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cracked door panels ?

This is a discussion on cracked door panels ? within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I see a lot of pic of ta's with cracks in the door panels. I have an 02 and would ...

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    Member 1st TA's Avatar
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    cracked door panels ?

    I see a lot of pic of ta's with cracks in the door panels. I have an 02 and would like to know if there is an average time frame or mile that this seems to happen? Didn't know if I should be thinking about the door panel fix soon. It has 20000 on the clock.
    Thanks for any reply.

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    red
    99 trans am firehawk

    mine doing the same thing its a 99

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    I think it is more of a time thing than mileage. I saw an article about this in HP Pontiac, they gave a nice write up and fix. I did the fix to my doors before it cracked. When I looked at them closely before I fixed it I could see where it would have cracked. Took my door panels off, relieved the stress from the weatherstripping, and put it back together with small nuts and bolts instead of the staples it has OE. I recommend everybody do it to theirs sooner rather than later.

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    Dcdrummer LS1buckey's Avatar
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    Do you know where to find the step by step process?

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    It was in HP Pontiac sometime the past 18 months. I am not organized with my magazines very well LOL!!! It wasn't hard tho, if you can remove door panels without doing them any damage, you have enough sense to look at the back side of them and see how many staples to remove from the metal part of the weatherstripping to relieve the stress. Oh yeah, I forgot to say in the article they used some 2 part epoxy for the backside of the door panel to reinforce that area. Scuff the back of the panel so the epoxy adheres.
    You have to drill where the staples went thru for the small screws (I think it was a number 10 or 8 screw and nut) or in a slightly different place on the panel to relieve the stress. If I run across the article, I'll try to give a synopsis.

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    Dcdrummer LS1buckey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    It was in HP Pontiac sometime the past 18 months. I am not organized with my magazines very well LOL!!! It wasn't hard tho, if you can remove door panels without doing them any damage, you have enough sense to look at the back side of them and see how many staples to remove from the metal part of the weatherstripping to relieve the stress. Oh yeah, I forgot to say in the article they used some 2 part epoxy for the backside of the door panel to reinforce that area. Scuff the back of the panel so the epoxy adheres.
    You have to drill where the staples went thru for the small screws (I think it was a number 10 or 8 screw and nut) or in a slightly different place on the panel to relieve the stress. If I run across the article, I'll try to give a synopsis.
    Thanks man.

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    Member jujofields's Avatar
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    Here you guys go! Link to full article with pics......
    http://www.highperformancepontiac.co...air/index.html

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Nice! That is it! Thanks.

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    Member 1st TA's Avatar
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    Can we get a sticky for that link at the top of the Firebird/ WS6 page?

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    Just me Y2KPewterSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1st TA View Post
    Can we get a sticky for that link at the top of the Firebird/ WS6 page?
    I included a link to this thread in the basic Firebird sticky above. Thats the best way I can do it.

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    Just joined today, want to input i have an 02 with 26k miles on it. I have 2 cracks on my drivers side

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    Member 99WS6RAMAIR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1st TA View Post
    I see a lot of pic of ta's with cracks in the door panels. I have an 02 and would like to know if there is an average time frame or mile that this seems to happen? Didn't know if I should be thinking about the door panel fix soon. It has 20000 on the clock.
    Thanks for any reply.

    Check out these pics : http://rides.webshots.com/album/562650026XVVrXC

    Mine is a '99 and I have no cracks but will probably do the preventative mod soon.
    Last edited by 99WS6RAMAIR; 05-13-2008 at 04:11 PM.
    1999 BLACK WS6 RAM AIR TRANS AM A4 (1 of 274 WS6 coupe Canada only models)

    ASC conversion date: 6/10/99
    ASC build# : 4310 of 5007
    Hood Sequence #74992V

    w/over (50) performance & appearance mods!!!

    My Albums: http://community.webshots.com/user/kenawink

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    Member 1st TA's Avatar
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    Thank you for the sticky to the thread.

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    Member noxside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccasper69 View Post
    Just joined today, want to input i have an 02 with 26k miles on it. I have 2 cracks on my drivers side
    I too have a 02 ws6 with 26,xxx miles and have the crack on the drivers side, but not the passenger

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    Member 99WS6RAMAIR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99WS6RAMAIR View Post
    Check out these pics : http://rides.webshots.com/album/562650026XVVrXC

    Mine is a '99 and I have no cracks but will probably do the preventative mod soon.
    You guy's care to add your door panel pics to my collection, just post them here and I'll upload them. Maybe I'll send them to GM when I have enough lol!

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    Member Cronex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noxside View Post
    I too have a 02 ws6 with 26,xxx miles and have the crack on the drivers side, but not the passenger
    Yeah, me too. Came with the car when it only had 20K on the clock, haha. O well, there are fixes for it, im not worried.

  17. #17
    Member BANDITCAR's Avatar
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    Here's my write up that I did years ago:

    With a lot of people dealing with this problem I thought I should post the writeup I did for collectorfbody.com. Its very straightforward and basic, geared toward the novice. I myself had never done any sort of repair like this on the car myself, but I was damned if I was going to let it get worse, haha.

