C4 Door Panel Attachment Repair

Finally, after 4+ years of ownership, I have repaired the dreaded floppy
door panel syndrome that has plagued my car. You too may be suffering from
this disease, where the top of the door panel pulls off the door frame and
kinda hangs there, flopping around, only be held on by a few door screws
and pegs at the bottom. The reason this occurs is because over time, the
door panel top edge will pull away from the door frame top edge (due to
heat and wear & tear), and the panel will never fit back on the door frame
because it is warped. The solution is to make the door frame higher in
order to once again fit inside the top curved portion of door
panel.
I went to Lowes and purchased a bag of four 1\” x 1/2\”
zinc-plated corner braces and screws by National (# 38613 227385 under the
UPC bar). They are \”L\” shaped braces with a screw hole on each end
(each end is 1\” long by 1/2\” wide, so both ends are identical).
Removing the door panel, you will see a row of several 10mm screws running
the length of the top of the door frame. These are what we will use to
affix the corner braces to the door frame.
Select 2 of the these
screws (I used the screws that hold the felt-covered window rub brackets
– one is at the back of the door, and the other is about the middle of
the door), unscrew them (10mm socket), put one \”L\” corner brace over
each hole in the door frame, and reattach the screws. Again, put 2 corner
braces on each door. The \”L\” braces should face the inside of the car.
Then I took a hammer and chisel and took a few whacks to the
corner braces in order to bend them inward SLIGHTLY (towards the inside of
the car) to conform to the shape of the door panel. Not too much whacking,
please, as you only want them to bend about 10 degrees — any more and the
door panel will slide off.
Now reattach the door panel by guiding
the top of the panel onto your new braces (attack the door frame from
above, lowering the door panel over the door frame and \”L\” braces,
making sure to line up the edges of the door and screw holes). The
curved, top edge of the door panel should fit over the door frame and the
\”L\” braces will now fit inside the curved portion of the door panel to
hold it on. Then reattach all the door handle parts and screws.
That\’s it — good as new and tight as a drum. Total cost =
about $4 and an hour of your time!