Join Date: May 2017
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Repairing Door Upholstery
Certainly this has occurred on your vehicle or will soon. This is my fix for the issue.
Picture 1- Pull off the vinyl door covering as shown.
Picture 2- Trim the portion of the backing foam that used to slip behind and into the elbow support.
Picture 3- Use a trim tool to tuck the vinyl covering back into place.
Picture 4- From the back you will see that the vinyl covering has been driven in the gap where you see the toothpicks. This here is the difficult part, as you need a glue that will get down in there and secure the vinyl, yet there is no easy access. The trick here is to use hot melt glue, it will flow into that gap and hold the vinyl once cured. 3M makes hot melt glues specifically to adhere to this kind of hard plastic (3764 or 3789), but it only comes in the oversized stick, but you may be able to trim that down to fit in a standard glue gun (or get an industrial gun). I used regular glue and it is holding for a couple of months now.
The reason for the toothpicks you see in the picture is to place the vinyl you have pushed through to the back to be centered in the gap. The vinyl tends to be on one side when slipped down, up against the panel side. The toothpicks are placed between the vinyl and the panel so that the hot melt glue will flow on both sides of the vinyl and hold it from both sides. Otherwise, you are gluing only one side of the vinyl when the glue goes down there. Be careful not to push the toothpicks too far and provide a path for the hot melt to the front of the panel or you will be looking at it every time you get in your car.
Now flow the hot melt into the gap and let it cool. At this point, you have re-secured the horizontal part of the door handle, the short ear of vinyl that runs vertical at the end of the handle you will do later, but make sure that you have tugged on what you have done enough during the gluing that the end vinyl will fully slip into its gap. I was unable to figure how to use hot melt there and ended up using Shoo Goo as described below.
For the front of the handle, I used 80 grit to rough up the plastic, lined the underside of the vinyl with Shoe Goo adhesive and pressed the door control panel back in to hold everything in place while the glue dried. I also used this same approach to glue the short, vertical portion of the vinyl covering on the back end of the handle.
Picture 5- End result.
Picture 6- Materials and tools used.
This has been working fine now for at least two months.