How to repair where Door Panels meet

Quazit

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Feb 23, 2021
434
Dallas, North Carolina
Has anyone found a way to repair the cardboard where the lower panel connects to the top with the square metal clips?

1977 LT , three piece black door panels with manual windows.

Looking for good ideas on repairing that section to get my panels ready for re-install.
 
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Quazit

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Feb 23, 2021
434
Dallas, North Carolina
door panel.png

These are like my panels. I do not want to do this.
 

Mitch_Z

Member
Mar 31, 2007
173
Detroit, MI
Maybe you can use a procedure like this?
 

Quazit

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Feb 23, 2021
434
Dallas, North Carolina
Maybe you can use a procedure like this?
Wow, I searched and searched and didn't find anything here. Thanks for that.

That's not a bad idea. I was thinking of something similar but running a metal strip all the way across and then rivet it to the back panel so it wont move.

Was hoping someone had found a good permanent solution.
 

Quazit

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Feb 23, 2021
434
Dallas, North Carolina
So I have found a way to repair these door panels. If anyone else wants to keep their originals, where the cardboard has been torn out where the lower attaches. Ill take a series of photos and submit them to help anyone else out that may want to do this themselves.

Thanks to the link by Mitch Z and the video by Rich Schmidt, I was able to come up with my own way to do this.

Using his super secret licence plate material.

I cut out 6 sections of the license place (thin aluminum material) approximately 1 1/2" long by 1 1/4" wide (adjust as necessary to fit your panels and damaged mounting holes.)

Then I laid the pieces behind each torn mounting hole and scribed the mounting hole onto the metal with a razor blade. All of the holes should be the same so I made six of these little plates.

I then looked at the seam where the vinyl is glued to the backing board. This area is hidden on the front where the lowers mount. So this is the location of the slits I made above each hole to be repaired to the width of each backing plate. That way it will hide the mounting plates when the lower halves are mounted and secured.

I then cut out each hole in the backing plates I made earlier, doing one at a time to make sure the holes where they mount line up, I cut a rectangle out of the individual backing plates.

Lining the bottom of the plate up with the bottom of the panel. The top of the backing plates have extra material that can later be bent over and through the slit and then pressed together so they don't move.

You can either prebend the backing plates at the top and insert through the back of the panel or the front. I preferred the metal backer to be on the front of the panel so the square holding tabs grab onto the cardboard backer instead of the metal in the event I needed to adjust or remove them later.

I prebent the first one and inserted it through the front down through the slit and it fell just where the mounting hole is on the panel. The second one I left flat, inserted through the back, then bend it while it was in the panel making sure the holes were lined up.

After I got the backing plates inserted, I attached the holding tabs like they came from the factory.

As I see it, this looks to be a permanent repair with minor adjustments needed to get them all lined up so they do not show through the front of the door panel where the lower mounts.

With respect to to Rich Schmidt and thanks for his idea, I think this is an improved solution.

Pics show what I did and how the panels look from the front. You can't even tell they're there.
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