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Door skin replacement question

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  • Door skin replacement question

    Hi Guys, I am stepping into uncharted terrritory for my skills. I am going to replace both door skins on my 65 Mustang.

    What is the correct way to do this with modern techniques?

    Should I use a panel adhesive instead of spot welds on the hem?
    Should I use resistance welds instead of plug welds?
    A combination of ?

    Before I skin the door and after it has been blasted and epoxied, what is the best sound deadener to put on the interior of the door?
    I don't care about the weight of the product, I just want the best result.

    As always, thanks for your time to tell how to do this correctly

  • #2
    Aftermarket skins? They usually require some tuning so I'd opt to weld them on. If you were to glue them it really limits the adjustability and any edge welding etc.. to make them fit perfect. First step it to remove the old skins and sandblast the frames then coat with two coats of epoxy inside and out. I usually plan where my welds are going to be and put a dab of tape there to keep the metal primer free in those spots for welding, Strip the ecoat or primer off the flange of the skin, scuff the inside and spray a few coats of epoxy putting tape where the weld areas are going to be. Fold the skin on but before you weld it hang the doors and dial in the fit-it is easy to twist the doors or move the skin slightly before any welding is done. When they fit good put a few welds on front and back to hold it in shape then remove it from the car and finish the welding. Hang the doors again chacking the fit then pull them off and do your cleanup work around the weld areas and primer the door. Tape the seam shut from the outside and pour some epoxy in the shell alowing it to soak the seam-rotate the door so you get good epoxy coverage in the seam for the complete perimeter. I usually let it set overnight then pull the tape and make sure the drain holes are open. Seamsealer if needed. Set your door hinges up so you can pull the pins-this makes installing/removing the door a 5 minute operation once the alignment is good. When you fold the skin over you want to hold your dolly on the exterior of the skin and cock the dolly just slightly so the contact area is at or near the bend, use hammers that fit the contour of the door edge areas and work in on slowly-gradually, when done right there are NO hammer marks and no deformation to the outer panel.


    • #3
      Do I fold the hems down starting in the center and woking out on each side?
      Where should the first tack welds be placed?
      What size holes do you drill for the plug welds? or do you not use plug welds and instead just tack the edges? Tig or mig?

      Side note: when I removed the outer cowl on the 2001 GT I discovered it was installed with panel adhesive and spot welds. The spot welds were the oem resistive weld and went directly through the panel adhesive. It was not a replacement, most definately an oem installation.


      • #4
        Yup the oem uses a glue/weld assembly, there's also a lot of glue/sealer areas on that car -a really good idea, there are also some areas of that design that aren't very good for corrosion-almost like designed areas for failure:an engineered lifespan.

        I usually drill the holes after the skin is on this way the skin folds on more evenly. A 1/4" hole through the flange works fine for me. For correct looking resto work I usually stamp some spotweld like factory looking indents in the flange before I fold the skin on then do my plug welds in between-I made a tool for this and when the welds are finished off it looks factory.
        Start tapping the flange over on one end and work your way across the bottom folding the skin over only 20degrees, do the same on the rear and the front, then repeat working it another 20*, and again untill the flange is over. Numerous light taps-your wrist and arm will be tired, hold the dolly right otherwise it'll bounce and caused skin damage. The contact area of the dolly needs to be on or very near the bend. Any irregularities in the heads of your hammers will transfer into the metal-hammers should be smooth and properly shaped whith radiused edges.

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        • #5
          Cool idea about the fake spotwelds, Bob. I like that a lot!