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Interiors Upholstery and soft trim

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  #1  
Old Apr 30th, 09, 11:08 PM
Russell auto upholstery Russell auto upholstery is offline
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Michael
 
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Default Door Panel How to

Hi all, I am kinda new here, but allready have seen multiple questions related to door panels. Because of that, I thought that you might benifit from the following post. I have done auto upholstery profesionally for the past 13 years and hope I can help out now and then here in the interior section.

Also, the post is too big because of the images to fit into one post, so I have three or four total. Here we go!




I had the opportunity to do a Job for someone needing some repo UN asseambled door panels installed and thought Id photograph the process.

First off,,, whats the differance from unasseambled VS preasseambled door panels? Easy, pre asseambled panels are ready to hang on the car with very little prep work such as installing clips and cutting holes for window cranks and etc. Unasseambled panels, will require installation of the upper curved piece at the top of the door panel, along with any widow felt weatherstrip, door lock furrels, and etc.
A lot of times people will order the cheaper unasseambled panels to save money but are confused about how to go about finishing the panels upon seeing them. So here is a guide for all you do it yourselfers.

The subject is a repo door panel that is unasseambled made by PUI. It fits a 1969 Chevelle, but the process is the same for almost all unassembled door panels. As you can see, this is what will come out of the box. the upper rails in the following pics are allready removed from the old doors and cleaned up. Some are plastic and others are metal. These DO NOT come with the unasseambled panels nor does the weatherstrip seen later.



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  #2  
Old Apr 30th, 09, 11:09 PM
Russell auto upholstery Russell auto upholstery is offline
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Michael
 
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Part 2


The first step is to fit and attach the upper rail. To do this, I just center the part as best as possible. There may be some slight over hang of the panel and thats OK. To attach it, I like to use a 1/8th inch drill bit, 1/8 diameter by 1/4 inch long aluminum pop rivits and 1/8 inch pop rivit washers. The great thing about the metal rails are that they are normally punched with some type of press to grip the panels when new,, thereby creating holes that often allow the rivet to sit nice and flush with the rail so no lumps are seen. Some panels have plastic rails though that were attached with staples. These plastic rails are found on a lot of the 2nd gen birds and are often cracked. I just attach them in the same manner with rivets and but them up to each other the best as possible. Once covered, the cracks should not be seen. These are not available new unless you buy the asseambled panels. You could always fiberglass them or plastic weld them also.
I use the rivet going in on the front side and the wahser helps keep it solid with the soft panel board. I noramlly attach a rivet about every 6 incehs or every other pressed hole as in this job. Oh yeah, you may have to release a staple or so at the top of the panel to allow the material to roll back in order for the rail to be attached as I had to do on this job. And avoid placing a rivit anywhere a "hook" in the rail may be that hooks onto the metal door.






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  #3  
Old Apr 30th, 09, 11:10 PM
Russell auto upholstery Russell auto upholstery is offline
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Michael
 
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Part 3


Now after the rail is attached, you will simply need to glue the pad and materil in place. I use a contact cement that I spray through a paint gun, but I think in this case even a shot of 3M spray adheasive in a can would work because the weather strip will hold it permantly in place later. Notice My glue is yellow and I did NOT spray over my pop rivets or any other blemish that might show a divet or low spot. Once glued, I just pull nice and tight and wrap the material over and trim the edge at the end of the metal rail with a razer blade while wrapping the sides around the panel.








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  #4  
Old Apr 30th, 09, 11:11 PM
Russell auto upholstery Russell auto upholstery is offline
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Michael
 
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Part 4 (last one)



Now with the material in place, you can attach new window felt. ( order the new stuff cause the old ones will likely bend, tear and are just plain nasty once removed. ) I attach the felt in the same way with rivets as I did the rail except I do not use the washers with the metal rails... only on the plastic rails do I use the washers. Only I use less rivets. Probably about one on each end, one in the center and then just space out evenly to get about 6-8 inches apart. In this case I used a total of 7. Just center the felt as best as possible unless it requires an off center attachment for example if it were a 67 bird with vent windows.



Now after that, you are done with exception of cutting holes and attaching door lock furrels and emblems. One trick of the trade though is a bent flat screwdriver. I use this to place into the holes where the door panel clips will go in order to seperate the glued pad from the panel to allow movement and adjustment for my door panel clips. This will help greatly with fitting the panel to the doors.
Other than that, just be sure the perforations for cranks and screws for armrests and etc line up before you cut them. I often remove the perforated sections I need to remove and then test fit the panel. I can then verify that those perfarated sections I just removed are the right ones, and then I just make an X cut. You can trim the hole later to ensure you do not see gaps or etc after installation.








