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Ripped Off Driver-side Door Panel '03 Silverado Ext. Cab

Guess I don't know my own strength....

Ripped Off Driver-side Door Panel '03 Silverado Ext. Cab

Postby rsollman [OP] » Dec 19 2012, 4:14pm

Hello All
So I had a classic 'Picard' Facepalm moment the other day. On my way to work I guess I didn't shut my door well enough. While I was going down the road I could hear the air whistling past the seal and everything.
Well when I reached the stop sign I tried to open my door so I could shut it better, but my door wouldn't open. I tried locking/unlocking it but still when I pulled on the handle it would not open. Well I'm a fairly lazy guy and I really didn't feel like climbing over everything and getting out through the passenger door so I figured I could just grab the interior handle and pull the door the rest of the way shut.... This is where my problem occurred. Once I grabbed onto the door handle not the actual unlock lever but the molded handle on the door panel and gave it a good yank the whole damn thing ripped off. The control panel for my power windows/locks broke loose, I ripped some vinyl on the panel, and I think I snapped a plastic snap between the handle and power control panel. You can see all this in the image attached I also noticed that there appeared to be some glue/epoxy residue where the control panel fit into the door, is this factory or do you think someone made a temp fix by gluing it together before?

I've tried different GM door panel plugs but all of the cardboard that they go into has ripped out. I'm referring to the screw/plug that is right below/behind the door handle molded into the panel The next thing I plan on doing to resolve this is remove the door panel and using some thin sheet metal and tac'd on nut so that I have some backing to thread into and tighten everything back up.

My Main Questions Are...
1. Has anyone else had this happen before? Or had to deal with the cardboard backing ripping out around the door screws/plugs?
2. How hard is this panel going to be to remove? I've taken off panels in a VW Bug and a Durango without any trouble. I'm not to worried about the process, but any tips would be appreciated.
3. What about this plastic snap that seems to have broken that linked between the handle and the power controls panel? I'll be able to provide a better pic if necessary once I get the door panel off. Is this important, and if not, do I need to replace it?

In Conclusion
I did end up crawling over my bench seat and getting out of the passenger side. The exterior handle on the driver side wouldn't open the door either when I tried. So I ended up throwing my shoulder into the door really hard and that seems to have re-engaged the mechanism enough that I was able to open the door. I'm lucky I didn't flip the whole damn truck over when I shouldered the driver side after ripping off the door panel... haha Since the accident I haven't had any trouble shutting/opening/locking the door, all of the snaps popped right back in to hold the panel on except the center one behind the handle, and now I just have to be careful when using the handle to close it.
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Silverado LS 1500 Z71 4.8L V8, 3" Dual Exhaust, 4" Lift, Goodrich LT305/70R16 T/A's, ICA Wheel-to-Wheel Nerf Bars, Blue LED Underbody Kit, DuraLiner Bed Liner
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Re: Ripped Off Driver-side Door Panel '03 Silverado Ext. Cab

Postby ThetaTauManOB163 » Dec 21 2012, 4:24pm

I'm laughing, only because the same thing happend to me the other day. Only I was on the outside of my truck. I didn't shut it all the way and it froze one cold night. The only problem is after I put my shoulder into it and then pulled the handle it ripped off in my hand. :roll:

Image

I haven't fixed mine yet, just got a new handle from the JY the other day. But in my search I found this video helpful on how to remove the panel.



Good luck....I'm right there with you
Rob,

GM Truck Engineering

Views and opinions expressed are my own and do not represent General Motors.
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Re: Ripped Off Driver-side Door Panel '03 Silverado Ext. Cab

Postby raider27 » Jan 07 2013, 2:58pm

Rsollman, that happened to my truck but on the passenger side. I had it at the dealership for other things and asked the guy to take a look at it because I thought it might be an easy fix. He told me that the way the clip holds that switch piece on that they would basically have to replace the door panel to do it right, so he offered to epoxy the switch panel to the door panel for free. I asked if he epoxied it, would it be harder to take the door panel off in the future? and he said it wouldn't. Good luck!
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Re: Ripped Off Driver-side Door Panel '03 Silverado Ext. Cab

Postby Badboy » Jan 07 2013, 3:08pm

Too funny, hope you get it fixed.
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Re: Ripped Off Driver-side Door Panel '03 Silverado Ext. Cab

Postby huddleston » Jan 07 2013, 5:34pm

you beast!! good luck getting it fixed.
2012 Silverado 1500 Z71 LTZ - Graystone Metallic/Ebony
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Re: Ripped Off Driver-side Door Panel '03 Silverado Ext. Cab

Postby rsollman [OP] » Jan 08 2013, 3:42pm

Alright. So a little update for everyone. I took the door panel off last night and confronted the damage....what I found was a little confusing but I have a plan for moving on now at least.

