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  #1  
Old May 22nd, 2015, 01:08 PM
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Rear Door Restore

After owning my D110 for about 18 months, I decided it was time to take the rear door card off to evaluate the condition of the rear door. Once I did that, I decided the door could use a complete restore. While rust inside the door was not major, there were 4 other factors that "sealed the deal" so to speak:

1) There was some paint bubbling on the door skin
2) I wanted to install a Mantec Tire Carrier anyways, which meant the removal of the factory tire carrier hardware
3) The PO had installed diamond plating on the lower portion of the door, which I found to be totally un-necessary
4) I want to upgrade the latch that locks the door open, to the newer style pneumatic rear door stay.

My plan is to tear the door completely down, and separate the door skin from the frame, clean everything up and reassemble with new hardware and components where needed.

I am posting this hoping that it will benefit other board members and hope that I will personally learn from others as I undertake this project. I will post pictures as I go along.
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  #2  
Old May 22nd, 2015, 01:27 PM
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Here is the door in it's present state after removing the factory tire carrier and the diamond plate.

The square area had surface rust trapped between the carrier plate and door skin. The pics show my attempt at sanding the rust away. I've decide to have the door skin soda blasted after I separate it from the frame.

The white substance across the bottom of the door is dried glue from the diamond plate, and the holes are from the rivets. Why would someone use glue in addition to 11 rivets is beyond comprehension!
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  #3  
Old May 22nd, 2015, 01:36 PM
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Here are a few pics of the inside behind the door card. It's mostly surface rust and paint bubbling , and the frame looks structurally intact, and it looks like the truck had a respray at some point in it's life.

The washer fluid reservoir is in OK shape. The cost to replace it including the pump is about $135.00 (ouch!), so I will attempt to clean it up and patch a tear and hole I found in it.

The latch/lock mechanism will be upgraded (parts are on order).
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  #4  
Old May 22nd, 2015, 01:41 PM
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Here are additional pics of the hardware and electrical connection points for reference.
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  #5  
Old May 22nd, 2015, 01:54 PM
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I removed the rear glass slowly. It took some patience and careful prying as it doesn't have an actual rubber gasket you can just remove. It was held on the inside of the door by 6 aluminum "angle" brackets and sheet metal screws, and those came off easily.

The other side of the glass is held to the door frame by some black silicon/rubber compound, which was completely dry and broke apart during removal. Not sure why Land Rover did not use a rubber surround as on the rest of the truck.

My plan is to put it back using a clear waterproof silicon material, and recommendations as to a specific compound (3M or otherwise) would be greatly appreciated.
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  #6  
Old May 23rd, 2015, 05:22 PM
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I've done a couple frame off rover rebuilds (not "restorations") and paints and am in the middle of another right now.

Make friends with your local auto finish store clerks. Redline/Napa auto finish etc. They can get you the right adhesives and acids to clean that up.

I wouldn't try to peel the skin off unless you were an expert in auto body. If you have and can use AC tig welder, then you're probably most of the way there. You'll never get it flat (even rover flat) again.

Blast the steel or wire wheel and acid clean it. The acid cleaning really gets into the cracks. Dupont makes some great acids that eat rust and leave zinc. Ospho is "ok" but not the same as the stuff you get (nor anywhere near the price) of the stuff you get at an auto finish store. I ospho'd my bulkhead where the paint was wearing through before winter. It isn't powdery in the least to this day .. some 10 months later, through a winter.
Anyway. Don't go crazy. Its just a rover. that same door has been in use for 50 years or something... they're a dime a dozen and you can't make anything last forever. Diminishing returns comes rapidly on something like that. Its a rover... not a ferrari. It has no intrinsic value.


Silicone adhesive (like your automotive goop) can be acidic. Not only can they soften the paint and allow moisture in, they can just fail. Its important to have the right adhesive.... auto body finish store can help. Many cars are glued together now with adhesives stronger and more flexible than welding. The 1990s-2010s is the age of adhesives. Its pretty awesome. Aside... I actually glued in the full floor pans in a VW beetle convertible last time I did one of those. Incredible. Glued em in, pop riveted the corners to ensure it was in there.. next day I take off the braces and the thing sat square.. doors opened and closed and everything.
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  #7  
Old May 23rd, 2015, 08:14 PM
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Thank you Ben for the reply.

