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Coupe Door Panel Project

1367 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  sayoda
I wanted to share a bit of the door panel work I finally got after for the CQ. Quick back story is I had paid a shop a few years ago to recover the door cards sans any cushioning. There are fewer and fewer Auto upholstery shops these days and it seems even fewer that do quality work. Needless to say the covers peeled as many have reported after doing the job. Not only with Audi's but many vehicles of the vintage. Like much of this type of work it's true craftsmanship. IICR I paid $200 for the pair and thought that seemed reasonable, leaving the "pros to do it". Well, you get what you pay for. As you might infer from the photos, there is a lot of work involved to get it done correctly. What was also obvious is that the upholsterer I used cut several corners.

But I digress. I spent a lot of time reading about recovering the cards and what can't be said enough is that you need to use the pricey DAP Weldwood Landau Top and Trim contact adhesive. And given the amount of time removing, cleaning, prepping, masking, cutting, etc. why not pay for the best adhesive on the market?

If I were to do the project again or advise others, I'd recommend using a combination of hot glue *and* self tapping screws to re-attach the door pockets. Especially on the driver side that has 2x the number of plastic rivets; re-soldering the rivets proved quite challenging to get everything lined up and not wanting to leave so much as a pin hole in the finished covering.

I'd estimate I had 12 hours total over 3 days.

It is my hope that these cards now outlive me. That will be the ultimate test. They look fantastic and so far I am happy with the results. I went with 1/8" Volara sculpting foam for the plush "factory" feel. It really shows.

Now that I have a 3/4 of a gallon of this expensive adhesive I'll need to get after the headliner. :)

I'll update with final pictures of them mounted. It got late getting them back on the car and then was raining all day today.

"Workshop"....notice another related project on the "electrical bench". <winkwink> I'm looking for a handout from a forum member to get my seat reclining again!

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jbrentd said:
Looks great. This is on my long list of to dos.

I've got a couple questions. If the leather is in good shape, can it be reused. And can you brush on the glue you bought?
Yes, I reused mine. I was quite surprised at the durability of the hide side. I had used soft bristle brush to attack the old adhesive and ended up using a brass bristle and quite a bit of force, at least (or felt like) an hour on each skin.

I used standard foam (wide) brush for application. I was a bit nervous getting the 'setting' time right since it does take a few minutes to apply to hide and then foam and then the following day, hide/foam to door card. It worked out OK. I had my wife's set of hands which was very helpful applying the skins to the card. She held the long end while I could focus on getting the other end lined up at the corner. Definitely a job where you don't want any distractions.

Supposedly applying with brush can affect the finish quality since some parts of the skin may absorb more of the adhesive and it'll show through. I didn't see that as an issue though in my case although I have decent brushing skills. At least it doesn't show to the degree that I see an issue. This product is used by pros doing concours level figure that in.
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90quattrocoupe said:
What did you use to hold the panels to the door, while you applied the hot glue?

Greg W.
I'm not sure that I follow your question Greg. This contact adhesive is applied at room temperature to both pieces, door skin and then to the door card. You then wait about 5-10 minutes until both sides are just tacky. At that point you set the skin onto the card making sure everything is lined up. I used a heat gun on low setting at about 8" while working the corners and making sure everything is nice and aligned. A second pair of steady hands helps.
90quattrocoupe said:
Thanks. I was talking about how you held the pockets to the panels, while the hot glue set.

Greg W.
That was a bitch. I started at one end and melted the glue while applying pressure 6o the pocket until "by feel" it was snug. After getting the pocket firm against the card, I went back peg by peg and tried to firm some up.

Advice for future would be to use some small clamps and self tapping screws for some of the pockets that just won't sync. It was really trial by error probing blindly with the heat gun. Also I would recommend doing it outside. The fumes are incredibly toxic.
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