Refinishing Half Doors - Winter Project

MikekiM

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East of Montauk, NY
Picked up a set of really clean half doors and now have two sets. Restoring one set to use and have the other set listed for sale in a few places.

This set came without interior cards and though they were in great shape, they were sprayed with a really light bedliner that had to be removed. Fortunately the hinges had been removed at least once and the OE Torx hinge screws were replaced with stainless hex heads so removing the hinges was easy.

Later found a set of door cards that were in Agate, but in kind of rough condition. Passenger side was really faded and drivers side had a crack repair that I chose to leave as is rather than throw a ton of money at them. Anything can be fixed. It's just a matter of how much money you want to throw at them.

I have a set of super clean uppers.

The doors were stripped of hinges, levers, locks and weather stripping and sprayed to match the Jeeps gloss black. Hinges were resprayed too and though I wanted to keep the unpainted screws the shop painted them to match. Undecided what to do with them.. I am painting the exterior paddles and have new interior handles and door pulls. Will have the lock cylinders re-keyed to the ignition But might not connect them. I'll never lock them.

The doors before and after..
Doors After.jpg


I have a new set of window pins that are being dyed to match the door cards. Just need to source the Christmas tree push pins.

The interior cards before and after..
Cards After.jpg
 
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Picked up a set of really clean half doors and now have two sets. Restoring one set to use and have the other set listed for sale in a few places.

This set came without interior cards and though they were in great shape, they were sprayed with a really light bedliner that had to be removed. Fortunately the hinges had been removed at least once and the OE Torx hinge screws were replaced with stainless hex heads so removing the hinges was easy.

Later found a set of door cards that were in Agate, but in kind of rough condition. Passenger side was really faded and drivers side had a crack repair that I chose to leave as is rather than throw a ton of money at them. Anything can be fixed. It's just a matter of how much money you want to throw at them.

I have a set of super clean uppers.

The doors were stripped of hinges, levers, locks and weather stripping and sprayed to match the Jeeps gloss black. Hinges were resprayed too and though I wanted to keep the unpainted screws the shop painted them to match. Undecided what to do with them.. I am painting the exterior paddles and have new interior handles and door pulls. Will have the lock cylinders re-keyed to the ignition But might not connect them. I'll never lock them.

The doors before and after..
View attachment 484255

I have a new set of window pins that are being dyed to match the door cards. Just need to source the Christmas tree push pins.

The interior cards before and after..
View attachment 484256

Yep mine looked that good after I dyed them,not so much now if you use the Jeep at all.
 
Good job- tell what products you used if you will- thanks
 
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Yep mine looked that good after I dyed them,not so much now if you use the Jeep at all.
Not my experience at all.

I had the full door interior panels dyed about two years ago. They looked liked absolute shit before doing them...
https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/color-matching-agate-door-panels.68582/#post-1280142

I use my Jeep as my DD and the panels look as good as they did the day I got them from the shop. I'm not easy on them either. I hold the door open with my foot, ding them with whatever I am carrying, bang on them with my watch... not a single scratch. And with a second set of doors to swap out to, I expect they will now last twice as long.

The shop that does them for me warms the panel first, then applies a commercial dye that soaks into the panel material. I've had them do the upper and lower steering column trim as well. That came out perfect too.

Here is the upper and lower steering column trim.. before and after..
Steering Column Trim.jpg


Good job- tell what products you used if you will- thanks
Couldn't tell you more than what I mention above. I take them to the my body shop for the dye. Body shop does an amazing job. They have done my bumpers, tire carrier, fuel tank skid, replaced and color matched a front fender and more.

Did you paint the doors yourself?
Not a chance. I suck at painting. I contemplated keeping them the original matte black and would have repainted them myself. But They really begged to be color matched.

I have a second set of gloss black half doors in the shop that are in pretty good shape. They were an impulse buy.. like I needed two sets of half doors. I have them for sale on MP. Figure they are more likely to sell as spring approaches.
 
Not my experience at all.

I had the full door interior panels dyed about two years ago. They looked liked absolute shit before doing them...
https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/color-matching-agate-door-panels.68582/#post-1280142

I use my Jeep as my DD and the panels look as good as they did the day I got them from the shop. I'm not easy on them either. I hold the door open with my foot, ding them with whatever I am carrying, bang on them with my watch... not a single scratch. And with a second set of doors to swap out to, I expect they will now last twice as long.