ThetaTauManOB163, a little warning about the video you posted there. It says that the control panel should just pop right out with a little prying from a flathead.... well I guess on some models there is a screw holding that console in and not a quick release clip. If you start to struggle getting that clip to break loose you may want to try slipping it out towards the handle instead of popping it up vertically. That is what I ended up doing and it still ripped a little bit of the molding out that was under the screw washer. SO, what was holding in my power controls was a quick release clip down by the door handle, and then a screw w/ washer up by the side-mirror controls. There is also a 7mm screw on the bottom/underside of the door panel that I didn't see them mention in the video either. I ended up YouTube'n a different video that showed that bottom screw

raider27 -- I'll try to get a better picture for everyone tonight. For now, the main clip holding in the power controls down by the handle is still intact on the power control box, but it has physically broken the plastic mounting slot on the door panel. I have some thin sheet metal that I cut into what I think it would have looked like and am trying to epoxy it onto the door panel. This would create a homemade mounting slot for the clip to slip into instead of epoxying the whole thing to the door. If that shade-tree-mechanictry doesn't work though I will end up epoxying the whole thing into the panel.

Now, on to the damage I found once I removed the door panel. I'm going to address each numbered item from my attached photo here....
1. After the incident I noticed my power-doors were getting hung-up now and then. That's because the manual lock/unlock had popped loose of it's plastic slots... that was an easy fix.
2. This is where the trouble begins. From the video ThetaTauMan provided there should be a bolt/screw that attaches to the door panel at the bottom of the arrows. It looks like someone has had this door apart before because there were scratches and cuts made to the sheet metal around where this supposed screw would be. I believe the mounting insert from the top of the arrows would work to correct this missing screw and should add a lot of support to the door panel once it is fixed. Napa or AutoZone should carry stuff like this so hopefully I'll pick one up tonight.
3. This is the mounting point for the main door panel screw that I ripped out. It is a 7mm bolt that is about 2.5" long. I found the bolt down in the bottom of the door panel and was able to thread it in without any problems. I was a little surprised to find that the mounting point on the door hadn't been stripped out in the incident. I'm just going to assume these were made with enough give that the bolt pulled out instead of destroying the mounting-nut.

So next update will be when I find a mounting point to replace the one that seems to be missing. As well as remounting the door panel and the epoxy results.
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All Finished and Fixed

Postby rsollman [OP] » Jan 14 2013, 11:50pm

Welcome back for another installment of "Why the hell did you rip your door panel off?" Today I'm going to post the last bit of this series and run you through the fix-it process for everything.

The Fix
If you look at my previous post I had an image that showed where the original bolt attached and then a chewed up hole where I thought the other mount was supposed to be. Apparently I was wrong and there never was any sort of bolt clip there and someone had just been playing around at some point. What I ended up doing was adding a completely new bolt onto my panel. So now I have 2 bolts and 1 screw right around the molded door handle that attach directly to the sheet metal. Handle is very solid. The bolt I added IS on certain models of the Silverado/Sierra, but they differentiate for some reason. If you look at the video posted in this topic they show removing a factory mounted bolt in the exact location that I'm adding this one.

I didn't take many photos after the addition of the new bolt because it's all very simple. Just reverse the steps you did to remove everything! For the final touch-ups I went with a vinyl-crack silicon to seal my power-control module back into place and fix where I ripped the vinyl and I added a large washer to the bolt that goes directly behind/below the molded door handle. I also added some silicon to the threads so they would stay tight for miles to come. All of the bolts/screws holding the door panel on fit a 7mm head... metric... pssh... probably why it ripped out.

The Pics
1. Here is a before and after of where I added the clip onto the door. I couldn't find any pop-in clips only thing AutoZone, Napa, Advanced, and O'Reillys carried where the slide-over clips and everyone I talked to said I'd have to go to a scrap yard or pay a ton at the dealership. I went with a #8 size clip because it was long enough to slide over the hole without having to cut out a bunch of sheet metal on the door. You can see in the before photo where I did cut up into the metal so that when the clip was on, the bolt would pass as close through the center as possible.
2. Here is a shot of the clips I used. I'm sure you could pick these up at most auto/hardware stores and a variety of sizes.
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