LMC Truck: 1981-87 Chevy/GMC Truck Door Panel Installation with Kevin Tetz

LMC Truck: 1981-87 Chevy/GMC Truck Door Panel Installation with Kevin Tetz

Hi, I’m Kevin Tetz working with LMC
Truck to bring you some great technical and how-to information on how to work on
your truck projects. In this video we’re going to walk you through the process of
replacing interior door trim panels in a 1981 through 1987 Chevy or GMC pickup.
Now to me this truck doesn’t seem like it’s all that old but thirty years have
gone by since this vehicle rolled off the assembly line and that’s an awful
lot of time for general wear and tear or broken parts to happen. Let’s take a look…
Now this truck is actually all original and it’s not in that bad a shape but
we’ve got sun damage on the panel here… there’s been some kind of a crazy repair
here on the pull and the door handle, well it’s failing and the switches they’re corroded
up. Down here, the carpeting, well it’s coming loose and it’s moisture damaged and
wrinkled up. Now this project is not difficult. On a scale of one to five it’s about a two. And you can restore the
interior of both door panels in an easy afternoon. The good thing is that there’s
replacement parts for everything that you’re seeing right here…
let’s go take a look. Now the door trim panels come in different colors. We’re staying with black
because that’s our new interior color. If you’ve got a basic truck where you can install
this right out of the box. It’s got a factory looking grain and it’s a very
accurate panel. By the way, the inner window seal comes attached to the trim
panel already. But look at the score lines if you got a loaded up truck
LMC makes it easy and we’ll talk about that a little bit later on. Now it’s
probably not likely that you are going to need every single piece that we’ve got laid
out here on the table. However, if you’re starting with the project that’s a
bare door shell or a vehicle that been stripped down or if you even want to upgrade
your vehicle to a full load package. It’s nice to know that LMC Truck has got
every single thing that you’d ever hope to need to restore your project. Now, let’s talk about tools.
You’re going to need some kind of a knife to cut with, a Phillips
screwdriver, I like to use a reciprocating saw, and a cordless drill,
real basic stuff. This is from my toolbox but you can also get some pieces from
LMC Truck such as this trim removal tool and this trim removal set. They’re made
from heavy-duty nylon there’s lots of different shapes that allow you to
safely remove clips and fasteners without breaking them and do it without
scratching the paint. And it all starts with tearing our door
down to see what it is that we need. music… Now this is the wrong way to remove
these trim caps. Ours were broken and glued on so it didn’t matter how we
removed them. But the proper way is to push them from the outside end with the
small thin tool, release the clip and gently pivot them back just remember not
to force anything. music… The Nylon pry tools are nice to have on
hand for plastic because they have a little give to them and won’t stress
the plastic that might be older and brittle music… when disconnecting power window switches
make sure your battery is disconnected so you don’t arc off any contacts and
blow a fuse or ruin a switch. That’s where a non-conductive pry tool helps as
well. Just keep in mind that these parts are old and need to be handled with care. music… That’s it. The lower carpet is its own template for
drilling the holes in the new one. Hold it steady for an accurate location and use
an awl or sharp screwdriver to mark the screw locations in the new panel. Then
use a 1/8″ drill bit to enlarge the holes for installation. music… The pocket sits almost exactly in line with the armrest support. So we’re just going to center it up… mark my corners, just for future reference. Now we can start cutting. This 8-1/2 x 11 sheet is conveniently almost exactly the same size of their trim pocket to serve
as a base for a template. That’s just about perfect. Now we transfer the template to
the door and mark and drill the holes. Make sure your pattern and template is flipped
the right way so your pocket is right side up. Start with an eighth-inch pilot hole
then in large the bottom holes to just smaller than the size of the push pins
for the storage pocket. This will secure the pocket just like the factory did. Now
we’re going to make the square peg fit in a round hole with an eight-page bit and just
kind of making corners. You want to go easy on this…take it slow. Work a little at a time. That’s what you want, nice and secure. Be careful when
you’re marking your holes that you don’t go through both sides of the pocket. And I
want to say as well if you’re using an original panel just replacing the pocket
you don’t need to go to the step of creating these anchor holes again. But we’re using
new we want to dress it up like the original we’re ready to go. Now our push
pins line up perfectly into the holes we’ve drilled through our template. Now I can’t
show you but you’re gonna hear those push pins are now perfectly located, there we go. Now all
we’ve gotta do is run screws through the top and we’re installed. Right out of the
box this panel is ready to install if you’ve got a basic truck. But if you’ve
got a Sierra or Silverado with a trim package on it here’s how to make that work. All the
cut lines for the switches and handles their already molded into the panel. The
round is for the window crank for a manual window this is for the left and
right window switch this is for your door lock switch this scoreline here is
for the bezel for the actual door handle itself. There’s all kinds of holes and
markings here for your trim piece that we’re going to put in everything is
visible, everything’s marked and you’ve got a 100% chance of getting the components in the
correct place. Our switches sit right here in the trim panel and I always like to make
a corner drill just so I don’t over cut. …drilling… Rather than the saw we found that a
rotary plunge tool works great for ABS plastic which has a tendency to melt
back into itself with the saw blade. Obviously you’re openings on have to be
perfect which is good in my case just make sure that your spring clips on the
sides of the switches themselves have enough material to grab onto to get a good bite.
First, we scored the premark lines on the back side of the panel then the
plunge cutter cuts the center allowing for some leverage. Finally, we used the pliers to
break away the plastic on the scored line. And that gives us the clearance we need
for the new bezel. Perfect, look at that. The deluxe trim panel needs several mounting holes drilled in the
door panel and like we said there are all clearly marked from the back. But
there are some slots that need opened and the plunge tool works great for these as
well. …music… speed nuts hold the trim piece in place
and are installed onto the plastics studs on the backside of the trim which sticks
through the newly drilled hole. The new arm rest pad is installed before the
panel goes back on the truck and is held in place with the steel clip on the back
side of the panel that slips over the stud. A long 3/8 socket works great
for installing the clip. All right, now we’re ready to install the
trim panel back on the door. Now the interior door handle was still functioning on the
truck but look the chrome is pitted the stop is bent and the rubber stop is gone. And
it takes this tiny little E-clip that if you ever lose your messed up and it’s
difficult to install so we’re gonna use a new one from LMC Truck that has a nice
zinc coating. The stop is in place and it’s got its own clip that you’re not
going to have to reuse that E-clip and it makes it much easier to install so we’re
just gonna use a new one. …and that’s it… We’re replacing the push pins in the
Trim panel with new ones from LMC Truck. Since ours were dry rotted and one
actually broke while removing the panel. Reconnecting the window and lock switch
is simple. We recommend installing the keepers just like the factory did so
these are new as well. …music… Here’s a new clip for the bezel. So the last step is to
just replace the panel but since we’re in here and our clips are dry rotted and old
anyways, I’m just gonna replace them with new units that we got from LMC Truck. …music… (music)…(snap)…There’s that…(snap)…There’s that… The fit of these panels is excellent and
reinstalling the screws was easy since the holes lined up perfectly with the
ones in the door shell. The armrest gets anchored to the support from the outside
once the panel is on. …(music)… Alright, so the very last step is the door pull but,
as you can see it’s in a different color. Don’t worry there’s a very simple
solution we can show you how to color match this in just a couple of minutes. Now to color
change the door pulls were not painting them we’re using ColorBond spray which
actually provides a molecular bond between the spray coating itself and the
part. And I’m a painter. I like to go one step further make sure my surface is
perfectly clean so I’m gonna give it a quick wipe down with acetone and make
sure that I’m absolutely sure that there’s no contaminants on the door pull.
As with any spray coating several medium to light coats are much better than a
few heavy ones. Let that sit a couple minutes throw it on there. There we go…And what an
amazing transformation over what we started with with a crusty worn out
parts that were on this truck. We hope we passed on some great tips so that you have
an easier time restoring or replacing your interior trim panels. And don’t
forget you can always go through your LMC Truck catalog or go to LMCTruck.com
for more ideas for products and accessories and upgrades to make your
truck project he even better. For now I’m Kevin Tetz. Thanks for watching.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. FINALLY, a full on how-to-video for diy'rs with a great personality…LOVE Kevin Tetz!!!! Great job LMC Truck!!!!

