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Since joining the Org, you guys have inspired me to spend some time working on my car. When I first bought it new I detailed it weekly. Times changed things started going wrong, pretty soon it just became my daily driver. Well I've decided to give it some well needed attention. Started with my sunroof leaking, who knows where it's going to stop. Here's the before picture of my drivers door.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Vehicle door Tire

And this is the after picture of my passenger door. I've also upgraded the speakers to some Bose speakers I salvaged from a Mazda 3. There's a Bose logo on the speaker now if anyone was wondering what it was on the speaker grill.

Vehicle Car Vehicle door Family car

And alot of cleaning to the door frame itself, not sure what the accumulation of black was but it sure resembles brake dust to me. Got to do the drivers door and drivers rear panel then all panels will be complete, then the dash will come next, going to replace gray carpet with black. Once done I'll basically have a gray stripe running horizontally thruough the interior.
 

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kudos. that really looks great. :bigthumb:
 

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Looks great, and I'm trying to do the same thing.
Did you actually Replace the wrinkly vinyl?
If not, what did you use to clean off all the old glue?
And what kind of glue did you use? staples?
Thanks for any guidance you can provide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks great, and I'm trying to do the same thing.
Did you actually Replace the wrinkly vinyl?
If not, what did you use to clean off all the old glue?
And what kind of glue did you use? staples?
Thanks for any guidance you can provide.
Actually yes I did replace the vinyl, I cleaned the card itself with acetone, rubbed some on it and let it sit then scraped it off with my thumbnail and a scotch brite pad. It was a long and slow process but it seemed to work better than anything else I tried. Once I got all the glue residue off I again wiped the card with acetone until I could no longer feel any sticky residue.

I used Dap weldwood contact cement, I'm going to look and see if I can find a type of contact cement made specifically for this type of work before doing the otherside, this stuff is strong but I would like something stronger may lead to less aggravation in the long run.


Now the tricky part installing the vinyl, because of the amount of compound curves on this card, it is very difficult to make a flat sheet of vinyl to conform to the curves and not want to lift in the "valleys" of the curve. I recovered this one card 4 times before getting it to look this well. The first time it did'nt look to bad but lifted in the curve on the top of the arm rest. So I redid it using the same piece of vinyl what a mistake. I also learned at this time the vinyl I was using was about twice the thickness of the original so it was'nt nearly as flexible.
On the second attempt I found the use of a heatgun helped out tremendously, once you've apply the glue the heat gun would help ,the vinyl "stretch" around the curves more easily and it did not seem to want to lift in the "valleys of the curves. The only thing with the heat gun is you have to be careful not to get the vinyl too hot, or it will produce a strange look almost like it has been melted look on the vinyl, which is why attempt #2 failed.
3rd try I went to Jo Ann fabrics and bought some Marine grade vinyl, don't waste your money or time on this stuff, it had a softer feel and was alot more flexible but when stretched it looked like it had stretch marks in it very similar to those you see on some people, also it did not take to heat well at all, it blistered almost immediately when I applied the heat.

4th attempt I got a thinner piece of vinyl that was closer to the actual thickness of the original material, laid down my glue on both the card and the back of the vinyl, using the heat gun and working from top to bottom of card I worked the vinyl around the armrest area and then proceeded to the door pull pocket and glued it down all the while heating the vinyl to stretch it ( I would advise using gloves or a towel to smooth down the vinyl it get's hotter than hell) and just being paitent and working it I was finally able to get it to lay down.
I installed the door panel yesterday and noticed in the "after" picture there appeared to be some distortion in the lower area of the door pull area. This morning I looked at it and found it was indeed lifting in that area, figured I would wait and see how it did during the day. After 8 hrs at work I found the enitre door pull area was lifting. The cause of this I believe is because I did not put on an adequate amount of glue to begin with. I removed dooor panel then removed card and have since reglued, this time I have adequate glue and I also filled a gallon ziploc baggie about 1/2 way full of water and have it sitting on this area at this time, hopefully to allow the vinyl to stay adhered to the card while the glue dries. I will post results Friday, I'm going to allow this to sit this way for 1 day then reinstall Thursday and see how it does on Friday.
Just a side note the vinyl I used was originally black. Painted it using SEM COLORCOAT Presidio Gray
 

