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2005 LJ Rubicon 6 Speed
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, the crack in my driver door panel had been getting worse and worse. I was tired of looking at it and wasn't going to pay $500(!) for a replacement panel so I decided to take a crack (lol) at fixing it. Here are my results and what I did to achieve them.

I forgot to actually take a before picture but my crack was way farther down and wider than this one:
4495577


Here are the after pics:
4495579


4495580


4495581


Here's how I fixed it:
1. Buy plastic welder for Harbor Freight or similar. The one I got is item number 60662, cost $16.99 and comes with everything you'll need.
2: Remove the door panel, there are plenty of youtube videos if you don't know how.
3. Remove the window wiper from the door panel. To do this, there are 6 staples you need to remove. Pry each side of the staple up on the side facing towards the inside of the door panel and then pry/pull out with the screw driver and needle nose pliers.
3a. All of the work will be done on the inside of the door panel (part that is not visible when installed) to provide the best final appearance. Do not scuff, weld or mess with the outside of the panel.
4. Clean the area of the crack with Windex.
5. Scuff the area that is an inch on each side of the crack with the included metal brush (inside only).
6. Cut a piece of the included wire mesh so that it will go one inch on each side of the crack and reach from the 90* reinforcement piece down to where the door panel curves in near that handle. (See step 7 picture if unsure of dimensions)
7. Weld the bottom right hand corner into place so the wire mesh will not move (Picture shows more welded, you only need to weld the bottom right).
4495582


8. Figure out a way to hold the crack closed while welding, I wedged it between my leg and the kitchen counter. Ensure the entire time you are welding that the two sides of the crack stay even with each other or you will end up with an obvious repair.

4495584


9. Tape a piece of welding rod into place that is in line with the crack and goes all the way from the bottom to the top of the reinforcement mesh.

4495583


10. Weld from the bottom to the top of the rod stopping and waiting for the entire piece to cool for a few minutes every 1-2 inches. Also, check that side not being welded is not getting overheated (too hot to touch) while welding. Warning: This is deceptive, it takes a few seconds for heat to travel through the plastic so be cautious on your first few welds. If you go too fast, or get the piece to hot, it will warp and look bad. Ensure the entire time and until completely cool that the crack stays aligned on the other side and does not move.

4495585


11. Fill in any places where you can see the wire mesh through the plastic welding material. As before, make sure you only do small 1-2 inch sections and do not overheat the plastic. It should stay cool enough to touch comfortably on the other side. It is best to hold the crack together while doing this.

12. Reinstall the wiper reusing the original staples or new ones and install the panel back in your Jeep.

13. Admire your repair and feel your wallet to confirm that it isn't $500 - $1000 lighter.
 

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2005 Jeep Wrangler LJ Unlimited, I-6 with Manual Transmission
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2 Posts
This is perfect. I have the same exact crack on my driver-side panel. I will give this a shot, thank you for the detailed explanation.
 

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2,257 Posts
I do too!if it’s abs plastic, they have a solvent cement that chemically melts the plastic together again. Great write up though!
 

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2005 LJ Rubicon 6 Speed
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You're welcome everyone!

It is not ABS plastic, the code on the back shows HCPP or High Crystalline Polypropylene. I wouldn't recommend using something that only goes into the crack with no structural reinforcement. The previous owner had tried that already. Not only did it fail, it altered the surface on each side of the crack so my repair didn't turn out as well as it could have because they didn't mate up perfectly.

As a side note, if someone wants this done but isn't comfortable taking a crack at it, if there's enough interest I might consider getting a rig set up to repair a bunch of these, for a reasonable price.
 

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387 Posts
Looks great.

I have the same crack on both doors, but since they haven't gotten worse, I live with it.
 

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918 Posts
Hi all, the crack in my driver door panel had been getting worse and worse. I was tired of looking at it and wasn't going to pay $500(!) for a replacement panel so I decided to take a crack (lol) at fixing it. Here are my results and what I did to achieve them.

I forgot to actually take a before picture but my crack was way farther down and wider than this one: View attachment 4495577

Here are the after pics:
View attachment 4495579

View attachment 4495580

View attachment 4495581

Here's how I fixed it:
1. Buy plastic welder for Harbor Freight or similar. The one I got is item number 60662, cost $16.99 and comes with everything you'll need.
2: Remove the door panel, there are plenty of youtube videos if you don't know how.
3. Remove the window wiper from the door panel. To do this, there are 6 staples you need to remove. Pry each side of the staple up on the side facing towards the inside of the door panel and then pry/pull out with the screw driver and needle nose pliers.
3a. All of the work will be done on the inside of the door panel (part that is not visible when installed) to provide the best final appearance. Do not scuff, weld or mess with the outside of the panel.
4. Clean the area of the crack with Windex.
5. Scuff the area that is an inch on each side of the crack with the included metal brush (inside only).
6. Cut a piece of the included wire mesh so that it will go one inch on each side of the crack and reach from the 90* reinforcement piece down to where the door panel curves in near that handle. (See step 7 picture if unsure of dimensions)
7. Weld the bottom right hand corner into place so the wire mesh will not move (Picture shows more welded, you only need to weld the bottom right).
View attachment 4495582

8. Figure out a way to hold the crack closed while welding, I wedged it between my leg and the kitchen counter. Ensure the entire time you are welding that the two sides of the crack stay even with each other or you will end up with an obvious repair.

View attachment 4495584

9. Tape a piece of welding rod into place that is in line with the crack and goes all the way from the bottom to the top of the reinforcement mesh.

View attachment 4495583

10. Weld from the bottom to the top of the rod stopping and waiting for the entire piece to cool for a few minutes every 1-2 inches. Also, check that side not being welded is not getting overheated (too hot to touch) while welding. Warning: This is deceptive, it takes a few seconds for heat to travel through the plastic so be cautious on your first few welds. If you go too fast, or get the piece to hot, it will warp and look bad. Ensure the entire time and until completely cool that the crack stays aligned on the other side and does not move.

View attachment 4495585

11. Fill in any places where you can see the wire mesh through the plastic welding material. As before, make sure you only do small 1-2 inch sections and do not overheat the plastic. It should stay cool enough to touch comfortably on the other side. It is best to hold the crack together while doing this.

12. Reinstall the wiper reusing the original staples or new ones and install the panel back in your Jeep.

13. Admire your repair and feel your wallet to confirm that it isn't $500 - $1000 lighter.
Great work! MODS: This should go in the STICKIES section.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

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15,381 Posts
Might want to drill a small hole at end of crack to prevent it spreading as any crack is a stress riser concentrating stress at end point of crack with radius of near zero
A round hole spreads the load and is a typical fix for a speeding crack then after you drill a 1/8 inch or so hole go ahead with your repair


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