  2. Why dint you install the velour padding by the arm rest? Plastic is not deluxe. LMC you hacks sell the panel with the fabric. Brothers dose why can't you? ??

  3. I purchased a set of door panels for the inside of my 1973 ford. On sale $129.00 for the pair. the are so cheaply made they are not worth the 29.00 a pair. cheap, cheap, cheap. Really thin plastic. Then then give you exactly 16 push clips to hold the panel on with. Now I know these pins cost money but don't you think they could give you a couple of extra. Look anywhere else. these are just junk, cheap very thin plastic POS……
    I know this won't do any good by putting this out here on the net. but I hope it stops one person from buying these. I'm throwing mine in the trash and building a flat custom set. I'll take them to someone & have them covered. That can't cost me as much as this junk cost. even if it cost more it won't be a thin POS………..
    I want to go on. but you can only call a POS a POS so many time to get that these really are a Piece Of Shit……..

  4. i have a 1984 chevy c10 scottsdale longbed that never came with factory carpet panels underneath the door panels is it possible for me to install them on mine anyway?

  5. I paid all this damn money for my door panels just so I can spend hours of hard labor on them. And it's bullshit he "decides" on switching it to black. He did that because it's a pain in the ass to paint everything and it never really last either. Highly disappointed with lmc on this one.

  6. Hey LMCTruck, why aren't ya'll making door panels for 80's – 93 Dodge pickups? Is there anyway to request/suggest that?

  7. Dude is this the same truck you just installed an all brown interior? the bucket seat set with center console? I get it, it's for advertisement purposes.

  8. +LMCTruck why don't yall show how to paint match and interior? That would be helpful. Videos like that which educate people on how to use your products and get great results will help sell your products for sure

  9. Great videos and I don’t own a truck yet .. just getting ideas but will be looking at ur videos soon.. soon as I get that truck I wanted 1990 gmc c1500 project truck for work and cruise around in…

  10. Kevin, now I never thought that the 1973 to 80 GM pick ups, with their different front end, look quite as good as these, will this technique work if you have one of those trucks, too?

  11. I have a 85 C10 and I've ordered most of my interior stuff from LMC. The dash is great quality but for the money you're paying it should already be trimmed you shouldn't have to do it. These door panels are trash. Absolute trash. Go somewhere else for them.

  12. I spend a lot of money at LMC. I like LMC , BUT , Their door carpet panels suck. Within 6 months the new carpet panels had waves in them and looked like crap. 40 year old original ones I found looked far better.
    One more thing. I hate cut pile carpet . It sucks in every possible way. The 60's loop style carpet was far superior. Please give us the option for loop style carpet in our 80's trucks.

  13. The cheap plastic was not worth the money the trim was understandable but i would have appreciated better quality panels for the 139 i paid.

  14. Would love to see more of this segment. Kevin just sold me a set of door panels for my truck, cant wait to install them!

  15. The 2nd vid i watched today from this company for install tips and this vid gave poor instructions..why didnt the vid show that he had to take off that door panel again to bolt on the pull strap..very poor instructions once again from your how to video's..i give it a F+..

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