How To Completely Disassemble Your Doors
Topic started by: fieroboom, Date: 11-29-2008 10:24 PM
Original thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Archive-000001/HTML/20130314-2-096693.html


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #1, 11-29-2008 10:24 PM
      I'm sure that 99% of you already know how to do this, but I'm also sure there is at least 1% of us who would appreciate a very detailed how-to.
If any of you are anything like me, then you really like super-detailed step-by-step instructions before you tackle a big project... kinda gives you a little more confidence!

So following are about 60 images, and a full-fledged step-by-step of what worked for me.
I am a little limited on some basic tools, so I'm sure some of you have a better way, and suggestions are always welcome!

Also, this car is about the most rusted and corroded car in you could possibly get, but if you have a more difficult time with something, please tell me; I'd be interested if someone else's is worse off than mine!





I pulled my doors off with the windows up, so I cut a plug from the harness that fits the window motor. I think I actually used the power door lock plug, but they are the same:



I connected some jumper cables to my other car's battery, and applied negative to the orange wire, and positive to the other, and it rolled the window down:





fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #2, 11-29-2008 10:30 PM
      Next, start with the plastic rivets on the bottom of the door. I don't have a real center punch, so I shaped one up from a spare screwdriver I had.
Use the punch to knock out the center of the rivets:



Once you knock out the centers, grab some needle-nose pliers, (or a Gerber tool ) and grab the center & outer edge, then twist & pull:







Some of the rivets will come completely out, and some will break in half; either scenario is fine, as long as they separate from the door skin.


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #3, 11-29-2008 10:37 PM
      Now, you'll be doing the same process with the trim rivets, but some of them may have the center sticking up quite a bit. You can hit them in with a hammer, but some of them just kinda smashed when I did this on the first door, IMO, it's better to grab your pliers and break the center piece.



It makes a clean, flush break that you can center-punch:



Now, center punch these rivets the same way you did the bottom of the door skin:



Once those are out, the trim will fall off later when you flip the door.


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #4, 11-29-2008 10:46 PM
      Now we proceed to the actual bolts holding the door skin on. The correct size for these is a VT35 Torx bit, but depending on how much of the plastic is inside the bit area, you may need to start with a VT30:



Take it easy, and find the biggest bit that fits it, then unscrew it:





But...
Since this is a rust-prone area, it is possible that they'll just strip and do nothing, no matter what bit you use, which is exactly what happened on most of mine.
No problem, just take a good knife (like my Gerber ) and a hammer, place the blade with the sharp edge just at the rim of the bolt, and tap directly down on the blade with the hammer:



This should cut a nice chunk out of the plastic. Now take your mega-flathead screwdriver, and tap the plastic off like you might if it were a corroded E-clip:





fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #5, 11-29-2008 10:51 PM
      Once the plastic is off, you can leave it alone if you want, because the bolt heads will fit through the mounting holes.
But if you're a bit anal (like me.... ), then just take some mega-pliers (vice-grips would work fine), grab the bolt heads, and unscrew them.
I have no idea what the name is of the tool I'm using, but I found it at a yard sale for $1, and it has been one of my best tools. If you ever find one, BUY IT!!





fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #6, 11-29-2008 10:53 PM
      Next, move to the inner dew wipe. It's pretty self explanatory, but here are the pics:





Remove the screws, that piece will come off, then pull the next piece towards the top of the door (down in the second image).


