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-   -   Door Panel Leather Sagging - **FIX** (

0NF1R 08-09-2009 08:19 PM

Door Panel Leather Sagging - **FIX**
Okay guys, ive been posting all over these forums about the deal with my door panel leather coming off and from the feedback ive received, there are a lot more out there that are or were in my position and im sure there will be more in my position in the future as this is a continuing issue...

today, i took the challenge to fix it myself and i say "challenge" because im not very mechanically inclined...throughout the process, i took pics to help make this process a bit easier for the next guy to go down this road...

here were the panels before i started...

I went to Wal-Mart and bought a few supplies that i thought i would need. The supplies are as follows:

1 can of Contact Cement $5
1 wrag or tarry cloth
1 flathead screwdriver
1 pack of 3 Poly Brushes (from crafts section) $3
1 roll of masking tape $3


Go ahead and finish separating the leather from the door the rest of the way until you get down to the armrest.


You will immediately notice the padding that rests behind the leather. Once upon a time, this leather was glued to the back of the leather, but it has since deteriorated from heat and expansion/contraction of the leather and eventually comes apart from the leather backing...You can take a finger and rub the padding and it will just roll under your fingertip and come right off like crumbs...The next step is to use your hand with some slight pressure and finish rolling off all of the desintigrated padding that is on the panel...Once you are done, there should be nothing but a carpet type of material left...


Apply the Contact Cement religiously to both the leather backing and the door panel area and let dry for 15 min. Apply one more light layer of Contact Cement to both areas and let dry for 15 min. I suggest 2 layers because the material will absorb some of the cement. I went ahead and taped off the door panel to protect it from the cement prior to application.


Once youve allowed plenty of time for the cement to dry, use a small towel or wrag in hand to start pressing the leather back onto the door panel beginning at the bottom in the middle and gradually working your way towards the top as well as to the sides. The edge of the leather is easy to put back in its original position because it retains its shape (curved edge) even after its removed from the panel. When pressing the leather back on, the leather edge just falls back into place.

Once all of this is completed, you have yourself a repaired door panel!

You just repeat the process for the other door and then your done!

All in all it took about 2 hours to complete but thats with taking my sweet'ole time and taking breaks from this Florida heat like every 15 minutes...Im very happy with how it came out and i hope this helps you guys...


pascal 08-09-2009 08:34 PM

A DIY can go a long way... ;)

07BLACKGT 08-10-2009 01:56 AM

Nice! I'll be sure to remember this when/if mine start to sag. One thing I've noticed in common with the people having this problem... they're all from either Florida or Texas... ugh the things heat can destroy.

Shadow7874 08-10-2009 03:14 AM

That dap weldwood cement is some serious stuff! Alot of stand up jet ski riders (including myself) use it to attach our padding/grips and if applied right its a total PITA to get it off. Most things you glue on will break before the cement does. You shouldnt have to worry about the sagging problem again as long as the cement is dry before you press it down.

Nuke 08-10-2009 11:23 AM

Excellent post. Although my Stang is currently garage kept, I'll file this away mentally if I ever need it. I'll also inform my son since his Saturn has the same issue.

Boozshey 08-11-2009 05:40 PM

sorry for the ignorance. How does the cement work? You apply it and let it dry completely? or just till it gets tacky?

pascal 08-11-2009 05:52 PM


Originally Posted by Boozshey (Post 6412016)
sorry for the ignorance. How does the cement work? You apply it and let it dry completely? or just till it gets tacky?

Till it gets tacky, which isn't more than 30 seconds.
Unless you lay it on too thick, then you have a mess.

0NF1R 08-11-2009 07:58 PM


Originally Posted by Boozshey (Post 6412016)
sorry for the ignorance. How does the cement work? You apply it and let it dry completely? or just till it gets tacky?

Here is the info directly from the back of the can in the APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS section:

(after applying the cement to both of the surfaces soon to be glued to one another)

#5 in the intructions states:
"Allow both surfaces to dry 15-20 minutes (dependent on temperature and humidity). Dry contact cement will feel tacky and appear glossy. If surfaces are not assembled within 2 hours, adhesive can be reactivated by applying an additional coat of Original Contact Cement."

you allow the surfaces to dry for 15-20 minutes then press them together

warnen 08-11-2009 08:20 PM

Good read, just noticed a small bubble (3inch or so) on my pass side door close to the arm rest. Not going to fix it unless it starts peeling around the edges but I'm glad you guys showed me how.

D'prived 08-11-2009 08:32 PM

Nice DIY... way to go. Thanks for the info.

Ron R. 08-12-2009 08:25 PM

ONF1R- thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!! The dealership wanted $800 a of my door panels was hanging over the armrest and the other was bubbling. The dealer knocked off 50% so the whole deal was going to be $800.

I sent my 17 y/o daughter to Home Depot to get the glue, painters tape and brushes. I printed your step-by-step instrutions. I only wanted her to scrap off the foam so I could glue the leatherette back.

When I got home from work, both doors were done. And she did an awesome job. I was very proud of her and I think she was pretty proud of herself as well.

You saved me $250. A local upholstery shop wanted $125 per door and I was just about to take my wife's convertible to them this week.

Thanks again for helping me out with the diy instructions and pics!!!

Boozshey 08-12-2009 09:23 PM

Sounds like your daughter will make a fine wife someday... :)

Chris07GT 08-12-2009 09:32 PM

Good job Mike!

0NF1R 08-12-2009 09:35 PM

Most of the time we demand a lot from these beasts and it seems sometimes they will demand some glad some are using this post to their advantage and it will save us hundereds in the long run...



Fort LiquordaleGT 09-04-2009 02:20 PM

Was pointed to this thread from the main board... Mine is coming off as well but the seems are standing strong but the middle is bubbling.. This happened in my Taurus as well and I used spray glue for that one, but I think the CC is the way to go like you used...

I don't blame the heat, I blame Ford....

eastcoastoutlaw 09-08-2009 08:53 AM

Nice DIY

digitalcos 09-11-2009 12:26 AM

Ya know, with a lot of these DIY projects, it's not even so much knowing exactly what to do, they're often not all that complicated. It's just having the balls to be the first guy to put your @ss on the line and try it yourself so we can all go "Well, that guy did it!" And, I gotta say, this DIY took some brass ones. Seriously, good job. I've got some bubbling that I'm sure I'll have to address some day, and now I'll know I can handle it myself. Very cool.

Fort LiquordaleGT 01-04-2010 11:29 AM

Any updates on this fix is it holding strong, I'm going to tackle mine this week, it's pretty much completely off and hitting my arm when I drive..

ShaneM 01-04-2010 03:43 PM


Originally Posted by Fort LiquordaleGT (Post 6729449)
Any updates on this fix is it holding strong, I'm going to tackle mine this week, it's pretty much completely off and hitting my arm when I drive..

It didn't work for my Texas car, it fell off again about a month after I did the fix. then it started to peel away again after the second fix too. Followed the instructions here to the "T" and used the same products. Not sure why it didn't work for me other than the Texas humidity. I am to the point where I am ready to just drop $800 on a new door panel, it drives me crazy to see the leather hanging off the door.

pascal 01-04-2010 04:13 PM

I wonder if ONF1R are holding up as well...:(
He doesn't post much anymore...

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