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Post Info TOPIC: Repair/Restoring 1965 Laurentian sedan door panels post.


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Repair/Restoring 1965 Laurentian sedan door panels post.


Getting into some work finally on the Laurentian doorpanels. Tired of driving it around bare. It's not a good look to be sure. Ugly.

So I figured this job might be suitable for a little needed post, so why not!

 

Anyways, the panels on the 65 as found were in tough shape. All the upper vinyl was wasted, the metal top backers were all loose on the cards, two had basically fallen off, and the chrome Mylar on the accents had basically gone away. But alas! At least all the vinyl below the accent strip was basically good, but for a small section of cracked hard vinyl on one corner of a door panel. And the mounting "nails" along the sides were all intact but for one. The carboard cards on the drivers side were water warped and were showing some traces of black mold. The panels are exactly the same as a 1965 Catalina 2 door sedan, but you cannot find anyone repoping them. If it were a HT, then you'd have some hope, but not the lowly sedan at least in the rear. I'm not doing SMS, nope, not for this budget sedan. So there is only one solution, fix them myself.

 

Panels as found, rotten tops, rusting metal backer panels, accent strip Mylar applique faded and all but gone away, warped cards,

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The sun baked remains of the chrome Mylar gently brushes out of the way with a mini wire brush. My replacement material solution may actually surprise you,

IMG_6231 (1).jpeg

 

 

First order of business, cut away the rotten vinyl, pull out the old dirty batting, remove the loose and rusty upper metal backers from the cards (two fell off on their own), bend away the staples and pull those rotten fuzzy strips off the backers,

This card was in good shape along the top, 

IMG_6241.jpeg

Some of the roughness seen on the panel is old glue, but mostly surface rusted metal. I think they were actually crudely plated in some form at one time. I could see some evidence of bright silver along the fuzzy mount flanges, there is a actual date code stamped on them.

IMG_6234.jpeg

Fuzzy strips removed, more on these later,

IMG_6246 (1).jpeg

 

 

I then went to work in an attempt to straighten the warped cards. The weather was great, and it could be done out in the sun. I used a spray bottle with water and a few drops of Dawn mixed in to break the surface tension. Gradually dampened the board in the affected areas to the point it would yield with slight effort, but no more. With some Rube Goldbergian weighting and support (and a log)...it worked! And in a few days they were in much better shape than before. At least presentable.

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One can see the cracked/damaged corner in the image below. I simply filled it all in with DAP Alex Plus paintable caulk, wiped it with a damp cloth,

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I spent an afternoon with a new coarse Scotchbrite Roloc and a wire wheel cleaning the panels up. The Roloc wheel worked wonders, and is worth every penny of it's $12. A wire wheel finished the job. The insides of the panels weren't all that important, just any surface to be glued needed to be clean, and the outside surface that would meet the new vinyl needed to be relatively smooth.

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Next I had to come up with a way to re-attach the metal uppers to the cards. On two of the cards the upper line where the metal is crimped/punched into place were in very poor shape. The board was basically super delicate and coming apart - delaminating, so it'd be a challenge.

I'd need to back the metal panel where it attached to have it regain any strength. I found two suitable galvanized .035" metal strips in the shed (the correct length to boot!) to act as the backers for the upper panels on the front doors. Two aluminum strips for the rears. I clamped them to the card where I thought they should sit, made two reference marks on the strip using the two provided slotted openings in the cards, and removed the strip. Lined the upper metal panel up with the strip and marked the remaining holes. Struck and drilled all the holes to take a #10 Robertson metal screw.

IMG_6258.jpeg

In order to allow the metal panel punched "Crowns" back into the board holes, I simply ground them all down so the little crown curves were gone. If I left them the board would not receive the panel properly or flush,

Before, crowns,

IMG_6249.jpeg

After, flat,

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To provide so additional strength to the board and the assembly overall, I simply used strips of some good old fiberglass drywall joint mesh. Perfect item for the application I figure.