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Thanks for the advice- Hope to use your experience to avoid a few of those re-do's.
I was worried that acetone cleaner would melt the door; I'll start with that now.
Had the heat gun ready to go (It was the 110 degree hot day that melted them loose in the first place!).
I did find some 3M spray glue, but it was more specific to Craft stuff.
I'll do some hunting for something heavier/more specific to upholstery to avoid it popping loose again.
Thanks again for all the details, appreciate your effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice- Hope to use your experience to avoid a few of those re-do's.
I was worried that acetone cleaner would melt the door; I'll start with that now.
The acetone will eat at the plastic door panels to do this repair you will need to remove the vinyl covered panel from the door panel itself. The vinyl panel is made out of some kinda material that resembles cardboard and fiber mixed, the acetone had no effect on it. I also used Goof Off adhesive remover on it which did'nt seem to harm it either, just the acetone seemed to clean it better. Took me about 2 hrs to get it thoroughly clean, then I let it sit for a day to allow it to air dry in the event it actually absorbed either of the 2 removers I used.
 

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Thanks for posting this. I'm in the middle of trying to repair a driver side door card I bought. I am doing a tan to black interior swap. The fiber part is actually crushed, so I am figuring I will have to take my tan panel apart and try to recover that and put it in the black card. I was sort of hoping I could maybe re use the already formed vinyl, but I guess not? :( I probably won't be able to clean it up well enough to re glue, right? It's going to make this more difficult than I thought but do able.

Did you buy vinyl with a foam backing on it or just skip the foam part? I don't know if it's necessary or not.

I was actually thinking of re doing them in a dark red/black plaid in an upholstery material :rolleyes: OK, maybe not. My seats are black and red, it might look good with the right plaid. I'd be happy if I can get the vinyl back on there :D
Thanks for your post! Super Job, hope I can do half as well.
Tracy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for posting this. I'm in the middle of trying to repair a driver side door card I bought. I am doing a tan to black interior swap. The fiber part is actually crushed, so I am figuring I will have to take my tan panel apart and try to recover that and put it in the black card. I was sort of hoping I could maybe re use the already formed vinyl, but I guess not? :( I probably won't be able to clean it up well enough to re glue, right? It's going to make this more difficult than I thought but do able.

Did you buy vinyl with a foam backing on it or just skip the foam part? I don't know if it's necessary or not.

I was actually thinking of re doing them in a dark red/black plaid in an upholstery material :rolleyes: OK, maybe not. My seats are black and red, it might look good with the right plaid. I'd be happy if I can get the vinyl back on there :D
Thanks for your post! Super Job, hope I can do half as well.
Tracy
No I did'nt go with the foam backed vinyl, I think personally this is where alot of the problem lies. In my opinion it appears the plastic welds which hold the panels together let go which actually hold the vinyl in place to a certain extent. Then the foam backing deterioates with time allowing the vinyl to try and return to it's natural state which is flat. Which then leads to the vinyl coming off of the card itself. So I opted to forgo the foam backing.

I actually attempted to reuse the original foam on my initial attempt at recovering this piece, but found as you mentioned there was no way to get it (the vinyl) clean enough to allow the adhesive to bond well, not to mention you would have to have some pretty precise placement to get it back on correctly, which is why I opted to go with new vinyl.

I was contemplating using a fabric type of material to do this but could not find one to my liking, IMO fabric may actually be easier to use I think it would form to the curves better being thinner material, however I'm not sure how much adhesive it may absorb into it. Spray adhesive may work best for this, I just don't know the answer as far as that's concerned.

