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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some you know i am doing the silver and carbon fiber theme with red accents. so far my calipers are red, my valve cover, eventually my red fuel rail and red cam gears, just got new red stitched shift boot and arm rest cover, and my red sparco hood pins (not yet installed - APRIL!)... so i wanted to do my door panels also. and here is how...

now it is a work in progress and luckily i have 2 extra door panels from a base to practice on.

here is what you will need:

your fabric of choice
scissor to cut fabric
tacky fabric glue
dremel/dremel type rotary tool or utility knife
pliers (not in pic)
rubber gloves (to spread the glue)
plastic bond/weld epoxy (not shown $1.97 at walmart)



step 1: remove door panels
since i had removed them a while ago there is no pic to go along w/ this step but it is really easy to do and i'm sure u can find it in the 5th gen resource

step 2: cut tabs along rear panel
the yellow dots are the tab locations. there may be others that you'll find along the way. for these you should use your utility knife NOT the dremel and just cut away. you will later use plastic epoxy to reattach everything.



step 3: separate the parts of the door panel

after all the tabs are cut you should be able to lift the lower portion of the door panel up from the upper portion. it will still be connected at this point but you can see the separation in the pic below

now to separate the 2 portions completely you will need to use either your utility knife if you don't have a dremel or use the dremel. this took less than 1 min using the dremel w/ cutting wheel. you will cut from one end to the other cutting between eact hole (represented by the red dots)


when you get to this point you will need to use the utility knife because you might not be able to use the dremel at the angle you will need to cut.

now separate the two piece.

step 4: remove arm rest portion

now that you've separated the 2 portions take the part w/ the arm rest and flip it over.

underneath you will find several tabs that hold the arm rest to the door pane. use your pliers here and just bend them so that they point straight out.
sorry for the shytty pics of the under side of the arm rest. there are 8 tabs that you'll need to bend.


once all the tabs are bent to face straight out you can pull the arm rest off the door panel. you should end up w/ this:


now you have both pieces detached that will be covered in suede (or the fabric of your choice)


step 5: cutting the fabric
lay the suede face down on the floor or work surface. now take the larger piece of the door panel and lay it on the fabric. now cut the fabric making sure to leave some extra for pulling it tight and gluing.

after you cut the fabric you will be able to use the excess to cover the arm rest piece.

step 6: applying the glue
now take the tacky fabric glue (do not use spray adhesive. it is not durable or tacky enough to hold) sorry for another crappy pic


now throw on that rubber glove and smear that glue all over the surface. try to make it as even a covering as possible and don't leave any gaps.


step 7: apply the fabric
this part is fairly easy but can definitely be messy. (sorry no pics)
after the glue is spread all over the pieces all you need to do is lay it on the underside of the fabric and use your hands (make sure there is no glue on them) to spread and flatten the fabric along the surface of the door panel and arm rest.

finished arm rest:


step 8: putting it all back together
once all the glue has dried insert the armrest back where it came from:

now to attach the upper part of the door panel it will take much patience. flip the top piece (the part that you set aside earlier) and than take the large piece of the door panel that is now covered in suede and and line it up to fit. you will be joining the parts that you cut earlier w/ the dremel and utility knife. here is where you apply the plastic epoxy (no pics as i have not finished yet :biggrin:) use tape to hold it together while the epoxy cures. you don't really need to remove the tape after the glue dries unless you want to.

your finished product should look like this:




as i said earlier this was my trial run. when the weather warms up i will be taking off the door panels from my SH and doing this mod.

i love how it turned out and can't wait to get it installed in the lude.

hope this helps some of you guys out.


