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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Have some fun with an easy "upgrade" to c900 door interiors.

What you can do if your 2- or 3-door car's door panels just don't do it for you anymore. It's a cheap, easy hour or so of work that made all the difference (to me at least). The old fabric was the standard drab light/mid grey which was grubby and loose. I've used cushion fabric here - not too heavy, not too light.

 

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So funny you posted this. While I was attempting to detail the 89 today I realized that those panels were falling apart and that I should probably do something about it. That looks really good, something I'll have to try tomorrow-- but what's the best way to get the panel off? I'm assuming you just undo the torx screw in the handle, and pop it right off?
 

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i did mine in elather and the lower pocket in leather. i will post a pic in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yep, as Cinemarr says, undo the torx screw, pull out the plastic handle recess and you're done! Then all you do is pull the panel downwards, and it will release from the two clips holding it.

Once its off the door, pull off the old fabric, and completely scrape/rub any remaining glue/gunk/foam backing off both sides of the panel. If you're going to do this;

You need



  • A sharp Stanley type knife and scissors and a firm base to cut on - to cut the fabric and backing foam
  • A pen - to mark up the fabric
  • A flat edge for scraping, and an old rag, to clean the panel
  • 1 tube of contact adhesive (the yellow stuff you can glue shoes soles with)
  • Enough fabric to go the length and width of the panel plus allow 2cm or 1 inch extra length and width as a bare minimum to fold over and glue to the back. Ditto for the foam backing, except you don't need the extra as you won't be folding it over.
  • A little beer, red wine etc.
For clarity, consider the side of the panel that the fabric is on the "front", and the side with the mounting clips protruding the "back".

If you prepare everything beforehand you can do both sides, in stages, in one session (you do one while the glue is drying on the other) and save yourself time.

1. Place your fabric face down on a flat surface, with the panel also face down on top of it, then using your panel as a template, trace out your pattern on the back of the fabric, allowing for that extra minimum of 2cm/1 inch of material around the outside. Do the same for the hole in the panel. After you've done this, trace the actual outside edge of the panel on the fabric as well (you'll see why later). Remove the fabric, and cut your fabric around the outer guidleines. Next, place your foam piece down, put the panel on top, again face down, and pressing down on the panel with an open hand, cut with a sharp blade around the actual edge of the panel (and inside the handle recess hole) to cut the foam to be the same dimensions of the panel.

2. Flip the panel over, and spread approx 1cm/half inch wide strip of adhesive around the outside edge of the front of the panel, and likewise around the handle recess hole, and dab a few decent sized spots here and there in between. Spread it thinly. It will get tacky more quickly that way, and it is a lot more economical. More is not necessarily better in this case. Lay your foam down quickly, pressing it down uniformly and gently. N.B. If you don't want to bother with foam then its ok, but it does give it a nice upholstered look.

3. About 10 mins after glueing the foam, spread some adhesive on the top of the foam, again around the outside edge and the handle recess edge, and in several spots in between. A bit will get soaked up in the foam so you might need a tiny bit more, but don't overdo it as excess might soak thru the fabric. This part isn't vital anyhow, as what holds the fabric on is when the edges are folded over and glued to the back of the panel. Now simply lay out the fabric face down, flip the panel face down too, and using your guiding lines you drew earlier, line up and and press the panel gently but firmly on to the fabric with a flat hand. Turn the whole thing face up again and make sure there are no wrinkles in the fabric.

4. After about another 10-15 min waiting (unless you've been working on the other panel or sampling that bottle of red you bought last week), place the panel face down and have a look at how the fabric will wrap around the rounded sections. You'll soon see it will naturally create messy, bulky folds, so I suggest you cut little v's out of the material so that it can simply be glued to the back of the panel in nice flat segments. Here's a quick mockup on cardboard to show what I mean.




See the bottom of the V? This is where the guiding lines you drew on the fabric earlier come into play again. Make sure you cut your V's just short of that inner line or you'll be kicking yourself later. Logically, the smaller the radius, the more the material will want to kink, so for tighter parts of the curve, just cut more v's.

Now, all you need to do is spread some adhesive along the back edge of the panel (fairly thickly this time), press the excess fabric into the adhesive, getting plenty on it, then pull it away again, and wait a minute or two to let it get nice and tacky. Finally, using a (clean) thumb and starting from just under the front edge of the panel, roll your thumb around the edge with an even, light pressure, pressing the fabric flat on the back of the panel firmly. Do this as evenly as possible especially around the curves. The straight sections are a cinch. Don't pull hard on the fabric as you wrap it around and glue it down, or you'll flatten the foam near the edge and get slight but noticeable dimples on the front side where the fabric is tight.
Practice on some spare material if you're a bit toey, but its a pretty easy job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
lol. Ta Jezzadee, but I'm kicking myself for not taking pics. Makes it a lot easier to visualise. :D
 

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This topic came up in the mods forum some time ago. It seems that thread got deleted. Too bad, because there were some good pictures.

I used 1/8 inch oak veneer plywood with "ebony" stain and exterior varnish to make wood insert panels. The old panel makes a perfect template. The panel doesn't need the back piece to hook into the door, it's simply held on by the pressure of the door handle. I never have to worry about worn or sagging fabric again.
 

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wow thats really good. i might have to do something like this to teh car i get as well. it seems that every 900 i look at has some part tearing out of the interior. any ideas how to pop out the speaker panels in the back as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Eggs, looks good! Bet you had a bit of fun finding the right colour. My passenger-side door panel has cracks along the top of the shoulder as you can probably see in my pic, and I notice yours isn't one piece like mine. Is that some matching vinyl running along the top there? Looks excellent.
 

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silversaab96 said:
nd I notice yours isn't one piece like mine. Is that some matching vinyl running along the top there? Looks excellent.
All of the convertibles that I've seen have that bit of extra trim. And, yes. the matching color is a bit difficult, but I sprayed lightly with vinyl dye tp blend the colors.
 

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MSOEMiller said:
This topic came up in the mods forum some time ago. It seems that thread got deleted. Too bad, because there were some good pictures.

I used 1/8 inch oak veneer plywood with "ebony" stain and exterior varnish to make wood insert panels. The old panel makes a perfect template. The panel doesn't need the back piece to hook into the door, it's simply held on by the pressure of the door handle. I never have to worry about worn or sagging fabric again.
That's a great idea, I might have to give that a shot. My panels are getting pretty scary looking.

On a similar note, has anyone tried dyeing the other part of the panel?
 

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MSOEMiller said:
T
I used 1/8 inch oak veneer plywood with "ebony" stain and exterior varnish to make wood insert panels. The old panel makes a perfect template. The panel doesn't need the back piece to hook into the door, it's simply held on by the pressure of the door handle. I never have to worry about worn or sagging fabric again.
Cool! I want to try this! I'll bet it would look really sharp with a matching wood dash.

How did you treat the edges? Are any of them visible?

Any pictures?
 
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