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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I opened today my 560SL door panels to grease the lock and window levers. I noticed the wooden door panels from the air duct to backwards are damaged. Cold HVAC air has most propably caused water condensation and the moisture has destroyed the panels during years.

All the door panels in eBay seems to be in this same condition, the lower part from air duct backward are more or less dark, curved and damaged.

- Have you changed these door panels behind the decoration?
- Are these wooden door panels availabe as spare parts?

Thank you all in advance,
 

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I have the same problem, except mine are so bad they are starting to get mould on them. I was just planning to cut some new door cards out of new Masonite and drilling the holes etc... I should have both panels done by the end of the week with new foam behind the door skin and all the fittings back on, I'll put up some pictures when I'm done. One thing I did think might be a good idea was to use hard but flexible plastic sheets, until I realised I have to staple the door skins back on
 

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If your originals have held their full shape, despite the damage, you could use them as a pattern, transfered to paper, then used to cut some light plywood, even treated to prevent damage, all at minimal cost and easy skill set. Just sayin....
 

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I did that 20 years ago. I used 1/8" mahogany door skin plywood. I also used Masonite on various panels such as the trunk. I'd seal that too. The damp side of mine caused them to curl. They held up pretty well all things considered. I would however seal them. Mine show a bit of water damage. And be sure to put the plastic over the steel shell first !
 

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Nice! I'll bet your mahogany door skin plywood together with the techniques you suggest are every bit as good as factory, if not better. It definitely can be done. If you wanna get real fancy, you could get some upgraded materials for the interior, supple leather or whatever....and then you get into other interior details, and you over-restore your benz....sorry, sorry..jst kiddin:eek::eek:
 

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If I did mine own I would use Tempered Masonite which will stay flatter better then Plywood. Back in the day when I worked doing street rods we did all the panels out of aluminum sheet and just glue the edge of the door skin to the backside. But I just had mine redone with new panels and door skins that I bought off ebay that was NOS at an interior shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here are couple pics from inside the 560SL driver door.

I hope these panel fixation pics will help others to open the door panel easily.

ps. I also tested to punch the new panel holes - this far looks good.
 

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I've given that some thought--first I have to figure out what to do with the parts I got from Flip. I do think that modern products would hold up a lot better than the OEM stuff thats basically pressed fiber board.

Flip, how exactly did you make new panels form steel? I mean, what gauge and what glue to bind the skin? Also, why didn't you use steel--added weight?
 

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I made mine from 1/8 plywood. Held up about as well as the fiberboard. I think I am going to use some 16 gauge aluminum that I bought from freight liner. Contact cement like used with Formica will take care of the adhesive. Keep up the pictures and narration!
 

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I've given that some thought--first I have to figure out what to do with the parts I got from Flip. I do think that modern products would hold up a lot better than the OEM stuff thats basically pressed fiber board.

Flip, how exactly did you make new panels form steel? I mean, what gauge and what glue to bind the skin? Also, why didn't you use steel--added weight?
We used aluminum sheet material not steel and used the stock panel as a template for size and hole placement. Use an Automotive type of contact cement not the regular type. Will hold to heat, weather much better. We did this when doing custom street rods because the leather/ fabric panels were so detailed and heavy they required a heavy backer plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi,

the metal panel comments gave me idea use our metal workshop tools to cut out the wooden door panels. I have copied the old panel shape and holes on the new board. I took the scketched panel into our workshop and cut the edge shape with our steel sheet cutter - and it worked perfectly! The cutting edges are straight and sharp, much better than I was never expecting.

Next step is punch the rivet, fixing and handle holes. The copied locations from old wood panel are not the same as the locations in the doors. The wooden door panel has been curved and damaged during the years - the real screw, rivet, hook etc locations shall be checked from the door side fixing points.
 

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Good job ! when you are done, its a good idea to seal both sides and all edges of the plywood with some type of sealer, varnish, paint etc. Mine showed water damage after years on the doors. Still serviceable after 25 years though. I am going to re-make them and do a good job of sealing, plus better rain shield on the door ! Keep up the pics !
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Lesson learnt - first 1:1 copy from my old door panel was not so big success.......it is critical punch the top and bottom fixing holes excatly correct places (horiz/vert/interval). Old door panel is too curved and bended to make accurate marks for the top and bottom fixings.

Top side metal fixing holes can be marked thru the metal frame, please look the pics. The wooden panel is behind the metal fixing while marking the holes.

Lower panel plastic fixing hole row distance from top metal fixing is more challenging - I measured the vertical distance from door side lower plastic fixing hole centers up to top seal fixing brackets. Door jam side vert distance was 480mm and distance in the middle of the door was 470mm. These two measured points gave me the line for the lower fixing holes.

Old panel is good enough mark two middle plastic fixing locations - rest of the lower hole intervals shall be measured from the door.

Top side sealing brackets seems allow some horizontal door panel location tolerance.
 

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Good job recovering from that issue. I think mine were in a little better shape when I replaced them. I don't remember having that problem. Keep after it ! Post the rest of the story !
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Story continues..

All openings shall be done smaller and large up to final size after door side location check. Right angled crossing lines help to drill and punch the fixing holes in line and correct intervals. Old panel helps to check and avoid major mistakes.

Door lock, handle and opening lever shapes can be easily fine tuned when two lower plastic fixings are holding the panel at place.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Door air duct/hook is now located and matched with the door side openings.

Thin parquet varnish will protect the new wood panel against moisture. I used two layers Casco 1602 water based lacquer.

There was all kind of debris inside the door - tiny paint brush with vacuum cleaner will restore the inside corners.

Bad news: My driver side (inside) door opening latch is broken - if anyone has extra inside opening lever I am interested.
 

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