Repair and Installation Help from Willcox Inc, Corvette Parts, Service and Sales
For technical assistance email us at Willcoxcustomerservice@willcoxcorvette.com
Door Panel Bare to Standard Conversion Help!
To convert the bare door panels to standard panels please use the following as a guide!
- Pry the washers located on the back side of the door panel to remove the lock plate shown below! The original lock plates are riveted to the door original door panels and held in place with a small flat washer with the riveted portion passing through it. To remove the plate, simply pry upward on the washer. You can refinish your old plates or purchase new by clicking on the link below. Lock Plate RH pictured.
- Remove the U trim from the original door panel. If the U trim is not in good shape it can be buffed out and then re-painted. U Trim from door panels
All new door panels 1969-1977 come with the upper support and felt installed (1968 panels do not include the felt) installed on it and ready to use!
To re-install the door panel u-moulding use the following as a guide.
- The original U moulding has a set of spike tabs on it. When you remove this from the door panel these spikes will be bent slightly. Straighten them out with a small set of pliers and position the U moulding over the door panel where it is to be placed. Once you align this trim in place gently push the spikes through the vinyl of the door panel! When you push the spikes through the panel, it will NOT pass through the ABS backing! You will need to drill holes directly under the marks left from pressing the spikes through the vinyl! We do not suggest using a drill bit to drill the holes! We suggest using a high speed tool with a boring bit installed. Using a drill bit for doing this can result in the bit sliding sideways and damaging the panel when you hit the plastic backing. Using a high speed tool with the proper bit will result in a very fast and precise hole being made in the panel.
Once the holes are in place, push the U moulding in place and fold the spikes back over. Should you desire to staple the ends of the spikes down you can do so with a industrial stapler but it is not required.
- To install and re-furbish the lock plates is simple! You can use our paint p/n 431020 to paint the entire lock plate. Once you have done this, take a straight razor blade and scrape the painted letters off gently. You can also use paint thinner and a rag to do this as well. Both methods will work just fine and the lock plate will look new. (We prefer the thinner method over the razor blade).
To install the lock plate can be tricky! For years people thought that you had to drill the plate out and install self tapping screws in it to hold it to the door panel. However, it’s been our experience in converting door panels that all you need to do is grind off the remainder of the rivet, restore the plate and install it on the panel with a small amount of epoxy. The epoxy we use is called PC7, I’m sure that there are a number of different epoxy manufacturers that make a glue to adhere the plate to the panel. Feedback from our customers has been to just push the lock plate in place and when the door lock knob and spacer are installed it will hold the lock plate in place with out any glue! We tend to use the glue since we don’t want any issues, but the results appear in testing to be the same.
- Once the plate is positioned on the panel, install on the car. To do this you will need to inspect the upper door panel retaining tabs that are made in to the metal door assembly. If these tabs are bent, they will need to be straightened before installing the door panel. At this time it is also a good idea to inspect the door window pads that hold tension on the door window glass and also to make sure the door glass is properly adjusted (We have an instruction sheet on the site for his too!). Install the door panel clips on the door panel (2 required per door panel).
- Install the door panel on the car! To do this, hook the door panel at the top tabs and then pull the panel down to the door! If the clips seem like they do not want to reach the panel use an ice pick or an awe to pull the clips to the hole in the main metal part of the door. Once you have the hole aligned properly insert the rear and then the front screws.
- Once the door panel is in place, install the door panel lock knob spacer on the door panel. Before installing the door lock knob, inspect it and make sure you have it in the correct position. The door panel lock knob will only go on one way and if you look at the door open mechanism you will see that it is slotted on one side to allow proper alignment of the lock knob. Installing the lock knob on new door panels can be tricky too!
We like to push the lock knob to the position it belongs in, then hold it down with a large rubber mallet. Once you have this in position, hit the large rubber mallet with a hammer to push the lock knob on the door open control mechanism. It should snap in place pretty easy.
If you need help, please contact us at Willcox@Willcoxcorvette.com.
Property of Willcox Inc. 2008 all rights reserved. Duplication, Distribution or reproduction is sticky prohibited by law. Willcox assumes no responsibility for damaged parts as a result of using this suggested method. Willcox Inc. only offers this as a method we would use in our own shop. As with any direction, please read entire sheet before beginning.