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #7, 11-29-2008 10:59 PM
      Removing the mirror *should* be fairly straightforward... I believe those are 10mm nuts, but the only wrench I have around that size is a China-made 3/8" that happened to fit:



Straightforward... for me?? Of course not!! The studs in the mirror started to turn, so the nuts weren't coming off. I was more concerned with saving the door skin than the mirror, so I pulled out my new favorite toy (just got it yesterday ) and here's how I did it:



I just cut into it past where the studs were, and it came right off:







fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #8, 11-29-2008 11:05 PM
      Now, flip the door over and lay it on it's inside surface. For me, the bottom trim piece fell off, but if yours doesn't, just lift "up" on it (ie, towards the top of the door...) and it should slide right off:



Now, we need to finish getting that skin off, and to do that, we need to get the molding off.
Under the door handle, you'll see a small pop fastener. Slide your mega-flathead screwdriver under it, and pop it up:



Now, there's probably a better way to do this, but I just took that end and pulled up very quickly, like ripping a band-aid off. This should snap all the little clips, and the molding should be free:





fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #9, 11-29-2008 11:18 PM
      Now, each one of those little white clips may or may not have a retainer in the center of it. If you see a retainer in it, place a flathead screwdriver on it, and hit it with your palm to break the retainer, and the clips will come right out:



There are two bolts that were underneath the molding, so grab your 7mm socket and take them out:



Now grab the bottom edge of the door skin and lift up, as in literal up :



At the same time, grab the other side (top edge of the skin) and pull towards the top of the door... It's kind of an up-and-over motion, similar to the way the interior door panels go off and on:



Once the door skin kinda pops free, stop pulling and look underneath it. The linkage to the door handle & lock still need to be disconnected:



The lock should have an E-clip on it, but as you can see, mine is completely rusted. So I grabbed my trusty pliers and twisted & yanked until it fell apart, and the linkage came off.
Anyway, the handle linkage has a twist-n-lock plastic retainer on it:



Once you unclip that from the linkage rod, it will pop right out:



And now your door skin is free...



Note the complimentary rat's nest I received in the bottom of mine...


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #10, 11-29-2008 11:25 PM
      Ok, so now we need to get the glass out...
These rivets can be drilled, but it took me 30 mins to drill one, and about 3mins to sawzall the other. All you need to do is cut off the head of the rivet and the three pieces of the sleeve that spread out:



Just be patient, set your saw to a low speed, and sort of bow the blade into the rivet. If you've ever used a sawzall, then you know exactly what I mean. If not, carefully experiment!
In the above image, you can see the rivet on the right is already done. You just need to get it as flush as you can.

Once that's done, grab your punch again, and center punch the rivets out. Be careful to aim, then tap once. If it doesn't come out, re-aim, then tap once. Other wise you might miss and shatter the window:



Once you've center punched those four large rivets, wedge your mega-flathead under the plastic, and gently pop it free, then grab the top edge of the glass, and pull it out.


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #11, 11-29-2008 11:41 PM
      Ok, now flip the door back over onto it's outer side, and you'll see a bunch of aluminum rivets, as well as some bolts:



Center punch all of the rivets. You can see here the rivets in the top piece are punched, and the ones in the bottom piece aren't:



Some of them might pop completely out when you punch them, but for the ones that don't, grab a 1/4" drill bit, and drill them out. Use light pressure on the drill, or else the rivet will just start spinning:



While you're drilling, some rivets will come completely out, and some will just break off. In the next image, you can see the small white collars; those are the ones that broke.



Just drill them again, and they should fall completely through:



fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #12, 11-29-2008 11:46 PM
      Once all the rivets are done, grab your 10mm socket and take out every bolt you see. You will here parts dropping into the belly of the door.



Also, go ahead and remove the bolts along the top edge of the door; these are the inner window guides. You want to remove them while the door is in this position so they don't fall back into the pocket they're mounted in:



Once the bolts for those are out, reach in with your fingers and wiggle the guides out until they fall into the belly of the door. For me, it was easiest to reach in and turn them counter-clockwise:





Sorry, my camera hates close-ups!


