El Camino Central Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Installing new door panel chrome trim & door pulls

I had driven my base model El Camino for 10 years in 1992, when I decided that I was tired of the faded & peeling light metallic blue paint with the light blue vinyl interior.
Blue is not my favorite color.

My base model had no door pulls, and crank windows. I installed electric window motors and switches that I found at a bone yard in ‘92.

I had sent my elco to the paint shop for a fresh coat of bright white, and decided to do a complete color change on the interior also. I decided it will now be gray(s).

I had the bench seat upholstered at my brother-in-law’s shop, and I did everything else. I used a plastic/vinyl spray paint for the trim pieces that I got from Ford (of all places) that was the perfect shade of gray.

I painted all the interior trim, and found matching carpet for the bottom of the doors. There was a local fabric outlet nearby that carried automotive material, so I bought a few yards of what I thought looked close to the original Chevy cloth.

I covered the top of the door panels with that sparkling gray, only applying glue to the outside edges wrapping it around the back. There was a stitching pattern in the original vinyl, but I just left it loose.

This is how the doors looked until today - 23 years later.



January 22, 2015 I purchased a pair of door pulls from O.D. Showtime (Kevin) that turned out to be perfect.

Since the chrome trim at the top of the door was originally glued to the blue vinyl, I tore it off and tossed it when I recovered the door panels.

I have always wanted door pulls, but thought it would look odd without some kind of trim on the door.

I devised a plan to add both items to my upgraded doors. I bought some 1/8" x 3/4" aluminum flat bar to use as a base for the chrome trim. I measured and cut the pieces to fit in the original spot - 2 on each door. I used 10/32 x 3/4" flat head screws to mount them to the door panel. (I tend to over engineer everything.)




I was going to countersink the screws, but the head was too large. So, I slotted one end of the screw with a hacksaw, and cut the heads off, so they would fit flush. I tapped the holes in the flat bar and I used loctite to secure them.











This is what I used for the chrome trim,(found it at Pep Boys) it has 3M tape already applied to the back;





I fit and measured the base pieces, and drilled holes into the panel cardboard, pushed them through, and attached it with a flat washer and a nut to check fitment. I then removed the base pieces, and cleaned with alcohol, and applied the chrome strip - then bolted them back on. Upon tightening, the base almost disappeared from view as it was buried in the fabric.



The panels had no ½" holes for the pull brackets, so I made a punch (I have done this for years when making gaskets) out of an old brass hose barb fitting. I filed the edges sharp and after marking the hole location, (I used the door pull backing plate as a template) smacked it with a hammer, after placing a steel block on the other side of the panel and it cut through the fabric, the foam padding, and the cardboard and presto - instant clean ½" hole.






I put the backing plate on, put the screws into the plastic escutcheon with the strap in place - and it fit perfect.



This is the end result of this long overdue project...




With my self engineered electric door locks, and electric windows, the trim and door pulls makes it look much better than it did since 1992.



Each of the 4 escutcheons has a large center screw that is supposed to go into the door shell for support. I had to fabricate a support bar to be added to the door shell and drill a hole in it for the front screw, since there is an 8'x10" access hole there and nothing to put a screw into. (forgot to take a pic)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
That's some nice work!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,134 Posts
Hey Ted, nice job on the door panels. How much blood did you loose when you retrofitted all the window hardware from crank to power?
What did you do about the dash? Was it good enough to paint in place or did you put a painted full cap over it?
Ang.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter #6

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hey Ted, nice job on the door panels. How much blood did you loose when you retrofitted all the window hardware from crank to power?
What did you do about the dash? Was it good enough to paint in place or did you put a painted full cap over it?
Ang.
Thanks Ang, actually the conversion was not that difficult. I had lots of time back then, (I had no internet in 1993 for research) and I found some window motors in a junked Monte Carlo. Through trial and error I found that I could retrofit the motors and regulators and pop rivet them to the doors. The main thing that made it easier, was to remove the glass and window tracks which provided more space to work. The wiring is my own design with relays.

As far as the dash goes, that same Monte was a donor, since it had no cracks at the time. I pulled my old blue dash, which was destroyed, tossed it, then painted the new one to match - it fit perfectly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
ADMIN,
This thread should have been posted to Interior Restoration... I apologize for the mistake. If possible please move the thread. Or delete it - your choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
excellent work Ted.. nice lookin Elky.. :texas:
:poke:except for the furd blue motor..
Thank you sir, but it was originally GM Corporate blue, so I repainted it the same color. It is actually more of a turquoise. (To this day the motor has never been removed from the engine bay)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Very cool. Thanks Ted. I know where I'll be going when it's time to finish the door panels - Lowe's is about three blocks from my house! :yell:
 

·
Past Director Region 13, Senior Member
Joined
·
2,719 Posts
Great job Ted:nanawrench:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Very cool. Thanks Ted. I know where I'll be going when it's time to finish the door panels - Lowe's is about three blocks from my house! :yell:
You are welcome Jim. I have a Lowe's down the street also, so I am there a lot looking for materials to repurpose. (It has nothing to do with the fact that I worked for them for 6 years) LOL
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top