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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to remove the upper & lower door panels to have them painted with SEM on my 79. What kind of tools are needed and how to remove without tearing up any retainer clips/screws/etc?
While they are off I am hoping to install keyless electric locks, and drill holes to mount sport mirrors in place of normal mirror.
Anything I should look out for?
Thanks.
 

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To remove the door panels...

Remove the 2 phillips screws holding arm rest pad on and slide pad forward to remove.
Remove the 2 large phillip head screws under the armrest pad.
Remove window crank handle C clip with trim removal tool. (can be purchased at auto parts store). You can use a small screwdriver but it is a frustrating task.
Using a door panel removal tool (or you can cut a V in a piece of flat steel) find the plastic "Christmas tree" fasteners holding the panel on and push the tool on to the fastener and pull up(may require a good tug)
The top panel is Hooked over the top of the door on tabs so you need to pull the bottom of the top panel out and up. may take some jiggling.
If you have a remote outside mirror there is a small set screw holding the knob to the panel bezel.
The bottom panel you just pop the fasteners and then slide it forward over the inside door handle.
You probably cannot save the plastic Christmas tree fasteners as they tend to shred when removed. You can usually buy them at a good autobody supply store for under a buck each.

For the outside mirrors mine came with the dual sport mirrors so there was already a reinforcement brace(double panel) inside the door. My guess would be they should all have it. You can probably measure a car in the wreckers or on the street to get the proper location.

On another note I was able to find some mint door panels off an 83 Grand Prix that were an exact color match and in mint condition...sometimes you can find an old car that spent its life out of the sun and unfaded.
Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Howard said:
To remove the door panels...

Howard, thank you so much for the reply. I had found a tool to help in removal of the panel, and an illustration of the clips and 2 screws, but your description was outstanding.

I did run into a problem with the "water barrier" I think it's called - the paper backed insulation. because of the age, when I tried removing it the insulation just fell apart. I haven't found a source for replacing that, just in case you know of one.

Again this is my first attempt so your direction prove very helpful. Now if I can just get things prepared for the painter, and get the A/C replaced and working, I'll be in good shape.
Thanks again.
Terry
 

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If you are not too concerned with originality you can try cutting out a piece of heavy plastic sheeting (like the vapor barrier they use in house construction) and taping it on with masking tape...the door panel will hold it on later.
Or if you have a "Pick your part" nearby you can look for any 2 door G body like a Grand Prix, Malibu, Cutless, Regal etc and see if you can find an intact vapor barrier and insulation
I paid 4$ for my door panels off a grand prix and they were like new..figure I saved myself a lot of money on that purchase. Searching was half the fun.
 

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You have a lot of choices.

You can get some insulation from J.C. Whitney's and just make your own. That is one Howard gave you another, remember all that you will find will be in about the same shape as yours is in. You can probably order it from GM still so you could get another from a dealer use the 1987 model they're pretty much the same. That will give you new ones.

Dupont makes vibration dampening panels that have a sticky backing. You could use that on the inside of the door panels before you put the barrier back on to improve the noise control. This stuff forms to any surface and is made to stick to partly dirty old cars.
 
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