Interior and Upholstery Restoring the Door Panels On Destiny the '86 GT

86Fox_Destiny

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Jan 31, 2021
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Chicago
I'm restoring the door panels on my '86 GT convertible.

The door panel vinyl is in great shape, but like most of these foxes, the cardboard behind the vinyl and carpet has warped due to water damage. This also affected the door panel carpet, so that will be replaced as well. Someone before me had also removed both door lock switches and cracked both door lock bezels so I plan to replace a handful of hardware pieces. Lastly, there's the inner door felt strips. They seem to be in decent shape so I'm going to reuse them for now.

It's going to be a tedious process but I'm looking forward to it. I'm a big fan of the small details and love the little victories to stay motivated.

Here's the plan for the full door panel restoration:
  • Replace backing cardboard
  • Replace lower panel carpet (Leaving out the map pockets. Not a fan.)
  • Replace all damaged hardware (bezels, switches, housing brackets, screws, etc.)
  • Reuse original vinyl
  • Reuse original inner door felt strips
  • Clean everything up
All replacement parts and hardware were purchased from LMR.

Below are a couple of pics of the current state of the panels. I plan to share some photos of the progress and results.

Door panel front_before_ds.jpg

Front of driver side door panel. (Note the large window switch hole for convertibles. I've already removed the metal frame hardware in order to soak it in some CLR to clean it up a bit.)

Door panel_Window switch bracket_ds.jpg

Cleaned up pretty nice. You can even make out the Ford branding, part number, and location reference (TOP) again.

Door panel front_before_ps.jpg

Front of passenger side door panel

Door panel back_before_ds.jpg

Back of driver side door panel. Obvious warping due to water damage.

Door panel back_before_ps.jpg

Back of passenger side door panel. Same issues with water damage. (Note the remnants of factory sound deadener. I'll also need to find a new solution for sound deadener when I'm done with these panels. The original stuff ain't cutting it and I'm not putting it back in there with these new panels.)

If anybody has any questions or recommendations feel free to chime in.

Cheers!
 
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90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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The U Haul moving blankets are the same jute material. The factory has black plastic glued to them on one side. I made a package tray utilizing the blankets cut and glued with 3m spray adhesive. Had to use 3 or 4 layers of the blanket.

They say they don't sell them...but rent them...and charge if not returned. Lol.

They sell them on Amazon. Its also like the factory carpet jute backing.

Screenshot_20210215-124820_Amazon Shopping.jpg


Screenshot_20210215-124754_Amazon Shopping.jpg


In the actual picture on Amazon you can see the threads. One blanket does a lot...might need 2. U haul is printed on one side.

...and...the black plastic is just like a trash bag. Have fun...
 
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Potomus Pete

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Mar 7, 2019
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Following...I need to see how you do the holes for the plastic fasteners. My board is frayed around holes. I need new plastic pins
 

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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I used panel board when I redid the ones in my convertible. Separated the top metal part from the backer board. I traced it out on some panel board I bought from home depot. The panel clip holes were traced out and I used drill bits to drill a little hole and bigger holes ( the size of the clip head )...slotted with an electric jig saw between the two holes. Also used the jig saw to cut out the other places for door handle and speaker. Drill a hole to start from.

The OP ordered his from LMR so there should already be holes.
 
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Potomus Pete

Gretchen Whitmer is eating at me
Mar 7, 2019
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Fifty bucks for pre made. Mine are still solid so I would trace the old ones. I could save some money for other door hardware.
 
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86Fox_Destiny

Member
Jan 31, 2021
9
8
13
Chicago
The U Haul moving blankets are the same jute material. The factory has black plastic glued to them on one side. I made a package tray utilizing the blankets cut and glued with 3m spray adhesive. Had to use 3 or 4 layers of the blanket.

They say they don't sell them...but rent them...and charge if not returned. Lol.

They sell them on Amazon. Its also like the factory carpet jute backing.

Screenshot_20210215-124820_Amazon Shopping.jpg


Screenshot_20210215-124754_Amazon Shopping.jpg


In the actual picture on Amazon you can see the threads. One blanket does a lot...might need 2. U haul is printed on one side.

...and...the black plastic is just like a trash bag. Have fun...
Thanks for the U-haul pro tip. lol

I probably will explore this route.
It's super cost-effective so if it doesn't work out for some reason I can always upgrade.
 
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86Fox_Destiny

Member
Jan 31, 2021
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Chicago
Following...I need to see how you do the holes for the plastic fasteners. My board is frayed around holes. I need new plastic pins

Are you referring to the holes along the outer edges of the board that hold the clips that attach to the door frame?

If so, the replacement boards I got from LMR come with those holes pre-cut so it's as simple as throwing new clips in them. I'm not exactly sure what the best option would be for repairing damaged door clip holes. Whoever had this car before me seemed to run into that issue as well and rather than replacing the boards all together they hacked together some duck tape to hold the clips in place.

Apologies if I'm barking up the wrong tree here.
 

86Fox_Destiny

Member
Jan 31, 2021
9
8
13
Chicago
Are you referring to the holes along the outer edges of the board that hold the clips that attach to the door frame?

If so, the replacement boards I got from LMR come with those holes pre-cut so it's as simple as throwing new clips in them. I'm not exactly sure what the best option would be for repairing damaged door clip holes. Whoever had this car before me seemed to run into that issue as well and rather than replacing the boards all together they hacked together some duck tape to hold the clips in place.

Apologies if I'm barking up the wrong tree here.
Ignore me! I saw 90sickfox's response late.

What he said. Lol
 

NXcoupe

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Dec 3, 2009
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Fox-resto has the juke padding already cut out. I get all my resto stuff from there. Lmr is my last resort if no one else has it. Personal preference.
I've got a 90 LX that has backing panels in a lot worse shape but just don't feel like fooling with it.
Fox resto has the plastic moisture barriers too.
 
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rotorhead22

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Dec 17, 2020
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Interesting write up. I am in the beginning process of rebuilding mine however they won't be factory style. I bought some hard board at Home Depot and will use the old board for patterns. I also bought a air stapler because my hand stapler wouldn't push the staple in far enough. I will need to fiberglass some of the upper plastic because it has become pretty brittle