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #13, 11-29-2008 11:48 PM
      Now you can start sliding parts out from inside the door:







fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #14, 11-29-2008 11:52 PM
      I'm not removing my hinges because I need them on the door, but if you are, now is the time. Grab your 13mm socket (and I would suggest a large rachet), and take out these bolts:





fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #15, 11-29-2008 11:53 PM
      Lastly, grab that VT30 Torx bit you used earlier, and take out the three screws holding the latching mechanism in place:



fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #16, 11-29-2008 11:54 PM
      And there you have it! Your door that you got from the Pull-A-Part is now ready for whatever you want.

leppy_89 (casey.ryan89@gmail.com) MSG #17, 11-30-2008 12:32 AM
      Thank you so much!

I'm going to have to tear my doors apart on my GT to replace a busted

passenger mirror, grease up the slides, and new dew wipes.

+ for you!


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #18, 11-30-2008 12:42 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by leppy_89:

Thank you so much!

I'm going to have to tear my doors apart on my GT to replace a busted

passenger mirror, grease up the slides, and new dew wipes.

+ for you!


Thanks, I'm glad someone can use it!



BMTFIERO (bmtfiero@outlook.com) MSG #19, 11-30-2008 01:30 AM
      Thanks just what i needed

+ 4 u


Eclipse (jay.brintnell@gmail.com) MSG #20, 11-30-2008 02:04 AM
      Awesome write up! +'s



MordacP (mjmatthews559@comcast.net) MSG #21, 11-30-2008 04:10 AM
      I tried getting the outer door skins off before, but i gave up. This is a big help, a double-XL + for you.

fieroguru MSG #22, 11-30-2008 08:07 AM
      A trick for removing the plastic coated torx bolts on the door skin is to use a small drill bit to remove the platic from the center. This allows the torx bit to go in further and have a greater chance of success of removal w/o stripping.

Good write up!


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #23, 12-01-2008 08:49 AM
      In case anyone else needs this information, Cliff was kind enough to move it to the articles section on the Main Page



hklvette MSG #24, 12-01-2008 08:56 AM
      That orange-handled tool you're using is called a fencing tool. Used for making/ repairing High-tensile steel fences (like on farms).

fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #25, 12-01-2008 01:07 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by hklvette:

That orange-handled tool you're using is called a fencing tool. Used for making/ repairing High-tensile steel fences (like on farms).


Awesome, I'm really glad to know what it is. I swear, it will grip anything if you have the space to get the head of in there, and it's got great leverage, cutters, hammer head.... Just an all-around excellent tool. I have certainly gotten my $1 worth out of it!
Thanks for the tip!
Fencing Tools on eBay

Looks like they're about $10-$14 new:
10" Fence Tool on Amazon
10" Fence Tool on Hardware World


fierohoho (fierohoho@gmail.com) MSG #26, 12-01-2008 01:08 PM
      Great thread, goes more into the disassembly than my threads on removing inner door panels and outer door skins did.

Steve



fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #27, 12-01-2008 02:57 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by fierohoho:

Great thread, goes more into the disassembly than my threads on removing inner door panels and outer door skins did.

Steve



Very nice. I sent Cliff a quick PM asking if we could maybe have a 'How-To' forum where the articles wouldn't archive, and he said he doesn't have that implemented yet, but he can put good-to-know info and how-tos in the "Articles" section on the main page. You should have him take a look at yours and see if he wants to link them there like he did mine.
That goes for anybody else that wants to take the time to make a nice, detailed step-by-step; I know I could always use one, even if I've done the task before... Refreshers are great!


Fierology MSG #28, 12-01-2008 03:20 PM
      Thanks, dude. Great thread!

-Michael



JazzMan (jazzman@fierocentral.com) MSG #29, 12-01-2008 03:49 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroboom:


Very nice. I sent Cliff a quick PM asking if we could maybe have a 'How-To' forum where the articles wouldn't archive, and he said he doesn't have that implemented yet, but he can put good-to-know info and how-tos in the "Articles" section on the main page. You should have him take a look at yours and see if he wants to link them there like he did mine.
That goes for anybody else that wants to take the time to make a nice, detailed step-by-step; I know I could always use one, even if I've done the task before... Refreshers are great!


