Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: The best fix so far for cracked Door Panels....

  1. #1
    Apathy Poster Child

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Jenks OK
    Posts
    539
    vCash
    500

    The best fix so far for cracked Door Panels....

    Mods: Hopefully you guys can eventually move it to the how-to section.

    This does not cover aesthetics. This fix is all about preventing future cracking. My crack was not very large and all I have to do (after the following fix) is carefully trim the stressed plastic out of the crack and shoot a shot of color matched vinyl paint over it. Further, to fix the crack itself, all I had to do was push the plastic together, throw on some JB Weld with some reenforcing plastic over that.



    Hardware: For each Panel- Ten #4-40 screws/bolts and ten #4 washers. The shortest I could find were ĹĒ, I cut them down to about 5/16. You just need to verify each screw (with washer) will go through with just enough thread to mate with the nut when finger tight.

    After the panel is off, and before you take any of the staples out, drill your holes for the screws just above each staple except for the staple closest to the speaker - we are going to leave that one in.



    Take out the staples, all but the one closest to the speaker.



    A rotary toll will make this much easier, but I imagine you could just cut the holes with an exacto or even a small round file. The idea of this step is to not make the hole bigger, but to make each hole an oval - this is what will provide relief for future expansion/contraction.



    Now clean up any rough plastic edges left from drilling the holes. I used a small chisel to clean both sides and an exacto to clean up the inside.



    Starting from the end with the staple, begin putting your screws in with one washer on each screw. Put the screw in from the back If you donít you will have fitment problems getting the panel back on.



    Make sure you LocTite each nut, and only tighten hand tight.



    All done. Like I said, Iím just going to carefully clean up the stressed plastic and spray some color matched vinyl spray over it and it will be as good as new and I am confident it will not crack again.




    I don't want people to miss the point of this mod: That the oval holes and washer/screw allow the panel to expand and contract unlike the staples or just replacing the staples with rivets.

  2. #2
    Old Member blue02formula's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Ravenna, Ohio
    Posts
    4,497
    vCash
    500
    I'm replacing mine tonight. I found two in the LS2 classifieds for $130 shipped used. I have taupe interior so it stands out if you try to patch it.

  3. #3
    Apathy Poster Child

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Jenks OK
    Posts
    539
    vCash
    500
    blue02, you should do the mod or it's going to happen again.

  4. #4
    moats & toes
    jmd's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    God Hates Fags Preschool
    Posts
    42,543
    vCash
    500
    Nice work. The only thing I would try is a plastic welder to put some filler plastic in behind the crack which should end up being stronger and longer lasting than the JB Weld.

    blue02: if you get the right interior paint, and play with a little bit of black and a little bit of white, you can match things perfectly.

  5. #5
    Apathy Poster Child

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Jenks OK
    Posts
    539
    vCash
    500
    jmd, your right. I believe that some plastic welding would be better for the long run.

    But, this was just a proof of concept that the washer and screw would not interfear with the design of the "fit", or in other terms, the way the panel attaches to the door.

    I don't want people to miss the point of this mod: That the oval holes and washer/screw allow the panel to expand and contract unlike the staples or just replacing the staples with rivets.

    When I have the chance, I will improve my crack - lol. But for now, I know for a fact the panel will not crack in any other place - and my uncracked panel will not either.

  6. #6
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    13,357
    vCash
    500
    Nice...

    Where you able to determine if there was some framework that was a focal point of stress?

    I'd be interestred in purchasing two new panels. But if there is no way to re-enforce or address what's the core cause, it's a waste..

  7. #7
    Apathy Poster Child

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Jenks OK
    Posts
    539
    vCash
    500
    TA Tom, yes I was able to see why this happens. And it's also why I am convinced every panel will eventually crack.

    (You can see what I'm talking about in the fourth pic from the top)
    The panel is attached by sliding it down onto the door. There is "lip" of sorts that runs from the front of the panel to the back. The lip is what the rubber felt window blade is stapled to and is what catches the top of the door. The problem is this lip has two, maybe three (don't remember now) "missing" sections. So imagine the lip starting form the front, then just stops, skips about an inch and a half and picks up again. The metal in the felt blade does not give when the plastic contracts ans the cracks form right where the lip starts/stops.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    smiley's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    oh
    Posts
    15,632
    vCash
    500
    excellent writeup! thanks! (sent you a pm)


    and for those asking - yes this is a common problem with the 4th gen cars. i think the best solution we had before was to just remove the stapels to stop it from happening. the fix here shows you how to mod the panels to prevent them from cracking and how to fix your panels if they've already cracked.

  9. #9
    [b]FASTest BONE STOCK LS1[/b] Bayou Boy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    So Good my Imperfections R Flawless
    Posts
    4,945
    vCash
    500
    I agree great write up
    Wish I had know this back when I still had my 98 Z
    I changed the driver panel twice

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •