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Old 08-23-2012, 07:56 PM
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Door panels cracking at the front area by door window

This topic has been discussed in the past, but from what I recall no fix or cause of failure was noted.
This is the crack that is at the front top of the door panel. It starts from the window area horizontally and works it's way down vertically causing a 1 to 3 inch crack. I pulled my panels off and had some of the interior repair men that sublet these type of repairs for the jeep dealers look at the cracks. They all told me that there is no permanent fix so don't waste your money.
My neighbors Brother is a failure analysis engineer for the Jeep Division and has worked for them for many years on the TJ models. My neighbor called him in the evening and I was able to discuss the crack issue and we talked about the cause of the failure. The reason that only some of us have the crack issue is because some of the door frames were bent in to much at the top were the panels slip over the top door frame to go in place. He said to take a straight edge and bend the door frame to were it is straight so that it pulls even on the panel when installed. I did this to mine and noted a quit a difference in the straightness of the edge.
Next where to find replacement panels, well I called every salvage yard across the country and to no avail. I then priced them at the Dealer $299.00 each plus tax in Phoenix they would have cost me $660.00 terrible. I purchased them from moparonline.com for $205.00 each plus freight and no tax. I am happy that I have corrected the cause of failure and the new panels without the cracks look great. This is being sent to all of you members as a FYI
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:47 PM   #2
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Interesting, mine is cracked also and I wanted to get a new panel but never did because I thought it would crack again. I assume its the top edge of the door frame where the panel attaches that is bent? How did you bend it straight?

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Old 08-23-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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That crack doesn't bother me one bit. I couldn't imagine dropping over 4 bills for new panels either
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayman375 View Post
Interesting, mine is cracked also and I wanted to get a new panel but never did because I thought it would crack again. I assume its the top edge of the door frame where the panel attaches that is bent? How did you bend it straight?
I used a pair of pliers and squeezed the panel to the straight edge. The panel bends pretty easy and yes it is the top edge of the door frame. Mine cracked exactly at the area where the panel edge was bent in the most. I am now confident that it woun't happen again, or I would not have invested that kind of money in trim panels.
I suggest that you pull your panel off and take a look and you will see the cause of the failure. Pulling the panels off was very easy except getting the window handle off. I made a tool from a coat hanger to pull the spring loaded clip loose. Everything else was easy 5 screws and pop the plastic retainer clips lose and it lifts off.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:53 PM   #5
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Funny that - I test drove 3 TJ's, and bought a '03 X. All had cracked door panels. I thought it was weird - now I know!
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:31 PM   #6
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Mine is cracked. One of the things that bugs me, but after hearing the cost of the panels I think I just got over it haha

Thanks for the info though!
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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It sounds like you're talking about this crack...




I have a matching set of these, one on each door. Is this the issue you're talking about, Old Dogger?
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulf001
It sounds like you're talking about this crack...

I have a matching set of these, one on each door. Is this the issue you're talking about, Old Dogger?
Mine too both doors 06 lj
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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I'm probably about to jinx myself, but I only have it on the driver's side. I don't open and close the passenger side much
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:35 PM   #10
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Junk yard.. Door panels for $4 no joke. Then pain it to match. Easier than it sounds
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulf001 View Post
It sounds like you're talking about this crack...




I have a matching set of these, one on each door. Is this the issue you're talking about, Old Dogger?
Yes, that is the typical crack in the door panel, of which there is no long term fix/repair available, except live with it, or replace them with new. Good luck in finding any non-cracked used ones!
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:57 PM   #12
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:05 PM   #13
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I know everyone is familiar with the fix to prevent your door panels from cracking, but apparently many of you dont know that if they are cracked there is still hope for them.

First off a brief explanation of the original fix....on the door panels the top felt is rigid and is stapled hard to the plastic. The metal doesnt allow the door panel to flex as it heats and cools and causes it to stress and crack at a week point on the panel. The fix to this is to take the large staples out of the strip and replace them with smaller ones so the panel can flex...very simple. But if your panel has more than just "pre-crack" stress marks that wont fix the crack. Here is a cheap and easy way of fixing it. I have done MANY MANY MANY this way and it always works great...and costs less than $1.
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:12 PM   #14
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Old 11-23-2015, 04:02 PM   #15
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My Scrambler had that crack, YJ too and now my TJ. I've never seen a CJ/YJ/TJ without that crack.
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Old 11-23-2015, 04:46 PM   #16
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Mine is cracked, too...doesnt bother me one bit
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:16 PM   #17
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Fixed it. 5/64 bit I think. Won't get any worse and I can live with it.

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Old 11-24-2015, 06:20 AM   #18
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Proud owner of 2 cracks also. Nice to know it is not just my TJ.
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:58 AM   #19
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Both my TJ's and my LJ have these cracks. I think they are like Laugh-Lines. =) But, if I wanted to replace the panels for some reason I'd like to know how to prevent it next time.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckincrue View Post
Both my TJ's and my LJ have these cracks. I think they are like Laugh-Lines. =) But, if I wanted to replace the panels for some reason I'd like to know how to prevent it next time.
I really just got tired of looking at the cracks, and couldn't find any replacement panels that weren't already cracked, or that were under $100 each. So I just bought 3" texture tape from O'Reilly's and cut it to fit for both sides...overall I'm pretty happy with it.

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2017, 01:24 PM   #21
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I like the textured tape idea. I never knew this was a common problem. My '03 had this crack in the passenger side when I bought her. Doesn't bother me that often, but now it might, and the tape idea is great.
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markrak View Post
I really just got tired of looking at the cracks, and couldn't find any replacement panels that weren't already cracked, or that were under $100 each. So I just bought 3" texture tape from O'Reilly's and cut it to fit for both sides...overall I'm pretty happy with it.

Good luck!
That really looks good.You say its called texture tape?
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:43 PM   #23
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Funny. I noticed mine was cracked just the other day, and now i see this thread. I figure I'll just live with it, or remove the panel and JB Weld the backside before it gets worse.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:41 PM   #24
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You can weld plastic, pretty easily. All you need is a soldering Iron with a flat tip, Some filler rod, and some reinforcing mesh. Harbor Freight actually sells a kit for about 15 bucks.

Step One, Fix the underlying issue. If its a bent door frame, then straighten it.

Step two, drill a tiny hole at the end of the crack to prevent propagation.

Step three, Get the crack as closed at possible. You should be able to get it down to just a line.

Step 4, on the backside of the panel, start using the hot tip to soften the plastic on both sides of the crack. Once its soft and sticky, place a piece of reinforcing mesh (think Aluminum Window Screen) over the cracked area.

Step 5, Melt filler rod over top of the repaired area. It must get hot enough to bond to the base plastic. Just like welding metal, the two plastics must be similar enough to combine when melted, so don't try to use ABS filler on a Polypropylene base material. I'm not familiar enough with jeeps yet to know what the door panels are made of, but if someone has one off and shoots a picture of the recycling symbol and other codes on the back, I should be able to figure it out (I'm in plastics by trade).
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:59 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markrak View Post
I really just got tired of looking at the cracks, and couldn't find any replacement panels that weren't already cracked, or that were under $100 each. So I just bought 3" texture tape from O'Reilly's and cut it to fit for both sides...overall I'm pretty happy with it.

Good luck!
I guess I'm feelin' pretty lucky with no cracks, but that came out bitchin'.
Might just have to make a trip to O'Reilly's.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:06 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jeeplvr View Post
That really looks good.You say its called texture tape?
This is the tape that I used:

Trimbrite T1511 - Safety Tread Tape | O'Reilly Auto Parts

The only difference is that I used the 3" wide. I think different stores carry different tape dimensions....and I'm sure Autozone & others carry it as well.

Good luck!!

Note: Also, I cleaned the panels very well before applying the tape but still had it peel up in certain areas. Just use a little contact cement if that happens and it adheres perfectly.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:11 AM   #27
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Quote:
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I guess I'm feelin' pretty lucky with no cracks, but that came out bitchin'.
Might just have to make a trip to O'Reilly's.
Thanks....consider yourself very lucky with no cracks! I bought my 2000 TJ in 03, and the cracks appeared probably around 2006. I lived with them for 10 years before finally covering them up!
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Old 02-25-2017, 10:37 AM   #28
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Not sure why but this has been a Wrangler problem since the CJ7 came out. ALL mine, a 1981 CJ7, a 1987 YJ, and my '05 TJR have had that crack show up within 5 years. The CJ and YJ the metal cracked. No idea why the plastic cracks in TJ. But it is purely cosmetic.... and its a Jeep.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:16 PM   #29
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2006, no cracks...could have been replaced sometime before I bought the jeep, not sure if I should do anything at this point...if it ain't broke, hmmm.
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:30 PM   #30
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Good to know I'm not the only one with this issue.

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