Gen III Door Panel Repair

Stray Cat

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I am replacing the Window Regulators on my GEN III. In taking off the Door Panels, there are a number of areas where the "cup" that the Screws go into to secure the panel to the door has cracked and broken off. We are trying to figure out the best way to "glue" the areas back together etc. I read where someone even 3D printed a repair cup and glued it back on . We are looking at Super Glue, Epoxy's etc. Has anyone repaired those Door panels and been able to screw them back on in a manner that has held up ? If so, please let me know how and what you did. Thanks!

John
 

MoparMap

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I was probably the one talking about gluing in a repair piece. Looks like at least my driver side has broken again, but going to see about doing it again with a tougher material. I might also look into plastic welding it back together with some metal mesh. It's not pretty, but it seems to do a really good job of strengthening the joint. Did that in several places on my dash pieces the last time I had them out as a couple of tabs had broken off and the surround of my glovebox broke in half years ago. I originally glued it back together with some fiberglass resin. I'll see if I can get some pictures the next time I have it apart. Might give it a shot next week.
 
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Stray Cat

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Thank you - We will evaluate it and see what we can do. With all the cars I own, it is becoming clear that anything made in the 89's and on up you have to be gentle with the doors. From running the cheap speakers used, to cracking Door Panels to ruined Regulators, I am closing the doors on all of my later model collectables very gently. My older models, they made the doors rock solid and remember when the car salesman closed the doors with authority just too show you how "solid" the car was built ? Not with my Viper, Solstice, 2002 Trans Am's, Prowler or Chevy SSR. I will say, of all of them, the big old heavy SSR is by far the most well-built doors and interior. I think they have door handle (Opening handle on the interior) breakage problems as they age. Other than that, rock solid. I also leave all of my windows up just slightly (Especially on the 2002 Trans Am's) as dropping the windows all the way into the Door causes the top door panel to crack. From the factory, interior staples caused way too much tension and the Door panels are prone to crack if you do.

John
 

Slybri

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I’ve had really good luck with SEM quick set 20 / 50 for various plastic repairs. The link below shows an example tab repair; but same basic idea.

 

MoparMap

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I’ve had really good luck with SEM quick set 20 / 50 for various plastic repairs. The link below shows an example tab repair; but same basic idea.


That's pretty cool! I'll have to remember that for the future. A lot of the tabs that have broken on my car are the ones that get the little clips attached to make it a press fit installation. The clips intentionally dig into the plastic so they don't pull off , but I think that's part of the long term problem if you remove them several times as they dig in a little more each time and eventually wear out the plastic. That was one reason I liked the metal mesh idea with plastic welding. Helps to distribute the force through more of the plastic, though hard to say how long it might last just the same. Melting plastic with a soldering iron isn't exactly the most well controlled thing, so it likely alters the properties of the plastic some and I'm guessing makes it a little more brittle in the long run.
 

viperfest

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I keep the windows down on my gen3&4 when I get in and out so the doors close easyer. The windows dont hit the edges of the top ever also.
 

Slybri

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I keep the windows down on my gen3&4 when I get in and out so the doors close easyer. The windows dont hit the edges of the top ever also.

That’s an intriguing idea. Is it known whether most regular damage occurs from glass impacting weather seals or cycling of the cables/rollers from use?

I’d be curious to know more
 
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Yes, interesting. On my 2005 SSR, which has the same function where it drops when you open the doors, and goes up when you close, I leave the window down just a bit so it is not constantly working. I do the same so that each and every time I open the car I do not make the windows drop, and then go up.
 

MoparMap

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Judging from the way the regulators break, I'm not sure that would have a whole lot to do with it, but at the same time I agree it's better to lessen the stress when you can. I think a lot of people tend to agree that the installation process itself can be the initial failure point. You have to do some pretty extreme tetris moves to get the regulator in without bending the guide tubes too much. I think some people force them in a little too hard and might start a crack that you can't see that just gets bigger over time and use cycles. The failure is between the motor and the guide channels, but those should be effectively fixed together in the door once installed, regardless of how the glass might move.
 
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Bobby spent over 6 hours on my doors and windows. We will see what this all cost me. He says the windows go up and down properly now, they drop on opening etc. The door cups, he is not confident that he fixed the doors well enough to NOT break and said that the plastic is very very brittle. I'll make a decision if this is one of the cars I keep when I get it back. Will get the stereo all up to ***** and all the little issues on the body and front end fixed. He had to do some new O2 sensors (One was actually damaged) and said the car is running incredibly smooth and strong. He knows these cars well and has driven a ton of them and I have not so I'll take his word! :)

Johnm
 
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