy exact replacements on line. Take the staples out that hold them in place. Re-attach the new sweeps with stainless or aluminum pop rivets. I think those sweeps are the kind that fold in half, and only the inside part next to the metal gets attached. You'll need to drill 1/8" holes through the sweep and the metal. Obviously, work from the sweep through the metal with the rivets. No, the bumps on the back from the pop rivets after you're done will not keep the metal piece from going back on the car door.
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 07-17-2009 at 11:06 AM.
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