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'65 Standard door panels


mt65riv
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I'm working on my '65 and just trying to get it to the running and driving - not restored - stage for the summer season. Been too long without a cool car to drive. I have standard interior with power windows but no interior. So I am gathering parts to make it passable. Found some rear panels from an earlier model and hope that they will work for a '65. The problem is that I have nothing for my doors. I checked into panels either kits or just the plain panels but I think I need the top piece from an original. Is this true? I ran into this when I restored a '70 Chevelle but I had the old panels to get those pieces from. Are the deluxe and standard upper metal pieces the same? Thanks in advance for the advise.

Mike

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Mike-I'm redoing my 63 interior. I too had a mixed bunch of parts to work with and no interior installed when I got it. I'm doing door panels now. I think, but cannot guarantee, that the basic dimensions and parts for the 63 and 65 door panels are the same. The vinyl pattern you see on the outside is different of course, but the upper metal part is probably the same since the doors are basically the same on both models. You need the long upper metal piece (basically where your arm rests when the window is down) if you plan to use new reproduced door panels. I bet the deluxe and standard are the same. On a 63 standard, that piece is pinned to the cardboard along the top side by the tabs that hold the chrome trim spear. The tabs/pins are part of the trim spear and they go thru the vinyl on the front side, thru the metal piece, thru the cardboard then are bent down on the back side to hold the whole thing together. Also, you'll need the metal piece to hold the window fuzzy strip. Also, most of the foam on the metal piece (front and rear) has deteriorated over the years and gone flat. I found that using contact cement and gluing felt over the foam helps to build it back up, hold it firm and avoid any lumps in the vinyl. I'm guessing you can find those metal pieces relatively easily. They seem to survive even on cars where the interior is totally trashed. I was at CTC auto Ranch a few weeks ago and noted that most of the cars there still have the upper part of the door panels intact, even though the vinyl and lower sections are completely trashed. Let me know if that helps. PRL

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OK Mike: I am currently doing door panels. Clark's kit is $181 for the custom front and $101 custom for the rear. This includes the felt that goes over the door rails too as well as the sewn carpet on the bottom fronts. BTW this is not offered for a standard 65. The other issue is that the 4 gang driver's power window switch is different for standard and custom.

My suggestion is that you look for used standard power window door panels. If they are not too good an upholstery shop can take the Clarks cardboard door cards, $22 front each, $15 rear each, and glue the pleated vinyl and carpet to it. This might be killing several birds with one stone. You save money, you get the correct application somewhat quickly and you have correct original rather than a hacked up Frankenstein upholstery. It's not a high restoration quality but i believe it will more than do in a pinch bringing added value and enjoyment to your car.

Mitch

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Pete, those are great points. I have a deluxe car and pulled a panel and it fits the door. So I guess I can assume that the metal piece is the same as long as the door cards that Mitch describes attach to them. The price is right for testing it out for sure. I would need the arm rests and window switches. I'm looking for both door window switches and both door handle bellcranks, the chrome strips that hold the card and the header piece together, and whatever pins go down the sides of the panel to hold it to the door. Are any of these made new or only off original cars? I thought that I saw the bellcranks somewhere...

Any exploded views of the standard door and how/what the pieces are and how they go together?

Thanks

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Mike-I think the metal piece, the chrome strip, pins and window switch will need to come off an original car. I do not know of any of those parts being re-manufactured. The handles are available with OPGI but I don't know anything about the quality. I got some new window cranks from them and was pleasantly surprised with the quality. Also, they sell armrests (both body and cushion). I don't have a body manual so I don't have an exploded view. That said, once you take the panel off the door and tip it over, the assembly is very straightforward. The cool thing about redoing the door panels is how rewarding it looks when they are done. I've had my car for 8 years and never had an interior in it. Now that I'm actually putting upholstery in it, it's unreal how cool the interior on the first gen cars is. PRL

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Thanks Steve. I googled them and saw a couple good shots. Mine is power windows so it's a bit different. I just needed to figure out switch placement and what trim was on these panels. They look pretty basic (no pun) so I think I'll be OK. I ordered the trim pieces from a Riviera dismantler. I hope that with those pieces and new cards I can get them done.

Mike

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