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explanation on why our door panels crack

This is a discussion on explanation on why our door panels crack within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; our door panels have a design flaw. They crack without warning and for apparently no reason. well this is because ...

  1. #1
    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    explanation on why our door panels crack

    our door panels have a design flaw. They crack without warning and for apparently no reason. well this is because of how the panel is mated to the door . if you take off the panel you will see staples. these staples dont allow the panel to flex normally with the metal "lip" there is a good fix i found on a site that must not be named...but i will post it here. i have not done this fix but since i have 2 good panels still i will be doing this fix asap. well here it is.


    here is a article from pontiac hi-po(i like this article alot better then the right up the guy made(thanks NvyBluMtlc02WS6)
    pontiac hi-po article link
    Last edited by shady milkman; 01-31-2008 at 05:29 AM.

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    his 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 reinforcing plastic over that.
    pic #1

    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.
    pic#2


    Take out the staples, all but the one closest to the speaker.
    pic#3

    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.
    pic#4

    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.
    pic#5

    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.
    pic#6


    Make sure you LocTite each nut, and only tighten hand tight.
    pic#7


    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.
    pic#8
    pic#9

    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.

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    2004 HEAD/CAM CTS-V 9t8z28's Avatar
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    Sweet! Thanks Shady. I just got a set of T/A door panels for my Camaro and I wanted to prevent this from happening.

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    O U 8 1 2 Spaz's Avatar
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    this needs a sticky!!!

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NvyBluMtlc02WS6 View Post
    it already is...high performance pontiac has an article with pics. http://www.highperformancepontiac.co...air/index.html
    nice..however spaz was talking about this thread being a sticky on this board..which it isnt. i added this link into the first post, and gave you the credit man good find

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    Junior Member epic's Avatar
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    Yep, my passenger side cracked.

    Pisses me off every time I look over there.

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    btw, stoney...it's not too late. you need to do this fix or the crack will keep getting bigger and eventually reach the leather insert part of your door panel. The crack in mine was about two inches long. once i did the fix, the gap relaxed and fit together. you can still notice the crack there, but it's not a gapping one and it wont get any bigger. also, everyone check the front of their door panels too when you take them off. I noticed a small crack developing when i took mine off. I'm debating on taking out all the staples and running the 4/40 screws down the entire length. if you look close you can see how wavy and warped the door panel actually is from the staples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shady milkman View Post
    now i am even more confused..where is the sticky thread you are talking about? is it on ls1?
    Firebird Door Panel Crack Repair - Door Panel Pandemic
    Ed Blown Vert

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    Hmm, however, I stand corrected. It's not a sticky. I could have sworn that it was at one time. Isn't Ed a moderator? Surprised he didn't make it a sticky when he listed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9t8z28 View Post
    Sweet! Thanks Shady. I just got a set of T/A door panels for my Camaro and I wanted to prevent this from happening.
    i thought they didnt fit on camaros.....at least not with the camaro dash

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransAmy View Post
    i thought they didnt fit on camaros.....at least not with the camaro dash
    everything is possible with enough time and trimming/fab

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    2004 HEAD/CAM CTS-V 9t8z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransAmy View Post
    i thought they didnt fit on camaros.....at least not with the camaro dash
    They fit. You need to make some cuts and adjustments. Check out Brent Frankers website.

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    Something Diabolical... chuckie669's Avatar
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    Gave it a try on drivers door. lots of work, but came out alright. I could've dressed it up a little better but was afraid to go after the drivers door with the vinyl paint.

    Before:


    After: (Plus a little Trimshine)

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    Rice Hungry GottaHaveLS1's Avatar
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    I'll definitely have to do this. I bought my T/A with a crack drivers side door and now the passenger side is starting. I also want to note that the tint on both of my windows is scratched from top to bottom on both windows right above each crack. This is why I definitely want to fix this issue. I got my windows tinted for free several years ago from a friend and i had him redo it cuz both sides got scratched and now they're ruined again. Now i'll probably have to drop the $200 or so to get them tinted again

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    Sounds like another spring project added to the "to do list". Great info!

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    i did this mod on sunday. it was long and a bitch. i took out all the staples and put in 6 screws on each side(pass and driver). 1 in each "section" of plastic. it is awesome..the door doesnt bulge anymore when i role my windows down. i suggest everyone do it.

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    Member WARP211's Avatar
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    this is a good sticky for sure.. I haven't had any problems with my door panels cracking but if they do best believe i'm gonna do this mod.. Hey wut about the door panel that is mated to the door. Ex: where the window motor is attach to.. it has rivets and i took them off.. pieces of shit.. well anywayz it looks like thats a weak link as well.. As I use a die grinder to get them off..!! but i cutted into the pannel a lilttle.. is there any sticky for that.?

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WARP211 View Post
    this is a good sticky for sure.. I haven't had any problems with my door panels cracking but if they do best believe i'm gonna do this mod.. Hey wut about the door panel that is mated to the door. Ex: where the window motor is attach to.. it has rivets and i took them off.. pieces of shit.. well anywayz it looks like thats a weak link as well.. As I use a die grinder to get them off..!! but i cutted into the pannel a lilttle.. is there any sticky for that.?
    i dont know about the inside panel. but yea this mod is a preventative maintenance thing. If your panels arent cracked..then its a great thing to do asap

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    Something Diabolical... chuckie669's Avatar
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    +1, if yours haven't cracked yet, you can save the headache of them actually breaking.

    I got a new dremel for christmas and it made the job so much easier. I just cut the staples out. It probably would've taken all day if I had to pull em out.

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    2004 HEAD/CAM CTS-V 9t8z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WARP211 View Post
    this is a good sticky for sure.. I haven't had any problems with my door panels cracking but if they do best believe i'm gonna do this mod.. Hey wut about the door panel that is mated to the door. Ex: where the window motor is attach to.. it has rivets and i took them off.. pieces of shit.. well anywayz it looks like thats a weak link as well.. As I use a die grinder to get them off..!! but i cutted into the pannel a lilttle.. is there any sticky for that.?
    Do you have T/A door panels on your Camaro?

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