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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have good suggestions on front door panel repairs?

Specifically, the mounting points on the panel for the panel to door christmas trees to mount to. The metal clips are off. I have some glue that will hold the metal clips on just fine, but there is at least one plastic location that didn't survive the panel removal.

Also, the door panels on both front doors are broken around the bottom non-hinge side screw. This screw goes right through the panel and keeps it from flapping. The plastic busted out of both sides long before I needed to remove the door panel.

My passenger front slider was busted. Friday I forgot and rolled down the window. I stopped and held it level while I rolled it back up, but now today it appears stuck when I went to fix it. I don't see any obstruction, the front arm is not caught on anything and the back slider appears moveable but the window mechanism won't move. It does click when the switch is depressed, though. Just no go.

Even if I get the slider changed with a roller, I don't think my panel will ever go on the same again. :(

Any suggestions?

-PJ
 

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I have used MEK to remelt the plastic together. I will leave a shiney spot at the screw hole (you can paint to match). Put the part back in the same postion the break occured to make sure it fits. Remove and "paint some MEK on both surfaces with a 3/8 inch aritst's paint brush...push them together and apply some more MEK. It will melt the plastic so be careful. You can apply some from the front side to aid in making the part one piece again. This is where the shiney part comes in. If the broken part is missing, you can cut the part off of a severly damaged door and make it fit. If there is a large hole, you may have to heat weld it as in the following technique.

The tree mounts (plastic standoffs) on the back side of the door can be reattached with a soldering iron and some scrap plastic...the color does not matter, because you will not see them. Make sure you melt all the way through the part (a small area at a time). Build it up with some extra plastic to ensure strength. Just like welding, make sure you are working with a puddle of liquid plastic at the joint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's great on the MEK. I'll give it a try. I do have all the pieces so if I don't screw things up I could make a repair.

I'm actually in adhesives for a living, but I know plastics can be very tricky to bond to and ours are not used for plastic welding. I was wondering if fiberglass resin would stick at all, b/c I could reinforce the back of the panel with it and sort of glass it all in. I'm guessing not that well but you never know.

Good news is I did un-jam the window motor. I got the front slider swapped, but the rear one is worn a ton. I didn't have 2 people so I didn't just slide both old ones out the front while it was apart. I really don't want to pop back off the front just to get the rear one changed but drilling out and spreading the rear end of the window track appears to be impossible without a drill bit extender and some sort of spreader I don't have.

Oh well, I guess I can duct tape over the top of the door in 3 places to "hang" the window in its opening, then pop the new roller off, pop the old rear off, pull everything out the front, replace with two rollers and call it good.

That's a lot of work. Seems like I always make things harder.


Thanks for the tips on the door panel!

-PJ
 

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You could reinforce the back of the panel with fiberglas and resin. Epoxy should stick a little better than polyester, unless the polyester etches the plastic because of its styrene component. I have tried numerous adhesives, and have limited success. The door panels seem to have a styrene component so the MEK apppears to work on them. Other than that, heat welding usually works best, and you can add some scrap plastic to reinforce the area. To heat weld, you have to make sure you go almost the whole way through the part and build it up on the back side to about 50% thicker than the original part. a soldering gun works pretty good. You have to think like a metal welder, and make sure you are working in a "puddle of liquid plastic" so that the parts become one piece.

You can use tape over the top of the door, but put a rag or paper on the paint to keep the tape form damaging it.

I use a large screw driver or panel tool to flare the end of the channel for the sliders, and to pop the slilder out of the ball-stud. It takes a good bit of pressure to bend the metal, but it will bend. I do not remove the channel from the window. No drilling necessary.

Cars are designed so that you will not want to work on them, or can not work on them. Then the manufacturers make the repairs and charge you. They are also designed to break after about 5 years, so that you want to get a new one.
 
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