Yes, Cliff put my column writeup there, that was nice of him. I, too, hope that some sort of section gets set up for articles like yours that sort of has the "cream of the crop" articles for easy finding. I'm wondering if some sort of voting mechanism can be put in place to determine what goes into a section like that, like a rating system for the article itself as opposed to the author.

Your writeup is pretty darned good, definitely a keeper.

JazzMan


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #30, 12-01-2008 04:02 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:


Yes, Cliff put my column writeup there, that was nice of him. I, too, hope that some sort of section gets set up for articles like yours that sort of has the "cream of the crop" articles for easy finding. I'm wondering if some sort of voting mechanism can be put in place to determine what goes into a section like that, like a rating system for the article itself as opposed to the author.

Your writeup is pretty darned good, definitely a keeper.

JazzMan


Thank you. I'm kinda anal about things when I work on my Fieros... I guess it shows. Owning 10 of them makes you very methodical in how you go about things...
As far as voting, I'm sure Cliff can only take so many PMs till he makes something happen... hint hint...


fierohoho (fierohoho@gmail.com) MSG #31, 12-01-2008 05:26 PM
      I found that when drilling out the aluminum rivets that start to spin if you have a good sharp 1/4" bit and tip the drill to the side a little the rivet will still spin but it will still drill it out, just use a light hand.

fieroboom, I couldn't help but notice the rust on the door and its parts in your pics, is that common down by the gulf states?

I was thinking you got yourself a "Salt Belt" car until I looked to see where you are.

Steve


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #32, 12-01-2008 08:22 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by fierohoho:

I found that when drilling out the aluminum rivets that start to spin if you have a good sharp 1/4" bit and tip the drill to the side a little the rivet will still spin but it will still drill it out, just use a light hand.

fieroboom, I couldn't help but notice the rust on the door and its parts in your pics, is that common down by the gulf states?

I was thinking you got yourself a "Salt Belt" car until I looked to see where you are.

Steve


As for the rivets, I did the same thing! You can also take a small screwdriver, slide it under the lip of the rivet, and twist it so that the upper edge digs into rivet as it wants to spin. But that approach usually works best on particularly large rivets...

As for the car, no, it's not a salt belt car that I'm aware of, but I've yet to do a carfax report on it... But it sat in a back yard uncovered for 10 years before I got it, and another 3 years after I got it, due to being in the Navy. However, I think it's solid proof that an ill-maintained car suffers as bad (or worse) than one that's driven hard daily...


caseyret (brandolph1@woh.rr.com) MSG #33, 12-01-2008 09:47 PM
      Excellent write up. Sincerely appreciate and reps for doing this. Now the only question is... to put the door back together, what do you use for the rivets, clips, and fasteners that were destroyed in the removal process?

fierohoho (fierohoho@gmail.com) MSG #34, 12-01-2008 11:39 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by caseyret:

Excellent write up. Sincerely appreciate and reps for doing this. Now the only question is... to put the door back together, what do you use for the rivets, clips, and fasteners that were destroyed in the removal process?


I haven't had a door that far apart but I did add power windows, door locks and mirrors to my project car and I used 1/4" bolts and nylon lock nuts to re-mount those items.

With some of the bolts you have to pay attention to whether or not they need the nut on the outside or inside to clear any moving parts.

As for the plastic rivets on the bottom of the door you can buy the same type of rivet and you will need the riveter too or you could use the same type of push fastener that is used on the wheel well liners.

Steve


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #35, 12-02-2008 10:52 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by caseyret:

Excellent write up. Sincerely appreciate and reps for doing this. Now the only question is... to put the door back together, what do you use for the rivets, clips, and fasteners that were destroyed in the removal process?


