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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've got a door panel project in the near future and have a few questions, I want to tuck and glue the vinyl over the door panel design but don't know what weight vinyl to buy and which is the most flexible and stretchable? Also is anyone using fiberglass panels to make the structure of the panel and where are they available?
 

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Hey Bob,

On this next 57 Chev truck I was planning on laying up my own design in fiberglass and cover with ultraleather. You know, using the sanded foam design as a form. But I'm really leaning towards using the Rod Doors trim to fit pre-molded panels (abs I think). They look good and I can show he customer what they look like. Anyway, a possibility:
http://www.roddoors.com/pages/dp-uni.html
As far as covering I'm of course not an upholsterer but from my research it appears the ultraleather is the closest simulant leather faux.

Larry
 

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Automotive vinyls usually have the material weight and backing type listed.

For materials that are being stretched or formed. You will want an elastic back vinyl. Avoid a "drill" back, such as used in tarp type covers.

If you can, feel the texture and stretch the material between your fingers. It is common for more stretch one way than the other.
 

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If you can, feel the texture and stretch the material between your fingers. It is common for more stretch one way than the other.
That depends. Some vinyl only stretches 2 ways, while others stretch 4 ways. (like Morbern Allsport) You need to check the spec sheet on the vinyl. A door panel should not give you that many headaches, just buy a good grade of vinyl, not $2.00 a yard at some closeout store. Another choice is marine vinyl which is more UV resistant and resists oil, gas, and mildew. Go to an upholstery shop and ask. They will show you the spec sheets, help you choose, and answer all your questions.

Ultraleather is not vinyl, it is 100% polyurethane, not PVC like Naugahyde,( a name brand used generically in referring to vinyl) Ultraleather stretches a lot. It is also 2 to 3 times the price of vinyl.

The benchmark for all fabric, including vinyl and ultraleather, is the Wyzenbeek test.(also on all fabric spec sheets) This is a test that abrades the fabric by rubbing it forward and back. The more double rubs the fabric can withstand, the better the fabric. Ultraleather will win that contest hands down, but how much punishment like that is a door panel going to get?
 

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302/Z28 said:
One of our club members is doing his own upholstery and has discovered that Ultra leather is not very stretchable. He is instead going with a vinyl fabric.

Vince
Ultraleather is a brand name. Some people use the term "Ultraleather" to describe leather-like substitutes that are not really Ultraleather. There are different styles of Ultraleather, Ultraleather 291 and Pearlized have a lot of 2 way stretch, and have a rayon backing.
Ostrich, Raffia, and Promessa have a polyester/rayon backing and are more pliable than stretchy. BTW Ultraleather 291 withstands 400,000 double rubs in testing, and regular vinyl does well to withstand 100,000 double rubs. I'm not advocating one fabric over the other, just trying to give out some useful information that everyone can use to decide what they want to put in their car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Which works best with adhesive, Example I've seen some vinyl top kits that glue better than others and imagine some of the interior vinyls are better than others for stitching, glueing, stretching and pliability etc.

Here's the deal on what I'm working on: My Son's 70 Nova, he didn't want the original style vent window doors so we went with 73/74 doors which are reskinned and fitted. We realized the doors used different interior panels in that 68-72 models had vinyl covered paper board style construction and the 73/74 used a molded plastic panel. The 73/74 quarter interior panels are way different in shape and won't fit the 68-72 cars so we then thought why not use the original 68-72 style door panels on the 73/74 doors and just use a full length interior belt weatherstrip but problem is the regulator is in a different position and also the clip holes. Soooo, now we are going to make our own panels using the metal tops off the 70 original panels and fabricate the lower part out of luan or fiberglass or abs sheeting then cover them with our own vinyl which should work just fine but we want to make a pattern out of closed cell foam or the board material and glue and tuck for some style. I've got no access to an industrial style sewing machine. I hope to get the right vinyl and get her done asap. Other than simple carpet and seat cover and headliner installs interior work is foreign to me-especially custom stuff. Bodywork is my bag, thanks for any advice. Bob
 

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Of the three choices you stated for the door panels, I would choose the ABS over the other two. A 4th choice would be PVC foamboard. (also called expanded PVC ) Lighter than 100% PVC, but still strong enough for a door panel. Also cheaper than ABS or PVC. ( A source for plastic sheet stock online is www.usplastic.com ) All you need is 1/8" panels. In a nutshell........Glue closed cell foam over the panel after locating your panel clip holes. Cut out any designs you want in the closed cell foam, and spray contact adhesive on the panel and the fabric. Let the contact adhesive dry until it's not tacky at all, and then glue whatever fabric you choose onto the panel. This is as basic as it gets, so you'll have to check the knowledge base for more detailed instructions. Make sure you understand the process before you start.
 
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