This particular project seemed simple enough when I first started doing it, but I found it was a little more difficult than first anticipated. It isn't so difficult that a pro needs to do it but it is time consuming, and very paitence demanding. I think the main thing that caused most of my problems was trying to go to quickly in the glueing heating to stretch process.

I have since the original post I made removed and reglued the vinyl back down in the door pull area, the water bag idea (I mentioned in original post)looks to have worked. I will be reinstalling the door panel this evening and see how it does tomorrow. I will post the results as to wether or not the vinyl remains in it's glued position.

What I have learned from this experience is don't rush things take your time, if you feel like your glue has gotten too dry apply a little more (glue should be slighty tacky to touch but should not stick to your finger). And above all else don't give up if first attempt does'nt work.

I will most likely take pictures and do a write up on this when I do my drivers side panel.

If you have any more questions or need some help feel free to ask. It's always been my nature to help someone if I can.
 

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I thought the same about the foam when I looked at it. The foam is actually the problem and the rears don't have foam and they show no signs of lifting off. I am going to have to do the Pass side eventually, but I have to do the Drivers side cause it's really bad. Can't install it the way it is.

I am actually changing the top of the doors too. It's not as hard a job actually as doing the vinyl insert. This is going to be time consuming and require lots of patience. I have three of the cards pretty much done. There is some gunk on them I am trying to clean off, looks like dirty hands were on them. They look OK. Fortunately I have the two door panels and will be able to take the tan panel off, remove the insert and put the tan panel back on the door so (it will open :D) I can take my time with this. When I get it done, hopefully, then I can remove the top from the tan panel and glue it to the black and be done. FYI--anybody switching out top panels be aware you don't have to cut the tabs, just peal the glue off with a flat blade screw driver, clean it up with a stone on a dremel then pop the top off. If you cut the tabs you will have nothing to glue to. This way they just pop on to the new door card, glue and your good to go. It takes a little longer but is not difficult. Take your time ;)

I am going to see if I can get it cleaned up this weekend, maybe check on some material, but I think you maybe right about gluing material, could be messy. I guess it would depend on what I find and how dense it is. I won't hold my breath on that. But I will look, I think the spray glue would hold it. Especially without the foam.
I have pix of doing the tops of the doors, but don't want to mess with your thread. It's tied into this project sort of and it's not as big a deal as I was led to believe. Just don't cut them off, really!

Look forward to your pictures and thanks
Tracy
 

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So you left the card in the door panel? or did you break the welds? I noticed mine are lifting, when I dropped it at the dealership this morning, so I will be recovering mine soon...but was thinking I would have to break the plastic welds and pull the panel out to do the covering...then somehow get the panel back into the door panel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So you left the card in the door panel? or did you break the welds? I noticed mine are lifting, when I dropped it at the dealership this morning, so I will be recovering mine soon...but was thinking I would have to break the plastic welds and pull the panel out to do the covering...then somehow get the panel back into the door panel.
No I actually removed the vinyl insert from the door panel, comes off relatively easy, cleaning the gunk off of it is time consuming. Today I noticed yet again the vinyl is wanting to lift in the door pull area so it looks like I will be removing the vinyl once again and starting over. I believe I may have finally found the right adhesive to use. It's supposed to withstands heat over 200 F. Ordered some should be here in a few days. Will let you know how it turns out. I can and will post some pics as to how I got my insert back in the door panel, all my plastic welds were broke below where I could glue them. Stay tuned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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This is the type of paint I used on the door panels. Did not buy it from these guys but their prices are inline with what I paid.
SEM Paint Products
Thanks alot! My dad was talking me into painting my doors yesterday so i figured i should get some ideas on what to use.
 

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When we redid Evilina's door panels, we broke the welds off the top parts and the welds from the armrest. Now the armrest welds were already broken off in some places, so it wasn't very difficult to remove. As for the upper part of the door panel, we had to take a dremmel to cut some of the plastic welds.