Now you know the differance between the prices and the parts. If you feel that you can do the above, you can probably knock off about a hundred dollars on your new panels. For what it is worth, It took me about 2 hours start to finish on both of these and I did not have to remove the old rails as they were allready removed and cleaned up for me to use. So it is not too leangthy a job either.
Good Luck.
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  #5  
Old Apr 30th, 09, 11:56 PM
webfoot webfoot is offline
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Great write-up!

I have unassembled Legendary Interior panels for my GTO, but I'm still not sure if I would try this by myself.

What do you use to clamp the rail in place before you pop-rivet? How do you know how far from the top of the panel to put the pop-rivets?
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  #6  
Old May 1st, 09, 12:57 AM
Russell auto upholstery Russell auto upholstery is offline
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Michael
 
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfoot View Post
Great write-up!

I have unassembled Legendary Interior panels for my GTO, but I'm still not sure if I would try this by myself.

What do you use to clamp the rail in place before you pop-rivet? How do you know how far from the top of the panel to put the pop-rivets?

I just use my hands to hold eerything in place while I do it, but you could use any clamp supose.

The rail and the door panel overlap about the same way on every make and model in question.. of course there are always exceptions. Normally, the rail will have a curve on the edge that rolls over right above where the door panel ends. (See pics above) Also, there is often a cut out in both door panel and rail. If that is the case, you can often match them up. There is always the old standby of laying your old door panel on top or bottom of the new one and marking where the bottom of the rail would stop. Even if the old doors are warped, the area in question should not b effected overall.
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  #7  
Old May 1st, 09, 1:02 AM
Russell auto upholstery Russell auto upholstery is offline
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Michael
 
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

I thought I should add that on the rail where the punched holes are.. ( the area that attaches the panel to the rail) there are often metal that is rolled over. Originally that metal held the panel to the rail just like a staple. I often do not have to worry about that part even though it makes a very small gap in between the rail and door panel. But if you really want it to sit flush, you can always grind down the backside of the rail to remove the metal "hooks".
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  #8  
Old May 4th, 09, 11:19 PM
webfoot webfoot is offline
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Thanks for your advice.
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  #9  
Old May 25th, 09, 11:04 PM
shrmn72 shrmn72 is offline
John
 
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

I knew there was a reason why I have waited a year to actually install my door panels, I've been waiting for this post. I was thinking about using rivets to attach the top rails but was unsure how they would turn out. Thanks for the info!!
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  #10  
Old May 25th, 09, 11:14 PM
1badss396 1badss396 is offline
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Great write up on the door panels. I did mine the same way but where the weather strip fuzzy goes I used the staples so it would be correct only because you can see them.
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  #11  
Old May 26th, 09, 11:48 AM
JWagner JWagner is offline
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

I am just a hobbiest that has done a couple sets of these and this is a really good, accurate description of the process. I like the bent screwdriver tool--wish I had thought of that. I have used countersunk pop rivets to make sure that there are no bulges at the rivets, but you have shown that to be not necessary. Also, you have shown that removing the upset metal "grippers" is not necessary, too. I am sure that this posting should be a sticky or maybe a tech reference article that will help many people do a good job. Thanks for putting in the effort to do this.
Edit: As for the use of staples vs pop rivets on the window fuzzy, if you paint the head of the rivet black they will not stand out.

Last edited by JWagner; May 26th, 09 at 11:49 AM. Reason: added remark
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  #12  
Old May 26th, 09, 12:14 PM
1badss396 1badss396 is offline
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Quote:
Originally Posted by JWagner View Post
Edit: As for the use of staples vs pop rivets on the window fuzzy, if you paint the head of the rivet black they will not stand out.
But can still be seen
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I started with Nothing and still have All of Nothing!
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  #13  
Old Jan 14th, 11, 2:25 PM
kjhyatt kjhyatt is offline
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Wonderful writeup!! I was stressing over how to attach the top metal also. Thanks Much I am going to try this weekend
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  #14  
Old Jan 16th, 11, 4:32 PM
Chris R Chris R is online now
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Great post. I wish I knew more about how to do this kind of work.
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  #15  
Old Jan 17th, 11, 8:41 PM
Tom Mobley Tom Mobley is offline
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Default Re: Door Panel How to

Sticky now. Michael, Thanks for taking time .
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