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1970 Opel Gt - Purchased July 1972 - Chartreuse - restored - 3000 miles as of 02-16, 2021 -
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If, like me, you wake up one day and realize that you need to replace the Felt Weather Strip part #1043 and still have door panels that are in good condition, but the vinyl above the chrome strip has faded from sun exposure and has lost that new shine and the foam under it has pretty much disintegrated you may be interested in saving a little money by doing this project yourself, that is time permitting and depending on the level of restoration you are pursuing. For me that target continues to change as I have said before the more I do, the more I want to do. I think is a common curse. I have read some bits and pieces here and there but nothing under the title of replacing the Felt Weather Strips and the upper vinyl mentioned, then this is the perfect time to accomplish both of these task at the same time. Like a lot of people I have purchase vinyl and recovered the front driver and passenger kick panels, the rear quarter panels behind the seats, the rear window panel and my wife sewed the emergency brake cover and the wheel covers behind the rear quarter panels. I took the seats to a reupholster company and had them repace everything except the middle part of the seat that matches the doors and the zippered panel on the back of the seat, to keep it looking original. As I continue to learn new things I thought I would pass along a few tips on my latest project that I am just starting today. Not much to report yet except, the first thing I learned today, when purchasing the vinyl - the lady asked what I was using the vinyl for and I explained where it was going to be used - well I had picked out two rolls of vinyl to compare on the table under better lighting for both sheen and grain and she informed me one was for marine applications and had properties that protected it from the sun - I fell right into that one and it was the better match - besides the dash and the rear panel this area, and your arm, get more direct sun than any other vinyl on the car so the choice was simple and the color and sheen were comparable. The grain is not that similar however considering that it separated by the chrome strip I don't think it will be that noticeable, how many people look that close anyway. If I don't like the difference then I can always cut out the large panel that matches the seat and recover the whole door with this vinyl and then attach the cut out on top of it. I believe that can be done without being noticeable. The vinyl is from JOANN Fabrics and is Spra Black Marine Vinyl 4000035263164 - in this area my only choices for vinyl fabric was Hobby Lobby and JOANN Fabrics and Walmart - unfortunately as with so many things WM does pay attention to detail, it is just not part of their vocabulary and the way they store their vinyl fabric leads to dents, scratches and wrinkles and unusable product. I will follow up with progress, problems, successes, and pictures. I plan to begin the process tomorrow and there is no rush, I will be taking my time and enjoying this as I know I may never pass this way again.........................

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I am also going to replace the door latch pictured below - just because it no longer looks like chrome - a lot of use in my younger years.
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Picture of the Felt Weather Strip that really has not felt whatsoever left on it. I replaced the opposing rubber window scrapers 3000 miles ago so between the two this area should be in good shape.
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More to come.......................
 

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1970 Opel Gt - Purchased July 1972 - Chartreuse - restored - 3000 miles as of 02-16, 2021 -
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Started the project today and think the best way to go through this is bullet points
  • My Felt Weather Strip had 0, that is NO felt whatsoever so replacing them will be a big improvement helping to keep water and debris out of the door and at 15 dollars per door a good investment
  • After removing the door panel the next step is to remove the Felt Weather Strip which is held on by small clips I removed 14 clips and set aside in a plastic bag
  • To remove the clips use a very small screw driver that you can push in from both ends as illustrated in the picture below - then just work them up and down until they are removed - take note of the position of the clip as there is a back and front or upside and down side and they should be reinstalled in the same direction as removed - re-installation appears to be an easy job
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  • If you are going to replace the upper vinyl above the chrome strip then you will want to do the following:
The part above the chrome strip is made of metal and is held in place with very strong staples that are not easy to bend, the staples are made of a metal that is like that of a spring, not easily bent - I began the process by taking a pair of wire cutters and trying to bend the staples up to a more straight position, not easy and not possible to grab all of them, however generally one side of the staple was accessible and this step reduced the possibility of damage to the paper board door panel
  • The next step is to take a small to medium flat head screw driver and begin to pry the staple up - start with a small screw driver and work up to a larger screw driver to prevent the possibility of bending the metal - you can then use pliers for the final pull again in an effort to not bend or damage the metal part, these are the five tools that I used to complete this part of the project
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Now that the Felt Weather Strip has been removed and the staples removed the two pieces come apart