I certainly am not an auto body expert, nor have I welded anything worth a lick before. Luckily my door doesn't need any welding, and you're absolutely right, it's only a Rover. I suppose I used the wrong term when I said restore, when I meant rebuild, but since I'm there, I want to do it right.

Now in order to do that, I will have to separate the door skin from the frame, but I'm a little confused now since I'm getting conflicting information on the level of difficulty that this will require. A couple of people have suggested that it's a straight forward simple job, while you seem to think it requires the expertise of a body man. So which is it?

Now, once the skin is separated from the frame, my plan is to send all the parts out to be treated and refinished. The skin will get soda blasted, and the frame will get sand blasted then galvanized, then both will get painted by a paint shop.

Question regarding the aluminum skin: Can a good body shop weld the holes left behind by the rivets, or will the aluminum warp?
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  #8  
Old May 23rd, 2015, 08:50 PM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by samer0214 View Post
Thank you Ben for the reply.

I certainly am not an auto body expert, nor have I welded anything worth a lick before. Luckily my door doesn't need any welding, and you're absolutely right, it's only a Rover. I suppose I used the wrong term when I said restore, when I meant rebuild, but since I'm there, I want to do it right.
Well.. there is no "right" there is what you want when you're done. Sounds like you're entering into the territory of paying for a new door. Which, if you're removing the skin... I think they sell those skins. for like 40 bucks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by samer0214 View Post
Now in order to do that, I will have to separate the door skin from the frame, but I'm a little confused now since I'm getting conflicting information on the level of difficulty that this will require. A couple of people have suggested that it's a straight forward simple job, while you seem to think it requires the expertise of a body man. So which is it?
It is simple ish. It depends on what you want for your finished product. Let me run out to the shed and check what the door skin looks like...
Yup.. just a regular skin...
It IS of course doable. I need to do more work than you on my door, I will NOT be removing the skin to do it. I have done plenty of body work and have a garage full of body equipment. removing that skin is something I wouldn't want to try. I could PROBABLY get it done, but man. Its iffy. Getting it back on, glued in place and pounded flat. What process are you thinking of using? When I've removed skins, I've just ground the edge off and replaced with a pre formed skin.
Quote:
Originally Posted by samer0214 View Post
Now, once the skin is separated from the frame, my plan is to send all the parts out to be treated and refinished. The skin will get soda blasted, and the frame will get sand blasted then galvanized, then both will get painted by a paint shop.
Galvanizing the frame... nice thought.. but really.. you're getting into new door territory. I've seen them door and frame, from "factory", no hardware for a couple hundred bucks when someone fails to finish a project. I bought mine for $50 with all the hinges glass and latch... and its just a bit rusty at the bottom of the frame from collecting water. An easy fix. A brand new door is about 300 dollars, figure 400 after freight and 500-600 after paint. A used door in good condition.. probably half that all said and done. Series 2 on up all work. Depending on what accessories you have in the door etc. This one may not be shippable.. but just for an example. Just talking about those diminishing returns. But.. Nothing can beat the knowledge you gain from doing it yourself. But.. they've made like ... a billion of these things.. actually.. I guess only like .5 million. But still. the other million + series 2 and 3 doors fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samer0214 View Post
Question regarding the aluminum skin: Can a good body shop weld the holes left behind by the rivets, or will the aluminum warp?
Yes. All welding produced warping on sheet metal. Even with heat sinks. Thats what shrinking is for. Aluminum is different to work with than steel. It doesn't seem to, and I'm not trained in aluminum, nor am I a metallurgist, want to shrink with heat and cold. With steel, once you've welded too much on it and warped it, you can heat it with a torch and throw cold water on it and it will shrink. Or use a shrinking disk and cold water. Aluminum does this too, but doesn't seem to do it with the same effect as steel. I haven't tried a shrinking hammer. My rover isn't destined to be straight and my last couple were darn straight. No need for hammering. Flat panels will always show ripples and bumps. I find it best not to mess with them too much. A little hammer and slapper on door dings and I leave it.

Plenty of shops probably can weld aluminum (birmabright I don't know if it welds with aluminum filler easily), but all the auto body guys I've talked to don't even have AC welders. It adds about $1000 to a shop welder and rarely ever gets used. A boat shop could do it, but could they take out the warping? You know who knows all about these things? USPS truck maintainers. Those are aluminum under powered little boxes. Much like your land rover in most respects. They taught me how to paint aluminum. I used to talk to one guy used to hang out in the auto paint forum on The Samba. He knew everything about painting aluminum.
The couple guys I have talked to that DO do aluminum welding are in the race car/exotic market and their hourly rate... phew! But man, it would be perfect after done. personally, when I find a rivet hole in my rover, I just put a short rivet in it with a rivet backer. Never know when you want that hole back.
Pick up one of these things and paint it yourself. Nothing like that feeling. They do a great job and rover paint of that era isn't particularly special.


