1968 Firebird Door Skins Replaced

My apologies for the time lapse. I got wrapped up in the holidays and got out into the shop whenever I could. I forgot to get pics of the procedure, but I will explain how I did this.

Not knowing what I was doing; I will say they turned out pretty good, so you should have no problems. Before I did anything, I waited until the new skins showed up so I could see how to take off the old ones. I laid the door up on saw horses with the frame facing up. I saw the new ones had two places (front top and rear) that would spot weld into the frame. I drilled out the old ones, then saw that the skin simply folded over the perimeter of the frame. I carefully took my angle grinder and ground down the edge of the skin until I saw a split, or two pieces of sheet metel which told me I was at the frame. I did this all around (being careful not to grind the frame) and the skin fell off when I picked up the frame. This left the inner lip that was folded over the edge of the frame, so I took my air chisel and it came off pretty easy.

I cleaned off any rust I found and then treated the entire inside of the frame with POR15. This will definitely help, especially at the bottom of the door where they can start to rust again. Now it will not!

Great! The old one is off and treated; lets lay out the new skin and set the door frame on it to see what we have. OUCH! When they judge how well aftermarket items fit, they use a 1 to 5 measure, with 5 being the worse. This was the first time I had encountered a 5. The skin was at least 1/2 inch bigger all the way around. Being hard headed, I went for it. I got my hammer and dolly set out and started to work the skin over the frame making sure that I was using the edge of the frame, and not the little seam they left showing where to bend it at, since it was way off.

This worked out pretty good for my first door skin. I will suggest that you use something a little softer for a dolly rather than the steel one. I checked with a couple of vets in the field and they said a door skin will never go on without some kind of finish work being needed. Once the skin was flat and snug, I spot welded with the mig around the seam.

The next one went a lot smoother, as most things do when you now have experience. The skin was definitely a 1. It was perfect and finished out very nice.


That's all there was to it. Door skins proved to be a pretty simple procedure.

Off to the sub frame for a little change in action.




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