The shop that does them for me warms the panel first, then applies a commercial dye that soaks into the panel material. I've had them do the upper and lower steering column trim as well. That came out perfect too.

Here is the upper and lower steering column trim.. before and after..
View attachment 484365


Couldn't tell you more than what I mention above. I take them to the my body shop for the dye. Body shop does an amazing job. They have done my bumpers, tire carrier, fuel tank skid, replaced and color matched a front fender and more.


Not a chance. I suck at painting. I contemplated keeping them the original matte black and would have repainted them myself. But They really begged to be color matched.

I have a second set of gloss black half doors in the shop that are in pretty good shape. They were an impulse buy.. like I needed two sets of half doors. I have them for sale on MP. Figure they are more likely to sell as spring approaches.
I remember now how impressed I was and I love what you’re doing
-

Recently a lady sold a pair of black half doors in Nashville for $400 that were practically in perfect shape- And I just didn’t have the energy to chase them down.

I’ve got to set in the shop that I need to do pretty much exactly what you did- I hope they turn out as good as yours.
 
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I remember now how impressed I was and I love what you’re doing
-

Recently a lady sold a pair of black half doors in Nashville for $400 that were practically in perfect shape- And I just didn’t have the energy to chase them down.

I’ve got to set in the shop that I need to do pretty much exactly what you did- I hope they turn out as good as yours.
Thanks. Yes, they are coming out great.

I'll ask the body shop about the dye when I pick up the pins for the uppers.

I ordered new pins for the uppers from Extreme Terrain. Ordered charcoal grey. They aren't even close to the Agate. I could have ordered black or just sprayed them SEM Trim Black or similar but since the shop was dying the panels I asked that they dye the door pins to match the panels.

Can't lie.. I am floored by how resilient the full door panels have proven to be. And the color is spot on match to the Agate.

Can't find a clean set of half doors around here for $400. Most go for $500 or more and interior panels and upper are extra. Welcome to NY.
 
Thanks. Yes, they are coming out great.

I'll ask the body shop about the dye when I pick up the pins for the uppers.

I ordered new pins for the uppers from Extreme Terrain. Ordered charcoal grey. They aren't even close to the Agate. I could have ordered black or just sprayed them SEM Trim Black or similar but since the shop was dying the panels I asked that they dye the door pins to match the panels.

Can't lie.. I am floored by how resilient the full door panels have proven to be. And the color is spot on match to the Agate.

Can't find a clean set of half doors around here for $400. Most go for $500 or more and interior panels and upper are extra. Welcome to NY.

Yeah I was surprised on the ones that I saw and I hated to pass- I’m half tempted to go back and see if they’re still for sale because I’m gonna spend that much fixing the ones I have


Dye has to be where it’s at- penetrates.

Film finishes on plastic are a gamble.

Yours just looks so correct - really they look like they just came out of the dealer on a new one -
 
Thanks. Yes, they are coming out great.

I'll ask the body shop about the dye when I pick up the pins for the uppers.

I ordered new pins for the uppers from Extreme Terrain. Ordered charcoal grey. They aren't even close to the Agate. I could have ordered black or just sprayed them SEM Trim Black or similar but since the shop was dying the panels I asked that they dye the door pins to match the panels.

Can't lie.. I am floored by how resilient the full door panels have proven to be. And the color is spot on match to the Agate.

Can't find a clean set of half doors around here for $400. Most go for $500 or more and interior panels and upper are extra. Welcome to NY.

They probably are using what I use?

IMG_2790.jpeg
 
Yeah I was surprised on the ones that I saw and I hated to pass- I’m half tempted to go back and see if they’re still for sale because I’m gonna spend that much fixing the ones I have


Dye has to be where it’s at- penetrates.

Film finishes on plastic are a gamble.

Yours just looks so correct - really they look like they just came out of the dealer on a new one -
Agreed. the texture, matte finish and of course color are spot on.

They probably are using what I use?

View attachment 484375
I'll ask when I go back for the door pins. I know he mixes bulk paints in shop. I am sure they are NOT using a rattle can.
 
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Agreed. the texture, matte finish and of course color are spot on.


I'll ask when I go back for the door pins. I know he mixes bulk paints in shop.

