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96 Door Panel Install Question

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Old 01-13-2018, 07:58 PM   #1  
ehteam81
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Default 96 Door Panel Install Question

Hey guys Iím restoring my 96 GS and at the stage of reinstalling the door panels back on. There must be a proper way to install these! The top wonít stay in properly and keeps popping out! Iím trying to line it up properly still not fitting correctly. I put new window weatherstripping in and everything went smooth till now.
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:42 AM   #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehteam81 View Post
Hey guys I’m restoring my 96 GS and at the stage of reinstalling the door panels back on. There must be a proper way to install these! The top won’t stay in properly and keeps popping out! I’m trying to line it up properly still not fitting correctly. I put new window weatherstripping in and everything went smooth till now.
GM revised the door design the last couple years of the C4. The door tabs are not as friendly to get the panels to hang right. On the inside top you should see fiberglass tabs that stick out where the lip of the door panel hangs on. If those are intact, I would try and get the top of the panel to slide on first and hook on them, then install the plastic push pins and door handle screws while keeping light downward pressure on the panel.

I never got mine to feel tight or sit firmly from front to back of the door, and installed an L bracket on the top of the door(there's a bolt already there) that extends higher than the fiberglass tabs. It's not permanent and makes the door panel fit much better.

Best of luck!

Last edited by SB96CE; 01-14-2018 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:43 PM   #3  
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Are your door panels in good shape, or are the plastic webs in back all cracked? The (poor) design relies on the panel's stiffness in bending to stay hooked in at the top. But the webs have a stress riser angle where they have to clear some bracing, and the webs usually crack at those angles. Once the webs are cracked, the panel is no longer stiff enough to stay hooked in. There are some threads here where people show how to make some reinforcing webs out of metal and either bond on with JB weld and/or rivet or bolt them in. That fixes things pretty permanently. I have had to do that on my passenger door, and the driver door is on its way to needing it.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:35 PM   #4  
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Yes, I removed the panels on my 95 thinking I could improve the fit. No such luck. Sloppy and misaligned is as good as it gets. About the same as my 73. That's progress.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:13 PM   #5  
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Yeah, it's fair to say that interiors of C4s was not a shining example of "that great GM feeling."
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