Found yourself with rotting, crumbling door cards like this? Is the vinyl still nice and supple, and you are struggling with the idea of spending hundreds of monies on replacement look alike cards? Welp, here is a quick tutorial on replacing just the cardboard in your door cards with the Ireland Motorsports aluminum door cards.
These cost $155 for both front cards...plus shipping of course.
Tools needed: flat head, Phillips, needle nose vice grip, interior tool, 3M spray adhesive, scissors, cleaner, rag, a little baby hammer, and contact adhesive.
These cards are off my 76’ 2002. As you can see they have seen better days; been exposed to a ton of moisture in their lifetime and are rotting away. This has caused the vinyl to “pillow” and slightly sag at the bottom of the door.
I am going to assume you can remove a door card by yourself...You will need an interior tool like the one you see above, and a Phillips and flathead screwdriver for the armrest, cranks, and such. Be careful not to tear the vinyl...be gentle.
Do some pre-cleaning before you start. Working with clean hands is always nice.
Remove all of the perimeter staples holding the edges of the vinyl in place with a flathead screwdriver. Discard the staples...unless you have a neat staple collection. In that case, we cant be friends.
Tech tip: If you find your vinyl is a bit crispy around the edges, take some vinyl conditioner, spray it on, and leave it overnight.
Now, slowly begin to peel the vinyl off of the cardboard. It is important to leave the padding attached to the vinyl. The padding gives the vinyl its shape once glued back on to the new aluminum cards.
You will notice that I peeled all of the paper from behind the “chrome strip” at the bottom of the card and I left the paper in the middle of the card. This is simply due to the paper being loose down below and very well attached in the middle.
Remove any of the loose paper still attached. No need to pick at it to get all the paper off. This is where I left it.
On the top rail, you will now focus your attention on the wonderful round “card crimper” thingies. The next 2 pictures are before and after pictures. First one before I bent the tabs in to be able to accept the new door card. The next is after the tabs are bent in using a needle nose vice grip. Be patient, this will annoy you.
Time to test fit your new aluminum door card! So pretty.
Take your time and ensure all of the factory holes are cut in your new card. This includes: fastener holes, window crank, vent window crank, and holes for armrests and door handles. These matched up perfect with mine, you shouldn’t have an issue. But better safe than sorry. You don’t want to be trying to drill a hole once the vinyl is glued on.
This is the glue is used...cuz I had some.
Spray the holy Hannah out of the inside of the vinyl padding and paper. Be careful to not be sloppy and get adhesive on the edges you will fold over the card.
Carefully lay the new card on to the pre-glued vinyl. Match up the mounting “card crimper” thingies and tabs on the top rail. Take your little baby hammer and a flat head screw driver and bend the tabs and “card crimpers” back to their original positions. Then use your man, or woman hands to apply pressure to the back of the card evenly to ensure the adhesive makes adequate contact with the aluminum.
Then you will take your contact adhesive and spread it around all edges of the aluminum door card; as well as the inside edges of the vinyl. You will use a paint brush. I used my fingers because I am a savage.
Let the contact cement dry for 15 minutes. In the meantime, you will take the rubber strip backed with 3M adhesive that comes with the kit and apply it to any place on the inside of the door that may come in contact with the door card. Cut it to length as you go with your safety scissors. This is meant to prevent rattling.
Oh, and do yourself a favor...take some greasy stuff and slather it all over the window regulator and window sliders while you have the door card off. AND if you are really ambitious, take the locking/latch mechs out and scrub off the old gunky grease and apply new greasy stuff.
It is now time to curl the vinyl down to the back side of the aluminum card. Pull it tight as you wrap it around, then press firmly pushing out all air bubbles. That contact cement should hold like the dickens.
Now screw in the delicious green interior snaps provided with the kit. Make sure to double check that you are putting them into holes that will match the hole pattern in the door. This will hurt your little baby fingers. Maybe wear gloves?
Now, snap that super pretty door card into its stock location on the door.
Clean that beautiful card again.
Put your stuff back on it. I used vinyl glue to reattach that pesky chrome trim at the top of the arm rest. And voila, you have a card that should be good for another 45 years!