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Fabricating door panels
I never attempted to fabricate door panels before but my old nova has suffered from desert heat and the panels litterally fell apart. My back seat is also suffering a slow deteriating death from the desert heat. I need to fabricate a new set of door panels aftermarket is like 450.00 and that is a bit to expemnsive so any advice is appreciated.
posted: December 31, 2008
  Answers (9)
If you want to make them yourself all you need is some cardboard, contact cement, thin plywood or paneling, foam, and fabric. first, make you a template of the door panel with the cardboard. once you have the shape and holes just right, transfer the shape onto the wood, cut it out, contact cement the foam to the wood, trim to fit, then cover with the fabric, pull it tight, staple the fabric to the back of the wood with a staple gun. (note* the arm rest will help hold the center together once you put it in the car)
*****you might want to get your windows tinted to help block the UV rays of the sun. but for now, get you one of those reflective sun shields you put in the windshield to keep your car cool in the summer, and put it in your back window when you are not driving the car, to keep the sun off your back seat.
posted:  January 1, 2009
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Where do you get the vinyl fabric for this type of job ??
posted:  January 1, 2009
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Unless you have all the proper tools for working with vinyl as well as the machines to properly stretch & stitch I would buy after-market ones! If you really feel adventurous however you can get allot of different vinyl selection through a company in Oregon named SMS,
posted:  January 2, 2009
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Thank you for your help, I am not realoly adventurous ! I am looking at that link you have provided, Thank you
posted:  January 2, 2009
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The answer rustysouth gave is a great option and typical. For custom door panels you can use steel, aluminum or even copper sheeting. It will vary in $$$ depending on which one(s) you go with, but still very affordalbe. If you choose aluminum diamond plate that would be a little more expensive than plain ol' sheet metal or copper flashing. Many hardware stores will have this in stock. Here in Texas we have a hardware stores that sell copper flashing by the foot that is 24" wide. Copper flashing is typically used by roofers to prevent water from entering the home around chimneys. You could make some awesome custom door panels with copper as it is soft enough to mold and shape by hand. For an artistic touch, you could tape a Chevy Bow Tie on the back of the copper and using a round punch and hammer lightly tap the punch and trace the bow tie. The opposite side would be an embossed Chevy Bow Tie emblem. A typical dremel tool, tin snips or metal shears can be used to cut the material.
posted:  January 4, 2009
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Sorry about that, Retiredfordtech. we have a place here local that sells all types of interior fabrics, I just assumed every city had one. I've also found good quality fabrics at the local "high-end" fabric stores.............I have made door panels, bed covers, speaker boxes, ect. using just basic hand tools, and my wife's sewing machine with a large needle.... I still think it is worth a try,...if you don't like how they turn out , throw them away and buy the after market ones.......sixone has a good idea too, can also combine the two ideas and put fabric at the top and metal cross the bottom.
( are you restoring the car,or just fixing it up?)
posted:  January 4, 2009
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Hi Rustysouth, In many ways I am restoring her but not in everyway. Sounds kind of screwy huh. She is not a numbers matching car for she is the end result of my original SS. My forst Nova was a 1970 SS and she was so very rotten ""New york car"" that I would have had to replace everything so I boiught the 72 body and transferred my SS parts to her including my 350 4 bolt main which I had built 32 years ago. I did that transfer around 1990. All she had wrong was a bad hit to the right front and I am good at collision work so i fixed it. Now as far as total restore I simply cannot afford to do it with all original type parts like 400.00 for door panels so I decided to make her look as good as possible and the hewck with being factory in everyway. I never attempted to do door panels so maybe it is high time I learned.
posted:  January 5, 2009
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What a great story, just think when you can add " I made them door panels myself" ........ it don't sound screwy to me, I'm more of a custom, do it yourself kinda guy, than a buy it and bolt it on... anyway.............back to the question, you said you can do collision repair, have you thought about fiberglass? I've never tried it, but it is real hot in the import tuner scene right now.
posted:  January 6, 2009
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Hi Rustysouth and Sixone. Sixone I have ben thinking about what you said and that sounds like a good idea boy you never know what one can come up with. Rustysouth I never worked with fiberglass only bondo and of course good ole red oxide fillers and paint wise only acrylic enamel. I have no poly experiemnces what so ever but now they have that paint shop stuff and my Nova will remain yellow and paint shop has this loud yellow. I saw that stuff on powerblock tv. Acrylic enamel is only available in aircraft supplies I do believe and here in Nm we really do not even have any kind of real airport just a puddle jumper airport by us.
posted:  January 7, 2009
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