[ROVERNET - UK] SD1 Interior Door Panels

Brooks restore at nbnet.nb.ca
Sun Sep 9 20:56:16 BST 2007

 Most upholstery shops can get the fabric for you...working with old fabric 
is sometimes impossible for several reasons and the end results (IMO) are 
not often satisfactory.
  I find that quite often it is best to replace the cardboard backing panels 
as well because theu get out of shape. Using spray adhesive is the method 
that I would choose ...however it is not normally sprayed on the whole 
panel...it should only be used around the back edges where you fasten the 


 Dennis Brooks

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert Heimerl" <robertime at cavtel.net>
To: <rovernet at lyris.ccdata.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2007 12:43 PM
Subject: Re: [ROVERNET - UK] SD1 Interior Door Panels

> Hi Vic,
> I have re-done a number of door panels, fairly successfully
> (not perfect, though).  Most were sagging badly, many had
> splits at the top edges.  This material (some call it mouse
> fur) is very fragile.  Many of these cars have been left
> sitting in the sun for years, which adds to the problem --
> I've seen three or four different shades of brown, depending
> on sunlight exposure and/or mismatched materials (based on
> those infamous initial build quality issues).
> Overall, this is a rather tedious, messy operation -- so be
> prepared.
> First, carefully remove the panels from the doors.  Aside
> from the screw behind the ashtray, the key to this is a
> screw in the center of the armrest -- many people seem to
> miss this one and end up damaging the mounting system as
> well as the door panel itself.  It's best to pry the plastic
> retaining clips off very carefully (with a broad blade flat
> screwdriver), working close to their base in order to avoid
> breaking them or damaging the cardboard backing.
> [The front side window defroster ductwork often splits off
> from the back of the panel.  This must be re-glued with
> something like Stick'n Seal (Loctite).]
> Next, using a flat screwdriver and pliers, carefully pry
> loose the bent over metal tabs holding the armrests to the
> cardboard backing, making it possible to access the
> underside of the fabric covering.  Use a vacuum cleaner to
> (very carefully) remove any dust from the panel.  The fabric
> may now be cleaned with a MILD soap/detergent in a spray
> bottle, wiping it dry with paper towel. [This may help make
> the color more consistent.]  Now comes the most difficult
> part:
> Starting from the center/armrest area, use a long, thin
> screwdriver (or something similar) to carefully raise the
> fabric covering off the cardboard panel (it's usually
> already loose, folded over the cardboard backing).  Clean
> off loose debris behind it with a damp paper towel, then use
> Elmer's spray adhesive (or perhaps a similar 3M product) to
> spray -- light coating, not saturating -- between the two.
> Smooth the material back into place, using as little
> pressure as possible.  In many cases the fabric has shrunk
> and needs to be stretched to fully cover the area.  This may
> be accomplished by loosening the folded-over parts,
> providing a little extra material (use adhesive to re-glue
> that part later, too).  If the fabric still comes loose from
> the backing, it may be partly held down by the armrest which
> can now be put back in place.
> [Note:  Using adhesives can be a messy job.  While some may
> recommend using latex gloves, I found that this would make
> the job more difficult.  It's best to keep some "Goo Gone"
> (or similar product) nearby to clean up both your own hands
> and any overspray.  Please note all warnings on the above
> products, especially the adhesive spray.  I sprayed the
> panels outdoors, on top of newspaper or cardboard.  Care
> must be taken not to accidentally get adhesive on unaffected
> portions of the panels.]
> One of the most difficult parts of this process involves
> repairing the top edge of the panel (typically split by sun
> exposure, wear).  Using the spray and a screw driver or
> putty knife (both can be easily cleaned of adhesive),
> carefully pry the fabric up and spray a small amount of
> adhesive underneath.  Then stretch the material back to its
> original location at the top edge, where it meets the
> remains of the material that was folded behind the panel.
> In general, it's possible to have these edges meet in a
> presentable-looking way.
> If the material is truly shredded, find another panel to
> work with (there seem to be a lot of them around -- I must
> have about a dozen by now).  If the top of the panel is
> split due to people using the side window defogger opening
> to close the door, one can try gluing it back together with
> the above-mentioned Loctite product.  Again, this is a truly
> patience-trying procedure, best performed when one is free
> from other distractions -- if that is ever possible.
> And, yes, if you can have someone re-cover them
> professionally -- or obtain the newer generation SD1 panels
> that Kent mentions elsewhere -- you may save yourself a lot
> of trouble.
> I've concluded that nothing is easily done when it comes to
> the SD1.  How's that for a slogan?
> Good luck!
> Robert
> 1980 Rover SD1 (Turmeric Yellow w/Nutmeg Bronze interior)
>> Hi,
>> Has any SD1 owner devised a method of refurbishing the
>> interior door panels which you could share? I've only
>> one SD1 left, but when I had 3 they were all  in "bad"
>> shape and I'd like to make the last one presentable.
>> I'd appreciate any suggestions!!
>> Thanks, Vic
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