Sunday, April 7, 2013

Door Panel Protection- Tech Tip

Door Panel Protection

By Bob Lewis

When a T-Bird door is removed you will often find that it has been water damaged, stained and worst yet, buckling and bending.

All this is not surprising as the window/door area was designed to be a "wet" area. Rain and car washing water is intended to pass thru the glass window brushes and exit thru the bottom holes in the door. When new, Ford placed a "tar/oil" paper shield between the door (metal) and door panel to protect the cardboard panel from this flowing water. However, with repeated repairs to door mechanisms, this shield material was often damaged or missing altogether. The "cardboard" door therefore was at the mercy of the water flowing thru the door. Water and cardboard make for warped and stained door panels. Happily there is an ounce of prevention available. The prevention comes in 2 parts:

While the panel is off the vehicle (hopefully still flat and pristine condition) one should seal the back of door panel (cardboard) with any number of products....spar varnish...polyurethane coating....Thompson's water seal... clear enamel from a rattle can...all will do. You should avoid getting the sealing material on the cabin side of the panel.

When the sealing material has dried, cut a sheet Tyvek or some thick plastic sheeting (4mil black visqueen) making a shield to fit and protect the back of the door panel. Cut out the door and window mechanism holes. Glue or tape the shield to the back of the door panel. See attached picture of installed Tyvek shield. The "wet" looking stains are Lubriplate used to lube the door and window mechanism splines and the door retaining clips (lube clips to ease installation to the door frame holes).

BTW, this technique of sealing the cardboard panels with varnish, sealers, etc., can also be deployed to protect your kick panels, quarter panels, side trunk panels (1 per '55, 2 per '56,57?), glove box. air guides in the heater plenum.etc.

Editors note, If your door panel is damaged, there was a tech tip written by Jeff Burgy in the July. 2010 TARTC Newsletter showing how to repair a warped or damaged panel. Repair it, then protect it with Bob Lewis's suggested sealing process.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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