Is your car's passenger door panel dented beyond repair? Then it's high time you get a new door skin. Aside from keeping your car looking new, replacing a busted door panel as soon as possible ensures that no internal damage is overlooked because it's inside or beneath the panel. Fortunately, this repair job is relatively easy as long as you have the right tools, enough work space, and time on your hands. Check out the following instructions on how to replace a busted door skin:
Tools you'll need:
- Drill and bit
- S-shaped wrench
- Body hammer
- Primer and paint
- Automotive sealer
Step 1: Uninstall the door's interior components.
Using a screwdriver, remove the various interior parts such as the armrest, window crank, handle, and the panel. By removing these parts, you'll be able to easily access the inside part so that you can remove the lock and window glass. Using the appropriate tools, unhook the lock from the assembly. To remove the window glass, uninstall the window stops and unbolt the flange from the track. The glass can now be easily removed.
Step 2: Remove the door frame.
To uninstall the frame, use an S-shape wrench to remove the bolts that attach the door hinge to the vehicle's body.
Step 3: Uninstall the busted door skin.
Use a grinder to remove the flange on the bottom and sides of the skin. You can also use a rotary sander (air powered) if you don't have an electric angle grinder. Moving back and forth, keep on grinding until the door skin completely separates from the flange.
Step 4: Remove the welded braces from the inside part of the door frame.
Using a drill or a grinder, remove the welded braces found around the inside of the door. Stubborn braces can be removed with a chisel. Your last resort is to drill out the stubborn welded bits.
Step 5: Look for signs of rust on the frame.
Now's the perfect time to inspect the frame for signs of corrosion. A rusty patch should be repaired or fixed as soon as possible because corrosion can slowly eat away the entire metal frame.
Step 6: Attach the new skin over the frame.
Position the skin in place, making sure that it is properly aligned all over the frame. Using a hammer, bend the flange around the ending of the skin. Begin at the center and work your way outside until the surface of the skin door is evenly flattened out.
Step 7: Reinstall the door frame with the new skin onto the vehicle.
Place the door frame in place but don't tighten it down yet. Check first the fit and alignment. If everything is sorted out, secure the door in place.
Step 8: Permanently weld the skin or panel.
After reinstalling the door, permanently attach the skin onto the frame by welding the flanges. Finish the weld by grinding the edges and by coating each weld with an automotive sealant to keep moisture out.
Step 9: Reattach the interior components.
Reinstall all the interior components you've removed during the first step.
Step 10: Paint the new door skin.
Using a sandpaper, smooth out the surface to improve paint adhesion. Once the surface is prepped up, apply a few coats and let them dry.