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For glue to tie it all together I chose some PL Premium Max in grey. It costs significantly more than the brown PL, but is miles ahead in ease of use. Unlike the brown, it isn't messy (read like ridiculously sticky like the brown) at all, dries slow, cleans easy with lacquer thinner, and allows a bunch of repositioning (that... I always need).

IMG_6239.jpeg

Apply the glue then trowel it out, mesh applied on the back of the board, another full bead front and back and across the holes, glue into any delamination's, then the metal panel and strip come together with screws sandwiching the card tightly in between. The excess clue oozes out the sides and the metal panel holes. I know then I'll be getting a good bond.

Left overnight, screws tight, panel supported/weighted to keep it all flat. Clamps come off in the morning,

 

IMG_6233 (1).jpeg

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Screws removed, excess glue buffed off, the tops are in place... solid. Doesn't look like much yet, it seems like a bunch of work, and it is. Surely it could have been done quicker and easier, but better? Probably not. I'm happy so far. A good start on saving them.

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So far, I have 3 panels glued, I'll do the last, then its onto applying new upper vinyl and more...

 



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65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


A Poncho Legend!

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Repair/Restoring the 1965 Laurentian sedan door panels.


Excellent!

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Cool,  i love this kind of restoration stuff.  great work!



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I absolutely LOVE your step by step instructional posts! Great stuff! Nice job Mark!



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Always love reading your "restoration" posts Mark. The level of detail and thought process is amazing.

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RE: Repair/Restoring 1965 Laurentian sedan door panels post.


Here's a mockup of the stainless trim strip I'll use to cover the join line in the new vinyl to the old. Member Jim (hawkeye5766) graciously sent me 4 sections of really nice door trim from a Beaumont. Thank so much Jim! It'll not go to waste.

It was a shame to have to use screws, but there really is no other way to mount them and have them pull in solid. In this position the strip will look kind of like it belongs there don't you think?

The screws pass through the panel into the metal strip I attached to the back. The dark strip is a section of the vinyl I'm using. It's mocked in place to see how the trim pulls down on it.

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A little more work on the panels,

 

Attached some upper sections of vinyl. This material has the batting attached. Mounted it vinyl side down. But I used so much that I didn't have enough left to top it.

The batted material only comes up to the new trim strip and just to the panels upper edge. It's held on with Proform spray trim cement (cheap stuff). The old vinyl behind it was reglued down with 3M trim yellow contact cement (expensive stuff). The new trim strip clamps that old remaining material in place.

IMG_6268.jpeg

 

Next, after heading out to Len's Mill store for more vinyl, I cut sections generous enough to wrap all the way around, and to fit under the trim strip. Masked off the batting and the Mylar strip. Used regular Brown PL along the space between the masking. Transferred the screw hole positions to the new blue vinyl strip. Installed the trim strip once again to clamp it in place. Left it loose everywhere else to attach later.

Chose blue vinyl as it'll paint easier.

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Top vinyl on, ready to clean,

IMG_6270.jpeg

 

Next step. Clean the panels. Used Castrol Super clean at 50/50. A full soak, a wipe then reapply, then a good scrub with a toothbrush. Wipe off, then one more super clean spray, wipe. Damp cloth, Let dry.

They were filthy, and actually would have looked presentable as cleaned.

IMG_6271.jpeg

 

Next up, a good detailed scuff with a new fine scotchbrite pad. One wouldn't think this would be advisable, but I think it's critical to get the next steps to bind.

IMG_6272.jpeg



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65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


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Got the vinyl affixed to all the panels. Two are still clamped for the day. I'm really happy so far.

At this point, unbelievably, I'm almost two weeks into this little project. It'll take 2 more days to paint them and install the "chrome" then clear them.

 

Glued the entire metal edge front and back with a good swath of regular PL. Pulled the edge up and around. Used a line of binder clips to hold it. Cut and folded the sides in attaching with 3M contact cement.

The binder clips are great to have around, you can buy a ton on amazon for very little.

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65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


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Looking great Mark! You have to be very satisfied. It looks like your helper is!

5E26A3B3-F18D-4492-B291-78FA913AA5EF.jpeg



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My girls are always out and about helping me Rob. It's funny they seem to get in a lot of my images don't they.



