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Door Panel Fix Question

This is a discussion on Door Panel Fix Question within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; First off, thanks to GM, my hands ache like a b*tch this morning after pulling out all 10 staples from ...

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    Door Panel Fix Question

    First off, thanks to GM, my hands ache like a b*tch this morning after pulling out all 10 staples from my door panel last night. They certainly do hold well...but I guess that's the basic problem right???

    I'm going to go the nut/bolt route (#4-40 machine screws) when I replace the weatherstrip. When I drill out the holes, shouldn't I use a Dremel or something to sort of elongate the holes a bit??? In my mind, that will allow some contraction and expansion of the door panel. If I just drilled perfectly round holes just big enough for the machine screws, wouldn't I sort of be back to where I started with the staples?

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    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    The problem is most of the doors were 'torqued' when assembled and by removing the staples you relieve the stress. Just simply use a drill bit, no dremel needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMdef9 View Post
    The problem is most of the doors were 'torqued' when assembled and by removing the staples you relieve the stress. Just simply use a drill bit, no dremel needed.
    Thanks. That makes sense. Will do the repair tonight and post pics as to how it comes out.

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    Member Redrokit8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dschribs View Post
    Thanks. That makes sense. Will do the repair tonight and post pics as to how it comes out.
    That would be great to see the pics. It's a job I've been postponing. After changing my plugs and wires this week I'm not looking forward to another torture test.
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    024mula 024mula's Avatar
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    I've did my door panels two years ago and I still have no cracks.

    First, I removed six of the ten staples, the four I left in I reileved the stress by loosing the staples which are spaced equaly apart from each other. Then I applied a thin layer of epoxy glue, then a wire mess (window screen) then another layer of epoxy glue that ran down the lenght of the door.

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    024mula 024mula's Avatar
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    Check out the sticky: All the basic Firebird stickies into one thread which is located in this section.

    cracked door panels ?

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    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    I didn't use nuts and bolts. I took some thin picture wire and ran it thru the existing holes and tied it in a knot. Plenty of room to expand and contract.

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    Member RichWS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INMY01TA View Post
    I didn't use nuts and bolts. I took some thin picture wire and ran it thru the existing holes and tied it in a knot. Plenty of room to expand and contract.
    I highly suggest you use saftey wire as well, it gives more play then the 4-40 screws and is less of a hassle, I also put a small bead of silicone along the weather stripping as well for poops and giggles.

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    I completed the repair on both panels over the weekend. I had a crack about 1" long or so on the drivers side panel and one that you could barely see on the passenger side panel. The biggest PIA is removing the staples. It's not easy. They are in there so tight that they are very difficult to remove. Once you see how incredibly well they are holding the steel backed weather strip one the plastic panel - it becomes obvious that there's no possible way the panel could ever expand or contract whatsoever. Once you pull the staples out, you can see the door panel return to it's original/intended shape. The crack on my drivers side door went right back together when the staples came out.

    In terms of the repair to the crack on the drivers side door, I used Devon plastic welder epoxy. The stuff hardens like steel when it's dry. It's no joke. Use rubber gloves if you use this stuff! In conjunction with the epoxy I used a piece of fiber glass screen directly over the crack (in the back of the panel obviously). It's actually used to fill gaps in sheet rock and I thought it would help hold things together. A bit of added security I guess...

    To reattach the weatherstrip, I drilled out one of the holes for each of the staples and replaced each of the staples with a single #4 machine screw, washer and nut - the shortest I could find at Home Depot. The holes I drilled where just slightly bigger than the machine screws which does allow for a bit of expansion and contraction. That's all you need. Just make them finger tight or a 1/4 turn of a small screwdriver at the most - no need to go crazy. Then a small dab of thread lock on each end of the screw/bolt to hold things into place.

    I do have photos but didn't upload them as of yet. The only problem with the final repair on my car is that the prior owner tried to repair the crack from the outside at some point in time with glue or tape or something so there is some discoloration in the outside of the door panel at that particular spot. Would probably be fine for anyone else but I'm very particular. It does look better when the entire door panel has some protectant on it. I may get a new door panel at some point - we'll see.

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    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    I wouldn't wait too long to try and get another one, not sure they still make em. I'd check Ebay now.

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