DeLorean Door Card Foam Replacement
My DeLorean‘s now 39 years old, which means it’s got a long list of “nice to haves” that aren’t critical but they either need some attention or outright replacing. One example is the foam in the door trim panel upholstery – it collapsed into a black powder a long time ago, leaving the door interiors completely flat, hard, and devoid of depth or shape. So let’s fix that! DeLorean Go offers a Door Card Foam Repair Kit that provides all the necessary materials. As I’m in Australia with international shipping restrictions on certain chemicals, I opted for the kit with 2 tubes of glue instead of the tin of glue. Personally, I would’ve found it better to use 3 tubes of glue, and I recommend you buy 3 tubes just in case. However, you can definitely make do with just 2 tubes. You could probably DIY this at a lower cost by finding suitable foam in the 1/4″ or 6-8mm thickness range. However, I’m unsure about the best density/firmness and the right foam material. So for this job, I’m sticking with the vendor-provided option, which also supports the vendors.
As far as jobs go, this one is more fiddly than tricky. There’s a trick to popping the door trim panels out – have your window down while you do it, and use an upholstery fork/fir tree/trim removal tool to pop the fir tree fasteners one at a time. You can use a screwdriver if you must, but I highly recommend even a cheap plastic trim/fir tree removal tool to save time. Carefully peel the vinyl off your fibreglass/plastic inner door frame. The dust from the old disintegrated foam will want to go everywhere; make sure you completely vacuum out the old foam dust from all the pockets otherwise you might accidentally get some on the adhesives and they won’t stick as well. Cut the new foam to size and insert it – the roll I received was enough for around 3 doors, so there’s plenty if you make a mistake. Remember the old advice: it’s easier to make a bigger piece smaller than a smaller piece bigger. The doors are theoretically mirror images, but since these cars were hand-made, there might be a tiny bit of variance between them. When gluing, apply the glue to both surfaces and let it dry a little before pressing them together. It’s also essential to keep the vinyl stretched taut over the backing piece as you work when gluing it on to avoid any bunching or ripples. Finally, this is a great time to replace your door’s fir tree fasteners if your old ones have become mangled over the decades.
The end result should look something like this – the extra curves & shaped definition in the vinyl are subtle, but they’re definitely present and make the doors look that little bit better! I’ve done my best to take both of these photos from the same position and angle with as close to identical natural lighting as possible, making the comparison easier to see. By now, all DeLoreans will have collapsed door foam if hasn’t already been replaced. Whether or not you think this needs doing to your car is entirely up to your personal opinion.