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Door panel armrest repair

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Old 05-25-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
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Door panel armrest repair

Don't know if anyone has done this before but my door panel armrest was broken from the day I bought my truck (used). I know most people won't be able to do this repair, but thought you all might like to see how it can be done. It's called plastic welding. I have a kit at work (I work at a car dealership) with different plastic rods and stuff. The armrest is solid and strong now I can't believe I waited 2 months to fix this. Here's my before and after pictures.


Before. You can see the + shaped crack going from each side and top to bottom.



After. I ran a bead of plastic weld all the way across past the cracks and then covered the welds with hot glue for added strength.

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Old 05-25-2010, 05:48 PM   #2
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Dude that is pretty sweet. nice job
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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great write up!! this will definitely help a lot of people!!
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:51 PM   #4
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I did it a couple months ago while doing my leather install : http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=314399
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asgard View Post
I did it a couple months ago while doing my leather install : http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=314399
Nice work! Your's looks way better than mine did. But you were able to access both sides of the crack and I couldn't. I like the leather too. At least now people on TW will be able to find it easily too.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:04 PM   #6
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nice! i need to do this as well, can you recommend a kit and/or filler material that would be good to use on this?

i hate to say it, but its almost like they designed it to crack..i mean, whats the point of that thin groove in there?!
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonTacoma View Post
Nice work! Your's looks way better than mine did. But you were able to access both sides of the crack and I couldn't. I like the leather too. At least now people on TW will be able to find it easily too.
I didn't do it myself, I actually carried it to a bumper repair shop that specializes in plastic welding. They recommended that I weld both sides which was no problem since I was doing my leather install. Mine is still holding up strong. The only regret I have is not welding the whole length of the arm rest seam but from what I remember the crack always seems to start where the seams intersect so I should be ok.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:08 PM   #8
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Mine cracked while still under warranty. Dealership hung an entire new door panel to fix a 2 inch crack. Mmmm okay.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yosh2000 View Post
nice! i need to do this as well, can you recommend a kit and/or filler material that would be good to use on this?

i hate to say it, but its almost like they designed it to crack..i mean, whats the point of that thin groove in there?!
The kit I used I got from Snap-On, I don't remember how much I paid, I know it was at least $150. Here's a link to a cheap one from harbor frieght. It's $40 and the welding rods are $6.

http://www.harborfreight.com/plastic...kit-41592.html
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonTacoma View Post
After. I ran a bead of plastic weld all the way across past the cracks and then covered the welds with hot glue for added strength.

that looks like a nice weld... good job on the repairs...let us know how it holds up...
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:40 PM   #11
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Update for everyone. The armrest is holding up VERY well. I hadn't really noticed the repair until the other day I was talking on my phone (yeah I know I should talk on the phone and drive) and I was leaning on the armrest and holding the phone to my ear and realized, holy crap, I didn't sink into the door panel!! Yay. The repair turned out so good, I took of the passenger side one and did it too, wasn't as bad as the drivers side, but now it won't get there.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:48 AM   #12
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how easy is it to take the armrest apart to do this fix?
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mxnborder View Post
how easy is it to take the armrest apart to do this fix?
It just requires removing the entire door panel. Which is basically held on by some clips and screws. It only takes about 5-10mins to remove the panel.

Also just to keep the thread updated the armrest is still holding up strong, no issues what so ever.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:51 AM   #14
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My 2011 cracked about a month ago, out of warranty I guess. Is it possible to just replace the armrest section with a new one? I haven't removed the door panel yet but loking at the pic in Toll's reply, #10, it looks like the armrest part may be glued in? All those grooves molded into the bottom of the piece look like a natural place to break, a pretty sorry design!
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:11 AM   #15
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when you say its broken, is it like right in the center of that vinyl (or sometimes leather when replaced) piece thats basically where your elbow lands on the door panel? like right at the point of your elbow you can feel it sinking in? If so my 2012 has been like this for a while now and I just haven't taken it apart to figure it out yet.

Hopefully this is the issue and its a quick plastic weld fix
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:21 AM   #16
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For people that don't have a plastic welder, or just can't use one, you can do this exact repair using a hot glue gun from a craft store. I don't have any pictures but I used hot glue and a piece of plastic to reinforce it. The plastic i used was from a washer fluid jug, but you could use anything that was thin enough to bend easily. Essentially it was like applying a large patch to the backside of the armrest. Mine has been solid for over a year now, and i highly doubt i could break it if i tried.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:38 AM   #17
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I just repaired mine last weekend. Even though I've never worked with fiberglass before, I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a $18 Bondo brand fiberglass repair kit from the local hardware store. I started by roughing up the panel surface with sandpaper, then wiped it down with acetone. Then cut the fiberglass matting into 1 1/2" wide strips about 3" long, and laid them in a criss-cross pattern 4 layers deep across the cracked area. It worked perfectly, and now that area of the panel is much stronger than before!
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Partzguy View Post
I just repaired mine last weekend. Even though I've never worked with fiberglass before, I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a $18 Bondo brand fiberglass repair kit from the local hardware store. I started by roughing up the panel surface with sandpaper, then wiped it down with acetone. Then cut the fiberglass matting into 1 1/2" wide strips about 3" long, and laid them in a criss-cross pattern 4 layers deep across the cracked area. It worked perfectly, and now that area of the panel is much stronger than before!
I did the same exact thing but i went a little crazy with the fiberglass, strong as hell now though
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:18 AM   #19
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Thanks for the replies folks!
I have done fiberglass work on boats so I guess I'll be trying it out on the Tacoma
Steve
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