As for covering the armrest, YES! Selecting a good flexible material is key here. We initially had some marine grade vinyl that was a PAIN to try to mold to the shape and we gave up after days and days of trying to mold it on without any creases. We then tried some black headliner material that we purchased from JoAnn's (a local craft store) and that worked like a dream. It's holding up great and looks great.

As for the adhesive that we used to attach the fabric, we went with some automotive grade headliner and upholstery spray adhesive that is holding up great! Even in this ridiculous Vegas heat.

NOW reattaching the center armrest and the upper part of the panels was a little tricky. We used automotive GOOP! and we placed the armrest part back into the panel and placed weights on top of them. After 30 minutes and now they are holding strong! Same with the upper part of the panels. You just have to angle them just right and place the weight in the right spots and it will be like they were never separated.

I've attached a pic of what the headliner material looks like on the armrest part.

HTH!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That looks great Evilina, however I prefer to go back with vinyl. I'm fairly certain the headliner material would'nt stand a chance surviving in my car, as to where the vinyl would.
I have'nt given up on getting the vinyl back on, I've tried several differnt adhesives so far, 3M 90, 3M Hi Tack 76 or whatever it's called and contact cement of the 3 thus far I got the best results with the contact cement but it still wants to release in the heat.
I believe this is mainly because of the amount of tension on the vinyl versus no tension on the headliner fabric. Got some new adhesive coming and once I try this again I will post results and the name of the adhesive. It is supposed to withstand heat above 200F, so it should work.
Don't want to steer anyone down the wrong path with misinformation.
I do not give up, if there is a way to do this I will find it. Failure is not an option to me. Call me weird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As I mentioned, the plastic tabs that are basically what holds the vinyl insert to the door panel on my panels were for the most part all broken off below the point to were the could be glued or melted to reattatch the vinyl insert back onto the door panel, so I came up with my own solution to the problem. I took and made some small L brackets made out of some thin brass plate and super glued them to the door panel in the position where the original plastic tab would have been. Once I had them in position I filled the area surrounding the brass L bracket with 5 min epoxy. I can now bend these small metal tabs to hold vinyl insert in place. It's been working great so far, I've installed /uninstalled this one panel at least 5 times now with no problem and if I have this same issue in the future I'll be able to remove it and reinstall it again. See photo's. Metal

Automotive exterior Bumper Auto part
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I thought the same about the foam when I looked at it. The foam is actually the problem and the rears don't have foam and they show no signs of lifting off. I am going to have to do the Pass side eventually, but I have to do the Drivers side cause it's really bad. Can't install it the way it is.

I am actually changing the top of the doors too. It's not as hard a job actually as doing the vinyl insert. This is going to be time consuming and require lots of patience. I have three of the cards pretty much done. There is some gunk on them I am trying to clean off, looks like dirty hands were on them. They look OK. Fortunately I have the two door panels and will be able to take the tan panel off, remove the insert and put the tan panel back on the door so (it will open :D) I can take my time with this. When I get it done, hopefully, then I can remove the top from the tan panel and glue it to the black and be done. FYI--anybody switching out top panels be aware you don't have to cut the tabs, just peal the glue off with a flat blade screw driver, clean it up with a stone on a dremel then pop the top off. If you cut the tabs you will have nothing to glue to. This way they just pop on to the new door card, glue and your good to go. It takes a little longer but is not difficult. Take your time ;)

I am going to see if I can get it cleaned up this weekend, maybe check on some material, but I think you maybe right about gluing material, could be messy. I guess it would depend on what I find and how dense it is. I won't hold my breath on that. But I will look, I think the spray glue would hold it. Especially without the foam.
I have pix of doing the tops of the doors, but don't want to mess with your thread. It's tied into this project sort of and it's not as big a deal as I was led to believe. Just don't cut them off, really!

Look forward to your pictures and thanks
Tracy

No please feel free to post your pictures, It won't bother me in the least if you show what your doing, it's all related and this isn't just my thread I was just showing what I was up to. I look at it this way, the more ideas and how to's people post the more it get's the creative juices flowing for everyone.:wave3:
 
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