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Nice work Mark! It's amazing what you can bring back to life. Just time, effort and thought...

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Prepped and painted the panels today. Cleaned them again, masked off the strip area, then it's a light coat of adhesion promotor, 1 hour dry, then paint in very light coats, 3 steps. 

The colour is Light French Blue. Rondex mix, code supplied by Carl Stevenson.

It's pretty close to being correct for a 65-66 Strato/Laurentian, but for the dash and window trim. But still very close to the original panel colour seen at the door handle removed. Good enough.

IMG_6304 (1).jpeg

 

I then applied the adhesive backed Aluminum foil. Kind of like what you'd buy for ductwork, but heavier and wider (3"). Not cheap. Sticks like mad. Another Amazon product.

IMG_6303.jpeg

 

Gradually eased it up into place. It doesn't like to be lifted when stuck. Any minor wrinkles in it when down are easily burnished out. The stuff is very soft.

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Burnished the lines in with my thumbnail. Long runs first, then the cross lines. Actually took a good 2 hours to do this part, long, but I love this kind of fine work.

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When all done, I cleared the entire panel with SprayMax 2K satin. In hindsight, I should have bought another can of SprayMax in Gloss for the stripe. Clearing it in satin makes it look silver. Regardless, it needs to be cleared as I think it would oxidize over time.

Still looks kind of complimentary with the stainless strip in place, and it could easily be done again right on top if I'm that fussy.

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A little improvement eh?

IMG_5893.jpeg

 

Now I'm finishing up the fuzzies. I too cheap and impatient to find new ones, I stripped out the old material, cleaned up and painted the base strips. And again, I'm using good old PL to glue them on.

Trying to redo the staples would be to big of a pita for me, but they did at least go back on close to where they came from.

They should stick fine as the vinyl they attach to is also glued down to the top base. Tomorrow I'll attach the Amazon fuzzy strip (yes, weatherstrip) to the base. At that point all than needs done is to add the lock ferrules, then then panels can be installed.

IMG_6315.jpeg



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Looking good !



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Love your detail Mark, those are sure turning out nice!

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Very nice! That aluminum tape trick turned out great!

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Very impressive there Mark! Love the foil tape trick as well, the detail comes through so well. Will definitely be filing that one away.

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Attached the amazon fuzzy strips. They're backed with a relatively stiff plastic backing. They really stick, although not quite as wide, the loft is certainly thick enough to pass as an actual auto fuzzy strip.

IMG_6316.JPG

 

A pass with a sharpie camouflages the white base strip,

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Overall, I think it's a reasonable facsimile of the OEM strip,

IMG_6319.jpeg

 

If you had your panels off and your fuzzies were rotten, there would be no good reason not to just leave the base in place, remove the old material and add this new strip.

It would certainly be easier than removing and replacing any stapled on strip.

 



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65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


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I'm liking how your budget panels are looking Mark! Do you lie awake at night figuring all this stuff out??!!

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Phenomenal!!! Wowthe work and patience involved is admirable

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Pretty much the last post. Got them in, they look decent enough for me and really bring the interior and car up to a nicer level. I have new front and back armrest bases but no pads. I'll make my own pads. Thanks John for the lock knobs and ferrules, Randy for the Tyvek., Carl for the paint codes.

With the windlace back in along with the panels in place, the doors shut with a solid thunk, not the crash I was used to. Amazing difference, that will get even better with new weatherstrip.

So thanks for following along and all the nice comments. It was a fun project that took way too long, but I don't know how else it could have been done properly. Cheers.

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IMG_6326.jpeg

 

 

 



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65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


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It all looks great!

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars (now converted to a "factory" 4 speed)



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All dressed up for the big show tomorrow.

Amazing transformation !

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Thanks for documenting and sharing this transformation! You gave 57 year old door panels a second chance! Theres a life lesson application therewink The pure satisfaction of doing it yourself, is the rewarding part of the hobby! REALLY nice job, Mark! Enjoy!



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Very nice.

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