Riveting tools can be found for fairly cheap, and they're very simple to use, or, as stated in the post above mine, you can also use small bolts, but be sure you either use loctite or the nuts with nylon inserts (more preferable), or you'll be pulling it all apart again after a few bumps!


lou_dias (loudfiero@gmail.com) MSG #36, 12-02-2008 11:28 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroboom:




Now would be the time to engineer an aluminum replacement for that safety beam to lighten these door up...


Isolde MSG #37, 12-02-2008 11:55 AM
      Well-shown, though I have no use for it, my Fiero has less than 46,000 miles on it.

darkhorizon MSG #38, 12-02-2008 12:26 PM
      How did you take the door handle off?

fierohoho (fierohoho@gmail.com) MSG #39, 12-02-2008 01:52 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by darkhorizon:

How did you take the door handle off?


Check my sig above for the thread about removing the inner door panel, towards the bottom of the thread I have an easy way to pull the door handle clip without buying any special tool, there's a pic also.

Steve


Lee Phillips (phillips@sysmatrix.net) MSG #40, 12-17-2008 02:45 PM
      VERY Nice! I hope I don't have to that much disassembly (lubrication of windows and locks, slides, etc; adding power windows; changing to power mirrors) but here's pix of how to do it all. THANKS for posting it!

lee


fieroboom (fieroboom@gmail.com) MSG #41, 12-17-2008 03:33 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Lee Phillips:

VERY Nice! I hope I don't have to that much disassembly (lubrication of windows and locks, slides, etc; adding power windows; changing to power mirrors) but here's pix of how to do it all. THANKS for posting it!

lee


You're very welcome!

edit to do da pwn teh page dance...

[This message has been edited by fieroboom (edited 12-17-2008).]

02greens10 (greens10@hughes.net) MSG #42, 12-18-2008 01:07 AM
      FYI you didnt need to cut the mirror the studs are just screwed into the mirror and just unthread like a bolt. Ask me how I know. I did the same, excpet cutting the bolt with a grinder.

I just did my doors with new dew wipes and greased my tracks and rollers. Also grease you latch from the inside. The door is literally like new now.

Anyone have a cheap source for the molding clips, mine all busted too.


BMTFIERO (bmtfiero@outlook.com) MSG #43, 12-18-2008 12:53 PM
      Add to My Favorites

thanks


BigB (daybreakinfo@rogers.com) MSG #44, 03-26-2009 03:37 AM
      The fierostore has the molding clips. I've taken panels off a few times now and find that applying pressure first up then out (top first) will save you from breaking the molding clips - they are designed to release without breaking.

sjmaye MSG #45, 03-26-2009 04:56 AM
      Well Done. Thank you very much. I will be using this very soon. ++++ for you

Ridgelandbaseball (pwammons@oh.rr.com) MSG #46, 08-22-2009 10:53 PM
      Great instructions. I will be doing this myself.


Dennis LaGrua (dlagrua@comcast.net) MSG #47, 08-22-2009 11:57 PM
      Thanks for taking the time to go through a complete disassembly of the door. While partial disassembly works for most repairs most of the time, this post shows how everything goes together. A + post for sure.



86Red2M6 (lockeedge@gmail.com) MSG #48, 08-23-2009 12:36 AM
      Thanks for the detail, I will be doing some door work. This will save me the headache of figuring it out as I go. Great detail in the pics.

John W. Tilford (johntilford@comcast.net) MSG #49, 08-23-2009 06:37 PM
      Let's get back to the important item: the fence tool.

The pointy thingie can be driven, as one would swing a hammer, between the inverted-U shaped classic fence staple and the wooden post it's in and you want it out. After a couple of hits, you can hook the point under the round part of the staple that's exposed. If you are dealing with a staple stuck in really hard wood, you can place the point in the appropriate spot trying to get under the staple and hit the other, flat, side of the tool with a real hammer. Once you have penetration, so to speak, you can pry/pull out the staple by pulling back on the handles of the tool, with a similar motion to pulling out a nail with a carpenter's hammer.

