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 – that collapsed into a black powder a long time ago and left the door interiors completely flat, hard, and with no depth or shape to them. So let’s fix that! DeLorean Go offer a Door Card Foam Repair Kit with what you need. Since I’m in Australia with shipping restrictions on certain chemicals I ordered the kit with 2 tubes of glue instead of the tin of glue. I personally would’ve found it better to use 3 tubes of glue and I would recommend you buy 3 tubes just in case, but you can definitely make do with just 2 tubes. You could probably DIY this cheaper by finding a suitable foam in the 1/4″ or 6-8mm thickness range but I’m not sure what the best density/firmness you would want, let alone the right foam material; I’m sticking with the vendor-provided option for this job.
As far as jobs go this one is more fiddly than actually tricky. There’s a trick to popping the door trim panels out – have your the 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 the cheap plastic trim/fir tree removal tools to save you 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 to size and insert the new foam – the roll would do maybe 3 doors worth so there’s plenty if you mess up, but remember the old advice that it’s easier to make a bigger piece smaller than a smaller piece bigger. The doors are theoretically mirror images, but these cars were hand-made so there might be a tiny bit of variance between them. When gluing, apply the glue to both surfaces and let them dry a little bit before pressing them together. It’s also important 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 good time to replace your door’s fir tree fasteners if your old ones have gotten all mangled up over the decades.
The end result should look something like this – the extra curves & shaped definition in the vinyl are subtle, but definitely there and make it look that little bit better! I’ve done my best to take both of these photos from the same position/angle with as close to identical natural lighting as I could, to make the comparison easier to see. By now all DeLoreans will have collapsed door foam if it wasn’t already replaced; whether or not you think this needs doing to your car is entirely down to your personal opinion.
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