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Old 02-19-2008, 08:07 PM
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New here...questions about raised designs under vinyl/fabric

I signed up to this forum hoping to gain some knowledge and ideas. I am going to redo the door panels on my 2000 Trans Am which is pewter with a flame job in orange, purple and magenta. Right now I have some of the panel painted pewter and airbrushed with flames to match the outside of the car and am tired of it. (I did the airbrushing myself 5 yrs ago) I want a more "classy-simple" look and plan on wrapping the panel with vinyl/leatherette material.

I have the basics of recovering the panel but got interested in perhaps a simple raised flame design as well. I have been unsucessful in finding anything on the internet on how to do this other then to use sculpting foam. If anyone can direct me to some instructions I would greatly appreciate it.

I'm also trying to locate an orange colored vinyl to match the orange in the flames. The color I have is a Porsche color called Orange Rot Metallic. There doesnt seem to be many places that I can find that have a color that is similar...usually it's a garish bright orange. BTW I am going to be doing a two-tone in orange and ebony/black. Most of the door panel will be ebony with orange inserts.

Thanks for any help

-Michelle

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Old 02-20-2008, 05:06 AM
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I am sure that some of the pros will be on to help you but in the mean time this is what I have done. I scoured the KNOWLEDGE BASE. Found a lot of info there. I started with some cheap luan to practice (actual panels will be made of PVC panels). Bought some 1/4" closed cell foam for my flames. About a yard of my chosen formula and a couple of cans of spray contact cement. Cut some sample flames out of the foam and glued them to the panel. Glued the entire panel and material. Then layed the material over the panel and formed it over the flames. A couple of practice panels and I am ready for the real thing.

I am going to use two layers of 1/8" PVC panels. The first panel will have holes for my clips and the second panel will cover the heads of the clips. I won't glue all the way to the edges so that I can replace any clips if needed.

Read this post that has info on help that I received:
Material for door panels & headliner

Good Luck
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:14 AM
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Here is a link with a load of info.

READ ME - Interior Door Panel (and more) FAQ - READ ME

Sorry but I don't have the time to right now to go through each one to find those specific to your needs. Go through the line items and am sure a lot of your questions will be answered.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:02 AM
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Thanks so much for the replies. I will read both of these links and thanks for the helpful info too. Since this will only be a small area I should be ok but it gives me ideas for other things as well.

This is the car that I'll be working on. My b/f and I did a cam and spring install on it last fall. I'm making only about 400 rwhp and 380 tq. It needs a retune though.

I will certainly post here when my project is done....if it doesnt turn out bad that is!


Last edited by Flaminbird; 02-20-2008 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:11 AM
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Very Nice!!! What I did was load a digital pic of the wifes truck into Photoshop. I cropped a section of the flames and printed them. I then expanded them on a copying machine till I got the size I wanted for the panels. I then had a pattern for flames that match the outside.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:43 PM
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Thanks. That sounds like a good idea for the flame template. Mine's pretty basic as you can see and I laid out the flames on the interior parts with pinstriping tape that they use. I'm wondering if I can still use the board that's already on the door panel to lay the material on?? I think its just cardboard
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Old 02-21-2008, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaminbird
..... I'm wondering if I can still use the board that's already on the door panel to lay the material on?? I think its just cardboard
Can't say. Some say to stay away from the cardboard or even cheap luan on door panels due to moisture. Could not find the better Luan that some spoke of so I went with PVC sheets like these:

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/pro...duct%5Fid=9997
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:43 PM
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Opinions on what to use for a door panel base vary. Some trimmers still use luan, while others use waterboard (chipboard with a water resistant coating,) and others have gone to ABS or PVC. If you can get the old material off of the original door panel without destroying it, you certainly can re-use it. I'm re-using the door panel bases on my wife's interior, and they're almost 35 years old. I figure if they stayed in such good condition this long...

If the old material is glued on too well, and you rip the chipboard up a bit taking it off, it can still be used as a pattern for whatever base you decide on. No matter what base you use, however, you should re-use the plastic sheeting that covers the inside of the door, between the door and the door panel, if it's salvageable. If not, use a 3 mil thick plastic sheet and cut a new one out. That'll keep the water off of the back side of the door panel no matter what base material you use.

