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 making door slam sound better

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autoarcheologist

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Join date : 2014-08-22
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: making door slam sound better   Wed May 20, 2015 2:04 am

While I have the door panels off to fix the wood trim I am trying to do any other maintenance at the same time including:

Lubing or replacing window guides
Replacing speakers
Replacing all Christmas tree clips
Fixing any door panel cracks or issues

But I'm also not a fan of how cheap the doors sound when they close. Hopefully a nice tight panel fit will help but I DM looking for other ideas as well. So far my plan includes:

Make sure all wiring clips are attached properly
If any are loose use foam to pad them so they don't rattle
Add a little sound deadening to the door itself
Check door striker to make sure it is tight.

Has anybody elar been down this road with any success? The middle of the door panel seems like a weak spot and the door itself seems to have a little give when closed. But I don't want to make the seal so tight you have to slam the door and risk breakinf the panel.
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Fred Kiehl

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Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

PostSubject: Re: making door slam sound better   Wed May 20, 2015 8:59 am

The door panel does not hit the body when the door is closed, so you do not have to worry about breaking the panel by hitting the body. Making the door too tight will only cause the door gasket to split where the pressure is too high. Use a dollar bill, and shut the door on it to determine proper pressure on the gasket. You should be able to pull it out with some resistance.

The striker should be tight. Unless you can move it, you should not have to fiddle with it. Check for wear, but that is about all you can do. Do not move them if the doors line up with the body or other doors.

You can use MEK or MEK substitute to glue scrap plastic from a damaged door panel to the back side of yours to reinforce it, even if it is not broken. You can also make a paste of the scrap plastic, and paddle it onto the back side of the panel for reinforcement. If you put some loose fiberglass strands in it, you can add some extra strength to the paste. Sharp corners and long angles are stress points. If you reinforce those areas, it will go a long way to stopping cracks in the future. If you have any cracks now, the use of the MEK will glue them back together like a plastic model airplane or car kit. The lower panel is styrene. Do not touch the "face" of the panel with MEK, it will leave a permanent print on the surface. If you glue a crack, and there are small bubbles on the face of the panel, they will shrink as the MEK evaporates. Do not touch them until the panel is dry. Any cracks will almost disappear when you glue them with MEK. The woodgrain strips on the doors are styrene as well, and if you can hold them in place, you can use a piece of scrap and MEK it to the backside to give you a new tab to go through the door panel.

To make the door sound more solid, any of a number of sound deadening materials can be used on the inside of the door skin. There was mention of one from a hardware store, that was similar to the specialty brands at a much reduced cost.
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autoarcheologist

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PostSubject: Re: making door slam sound better   Wed May 20, 2015 9:56 am

Thanks Fred. I have some of that sound deadening, it is window flashing.

I meant to ask how you melt the styrene tabs on the door panels once you repair them? I glued/meked a few tabs together on one strip and tried to heat it with a soldering iron with mixed results.
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JaySS
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PostSubject: Re: making door slam sound better   Wed May 20, 2015 10:09 am


autoarcheologist wrote:
Has anybody ever been down this road with any success?

http://forum.theherd.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=108
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: making door slam sound better   Wed May 20, 2015 10:14 am

The door panels, at least on the 94-96 Roadmasters, are made of total crap. Crack-prone plastic, in lots of separate pieces, bonded together poorly and not thought out well. It was a quick redesign along with the dashboard. Sad, because when together they LOOK pretty nice.

I too hate the way the doors sound when closing, and constantly have to tell me kids and passengers to PLEASE not slam the doors. I've repaired both my front panels, with parts from other cars and SEM paint, and mine look fine, but still, I hate on a big strong car like these having to baby the doors when I close them.

The one consolation is that most 90's-era GM cars were bad here. My '97 S-10 and all my 90's-era Bonnevilles had fragile door panels made of cheap plastic. Happily GM has gotten better....the door panels on my '01 Yukon Denali and '03 Suburban are still tight and look new after 150-200K miles. Likewise the panels on our newer Trailblazer seem tight and don't rattle.

The '92 Custom Cruiser I had used better panels than the '96 Roady, at least in build quality, if not features and comfort (I like the wider panel at the top of the Buick so I can rest my arm on the sill easier with the windows down, and the better speaker setup on the Buick).

-Mike
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autoarcheologist

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PostSubject: Re: making door slam sound better   Wed May 20, 2015 10:26 am

I agree Mike, our 04 Tahoe interior has held up well except the paint on the radio.

I have considered back dating the door panels, but I never find them in Portland.
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autoarcheologist

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PostSubject: Re: making door slam sound better   Wed May 20, 2015 10:40 am

Jay, thanks for the link, that is exactly what I am doing. I like the Velcro idea and will grab some.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: making door slam sound better   Wed May 20, 2015 10:47 am

autoarcheologist wrote:
Thanks Fred.  I have some of that sound deadening, it is window flashing.

I meant to ask how you melt the styrene tabs on the door panels once you repair them?   I glued/meked a few tabs together on one strip and tried to heat it with a soldering iron with mixed results.

I use a soldering gun of about 140 watts. It is still slow. Harbor Freight makes a plastic welding kit, and it may give faster results, but you need a really good air compressor, and it is not as controllable as the soldering iron. If you can find a 200+ watt soldering iron, it should produce faster results. You could also make a "button" that slips over the tab, and MEK it in place with the paste. You have to trim the excess length off to some extent to keep the panel from hitting the inside of the door.
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: making door slam sound better   Wed May 20, 2015 10:51 am

Here's the thread I did years-back when I re-did my front door panels. Used a lot of Epoxy on the backsides. They are still holding up well.

http://gmlongroof.4umer.com/t3813-maroon-interior-paint-dye?highlight=sem+paint
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