If you are doing a conversion van renovation and need to repair the fabric doors and or the locks and power window motors, here is how to do it!
We looked for van to turn into a camper for 3 years. We are sick of having big ones and just wanted something to crash in. We originally started looking for a G20 but couldn’t find anything that was in decent shape within hundreds of miles of us. We really wanted to find one with the fold down back sofa and the captain’s chairs. After a while we finally gave up.
We finally stumbled on to a 93 GMC Vandura that had been gutted but the van itself was in good shape. No rust, no dents, no big damage just a few mechanical issues.
So far we have replaced the rear axles, water pump, and a few other things. One of the big eyesores was the main door and all of the other doors. The fabric is sagging and dirty and the locks weren’t working. Not too mention the driver side window wouldn’t even roll down or back up. Yes it was stuck in the down position so we had to duct tape it to keep the rain out.
Trying to figure out how to get into the door was interesting. You really can’t see all of screws or anything to remove. We finally figured out there are screws under the handle so if you have a door like this pop off the little caps on top of the handle and you should be able to see the screws.
The wooden panels had screws and then the whole entire panel had little metal braces that attached it to the frame if you look at this picture you can see where all of the attachments were. There were even screws in the carpet.
After we got the door removed we replaced the motor which definitely was not easy as it’s behind a big metal panel.The motor holds up the glass so make sure to tape the glass so that it doesn’t fall if you have to replace the motor. We replace the switches for the windows and the doors at the same time. All of these are available on Amazon and Ebay.
Once I had the panel off I set off to fix the the fabric. I got new elastic and pulled the door apart from the back and was able to rethread the elastic and staple gun it back to the thin fiberboard backing.
Also used carpet cleaner to clean the carpet and little bit of hot soapy water to clean the vinyl. You don’t want to use a lot of water on these because it is fiberboard behind it.
Once we got it done we put it back together it comes off the same way it goes back on but we had less brackets this time because they we lost a couple. Also you will need a door handle tool to get the door handle back on. Hopefully this helps if you end up trying to take one of these apart. We sure are happy with the finished product!
Use a drill bit head to help find the holes!