DISCLAIMER:
if you fuk up that's just it... you fukked up! lol. good luck, take your time, and be careful. main tip is don't be sloppy w/ the glue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks a lot bro...

and as i said in the original write up. my lude is silver w/ carbon fiber and some red accents.

here are what the panels will look like w/ the Carbon Fiber Door Handles



 

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how's the epoxy holding up? i'm not sure i'd recommend just gluing two large pieces like that at that kind of stress point. :-\



if someone's reading this, you could try a different alternative:
instead of cutting away the large section from the door panel like 98BB6SH did, tape off the border between the soft leather and the hard vinyl.

using this image for reference: http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s249/bravoelement/DIY/Suede Door Panels/0104092248.jpg
it is almost-halfcircle gap in between the soft cushy portion and the hard door panel right below the hole where the door handle and lock mechanism are.

the soft stuff is soft enough to squeeze the tape in there. so once it's taped off you can slather the glue all over the soft padding and glue down the suede right to it. just use a flathead or thin, stiff piece of plastic to cram the suede into the gap. if the fabric glue has a fine tip applicator you can jam that into the gap as well to fill it with glue.


although with this you might have to do some extra trimming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
how's the epoxy holding up? i'm not sure i'd recommend just gluing two large pieces like that at that kind of stress point. :-\



if someone's reading this, you could try a different alternative:
instead of cutting away the large section from the door panel like 98BB6SH did, tape off the border between the soft leather and the hard vinyl.

using this image for reference: http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s249/bravoelement/DIY/Suede Door Panels/0104092248.jpg
it is almost-halfcircle gap in between the soft cushy portion and the hard door panel right below the hole where the door handle and lock mechanism are.

the soft stuff is soft enough to squeeze the tape in there. so once it's taped off you can slather the glue all over the soft padding and glue down the suede right to it. just use a flathead or thin, stiff piece of plastic to cram the suede into the gap. if the fabric glue has a fine tip applicator you can jam that into the gap as well to fill it with glue.


although with this you might have to do some extra trimming.
thank you for this entry but i would not recommend this method at all. the epoxy is holding up perfectly. epoxy is just as good as a plastic weld. it is strong as hell.
as for your method. it is not as effective because the suede needs to be pulled real tight. if it has worked for you please post some more info.

thank you
 

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oh i didn't know you were stretching the suede out. did you stretch it and wrap it over the edges?


and i'm just going from experience using even industrial epoxy from my dad's machine shop. it cures and looks like it's strong as hell and even flexes and gives a good impression, but over time it REALLY cures and if it's on a stress point it can end up giving out.

if i'd go this route i'd rough up the edges so the epoxy has something to grip onto (50 grit sand paper, make some slices with a knife, "tooth" up the edge so it isn't smooth, etc). or even sew it up with some wire and slather it with epoxy. but i'm ocd about little things like that. :laugh:
 

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im doing mine soon!
 

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Apologies for bringing this thread back up, but this is a really inexpensive mod that anyone really ought to do. Make's our car look 10x more luxorious and upper class, not to mention feels a lot nicer. Has anyone tried replacing ALL the crappy OE vinyl with suede or leather? That's what Im getting started on right now. Trying to do this DIY part first, then using the same method applied to the rest of the door and the center console.

My goal is to have nothing but black & red suede and the OE optional CFRP trims/accents =)
Pics will be up soon.
 

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I am retrimming the entire interior of my project lude in Alcantara suede using a combination of black and dark grey with yellow stitching to match the body colour

I'll post pics in my rebuild thread when I start with it next month
 

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Apologies for bringing this thread back up, but this is a really inexpensive mod that anyone really ought to do. Make's our car look 10x more luxorious and upper class, not to mention feels a lot nicer. Has anyone tried replacing ALL the crappy OE vinyl with suede or leather? That's what Im getting started on right now. Trying to do this DIY part first, then using the same method applied to the rest of the door and the center console.

My goal is to have nothing but black & red suede and the OE optional CFRP trims/accents =)
Pics will be up soon.
Did you get any progress with this mate? Looking to start my build soon...
 

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I think this thread has some nice info. I'm itching to add this to FAQ. Let me know if my itch is right on the money.
 
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