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Custom Door Panels

Creating custom door panels for your S-10 is not only fun and easy, but it gives you that pure sport truck look that you see inside the trucks you see in magazines and truck shows.  This tech article will show you the basic steps in taking apart the door panels, using tweed, and re-assembly.

Materials Needed:
Door Panel
Approx 1yd. of tweed
3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive

I suggest going to a junkyard and getting set of panels to work with 1987 and up.  The color doesn't matter, as long as they are not cracked they're OK. 

Step 1 - Take Apart the Door Panel

The door panel comes off in 4 parts, the handle/lock face, the piece that surrounds that, the pocket,  and the main panel.  If you look at the back of the panel, you can see that the handle face is held on by metal clips.  There's some kind of special too to remove these, but I didn't have it.  I used a heat gun and a knife to soften the plastic and slide the clip off.

The metal clips hold the face panel in place

Soften the plastic with a heat gun so the clip will slide off

The removed face panel.

To take off the lower pocket, drill the plastic welds out from the back.  There's about 15-20 of them, when they are all drilled out, the pcket panel will separate.  If your door panel does not have these welds, then you will have to cut the pocket off flush to the door panel with a utility knife.

Next is to remove the top left panel that surrounds the handle face.  Using your heat gun from the back of the panel, heat the plastic welds and separate with a screwdriver.  Be careful not to melt the plastic too bad that it distorts the shape.

If your door panels have an upholstered area above the armrest, you must remove that panel.  Again, this requires some sort of special tool that I didnt have, so I used vice grips and a screwdriver to remove them.