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Miser per gallon
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought my tdi in 2009. It wasn't driven much, but somehow the interior had already started to fall to pieces.

Lately, it's been my door panels, sun roof jams, and armrest.

I was thinking of making a couple of door panels from scratch, but I'm not sure how that would work out. Does anyone know of someone doing this? or perhaps modifying a JC Whitney door kit or something?

I've pretty much decided that this is the way to go, but with that said, I have no real way of beginning.

Both of my door handles have broken within the last 6 months. So, in other words, I know that if I buy another "vw" brand door panel, it will cost me dearly.

secondly, the sun roof. unfortunately, I think this one is out of my hands. It's shade guides are mangled somehow. This prevents the shade from closing entirely or opening independent of the sunroof itself. What a mess. It's almost impossible to work with. This is all on top of the fact that the sunroof drain was recalled for plugging up with debris. In the process, I've gained water staining and mold, which I had to cut out of the carpet.

The Armrest. ah, the armrest. What a piece. I gave up on this a while, ago, but have hopes to make a semi-homemade version of the stock one. Any advice on that would be great, too.


Thanks guys!
 

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Every one calls me Fuzzy
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859 Posts
You will have to do a lot of fiber glass. If you can use the main frame you can use MDF to make your frame for the fiber glass to mould around. I would try to use the orignal mount holes so u dont have to make the door out of a steal or alu, plate. If you have not used fiber glass before or not used it a lot you can look on youtube and i would look at custome fiberglass speaker boxes or something like that. No it wont be the exact thing that you are doing but it will show you the steps that you will need to go through to make the door panels. I have plans for some fiber glass work on the inside of my NB. I know a little about it. You can look me up on facebook Welcome to Facebook - Log In, Sign Up or Learn More of pm me if u have any questions on how to get started or and anything else. I am not an expert but i know some of the main things you have you have to do.

I hope i helped
 

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Premium Member
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4,753 Posts
But why? Most all the interior trim issues you have are from moisture, water being where it should not have been. The door panels have deteriorated from the windows being left down and getting wet. The door handles are broken from abuse in closing the doors (slamming). These panels are available all over eBay, and a replacement set, in excellent condition are not expensive (even the color of the tops to match yours will come along in short order, if there is not a set to match currently), and probably going to cost less than the materials AND YOUR TIME in trying to do something custom. Something, that unless your very talented and experienced in fiberglass, you're not going to be happy with anyway. New door handles are available from a number of sources, and are inexpensive. But of course, it's your Bug, your money, and your time.

Btw, "MDF" is a medium density fibrous man-made wood board, made essentially of saw dust, very susceptible to moisture, simply humidity in the air (swelling).

M.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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11,010 Posts
The door panel deterioration is also normal on the mk4 chassis cars. I never left windows down or anything, and my passenger side panel vinyl stuff was coming down pretty bad, as was my headliner (no sunroof either). Interiors were not the strong suit on the Mk4 cars, but custom fabbing is going to take some time and money, for sure. You can put new fabric on the door panels yourself if that's an issue, and do the headliner (how-to's for both on here). You also have the option of swapping the armrest out for a center console without one, which you can get from a parting out for not too much money. I'd look more into replacing what you have with existing parts, but if you have your heart set on custom, then have at it and report back with what you come up with!
 

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Premium Member
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4,753 Posts
And I just read a little further, your TDI is eleven years old, obviuosly abused and not taken care of by previuos owner(s), AND your in Winter Park FL. Heat AND humidity. Glues do dry out and fail with age, couple it with heat, humidity, and abuse...

Good, used parts should easily last you another 8-10 years, with proper care and maintenance of your ride. Probably longer than you will own the car. The newer the donor vehicle, and the more moderate the climate, the longer the parts should last.

Edit: Some of your parts needed my be right here
http://newbeetle.org/forums/parts-accessories/51954-fl-fs-1999-beetle-1-8t-whole-parts-car-55k-miles-auto-yellow-w-black-leather.html

M.
 

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Premium Member
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1,086 Posts
Yep, panels in good shape are availible on e-bay and this forum. Sunroof shade slides are availible from places like ECS tuning.
 

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Miser per gallon
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
ok, so now I'm wondering. Would it be possible to use a door panel from another car altogether? for instance, a 70s mercedes or a jetta from the same era or newer? What about a rear seat slightly modified.

It's just that the interior handle plum broke off. in other words, it's not that it's popping out of place, it's housing is broken.

Has this idea of replacing with another car's door ever been brought up? successful attempts?

thanks again for all of your meaningful posts.
 

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Premium Member
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4,753 Posts
As the shape, size, and contour of different manufactures, save models, is so different, I can only see this as a major undertaking. And again why? The broken door pull is from abuse, everyone wants to close these doors hard, just pay attention the next time someone gets in your passenger seat and closes the door.

M.
 

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Registered
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39 Posts
So what is wrong with wanting to do something different? Particularly if what you bought didn't hold up where you live. I live right next to Winter Park Florida and I'm subject to exactly the same weather. I have the same issues and my car is not new. I have 185,000 miles on my car and it runs great the body looks good but the interior fell out years ago. I'm absolutely going to build something to match the quality of the rest of the car. The interior should hold up not just look good for the first few years. Plastic in overused and overrated in cars overall. I'm just saying this isn't just a beetle problem it's industry wide. There's a lot of plastic in a Porsche too. Although they might us better or thicker plastic who knows. It's still plastic. I'd like to know if there's someone taking on this problem. I think there is a better solution than used parts or over priced dealer replacements as both of these will run in short supply in the near future and the prices will become outrageous. I've seen this in my lifetime.
 

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NBie
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10 Posts
So what is wrong with wanting to do something different? Particularly if what you bought didn't hold up where you live. I live right next to Winter Park Florida and I'm subject to exactly the same weather. I have the same issues and my car is not new. I have 185,000 miles on my car and it runs great the body looks good but the interior fell out years ago. I'm absolutely going to build something to match the quality of the rest of the car. The interior should hold up not just look good for the first few years. Plastic in overused and overrated in cars overall. I'm just saying this isn't just a beetle problem it's industry wide. There's a lot of plastic in a Porsche too. Although they might us better or thicker plastic who knows. It's still plastic. I'd like to know if there's someone taking on this problem. I think there is a better solution than used parts or over priced dealer replacements as both of these will run in short supply in the near future and the prices will become outrageous. I've seen this in my lifetime.
It would be great if someone with the skills could step up and fab a set of Alu or Carbon door handles? ( Alu like the one I've seen on vortex that replicate the RSi's Oh Sh*t handle )
I know that Alu would be hot in Southern climes, leather wrap would help.....
Just thinking out loud, can't speak for others on here but I'd buy them and pretty sure others would too?!?!
 
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