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More Tomorrow
 

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1970 Opel Gt - Purchased July 1972 - Chartreuse - restored - 3000 miles as of 02-16, 2021 -
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Part 2 - How to install the new Felt Weather Strips

  • Measure your new felt weather strips beside of your old ones to be sure they are the correct length and adjust if needed - easier to cut unattached
  • Remember that the clips holding the felt weather strips in place have a top and bottom
  • You will note that the top of the felt weather strip clips have two small teeth that serve to hold them really tightly in place , however in addition to being longer the new felt weather strips are also thicker, so it is almost impossible to get the clips back on without damaging the new felt weather strips
  • I discovered that you can very easily break off, not cut off, the two teeth, using a pair of wire cutters, and the clips are then much easier to slip on and still lock into place and produce a solid hold - see picture below
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New Felt Weather Strip compared to the new Strip - there is a considerable difference will advise regarding fit when I install the door panel tomorrow - looks like it will be a pretty snug fit
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  • To properly space the clips I laid out the old strip below the new strip as a template for installing the clips
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Finished product -
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Regarding the upholstery based on this experience see my notes below:
  • I used 1 inch foam from Hobby Lobby which in my opinion is too thick and was difficult to work with and you will notice in my second picture that the vinyl attachment on the back of the panel is rather sloppy and that is the reason as I still used an exact duplicate of the original covering so stretching it over the foam to fit was not easy - I would recommend using 1/2 inch foam - none available in Mount Pleasant or the fabric store in Charleston so I used the 1 inch. Will wait until I can order the 1/2 inch prior to starting on the other door
  • I used a spray on glue to hold on the foam in place and Weldwood Contact Cement to attach the vinyl - that stuff works great - just brush it on both the metal edge and the edge of the back of the vinyl and wait around 12 to 15 minutes and it grabs and holds - no slipping and no letting go
The sheen of the new vinyl was right on but the grain is different however considering how much better the new panel looks compared to the old faded one - big improvement
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You will note in the picture above that the chrome strip is no longer chrome - I have roll of new stick on chrome trim that is a fraction wider that I will cover this - you will never notice it as I had done that before - I am afraid to try and remove the current strip and just replace it as I think it may damage the vinyl and I do not intend to replace the lower door panels
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Final Results:
  • Everything fit back together nicely and it was a real nail biter for the two screws just above the new chrome strip but lined right up
  • I also installed the new door pull latch and finally found a part that was actually easy to change out on a GT - 2 screws out with the old in with the new
  • The new Felt Weather Strip actually fit better than the original - between that and the new scraper on the other side - very nice
  • As I recently did on the passenger side I used Velcro to attach the panel - works like a charm - one inch squares 3 on each side and 4 across the bottom - one more door to go

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1970 Opel Gt - Purchased July 1972 - Chartreuse - restored - 3000 miles as of 02-16, 2021 -
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thought I was finished with this project but I decided to add some protection to the inside of the door panel - I used peel and seal window flashing, purchased at Lowe's - a 6 inch wide roll by 25 feet costs just under $19.00- this is not only water proof but will also add some sound deadening to the doors as well and hopefully give them a more solid sound when closing. You will note that I also filled in the three cutouts and I triple layered those and think I will go back and add a second layer to the door pane. The addition of the peel and seal to the door panel also added to its rigidity. The other black material on the doors was my first attempt at adding some sound proofing and is the Eastwood sound deadening panels that I cut to fill in areas. I thought about covering the entire door but wanted to keep the three access points easily available if the need should arise.

panel
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