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I am restoring my 72 Nova and have just finished stripping the paint from the doors. There is no rust, but there are several large dents and lots of little dings. The previous owner used a dent puller and so there are about 15 holes in one of the doors, the other not so much. My question is, would it be cheaper/better to just reskin both doors or have the doors repaired? I am no body man, but I have a good welder and lots of time. If reskinning is something a novice could takle I would love advice. Thanks in advance for any help!!!
 

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doors

i think for a novice i would not suggest the door skins by the time you hammer the new skins on you will probably have as much bondo on the doors as you would with repairing the old ones also the inside will still look better with the original skins just my opinion good luck
 

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For what its worth. My car had a large dent in the door. It was fixed old school style by an old school body man (drilled holes and slide hammer). 20 years later you still cant tell its there...it didnt rust, the filler didnt fall off... sometimes the old ways actually work OK

If it aint broke, dont fix it

Andy
 

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kmart chances are your gonna have to remove trim panel,inner handles, outer door handle, movable glass, vent window frame, door weatherstrip on door , and unbolt door from car to get started. how are your tools do you have everything u need ? a small grinder, a cut off wheel, a ball peen hammer (my preference) a dolly for backing the skin to roll edge of new skin, plus machanics tools, weld thru primer seam sealer rust prevenative such as cavity wax, primer, etc..there are other methods but this gives you a general idea of whats involved. Old schools fine if skins not stretched to bad and u can do decent job metal finishing what someone already attemped provided surface is clean of contaminents and rust free( id personally weld pull hammer holes closed) general rule of thumb plastic filler up to a qt inch thick would be a solid repair, not to say i havent seen thicker used. quality plastic filler can be upwards 40 $ gal.+ sand paper. A skin shipped to door 150+/- once all parts removed grind door edge around skin roughly 1/16 inch or less looking for thin seperation of metal between outer skin/frame/inner roll edge if you see a weld id use die grinder to relieve weld only on first layer of metal(roll edge) door window frame to skin area . try and mark height, for and aft of skin location clean all rust from frame , weld thru prime or use something like panel bond (3m there are others follow recomendations) less tack welding, still tack weld 4 corners to keep from shifting this method has a work time of a couple hours +/- . whichever way you do this i would sugjest soft rolling the lip(slight air gap between roll lip and frame) and setting the door back on car to make sure you have it located on door frame. this also gives you the chance to slightly roll that rear edge of door in or out, that is if you cant adjust from front a slight tweak of frame can make a big difference. weld and seamseal ,prime. only an informed novice can determan weather he can acomplish this ,and yes i had time on my hands today
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The doors are off the car and completely stripped of everything, down to bare metal. I have all the tools necessary, but I am quite intimidated by the job. Your description sounds a little complicated for a first timer, I think I will stop by my body shop and get a quote to repair them.
 

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I am restoring my 72 Nova and have just finished stripping the paint from the doors. There is no rust, but there are several large dents and lots of little dings. The previous owner used a dent puller and so there are about 15 holes in one of the doors, the other not so much. My question is, would it be cheaper/better to just reskin both doors or have the doors repaired? I am no body man, but I have a good welder and lots of time. If reskinning is something a novice could takle I would love advice. Thanks in advance for any help!!!
Let me see some photos of the door, then I can suggest some ideas
:yes:
 

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if you're not really a body man...

why not just replace the whole door with a good used one?

a gutted door can generally be found at a reasonable price...
 

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my RH side door had been creased and filled with filler ,pretty thick, i wanted a good clean door , so i got a door skin , never have done this job before but i figured it couldn't be that hard , and really taking the old skin off was pretty simple, i had the spot weld cutters and door skin pliers, had it off in prolly 45 minutes. the problem i had was the new skin was not made correctly and was not the right size and the upper body lines at the top around the mirror were not right one was non existant and another one not a crisp line at all, then the hole that the handle push knob goes thru didn't line up with the hole that is on the door shell itself, long story short , i tossed the door skin in the trash can and bought a aftermarket door from classic industries, the fit was pretty much perfect right out of the box, i bought 3 used doors and once i got them stripped they were worse than what i started with ,,,
 

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Discussion Starter #13



Its kinda hard to see in pictures, but the previous owner did his best to pull out several dents, the whole door is pretty wavy. There is no rust and all of the important lines are fairly straight, after sanding the whole thing with 80 grit, it actually doesnt look too bad. I am thinking that it is repairable, I just dont want to have thick body filler. Also. looks like at least one of the doors in not original as I uncovered the mounting holes for door trim that were covered up.
 

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Its kinda hard to see in pictures, but the previous owner did his best to pull out several dents, the whole door is pretty wavy. There is no rust and all of the important lines are fairly straight, after sanding the whole thing with 80 grit, it actually doesnt look too bad. I am thinking that it is repairable, I just dont want to have thick body filler. Also. looks like at least one of the doors in not original as I uncovered the mounting holes for door trim that were covered up.
You could go one of two ways
#1
Buy a Can of Evercoat Everglass and coat all of the wormholes,pack it in good, use it anywhere there were wormholes or heavy rust pits or weak thin metal.
Then after you sand that down with 36 grit I would go give the whole door(section at a time) a coat of Evercoat Rage Gold. Work it Body line by body line with 36 grit sandpaper by hand with a longboard. The Evercoat rage sands easily but there is a (window) to where you want to start sanding, hit it before it completly dries hard, it may take you a few tries to figure it out. Finish your sanding in 80 grit paper. When your done you can prime if you want or go over the Rage with the Evergoat Metal Glaze and finish in 180.
Give it 3 coats with a good Surface primer.
#2
Weld the holes shut -dont warp the S$#6 out of it and then go through the same process as above. After your done with the door and have it primed, I would go inside the door with some Bill Hirsch Miracle Paint and paint over all the welds and probly a little more on the whole bottom area as well.

Dont Skin the door, either repair it like I said or find another Oem used door. Im not a fan of the aftermarket sheet metal on these old cars so I tend to repair the orginal sheet metal if I can.:D
 

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I have done a lot of body work and if those were my doors, I'd scrap them and buy some good used ones:yes: JMO:yes:

Another thing to consider... if these doors fit good and close with nice gaps, I would repair them. If you get a used set of doors they might fit this particular car like total crap. Those hinges are bonded not bolted.

My 2 cents.

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's also a concern, they weren't the best fit when I took them off and I know there is not much you can do to adjust them. But they were probably good enough to look decent once the fenders were tweaked a bit but I've heard about people having trouble with replacing doors. I originally thought I would just buy new doors from classic industries but I'm afraid of fitment issues with those as well.
 

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That's also a concern, they weren't the best fit when I took them off and I know there is not much you can do to adjust them. But they were probably good enough to look decent once the fenders were tweaked a bit but I've heard about people having trouble with replacing doors. I originally thought I would just buy new doors from classic industries but I'm afraid of fitment issues with those as well.
my door i replaced from classic ,was a great door i was supprised how close to the original it was , i spent about a year looking for a good used one and finnally gave up..all i had to do was buy bolt on hinges for the door and left the welded on half on the car ,worked out great, all i had to do was shim the hinge out i think it was 3/16 " to shift it to the rear other than that as you can see it fits fine, i honestly cannot tell the diff between this door and the orgiinal. if it doesnt fit send it back ,
 
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