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Man...late C4 door panels are garbage.

 
Old 05-12-2019, 01:27 AM
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Tom400CFI
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Default Man...late C4 door panels are garbage.

My right side door panel has never fit over the top of the door correctly. There is a large gap, you can look straight down into the window slit and see the inside of the door. I took the panel off and realized that it really doesn't fit the door. I could hook the top of the door panel onto the top of the door -about like I'd expect it to "hook"...but then the bottom of the panel was about 4" away from the bottom of the door. When I'd attempt to force the bottom in, it would "pop" the top of the panel off the top of the door.

I heated the panel and "bent" it some. That helped...but it still won't stay in place. I spent about 3 hours working on the one f'n panel tonight, and in the end it's really no better than it was to begin with. And the general assembly and design on the panel and hardware....it's ******* ****. I wish it was the old cloth covered cardboard for crying out loud, b/c at least that crap would conform to the door, and fit. This molded rubbery/plasticy covered foamy **** for a panel is an embarrassment to who ever designed it, and the guy who checked off on it as "O.K."

To add insult to injury, at the end I plugged in the power window switch, stuffed it's wiring into the door and went to snap in into place. It wouldn't stay. It's got two molded plastic catches on one side that attempt to catch on the very poorly formed opening that the switch goes into...and then a single spring clip on the top of the opposite side. It would sort of clip in, but the stiff wires would exert some force on the switch and it would not seat and stay seated right. It would wobble in the hole, like a ******* weeble-wobble. I bet I spend 20 minutes on that junk-pile, alone, manipulating the harness and metal clip all in an effort to get the stupid switch to settle into it's home, and stay there. This is poorer than kit-car crap.

Man....I was f'n pissed by the time I walked away from the thing tonight. And the god damn door panel still fits like a piece of cow dung.


.

Last edited by Tom400CFI; 05-12-2019 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:00 AM
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-=Jeff=-
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I assume you mean 94-96 panels.. I love the good looks, but that is where it stops..

Some day I might convince myself to swap in my 1993 panels
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:17 AM
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I also have a right ill fitting panel. It's hard to if it's poor quality or a maniac did know how to take panel off.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:21 AM
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Both of mine are busted. I just redid the weatherstrip on my car and now my windows don't seal right, but I told myself that if these door panels ever come off they're coming off for good. I don't drive the car in the rain so it's fine to leave the windows down all the time haha. Out of sight out of mind.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:00 AM
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I feel your pain. The passenger panel on my 85 is loose at the top. I spent 2 hours fighting with it and got it back on, tight at the top. The first time I shut the door it popped right back off. Many "sentence enhancers" were muttered, some not so quietly. I've put it on the list of stuff I'll address this winter, along with the heater core that I have currently bypassed.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom400CFI View Post
My right side door panel has never fit over the top of the door correctly. There is a large gap, you can look straight down into the window slit and see the inside of the door. I took the panel off and realized that it really doesn't fit the door. I could hook the top of the door panel onto the top of the door -about like I'd expect it to "hook"...but then the bottom of the panel was about 4" away from the bottom of the door. When I'd attempt to force the bottom in, it would "pop" the top of the panel off the top of the door.

I heated the panel and "bent" it some. That helped...but it still won't stay in place. I spent about 3 hours working on the one f'n panel tonight, and in the end it's really no better than it was to begin with. And the general assembly and design on the panel and hardware....it's ******* ****. I wish it was the old cloth covered cardboard for crying out loud, b/c at least that crap would conform to the door, and fit. This molded rubbery/plasticy covered foamy **** for a panel is an embarrassment to who ever designed it, and the guy who checked off on it as "O.K."

To add insult to injury, at the end I plugged in the power window switch, stuffed it's wiring into the door and went to snap in into place. It wouldn't stay. It's got two molded plastic catches on one side that attempt to catch on the very poorly formed opening that the switch goes into...and then a single spring clip on the top of the opposite side. It would sort of clip in, but the stiff wires would exert some force on the switch and it would not seat and stay seated right. It would wobble in the hole, like a ******* weeble-wobble. I bet I spend 20 minutes on that junk-pile, alone, manipulating the harness and metal clip all in an effort to get the stupid switch to settle into it's home, and stay there. This is poorer than kit-car crap.

Man....I was f'n pissed by the time I walked away from the thing tonight. And the god damn door panel still fits like a piece of cow dung.


