Door panel cracking and others

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Last night I removed the door panels to perform so work on the doors. My plan is to readajust the windows, change the felt, replace the hinges, clean up, spray insulation, install speakers, install a lock solenoid, etc. As you can see in the picture, I have a crack growing outwards from the arm rest. My experience is that once these cracks start they will most likely continue growing. I am not planing on replacing the panels since they are good per my standards. That said I have a few questions:

-What can I do to stop the crack from growing? I was thinking of adding some type of glue to the crack gap, but which glue?

-What would it be a good moisture barrier source since I think there should be something better than the brittle paper behind it? I am not looking for originality, but rather a practical solution. I assume some kind of plastic sheet/bag should work. I have a roll of Home Depot plastic sheeting that may be a good candidate.

-What else should I look at while working on the doors?

Door panel:



Crack:



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kcmash

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Tony,

Looks like we are in similar situations. I am trying to preserve the original power window panels I have and asking the same questions on vinyl cracks. I am going to try one of the vinyl repair kits on a tear on mine.I have watched Jeff Ford use them on his videos with good success, so I figure its worth the money to try it.

On the door panels, the cardboard has warped and some of the clip holes are torn out. I need to try and fix that, but I am using the regular tar paper backing for moisture barrier. I thought about just buying the repop panels as I understand they use the modern style backing that is plastic, but I don't like the cost or the reviews on them.

Look again at my post on the "What did you do to your car" link and you can see my repop tar paper,

lcmash

 
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No great solutions for stopping the cracks. Heat causes the vinyl to shrink so when the car is parked leave the windows down a little to let the heat out. 

On the vapor barrier you should be able to use your paper ones as a template to cut the plastic. You should use black plastic the clear will break down much sooner than the black. Do not use trash bags they are formulated to break down faster in the landfill. 

You might fill in the crack with some filler and put some black on it so it does not stand out with the foam showing. 

I have stated many times that I never use running water to wash the car because in gets inside the doors, quarters and cowl and feeds the rust. While you have everything apart check the sealer inside the doors. If it is cracked and peeling get it out of there and put some new on. Brushing some POR over the seams before sealer will help it stick. I would not try to spray anything inside the door just brush it.

 
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No great solutions for stopping the cracks. Heat causes the vinyl to shrink so when the car is parked leave the windows down a little to let the heat out. 

On the vapor barrier you should be able to use your paper ones as a template to cut the plastic. You should use black plastic the clear will break down much sooner than the black. Do not use trash bags they are formulated to break down faster in the landfill. 

You might fill in the crack with some filler and put some black on it so it does not stand out with the foam showing. 

I have stated many times that I never use running water to wash the car because in gets inside the doors, quarters and cowl and feeds the rust. While you have everything apart check the sealer inside the doors. If it is cracked and peeling get it out of there and put some new on. Brushing some POR over the seams before sealer will help it stick. I would not try to spray anything inside the door just brush it.
Thank you David. Out of curiosity, why don't you like to spray anything inside the door?

 
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I am thinking that i could use from black plastic epoxy to fill the gap and hopefully it will also reduce the crack growth.

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Fabrice

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Tony,

I would avoid adding any epoxy filler, as for it to stick they'd need be over the vinyl (sanded enough to offer a good adhesion). If it sticks at all, you will end up with a crack with filler that cracks around the epoxy filler within no time.

At this location it's likely the cheapo rubbery handle brackets that are generating some play/stress on the panel every time someone opens/closes the door.

I'd fix the little play first, then just tip black the foam at the crack as its not really visible at this location.

You are lucky you have black ones, may they'd become ugly as my distorted ginger's you at least can buy repops.

I have a massive hole at elbow position on driver side like if the foam under the crack vanished over time. And the usual fatigue/cracks on both sides,

Fixing the hole locally will always annoy me as it will remain visible, so as the entire panel needs be handled and all is distorted, I'll prolly be making new panels from scratch reusing the old ones.

Found some vinyl company in Germany and have ordered monsters that looked ok on screen, as I want check first in real how near they are of the original colour/nice enough to be used. The main problem is to find vinyl that doesn't have a too thick back side and of a material that allows a good bond with resine yet spongy enough to the touch.