I have been raised in the car business since I was a child,have painted-dyed many things.i start with comet and bleach- white or 409 mixed ,scrub until dry,use the arm in light coats,looks amazing but no dyed products will ever last ,especially the half door pins(if that’s what you are referring too.the first time you r-r the upper the paint will be gone.from my experience.
 
I have been raised in the car business since I was a child,have painted-dyed many things.i start with comet and bleach- white or 409 mixed ,scrub until dry,use the arm in light coats,looks amazing but no dyed products will ever last ,especially the half door pins(if that’s what you are referring too.the first time you r-r the upper the paint will be gone.from my experience.
Time will tell right?

Maybe the shop uses some new-age unobtainium dye made from the tears of baby Jesus mixed with dust from Moab. My full door panels get beat up pretty good and remain dead perfect.

Thanks to @sab for the offer to send me the needed Christmas tree pins. Greatly appreciate that!!
 
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I can't paint for crap either. I decided to try painting my originally matte black doors to gloss black sand was very surprised by how well they turned out. Time intensive with lots of wet sanding, but while I was originally just shooting for them not sticking out as much, I would say from 20' you don't even notice they aren't OEM. I will likely have them professionally done at some point though. How much did you pay?
 
Subscribing just to find out what voodoo material the OP's shop used to get his door cards looking like that, and whether it's available to mere mortals like me.
 
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I can't paint for crap either. I decided to try painting my originally matte black doors to gloss black sand was very surprised by how well they turned out. Time intensive with lots of wet sanding, but while I was originally just shooting for them not sticking out as much, I would say from 20' you don't even notice they aren't OEM. I will likely have them professionally done at some point though. How much did you pay?
I have no problem painting trim pieces, bumpers, sliders, carrier but something like doors... I know my limitations. My Jeep is super clear and being my daily driver I wouldn't be happy with a hack job

I paid $200 to dye the door cards, the door pins and the upper and lower steering column trim.

$400 to remove the hinges & weather stripping, strip the old paint, paint the doors, inside and out, the hinges and bolts.

Subscribing just to find out what voodoo material the OP's shop used to get his door cards looking like that, and whether it's available to mere mortals like me.
I'll find out what he uses. Won't be back there until after the holidays.

I've got pics of the full doors posted here somewhere. Here they are again..

Before...
2022-12-09 TJ Door Panels 01.jpg


And after....
IMG_5247.jpg


IMG_5249.jpg


And, if I walk outside to the Jeep and grab a few more pictures, this ^^ is exactly how they look after nearly two years of daily use.
 
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As part of this project the half doors were gutted and stripped. The locking mechanism, cylinders, door paddles and hinges were all removed prior to purchase.

Reassembly isn't terrible but getting the rods situated properly can be a little daunting.

That said, getting everything ready for reinstall was aided by the feedback in this thread..

Reassembling half doors

 
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Lock cylinders were professionally rekeyed to the match the ignition and finished with new trim caps. The cylinder will be installed without the rod to the interior lock lever so they can only be locked at the cylinder with the key. I typically don't lock the Jeep doors given I use a soft top year round. If a thief wants in the Jeep, I'd rather provide access with an open door than have them cut a window in the soft top. I keep nothing of value in the Jeep other than what will fit in the concealed carry draw under the driver seat and some papers in the glove box.

That said, I do use the McGard door hinge locks. For those times I don't want to install this lock, I can lock the cylinder and prevent the doors from being lifted off and taking a walk.

2024-01-14 TJ Half Door Locks 17.jpg
 
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April Update...

Doors are fully reassembled. Alignment wasn't as hard as I expected. Nothing got scratched or ding'd. They close solid but need to be kinda slammed.. the weather stripping needs some to time settle in.

Discovered that the a-pillar mounted mirrors I love interfere with the front lower corner of the soft uppers so, the mirrors have to go. I have been using them for years so as to not have to swap mirrors or rig something for doors off. Refinished the stock mirrors I had in the parts bin. I'm going to need another set for the full doors and may go with the newer style.

Also discovered that the uppers that came with the doors (I think they are Shittybilt) are mangled just enough to make installing them a real PITA. I am so far into this project that I can't see not buying a new set that actually fit. I have exhausted my patience with this project that I just want it done.

2024-04-06 TJ Half Doors 01.jpg


2024-04-06 TJ Half Doors 02.jpg