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1974 Jensen Healey MKII (Green)

Door Panel Restoration

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So, if your Jensen Healey's interior is anything like the one in my Blue car, it's probably time to redo the door panels. On my green Jensen Healey the door panels don't exist at all! This article is documenting how to do the door panel restoration including the fabrication of any missing NLA parts.

Unlike me, you probably have an existing door panel. The first step is to remove the panel from the door and bring it into the garage for review. To remove the door panel you need to unscrew the window handle, the door handle, the arm rest, the front and rear stainless on the door. Depending on how your speakers are / are not mounted you will likely have to remove the speaker grille, and speaker as well. Now, to remove the door you need to gently pry loose the bottom of the door panel. There are ancient christmas tree style panel snaps that hold it in place. Most likely, depending on condition, you'll either have the snaps disintegrate or learn that the backing has gotten wet at some point and they pull right through.

For the time being set everything aside but the panel itself. Assuming that the panel assembly is complete, short of the interor skin, new board, and a couple of the soft fittings you should have almost everything you need. To remove the stainless door trim carefully pry up the circular snap clips that are exposed on the back of the door panel. They hook to the plastic stems that hold the stainless in place. Be very careful not to damage or break the plastic bits as they are NLA and I've not been able to find any modern replacements for them.

Next remove the door lock switch, escutcheon and escutcheon retaining plate. The switches are still available at Delta Motorsports, but the escutcheon and it's retaining plate are NLA. If your panel is like my example one, you'll also have a piece of aluminum back there as well. Rescue that unless you want to replace it with a new piece of aluminum.

If you're working on the passenger door, also remove the passenger courtesy light.

Now that you've got the major bits off it should just be the door panel itself. To allow for better visualization of the padding underneath I strongly suggest to carefully peel apart the board and the vinyl cover. You may be a little suprised as you peel everything apart. There's more to the door panel than meets the eye. For starters, the padding actually consists of two pieces. The first is a thin piece that matches the shape of the full door. The second piece provides the bolster shape at the top of the door panel. Additionally, there's another piece of aluminum stashed away at the top of the door panel, and finally a rubber ring at the point of the window handle.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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