.
Preaching to the choir. Exact same issue on my 93

it doesnt fit the door basically

Last edited by dizwiz24; 05-12-2019 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:54 PM
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Just run some self tappers through it. It'll be fine.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:52 AM
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Agreed. They suck. I bet they all fit decently when new, but they rely on holding their built-in shape to stay hooked in at the top. The problem is that through heat and age they lose that shape over time, and the inner webs that help hold that shape eventually crank. Then you get the situation where it won't stay hooked in at the top. I did the fix on my passenger door panel where you cut some sheet metal webs and glue/rivet them to the plastic webs. It seems to have helped a lot.
Originally Posted by 84 4+3 View Post
Just run some self tappers through it. It'll be fine.
I am sure this would help at the top.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:41 AM
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Tom et al,

The early panels have similar characteristics. They frequently come off. Im about to fly out to pick up a 91 Z and hopefully its panels are allright!!!

Anyway, on the 86 i refurbed the door panels were not held securely at the top and everytime we closed the doors they would snap inwards.

The solution for me, which looks perfect, was to use a drywall screw (because it is black, and cant see the head at all after install) through the inner door sweep, which has a steel band running the length if the base, into two steel segments of the door itself. three screws would be better and i did use three on my second door.

I know it sounds “bad” to screw it down, however its a factory type job, and likely what they would have done if they would have known this issue was going to arise after countless plastic heat cycles.

What i do not know. is if the shape and structure of the later panels would accomodate such a fix. if it interests you i will certainly post pictures of how i fixed the 86. perhaps it could be modded somewhat for the later cars.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:52 AM
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maybe this will stimulate some ideas guys.

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...post1594960452
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 84 4+3 View Post
Just run some self tappers through it. It'll be fine.
Somewhere in my car's previous life some Bozo did just that. Even used chrome ones to make it more noticeable. BTW it doesn't work. The screws were going into fiberglass so they just pulled back out.

I ended up ordering 2 used ones from vette 2 vette. Cost was $350 but none of the ribs at the top were broken. They do have aftermarket inner weather-strip. Nothing like the OEM.

The problem comes from the way they rise up and create a nice handle to pull the door closed. Over time it will break them and you end up with the gap at the top.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:17 PM
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Tom400CFI
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm not happy that others have struggled with this...and I'm not happy that the problem is common. I AM somewhat happy that I'm not so retarded, that I missed some simple thing for why I couldn't get it to fit.

I'll attack it again another day, but now I have two things "I would change about my C4". The frame flex, and the interior quality. Door panels and center console.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:26 PM
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-=Jeff=-
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I have the panels in pretty well now.. I have the V2V frame bars..

what is the issue with the console?
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:44 PM
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The interiors on the early C5s were worse honestly lol... having had a few other vehicles of the same era they were all pretty crappy come to think of it. (Mid 80s to mid 90s)
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:48 PM
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Tom400CFI
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Yes they are!


Originally Posted by -=Jeff=- View Post
I have the panels in pretty well now.. I have the V2V frame bars..

what is the issue with the console?
Sorry. I never responded to you earlier. Mine is a '92.

IDK what the V2V bars have to do with the doors?

The "side" panels of the center console are slightly warped/wavy and seem to want to come "untucked" from the top/sides of the console. I try to shove the rubbery sides back under the upper part, but it slithers right back out.


.

Last edited by Tom400CFI; 05-16-2019 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:33 AM
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I've owned a 92 Vette, a 93 Sierra, and a 98 Blazer. I can't say I'm particularly impressed with the door panels in anything from 90s GM.

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Old 05-17-2019, 02:01 AM
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When I bought my 94 some years ago my door panels were doing the same thing. I took mine off and there are vertical ribs on the back that split and allow the panel to bow. To fix this I drilled 1/4" holes in the ribs on each side of the split. I put large zip ties through each set of holes. Next I used a pair of small ratchet straps to pull the panel to it's original shape. I applied gorilla glue to the splits and pulled the zip ties as tight as I could get them. I left it to set overnight and installed it back on the car. It sounds cheesy but has worked perfectly and has held up for the past 5 years on both doors in a convertible.
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:37 AM
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Tom400CFI
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I hear you. My vertical ribs aren't split (yet). The panel just doesn't fit the door. At some point, I'll remove it, heat it and bend it some more, and maybe add some more robust "hooks" at the top/inside of the panel.

Jefnvk is right; all 90's GM door panels are garbage.
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:25 PM
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Its a source of frustration for me too, you wonder what idiot designed them, they don't do well with age.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom400CFI View Post
Yes they are!


Sorry. I never responded to you earlier. Mine is a '92.

IDK what the V2V bars have to do with the doors?

.
you mentioned a stiffer frame and those help.. I added ‘L’ shaped aluminum strips to help hold panels on.. not issues anymore
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