I do go on don't I.
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  #9  
Old June 14th, 2015, 09:56 PM
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Finally had some time to attend to the rear door. I took the door apart yesterday and separated the skin from the frame, in order to get it all media blasted.

As per the recommendations, the aluminum parts will get soda blasted, and the steel frame will get sand blasted.
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  #10  
Old June 14th, 2015, 10:01 PM
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I used a door panel removal tool to push back the folds of the skin. The hardest part was separating the top piece around the glass window, but the rest of the pieces that make up the complete skin were very easy to remove.

There was glue between the skins and the door frame, but that also came apart easily.
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  #11  
Old June 25th, 2015, 11:03 AM
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The frame and skin came back from media blasting yesterday with good news and bad.

The good news is that the steel frame was in good condition, save for a couple of small areas that need cutting out and welding.

The bad news is that the aluminum skins were rotted beyond repair and need to be replaced. The lower skin has bondo and glue which soda blasting could not remove, without creating further damage, and the upper smaller parts also had bondo, that when removed uncovered what could be best described as Swiss Cheese!

I an now searching for a complete new door skin.
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  #12  
Old June 25th, 2015, 06:56 PM
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Safari Rear Door - Unglazed - Land Rover Defender | eBay
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Safari-Rea...72089816&rt=nc

probably into it too much to just start again now...
skins are like 30 bucks plus shipping
http://www.sp-4x4.com/DA2024_LAND_RO...N_p/da2024.htm
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  #13  
Old June 25th, 2015, 07:11 PM
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get the skins from SP or roll your own. They're incredibly simple pieces of aluminum and superbly easy to replace.
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  #14  
Old June 25th, 2015, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefenderMd View Post

Yep, already ordered the complete set (4 pieces) from SP 4x4. Thanks for the tip. I would have ordered the complete door, but my frame was in good shape.

------ Follow up post added June 25th, 2015 04:35 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
get the skins from SP or roll your own. They're incredibly simple pieces of aluminum and superbly easy to replace.

I actually considered that, except that rolling the opening for the handle was going to be an issue. It requires stamping to come out right as the aluminum needs to stretch. Sadly I'm not that skilled at metal forming!
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  #15  
Old June 25th, 2015, 08:10 PM
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I ordered a complete door from SP for $360 shipped...got a few other items including fresh glass and the swing arm tire carrier...
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  #16  
Old June 29th, 2015, 06:26 PM
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Steel frame primered and painted on both sides, then finished with 2 coats of clear coat.
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  #17  
Old June 29th, 2015, 06:35 PM
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Instead of putting a rubber/mastic type of buffer between the steel frame and aluminum skins, I decided to use cork. As most of you know, a buffer/insulator is needed because of the two dissimilar metals.

I had a roll of 1/16" cork laying around (bought at Office Depot), so I cut it up and used contact adhesive to mount it. The adhesive is the 3M General Purpose 45, which lays down as a thin coat/mist, as opposed to the 3M Super 77.

One advantage of the cork over the mastic is that it will also help quiet the door down. Once I receive the door skins and install them, I will also install a Dynamat type of insulator on the inside surface of the skins.

I've also decided not to re-install the rear wiper washer, as they are rarely needed here in SoCal.

Here are some pics of the frame and cork.
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  #18  
Old June 29th, 2015, 07:51 PM
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I would think that the cork is going to start breaking down a whole lot faster then mastic or similiar material. Most of the vibrational noise I believe comes from the front/middle doors, roof, bulkhead.
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  #19  
Old June 29th, 2015, 11:08 PM
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Hoping that the glue and the fact that the cork will be tightly sandwiched between the skin and frame, will maintain the integrity. I will be happy if the door lasts me 3 years, as I am planning on a full restore of the truck then.
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  #20  
Old June 30th, 2015, 08:15 AM
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Would you be able to measure the distance the hole for the wiper spindle on your rear door? And the diameter of the hole? I bought a rear door window wiper from a member years ago that ive wanted to install on my S3, lol.
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