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Discussion Starter #1


I awoke one morning this past winter to find these wonderful alterations to the driver's side door. :Wow1:
(click thumbs to enlarge)

Probably snow plow hit and run in the midst of the worst northeast winter in 30 years.
Just soliciting opinions on how to pull this out until I have the funds to replace the door. Everything mechanical is working fine (I don't believe the window motor is damaged and it will descend if there is more room) My son is graduating from college Suma Cum Laude next month and that's more important right now than the $1500 the wreckanic quoted me...

Thanks in advance to all of you. You've never let me down.
vanhammer :blink:
 

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Congrats to your son. It's quite an accomplishment to attain Suma Cum Laude.

A body shop wouldn't even try to fix that door because the number of hours needed is much more than just replacing it. Check in your area for a 'pick-n-pull' junkyard (the kind that has menu pricing for each category of part) and haunt it until you find a door that you can use. In the p-n-p's that I've been to, doors are usually around $50.00 each, sometimes less. You might even get lucky and find the correct color so no painting would be involved.
 

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If you want the window to work for now, pull the door panel and beat it out from the back with a pipe and sledge hammer. The door is junk, so no need to worry. Does the door still open fine?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you want the window to work for now, pull the door panel and beat it out from the back with a pipe and sledge hammer. The door is junk, so no need to worry. Does the door still open fine?
Yup - door opens and closes fine. Everything else works too - speaker for sound system, door locks, controls for other windows - I can't believe it. All I need is to reshape the major damage I think the driver's window will go down fine. And will improve the wind noise which has gotten bad..
Thanks for all the responses - you guys FN rock. Is there any tricks to pulling the door panel or is it pretty straightforward?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Congrats to your son. It's quite an accomplishment to attain Suma Cum Laude.

A body shop wouldn't even try to fix that door because the number of hours needed is much more than just replacing it. Check in your area for a 'pick-n-pull' junkyard (the kind that has menu pricing for each category of part) and haunt it until you find a door that you can use. In the p-n-p's that I've been to, doors are usually around $50.00 each, sometimes less. You might even get lucky and find the correct color so no painting would be involved.
Many many thanks Harold. Your advice will help me when I get around to actually replacing the door. Im relatively mechanical savvy and was wondering if I could replace it myself if I found one in silver. Do you think it's within the abilities of a backyard DIY-er?
 

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Its pretty straight forward. Take out a few screws and start popping it off the clips. If it offers any resistance, look for more screws. Also, you have to unhook the door release lever from the inside handle when it is almost off, but thats about it,

I like how your user name is highly suggestive of what you'll be doing. lol
 

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Many many thanks Harold. Your advice will help me when I get around to actually replacing the door. Im relatively mechanical savvy and was wondering if I could replace it myself if I found one in silver. Do you think it's within the abilities of a backyard DIY-er?
My 17 year old son and I pulled the door off a Lumina last year in about 15 minutes. He held the door as I discconnected the hinge bolts, then we carried it away. A small jack and padded block of wood can be used to support the door as well.

Before we went to the pick-n-pull, I read about the R&R procedure and found which size sockets I needed for the attaching bolts and other components so I only carried the tools for the job. Don't forget to swap door lock cylinders so you can use your original key.
 

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The door is not hard to replace. We replaced the pass. side on my buddy's. Be careful, that door is heavy. I think we got ours for $27 dollars at the junk yard. The hinges have a grove in them to line up on the door pillar so it should be pretty easy to align.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Many many thanks to all you guys - you're the best...

I'm going to proceed to remove the door panel based upon upon these basic instructions for the 2002 model (my DGC is 2004):

http://www.bodyshopzone.com/archives/trim/door_panels/Dodge/Grand_Caravan_2002/dp_Chrysler_minivan.html

I won't bother you guys unless necessary (hopefully) BUT one thing bugs me right off the bat - why does it say the window MUST be rolled down. :ask_wsign I obviously cannot do this considering the damage. As a matter of fact - it's the only mechanical problem I currently have. Would this apply to a 2004 model? I am going to proceed cautiously anyway - was just wondering if anyone knew why this warning was given in the directions... :ask_wsign:blink:

Again many thanks to all responses. You guys really rock... :headbange

vanhammer (Lou)
 

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When you go to pull the door panel up and off the door, its much easier when the window is down. When it is up, you'll fight some resistance moving it around, but still should be doable.
 
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