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  • Plastic outer skin doors

    Has any one had to deal with plastic door panels when popping a door during cold weather? My question is if the panel is still intact and we need to put hydraulics on the door would you remove the panel 1st, make a relief cut(s) or not worry about the plastic shattering suddenly? We worked a Saturn and were able to bypass the problem door with another technique but would like your thoughts or experiences on this.

  • #2
    I've never heard of a plastic polymer door shattering in the cold.....anyone else? They are definitely a challenge when using a spreader the first time. I've only worked on a couple (one a Corvette that was an absolute bear to work on after hitting a tree) and found that one key is to leverage the spreaders on the crash beam in the door. You may have to open the door skin to find the exact location, usually the latch mechanism is attached to it, but once you find it you have a stable piece to push against. I own a Saturn and know that it has the crash beams in an 'X' configuration as opposed to a more typical horizontal beam. There are also models that have multiple beams and single beams that run at a diagonal from front to back.

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    • #3
      I'm unable to post the picture of the car I'm talking about-the door panel is already shattered from the impact so that is not an issue in the incident but the weather was about freezing and it got me to thinking what if, Twin Cities here so it can get cold in winter.

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      • #4
        Hello from the great white north eh. Yes it gets cold here just like the Twin Cities. The skin on Saturns and simular will crack and split ( I don't Know that they will shatter though) on impact in the cold. My suggestion would be to remove the skin when possible. It doesn't take long and then you can see what your dealing with. If the skin is already cracked some times you can pull the skin off with your gloved hands. If it is intact, try a recip. saw to cut it off. In the cold the skin will suddenly give way under pressure from the spreaders sending sharp little bits flying in all directions! STAY SAFE.

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        • #5
          Never got to play with one in extreme cold. We have trained on Saturns and it has been my experience that you can treat them pretty much the same way you do any car. The basic structure is roughly the same, so if you attack a nader pin or a hindge, the outcome will be pretty much the same.

          Even if it does shatter, as long as you do not stand inline with the lateral travel of the flying pieces, I would suspect standard turnout gear would withstand the impact with no harm to the wearer.

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