Base material for interior panels/door cards

Thin bits of metal and bright blue light. Including glass & trim.

Moderators: Moderators, User administrators

Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby CJH » 13 Oct 2018, 11:30

When I bought my van about 5 years ago I did a quick 'interim' refit of the interior panels, using pre-cut 3.6mm ply panels covered in lining carpet. I'm about to have another go, with stitched and padded vinyl coverings, but I want to replace those ply panels. That's partly because I used the wrong fixings the last time, making it impossible to remove the panels without damage, but mostly because I wasn't keen on the ply as a base material.

I found the ply to be too 'rigid'. I know its a matter of personal preference, and some people will prefer that, but for me it didn't behave or feel like the original hardboard, which had a bit more flex to it.

So I'm looking for opinions about alternative materials. I'll probably buy another pre-cut set, but I think my meagre woodworking skills could probably cope with cutting my own from sheet material, using the old ones as templates. JK do a range of panels in 3mm MDF, and VW Heritage do a range in 'automotive grade' hardboard. What is meant by 'automotive grade'? Is it perhaps 'oiled' hardboard, for improved water resistance? Is water resistance important in this application? Is MDF any better than good old hardboard? What else should I consider?
"I'm a man of means, by no means....King of the Road!"

1983 Viking Xplorer, 2.1DJ
User avatar
CJH
 
Posts: 3018
Joined: 15 Jul 2013, 06:51
Location: Nottingham
80-90 Mem No: 12576

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby Porkscratching » 13 Oct 2018, 11:47

I don't think it really mattered about water / moisture repellency on original door cards as the doors were sealed with a plastic membrane. Whatever you decide to use (other than plastic) it might be worth sealing them with a lick of varnish.

Regards, Max
1990 Westy HiTop 1.6 JX
Time is precious, waste it wisely.
Porkscratching
 
Posts: 313
Joined: 23 Feb 2012, 22:50
Location: Mid Warwickshire
80-90 Mem No: 0

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby nicq » 13 Oct 2018, 12:02

PVA watered down is a cheap and easy waterproofing and no chance of cracking when bending.
2.1 Twin slider
User avatar
nicq
 
Posts: 949
Joined: 24 Sep 2011, 19:03
Location: Cranleigh Surrey
80-90 Mem No: 10290

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby CJH » 13 Oct 2018, 14:16

Good advice about the waterproofing, thanks.

I had a piece of 3mm hardboard in the garage, so I made a door card for a cab door. Easy to cut with a jigsaw, fits well, not so easy to drill clean 10mm holes for the clips, even with a decent wood bit, and starting the hole from both sides. I suspect 3mm MDF might be better in that respect.

I dug out one of my original door cards to template from, and I noticed that the ply door card that I'd previously replaced it with wasn't an exact match for the shape - a fraction larger in places and some slightly different curves - so the accuracy of the fit within the recess in the door wasn't quite as good. I wonder if the kits from JK or VWH are better.
"I'm a man of means, by no means....King of the Road!"

1983 Viking Xplorer, 2.1DJ
User avatar
CJH
 
Posts: 3018
Joined: 15 Jul 2013, 06:51
Location: Nottingham
80-90 Mem No: 12576

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby multisi » 13 Oct 2018, 14:29

Take into consideration the thickness of the material you are going to cover it with, the original vw vinyl was very thin, its not the same thickness as the type of vinyl used on seats. If the panel with the material on doesn't fit into the shallow recess that can cause problems for the original style clips. The bare panel would need to be trimmed down all around if thick carpet lining is used.
1992 red lle 2.2 subaru 1990 rhd caravelle 2.2 subaru 1986 california import vanagon
multisi
 
Posts: 1221
Joined: 03 Apr 2016, 12:01
Location: jersey
80-90 Mem No: 0

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby CJH » 13 Oct 2018, 14:43

Yes, that's a good point. I think that's why I ended up using different clips with my (slightly oversize) ply panels covered in fairly thick lining carpet. The original clips just wouldn't hold. They weren't helped by the rigidity of the ply. My replacements will be covered in vinyl with a thin foam backing, much more like the original VW skins. I think I'm leaning towards hardboard - I just need to decide if it's worth attempting to make my own set or just to buy the VWH set. It's a shame that they only seem to sell complete sets - I don't need the panels for the kitchen/wardrobe side.
"I'm a man of means, by no means....King of the Road!"

1983 Viking Xplorer, 2.1DJ
User avatar
CJH
 
Posts: 3018
Joined: 15 Jul 2013, 06:51
Location: Nottingham
80-90 Mem No: 12576

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby multisi » 13 Oct 2018, 18:17

VWBusshop.de have made reproduction front door panels, they look just like the originals if you are going down that route, a bit expensive with the exchange rate as it is at the moment.
1992 red lle 2.2 subaru 1990 rhd caravelle 2.2 subaru 1986 california import vanagon
multisi
 
Posts: 1221
Joined: 03 Apr 2016, 12:01
Location: jersey
80-90 Mem No: 0

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby CJH » 14 Oct 2018, 08:07

multisi wrote:VWBusshop.de have made reproduction front door panels, they look just like the originals if you are going down that route, a bit expensive with the exchange rate as it is at the moment.