Also looking at leather alternatives...

 
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Tony,

I would avoid adding any epoxy filler, as for it to stick they'd need be over the vinyl (sanded enough to offer a good adhesion). If it sticks at all, you will end up with a crack with filler that cracks around the epoxy filler within no time.

At this location it's likely the cheapo rubbery handle brackets that are generating some play/stress on the panel every time someone opens/closes the door.

I'd fix the little play first, then just tip black the foam at the crack as its not really visible at this location.

You are lucky you have black ones, may they'd become ugly as my distorted ginger's you at least can buy repops.

I have a massive hole at elbow position on driver side like if the foam under the crack vanished over time. And the usual fatigue/cracks on both sides,

Fixing the hole locally will always annoy me as it will remain visible, so as the entire panel needs be handled and all is distorted,  I'll prolly be making new panels from scratch reusing the old ones.

Found some vinyl company in Germany and have ordered monsters that looked ok on screen, as I want check first in real how near they are of the original colour/nice enough to be used. The main problem is to find vinyl that doesn't have a too thick back side and of a material that allows a good bond with resine yet spongy enough to the touch.

Also looking at leather alternatives...
Thanks. Yes there is probably play because the idiots that worked in this car before me only used one of the screws that attach the arm rest so when I install them back I will definitely use the two screws and make sure there is no play.

 
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No great solutions for stopping the cracks. Heat causes the vinyl to shrink so when the car is parked leave the windows down a little to let the heat out. 

On the vapor barrier you should be able to use your paper ones as a template to cut the plastic. You should use black plastic the clear will break down much sooner than the black. Do not use trash bags they are formulated to break down faster in the landfill. 

You might fill in the crack with some filler and put some black on it so it does not stand out with the foam showing. 

I have stated many times that I never use running water to wash the car because in gets inside the doors, quarters and cowl and feeds the rust. While you have everything apart check the sealer inside the doors. If it is cracked and peeling get it out of there and put some new on. Brushing some POR over the seams before sealer will help it stick. I would not try to spray anything inside the door just brush it.
Is the sealer you refer to at the bottom seam of the door? Mine don't have anything down there.

 

detritusmaximus

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There are the vinyl repair kits, not sure how well they work, but people have used them for seats and couches. I think Permatex makes one. Might work well for a small spot like that and be flexible enough to withstand some movement. Really just being able to stabilize that spot is the key to keep it from tearing more.

There is a trick that might work for that but it takes some commitment. In acrylic, paper, vinyl banners and other materials, if you get a crack or tear drill a round hole at the end of the crack. This forces the tearing stress to go around the end instead of leveraging the end of the crack.

 

c9zx

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I have used the 3M vinyl repair kit with success. You do have to follow the directions exactly and experiment with the heat and "time on target". It will not work on hard plastic trim pieces. Chuck

 

c9zx

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On a related topic, I've had leather and vinyl repair done by a franchise business called" Creative Colors". In addition to repair they can match grain and color match any upholstery. I consider the work as being excellent at a reasonable price and, they come to you, no transporting the parts or car. They are in 24 states so there may or not be one in your area. Chuck

 
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Thank you. All very good suggestions. I think I will proceed with a combination of all. I am familiar with the method of drilling a hole at the tip of a crack to stop it. I am a little hesitant in this case but what I may do is to round of the crack tip extending a little ahead of the crack, which is essentially the same idea but without drilling. Then I will add epoxy to the back of the vinyl and the crack gap, after first removing some of the backing with the idea to stiffen the area. I don't want epoxy on the front side of the vinyl. Lastly, I will make sure to get all the screws in place to eliminate the possibility of excessive vibrations/play.

 

detritusmaximus

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If you are going to get at it from the back, a little black silicone might work as well right behind the vinyl if the vinyl is clean enough for the silicone to grab. The silicone has some flexibility to it.

 
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Here it is. With a drill I carefully rounded the tip of the crack. Then I separated a little of the foam that is glued behind the vinyl. Then I clean with alcohol and filled the gap and the backside with black epoxy. I used the tip of a nail to clean the vinyl back from foam and push the epoxy in. I used epoxy because I feel I need a stiff bond to prevent the crack from growing. Not a professional repair but I hope that it is enough. The details are exaggerated in the picture due to the lighting. Otherwise, it looks better than before and I will be happy if the crack doesn't grow further.





 

Don C

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Actually, it looks much better than before. Unless you tell someone about it I doubt if they'll even notice it.

::goodjob::

 
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No great solutions for stopping the cracks. Heat causes the vinyl to shrink so when the car is parked leave the windows down a little to let the heat out. 

On the vapor barrier you should be able to use your paper ones as a template to cut the plastic. You should use black plastic the clear will break down much sooner than the black. Do not use trash bags they are formulated to break down faster in the landfill. 

You might fill in the crack with some filler and put some black on it so it does not stand out with the foam showing. 

I have stated many times that I never use running water to wash the car because in gets inside the doors, quarters and cowl and feeds the rust. While you have everything apart check the sealer inside the doors. If it is cracked and peeling get it out of there and put some new on. Brushing some POR over the seams before sealer will help it stick. I would not try to spray anything inside the door just brush it.
Thank you David. Out of curiosity, why don't you like to spray anything inside the door?
I am referring to spraying the POR. I have COPD partially caused by not using proper equipment when spraying paint years ago. The POR reacts with moisture and hardens immediately. If you breath the mist into your lungs it hardens almost instantly. Not worth the risk of getting in your lungs. It also gets into the cracks better if you brush. I just did a filler panel for a vert between top and trunk. I bent acid brushes so I could do the back side of the inside reinforcement and seal it up. 

You will be much better coverage if you brush on the sealer also.

 

B229218

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No great solutions for stopping the cracks. Heat causes the vinyl to shrink so when the car is parked leave the windows down a little to let the heat out. 

On the vapor barrier you should be able to use your paper ones as a template to cut the plastic. You should use black plastic the clear will break down much sooner than the black. Do not use trash bags they are formulated to break down faster in the landfill. 

You might fill in the crack with some filler and put some black on it so it does not stand out with the foam showing. 

I have stated many times that I never use running water to wash the car because in gets inside the doors, quarters and cowl and feeds the rust. While you have everything apart check the sealer inside the doors. If it is cracked and peeling get it out of there and put some new on. Brushing some POR over the seams before sealer will help it stick. I would not try to spray anything inside the door just brush it.
Thank you David. Out of curiosity, why don't you like to spray anything inside the door?
I am referring to spraying the POR. I have COPD partially caused by not using proper equipment when spraying paint years ago. The POR reacts with moisture and hardens immediately. If you breath the mist into your lungs it hardens almost instantly. Not worth the risk of getting in your lungs. It also gets into the cracks better if you brush. I just did a filler panel for a vert between top and trunk. I bent acid brushes so I could do the back side of the inside reinforcement and seal it up. 

You will be much better coverage if you brush on the sealer also.
Wow, that is a scary scenario, I am a Health care worker and I commend your warning to others. :bravo:  POR 15 sticks like crazy, definitely would not want that stuff in my lungs either.

 
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Thank you David. Out of curiosity, why don't you like to spray anything inside the door?
I am referring to spraying the POR. I have COPD partially caused by not using proper equipment when spraying paint years ago. The POR reacts with moisture and hardens immediately. If you breath the mist into your lungs it hardens almost instantly. Not worth the risk of getting in your lungs. It also gets into the cracks better if you brush. I just did a filler panel for a vert between top and trunk. I bent acid brushes so I could do the back side of the inside reinforcement and seal it up. 

You will be much better coverage if you brush on the sealer also.
Wow, that is a scary scenario, I am a Health care worker and I commend your warning to others. :bravo:  POR 15 sticks like crazy, definitely would not want that stuff in my lungs either.

The distributor I bought mine from at swap meet was the one that warned me. 
 
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BTW, this is the case with most polyurethane curing sealants, coatings, glues, etc. It is not only with POR15. The amount of damage will depend on how much you breath in, and in what state of curing is it when you breath it. The worst time to breath it is as soon as it is sprayed on because that's when curing just starts and there is more in the air.

 
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