How to Apply a Door Skin

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A door skin adds aesthetic quality to a car and may need to be replaced especially when the old skin has been worn out or damaged. Door skins can be installed easily in a garage as long as the necessary tools are present. Here is a step-by-step guide to applying a door skin.

Disassemble the Door

Disassemble the door from the car in order to apply the door skin. It is best to apply it when the door is off the car as it allows a better space to work on. Some car doors require the wiring harness to be completely removed first. The grinder application may melt the wires.

Remove the Door Skin

Use a die grinder to grind the edges of the door and remove the old door skin. Grind in the areas where the skin folds around the shell of the door. Continue the process until a three-layer metal is revealed. For welds, move the die grinder around until it cuts through and eliminates them. Once the skin is totally loose, remove it. Sand the outer edges of the new skin lightly to allow the lips of the skin to fold much easier. Position the skin on the door.

Apply Adhesive on the Door Skin

Replace the welds in order to install the door skin. Prepare the surface of the skin and clean them lightly. Place the adhesive on either the door or the door skin surface. Squeeze the adhesive around the surfaces of the skin or the door until it covers the surfaces on the skin folding. The adhesive may also function as a seam sealer as long as it is applied in adequate amounts. Position the door skin on the door to bond the two together.

Fold the Edges

Fold the skin on the door’s edges once the door skin is bonded. Folding does not require the flange to be hammered in full. The most popular method of folding the flanges is through the hammer and dolly method. However, there are also electrical tools designed for this purpose. Before proceeding with the folding process, take a look at the other doors to see how the fold should look. Clamp the skin to the door using two clamps to hold the two in place and prevent the skin from shifting its position. Tap on the edges at a 60 to 90-degree angle until the skin folds perfectly at the edges. Make sure not to leave any dents

Fit the Door

Test to see if the door fits. It might need adjustments if the door does not fit well. Apply seam sealer on the flanges and have the door painted and coated with corrosion-resistant material.