The "hammer" side is used like it looks, just like a small hammer. You have to hit harder and more times, but you can drive a staple to hold wire fence to a wooden post. Also used as described above, to be hit by a real hammer to drive the point where you want it to go.

The pincher/center can be used to grab loose staples and just pull them out, as you would use pliers. Less obvious, but really helpful when fixing fence, you can grab the wire fence and pull it tight against a post by using the tool as a lever, then, with your other hand and a real hammer, drive a staple to hold the tightened fence in place. It is a good thing to use a metal tool to hold, and pull hard on, barbed wire fence.

Thanks for taking me back a few decades!


css9450 (css9450@liquid2k.com) MSG #50, 10-06-2009 08:39 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroboom:

Once the door skin kinda pops free, stop pulling and look underneath it. The linkage to the door handle & lock still need to be disconnected:





Well that sure is special! I've been trying for two days to remove the latch and handle from inside the door. My fingers just don't fit in there let alone with any tools in hand. I never realized the handle and its mechanism would come up with the door skin. I'm in the midst of a complete door swap but I'm reusing the mirror, dew strips, lock cylinder and GT aero molding from my original door. This swap is going on a week now!

 
quote
Originally posted by 02greens10

FYI you didnt need to cut the mirror the studs are just screwed into the mirror and just unthread like a bolt. Ask me how I know. I did the same, excpet cutting the bolt with a grinder.



That's what I found too; I panicked SEVERELY when I discovered the studs were spinning along with the nuts on both my doors, but no matter, the studs came out nicely with the nuts still on them, no problem at all.


Formula88 MSG #51, 01-01-2010 10:38 PM
      Any chance of getting the pics rehosted? Or can everyone else see them ok?

Terry_w (terry_wolfgang@hotmail.com) MSG #52, 01-01-2010 11:54 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

Any chance of getting the pics rehosted? Or can everyone else see them ok?

Just one of many posts ruined by posting pics that are hosted offsite.



theogre MSG #53, 01-02-2010 12:03 AM
      Site is down. Probably someone didn't pay the bill. Need to use PIP for that reason. If PIP can't handle it (Size problem) there is ways....
If he does fix it then don't know.
Copyright mean he own them. I have the pictures IF he want them.
See if he PM or Email.



theogre MSG #54, 01-03-2010 06:10 PM
      Site is up.....

AL87 (simplekid17a@aol.com) MSG #55, 10-26-2010 04:23 AM
      are these pics re-hosted again on not?

I can't see anything but a blue outline where pics are supposed to be...

I need this so I can diy without destrying anything... my fiero's doors need to be gone through and will continue to squeak until then,,,


BMTFIERO (bmtfiero@outlook.com) MSG #56, 06-20-2011 01:25 AM
      A "great how to" Bump

FieroG97J (davidonedog@gmail.com) MSG #57, 06-20-2011 10:21 AM
      Very helpful post. But please don't reuse that funky door. There are 100's of them in members garages here that you can use instead. I recently had 4 completely stripped out and totally rust free doors stolen by the scrap metal robbers in the area. And while they were at it they took 10 antique Cub Cadet garden tractors I had too.

BMTFIERO (bmtfiero@outlook.com) MSG #58, 06-20-2011 12:52 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by FieroG97J:

. . . doors stolen by the scrap metal robbers in the area. . .


You Too !!!!



jscott1 MSG #59, 06-20-2011 01:43 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by BMTFIERO:


You Too !!!!


Send some over my way... they can have all the scap metal they can haul out of my yard.


FieroG97J (davidonedog@gmail.com) MSG #60, 06-21-2011 09:47 PM
      Let's take up a collection to buy Fireboom a toolbox

Robert 2 MSG #61, 08-01-2011 11:01 AM
      ttt

JohnWPB MSG #62, 01-27-2012 11:19 PM
      Thanks for the tutorial, a quick Google search of PFF turned it up, and helped me out today!