    Late in 05 I noticed that my Driverside Door panel was getting the infamous crack in it that so many get. Here I thought I would post how I went about fixing it.

    First thing is you have to get a few supplies:
    One being a Plastic adhesive. I got this one at Walmart for like $3.


    You're also going to need a touch up kit for the panel itself. Depending on the severity of the crack, results will vary. I got this kit for about $8, again from Walmart.


    First step in the removal is to take off the Switch Panel. The Panel is held on by tension clips(the black steel clip at the top of the panel). All you have to do is pull up on it and it will come free. Be sure not to pull too hard, though as you don't want to stress the wire harnesses.


    Next, just disconnect the wiring harnesses from the Switch Panel and set the Panel aside in a safe place


    Now for the removal of the screws holding the panel in place. The first is the one in the center of the door handle coverpiece. Do not remove cover yet.


    Now, before you try to remove the cover you have to take off the lock switch knob. You have to pull the end out toward you for the tip to come off the wire. It may take some strenght to pull it off but it will be fine.

    Here you can see how the wire is and what the plastic piece actually sits on.


    Carefully pull the cover piece off from around the door handle. Do so slowly as there is a bulb attached to the pice that must be unplugged. Just unclip it and set aside the cover in a safe place.


    The next screw to remove is down in the map pocket of the door.


    Next, remove the screw from the very Front underside of the armrest, near where the switch panel is.


    Remove the screw that is located near the now exposed area of the door handle.


    Remove the cover for the Side mirror access. This will allow easier removal of the door panel. place the cover in a safe place after removal.


    The next Screw can't be seen easily in the photo but it is in the exact center. There is a hole where the armrest meets the map pocket and inside is the screw you need to remove.


    Now for the removal of the panel. I wasn't able to take pics of this process due to the fact that I need both hands to remove the panel. Now, the only thing holding the panel onto the door is a bunch of plastic downward facing hooks. Remove the panel by gently pulling it up and towards you at a slight angle from the door. While removing the panel it may seem to get stuck, just pay attention to the area that the hook are in as the toughest ones are near the front of the door by the speaker.
    Be careful pullin on it due to the fact that the front speakers are still connected to the panel. Once you have the panel semi removed you can disconnect the tweeter and speaker.

    Once the panel is off you will be able to see the problem.
    The crack is caused by a structural flaw in the plastic combined with the use of industrial staples to hold the window trim to the panel. The crack is cause by changing weather temperatures which make the plastic panel expand and contract. The window trim has a metal insert which does not allow for any kind of expansion or contraction. and since the plastic is mated to the strip with thick metal staples...it doesn't allow for the panel to stretch are release naturally and causes the panel to pull itself apart.'

  18. #18
    Member BANDITCAR's Avatar
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    What you need to do is remove the staple in front of the crack area and all the ones behind the crack area.

    I used a flat head screwdriver and needle nose pliers to remove the staples. Bend the teeth straight and then just push back through the plastic to get them out.


    Once the staples are removed the panel will come back together naturally. Depending on the size of the crack you might need some pressure to really hold it together. scuff up the area of the crack nicely for the adhesive to bond to.


    Next follow the directions to mix the Plastic Welder and while the crack is nicely snug, apply a generous amount of the welder to the area you sanded. The adhesive should dry according to the directions and once that is done you want to replace the staples. I used some copper wire that was a bit smaller in diameter than the staples. This will allow the panel to move a bit against the window trim. I just put the wire through each hole as a direct replacement of each staple and it worked fine.


    I used Interior Vinyl/Leather Repair Kit that can also be bought at Wal-Mart for very little money. Comes with many colors to use to mix to match your interior. If you have a color other than black, I would suggest mixing the color per directions on the package and then testing it agains the BACKSIDE of the panel. Let it dry and see how close it comes to the panel color.
    The exterior of my panel only needed a dab of black touch up paint. The crack repair is in the exact center of this photo.


    Now with your newly repaired panel...just reverse the deconstruction process from above and replace the panel. Be sure to hook up all speaker and lamp wires while doing so.

    Now, my passenger side had no crack. As a preventive measure, I took it off too and reinforced the "crack sensitive" area the same way I did the driverside. When I took the panel off I could tell that there was stress being put on the section of the panel that cracks, but had yet to actually crack.

    If you don't have any cracks...I still suggest reinforcing this area. Its better to be safe than sorry.

    Hope this will help out anyone looking to do the repair themselves. It is really not that hard as long as you take the time to do it slow and careful.
    2002 Trans Am Collector Edition WS6 ASC# 619
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  19. #19
    burn'in fords 1 RedHot TransAm's Avatar
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    man I was wondering what those damn cracks were on both my doors, It happened after I took it out of storage from the winter, I noticed I have two very small cenimeter cracks starting, thanks for posting the fixes guys...

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    Dcdrummer LS1buckey's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Yes deffentialy thanks for the good info, I have a crack in my drver side pannel and now I know why it happend and how to fix it.

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