Last edited by Dusty82; 02-21-2008 at 02:44 PM. Reason: I Kan't Spel
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:38 PM
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Thanks for all the help. I greatly appreciate it. I hope the base is still useable. My headliner cardboard however is junk. This summer I replaced it due to it being worn on the edges where the t-tops are. When we pulled the old off....CAREFULLY the chinzy board underneath broke in several places. There is fortunately a place that makes/sells an ABS headliner so I'll be replacing what we managed to still save and cover with that
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:14 PM
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Just a quick note on replacing your headliner. The ABS molds are Godsend, especially for T-tops which take a major amount of abuse. It's so much easier than rebuilding the original. But, if you've taken off the foam-backed covering, even carefully, just pitch it in the trash. Once it's sagged, old, or been used, it's worthless. The foam is probably drying out on the backside, and it will be hard to reuse. You can get headliner material from any number of sources (even JC Whitney or stop into a Hancock Fabrics). So its money well spent to buy new and glue it on the ABS. If you go with a stock color, you can even buy the ABS boards already covered and ready to install.

And on your door panels, regardless of what material you use for the door panel, remember to be very careful with the metal/plastic tops . THose have to be taken loose from the old door panel and transfered over to the new ones. When I do that, I simply drill 1/8" holes in between the die cut prongs and reattach with rivets.

When I do custom door panels, I usually use 1/8" luan. It's getting harder and harder to find, though. If you're layering hard panels, I've even used thin interior paneling to reduce the bulk. Just make sure you put the vapor barrier back on the door and it will guard against moisture. For space savings, I'm going to use pvc sheeting on the doors of a 32 Ford that's in the shop right now.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjude076
Can't say. Some say to stay away from the cardboard or even cheap luan on door panels due to moisture. Could not find the better Luan that some spoke of so I went with PVC sheets like these:

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/pro...duct%5Fid=9997
What you ordered is solid PVC. This will work, but it's a lot heavier and more expensive than what is normally used, which is closed cell PVC, also known as PVC foamboard, or expanded PVC which you can get from most sign shops. It goes by brand names Sintra, Maxxion, Komatex, and Celtec. This is half the weight of solid PVC. Waterproof panel board is another option. Anything would be better than plywood for door panels, that's why car manufacturers never used it.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:52 PM
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Thanks stitcherguy and dan very much for the wealth of knowledge . Where I work we do promotional items and one of our many vendors is a sign making company. I probably can get the material you mentioned Dan from them at our discounted price. Otherwise there are many sign shops around so I will check them out. I will also be sure that I reuse the plastic that is in the door as suggested.

For the headliner apparently of all the fbody owners that I have read that have bought this product none have actually covered it and just uses it as is. Here's a link to the product.

http://www.hawksthirdgenparts.com/in...ROD&ProdID=624

The headliner that is my car is as light as a rice cake and as thin as paper . It almost felt like antique paper or something..just ugly and horrible . I did recover it in the fall but had trouble at the t-top curves. It will hold me over till I can get the ABS. I hadnt thought of covering it though so I'll see what it looks like whenever I get it.

Good news though on my color of vinyl I'd been hunting down. Through my searches for the illusive color I'd come across the line by Enduratex called Jetstream and saw a color called Glowing Flame. I requested a free sample booklet which came today and that color is almost what I was looking for so I plan to go with that....that is if this material is good to use??
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:39 PM
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Jetstream is a very cool material. I love the metallic look. I did an 85 Monte Carlo in the silver Jetstream and a burgundy vinyl. Click on the pic and it should take you to a slide show of the car.



The extra nicety of the Jetstream is that it's marine grade vinyl. Not that you're going to be taking your ride into the surf, but with the T-tops, it does help guard against breaking down under UV.

I just never gave it a second thought that someone wouldn't cover their ABS board before installing it. I'm working from an upholsterer's mind, I guess. But it could look very cool with a skim of filler over it and sanded smooth. Maybe in the center with a nice airbrush pattern, and covering the outer area. Lots of possiblities with a new, solid board.
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:25 AM
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Not true that car manufactures never used plywood.I have done a number of Rolls Royces, all used plywood in panels.Also a lot of custom body builders from yhe 30's used plywood.As long as there is a good barrier on the back of the panel I have never had a problem.
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:32 AM
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I guess there's an exception to every rule. My point is that there are much better, lighter, waterproof, easier to work with options for panels than plywood available now.
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