Thank you. Those do look good. I've seen a few places that offer ready-made replacements, but I'm planning to use a local upholstery company to do the seats, mattresses and interior panels in a matching scheme.
"I'm a man of means, by no means....King of the Road!"

1983 Viking Xplorer, 2.1DJ
User avatar
CJH
 
Posts: 3018
Joined: 15 Jul 2013, 06:51
Location: Nottingham
80-90 Mem No: 12576

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby multisi » 14 Oct 2018, 17:27

Just remembered I have a pair of original door cards with all the vinyl/foam removed from them, no lower water damage. I took the vinyl off because they were brown and was going to recover them. Will send a pm.
1992 red lle 2.2 subaru 1990 rhd caravelle 2.2 subaru 1986 california import vanagon
multisi
 
Posts: 1221
Joined: 03 Apr 2016, 12:01
Location: jersey
80-90 Mem No: 0

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby CJH » 14 Oct 2018, 19:53

multisi wrote:Just remembered I have a pair of original door cards with all the vinyl/foam removed from them, no lower water damage. I took the vinyl off because they were brown and was going to recover them. Will send a pm.


Thank you - reply sent. I think I've decided to make my own set though, as I have good templates for all but the sliding door (I'm intending to convert to the later style sliding door, so I can't take a template from my existing door). So I'll probably just buy a ready-made panel for the sliding door, unless someone has a good late-style card to sell me, or to lend me to make a template.
"I'm a man of means, by no means....King of the Road!"

1983 Viking Xplorer, 2.1DJ
User avatar
CJH
 
Posts: 3018
Joined: 15 Jul 2013, 06:51
Location: Nottingham
80-90 Mem No: 12576

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby R0B » 14 Oct 2018, 20:01

Bu66er im after some brown door cards.
2.1 LPG/Petrol Auto Caravelle
User avatar
R0B
Moderator
 
Posts: 16177
Joined: 07 Oct 2005, 17:33
Location: Cheshire
80-90 Mem No: 864

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby Jim San » 14 Oct 2018, 20:09

CJH wrote:, not so easy to drill clean 10mm holes for the clips, even with a decent wood bit, and starting the hole from both sides.



Clamp sacrificial material either side of where the hole is to be drilled - its a bit of a faff at first to get things lines up but you soon develop a technique.
the holes will be cut nice and clean if the clamping is good enough.
1991 Syncro kombi 1.9MTDi Passat 1Z Landy fuel pump 215/70/16

Life's to short to drink s@@t beer.
User avatar
Jim San
 
Posts: 1480
Joined: 21 Jan 2014, 20:01
Location: Shropshire syncronaut 244
80-90 Mem No: 13133

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby CJH » 15 Oct 2018, 08:12

Jim San wrote:Clamp sacrificial material either side of where the hole is to be drilled - its a bit of a faff at first to get things lines up but you soon develop a technique.
the holes will be cut nice and clean if the clamping is good enough.


Thank you, yes, I'm going to have a bit of a practice on some off-cuts before I start making them for real. I think a 10mm hole in the block clamped on top will allow me to position the hole correctly, while also preventing the hole from fraying. I've also ordered a 10mm Forstner bit, because the 25mm hole I made for the window winder came out really clean using a Forstner bit.

Image
"I'm a man of means, by no means....King of the Road!"

1983 Viking Xplorer, 2.1DJ
User avatar
CJH
 
Posts: 3018
Joined: 15 Jul 2013, 06:51
Location: Nottingham
80-90 Mem No: 12576

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby silverbullet » 15 Oct 2018, 15:53

R0B wrote:Bu66er im after some brown door cards.
Saddle brown? I've got the originals from the twin slider, no speaker holes, one cab door is a little wavy but otherwise good iirc. I'm changing the trim colour anyway.

Sent from my S60 using Tapatalk
'85 syncro Caravelle twin slider, '90 SA Microbus project

http://www.025motorsport.com
User avatar
silverbullet
Trader
 
Posts: 12003
Joined: 08 Jun 2009, 09:51
Location: Surrey Syncronaut #156
80-90 Mem No: 6908

Re: Base material for interior panels/door cards

Postby R0B » 15 Oct 2018, 16:17

PM sent Ian.
2.1 LPG/Petrol Auto Caravelle
User avatar
R0B
Moderator
 
Posts: 16177
Joined: 07 Oct 2005, 17:33
Location: Cheshire
80-90 Mem No: 864


Return to Bodywork, Seats & Glass

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests