Reskinning a 1969 Chevy Camaro Door

More than one way to skin that cat; well, actually, no.

Brad Ocock Dec 9, 2013 0 Comment(s)
View Full Gallery
Seating Flange By Working It 2/31

21. Here’s the most critical part: seating that flange. You don’t just fold it over, you have to work it over, and you have to do it the right way. If you looked at a cross-section of the fold, as installed, it has to look like a “U” wrapping around the flange of the carcass, rather than a “V” folded over. To get that “U” shape wrap, you have to hold the dolly tight to the panel, and drive straight down onto the edge of the upstanding flange to upset the metal and start the rounding process.

Flange Bowed 3/31

22. If you look close, you see the flange is now bowed in the middle of the upstanding part, rather than folding along the bottom of the 90-degree bend. Absolutely critical. If you don’t upset the metal with that first downward strike, you’ll simply fold over the “V” and the carcass will move or bind, and things won’t line up.

Work Doorskin Flange Onto 4/31

23. Once the doorskin flange is bowed a little, you can start working it over onto the carcass. Make several passes, moving the whole flange toward the carcass a little at a time.

High Crown Face 5/31

24. A word about hammers: you’ll need at least two special hammers for installing a doorskin, unless you’re a really good, experienced body man… but Craig’s skills are exceptional, and he still employs the special hammers. The first is a high-crown face he uses to initially work the flange down. It concentrates the blows and gives him more control over how the metal is moved, than if he were just using a flat-faced body hammer. This face comes in handy for many other operations, and should be in your arsenal anyway.

Doorskin 6/31

25. This is a dedicated doorskin hammer—it’s designed specifically for this. Note the curvature of the head; allowing you to get right next to the carcass and still work the narrow flange along the bottom, while the long, narrow face is perfect for finishing the flange. It’s very, very handy, but probably not what we consider an essential tool for your collection.

Cross Peen 7/31

26. This cross-peen hammer is absolutely essential to your collection—note how it gets down right into the angles of the bodyline. This hammer head comes in handy for many, many situations.

Work Flanges To 8/31

27. Get the flanges all going, and keep working them together, working down toward the corners where they meet. Don’t hammer one to completion, and then start on the other. Finish with the corners.

Bottom Edge Of 9/31

28. This is very difficult to see, but it’s the bottom edge of the flange. It is rolled over, like the underside of the letter “U” not sharp like the letter “V.” The absolute key here is to stop hammering when you get to this point—you do not hammer the fold flat, you don’t smash the fold over onto the carcass. It fully envelops the flange of the carcass and holds it; it doesn’t crush it. If you flatten it, you’ll distort the metal along the bottom edge of the door and ruin its nice flowing look, which you can’t get back with bodywork in a can and paint.

Sand After 10/31

29. Once the flange fold is complete, the whole thing is dressed with sandpaper, the spot welds are completed as needed (since most of us don’t have a factory-style spot-weld machine, you’ll need to pre-drill small holes along the flange), and then its all re-primed.

Finished 11/31

30. The finished door looks perfect, and requires nothing but hand filing to prep it for paint. It is, for all intents and purposes, a brand new OE-style door, without any patches, welding-warp, oil-canning or any of the other pitfalls that come with patching rusty corners on a 40-year-old door.


Auto Metal Direct
Buford, GA 30518
AMD Installation Center
Craig Hopkins Productions (CHP Videos)
Cleveland, GA 30528


Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print