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Fix Warped Door Panels

are your front doorpanels warped or wavy? easy fix.
Year(s):  All
Model/Type:  All
Symptom(s):  wavy warped door panels

date Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 2:04 PM
subject are your front doorpanels warped or wavy? easy fix. read and save!!

i'll repost this since ive had a few more inquirys about doorpanels.

are your front doorpanels warped or wavy gravy? people leave their windows rains.. the water runs down the backside of the front doorpanels..
the masonite gets wet..and it warps. common problem..
so now youve got a wavy doorpanel, but the vinyl and velour is still good...
dont chuck it! nice vanagon doorpanels are getting tough to find. here
is how you fix it. i have fixed many wavy doorpanels this way and had good

first, remove the doorpanel..and remove all accessories from the doorpanel
(speakers, pockets, switches)
then you'll need to remove the little plastic clips.. these can be carefully
twisted out - hold them at an angle, and twist.. there is a notch in them
that you need to line up and they will come out.. be careful not to break the
masonite around the holes. use some needlenose pliers to remove the clips, or
your fingers, if you have tough hands :<)

(*note, if the doorpanel is only warped in one small area, you dont need to
remove all the clips from the whole doorpanel)

now that all the clips are removed, you can start the repair.

you will need a FLAT NON-CARPETED floor. cement floors work best...such as a
cement garage or basement floor.. for you apartment dwellers, if you dont
have a cement floor, then a flat vinyl or tile kitchen floor will suffice.

you will need a JUMBO plastic garbage bag, or any plastic bag big enough to
fit the whole doorpanel into.

now you wet the masonite on the BACK of the doorpanel. wet the warped
area thoroughly, you can either spray it with water, or lay a soaking wet
wring it out) towel over the warped area, so it wets the masonite
thoroughly..leave the soaking wet towel on there so it soaks the masonite
well. do not
"dump" water on dont want water running around the edges between the
vinyl and the masonite on the front of the doorpanel - this may lift the

the masonite will soak up the water fast - and you may have to rewet it so it
starts to look really dark. do not leave "standing" or pools of water on
the masonite. if you used the towel method to wet the masonite, then remove
towel once the masonite is thoroughly wet on the warped area.

once the warped area is wet, and there is no standing water on the panel,
then slip the whole panel into the jumbo trash bag. lay the panel FRONT SIDE
DOWN on the floor.

Now you will need a piece of flat plywood thats at least 1/2" thick or MORE
(do not use luann paneling, its too thin) that will completely cover the
area and extend a few inches beyond warped area too.
place the plywood over the warpage..

Now you need your weight. this is very important.. if you do not put enough
weight on the whole damaged area, then it will not straighten the warps.

personally, i use concrete blocks and barbell weights, or a stack of wheels,
etc.. anything HEAVY.. the key is EVEN DISTRIBUTION of the weight you place
the piece of plywood. do not place it all in one spot, and do not place too
little weight. as far as im concerned, you cannot put "too much" weight on
it... the more weight, the better.
a phone book aint gonna cut it. you need at least 100lbs. or more. have
your mother in-law come and sit on it for a few days.. you get the idea.

now you've got your weight placed evenly on the plywood, you need TIME.
let the thing sit for at least 2 days with the weight on it. do not
"remove it every hour and check on its progress" cuz just like the saying..
watched pot never boils"
just let it be...
in a couple days remove the weight, remove the plywood, and slip the
doorpanel out of the bag. if the panel was warped really bad, you may have
re-soak it and repeat the process..

anyway, i have straightened numerous doorpanels this way with good results..

i hope this helps y'all. and this is a good opportunity to re-glue the
vinyl that is peeling around the edges too while the doorpanel is off.....
you can use contact cement or a hot melt glue gun..

if your doorpanels are total basket cases, i do have a whole stack of good
used doorpanels here..all colors and all models of vanagons.


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