The 1936 Cadillac was the last year that the main body frame was made of wood. On this car, the rear doors had gotten wet and the left door frame was completely rotten. The sheet metal is wrapped around the door, so one has to get it out. Here, I am bending the metal to get the top of the frame to clear.
Below the window, the metal is also holding the wood frame in place, and so there needs to be more bending - Don't bend any more than you have to, just enough to get the wood out.
Now the wood can be pulled out.
The remainder of the frame is now extracted from the door. the hinges attach to the frame with both 1/4-20 machine screws into specially stamped T-nuts that are nailed to the frame, and wood screws - two of each. The door is pretty rusty.
Here is the skin, by itself, notice the felt padding to keep it from "oil drumming" - this gives a good idea where to put sound deadening material when finishing the door:
After trying several ways to clean the door, it became clear that nothing was going to work, so off they go to the metal stripper (L&M Stripper in Van Nuys CA)
The stripper takes a few days, and the doors come out completely clean. The door escutcheons are swaged into place, they come off before painting.
The Front Doors are not so bad, at least all the wood is there, and much of it is not rotten. Penetrating epoxy will strengthen the wood and make it whole again. I've used air pressure to blow most of the crud out, and of course the old felt pads on the door blew away leaving behind the tarry stuff that glued them to the door. I'll wire brush the inside of the door and paint it with rustoleum or something to protect it, but it's dry enough here that if it doesn't soak in water, rust isn't much of a problem.
Last Updated - 08/01/2010