saving a 1986 RS Convertible - First Generation Forum
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Hi everyone. I live in Maryland and I'm trying to save my RS convertible from the junk yard. It needs a lot of work but what I really need is a right side driver door and right side front fender. Does anyone know how I can go about getting these items? Thanks.
is a web-based search engine for used auto parts at salvage yards across America. You can narrow the search by zip code, too so its really handy!
If you cannot locate convertible doors, you can fabricate your own out of a set of solid coupe doors. These cars were shipped to ASC as coupes and came with coupe doors. ASC then used a template and cut the window frames off and riveted in the inner door panels and fitted them with the new weatherstripping and trim. If you do strike out on doors, you can always find some from a coupe and go that route. Its a little more work, but at least its an option.
Good luck with your parts hunt and if you need anything just holler and I can try to give you a hand
Thanks for the reply but let me understand about the coupe doors. First, what is ASC? Second, I assume you mean I can find a 2 door 1986 and it will fit except I need to cut the window support frame from the door? The door will fit, yes? Thanks.
That's my page, and if you click on the ASC and J-body link that has more information about the whole convertible process. All Cavaliers, Sunbirds, and later Sunfire convertibles were shipped to a company called Automobile Specialty Company (now known just as ASC global) to be converted into convertibles. GM did not produce these cars from the factory this way, and the ASC subcontractors did all the extra work of fabricating the folding top assembly, adding the beefier rocker panels underneath, trim, interior panels, etc.
So yes, you can make "convertible" doors from a solid pair of coupe doors if you cannot find a clean set of those. The only difference is the amount of labor it would take. The original doors on my 86 were toast, so the body shop located some clean coupe doors and then cut them down and swapped the weatherstripping and inner door panel over to those. They work just fine and fit like they should.
I have more info about ASC and the J-body convertibles on this page:
Thanks for the information. I checked out the car-parts.com and found three possibilites but they are all over 200 miles away so I'm going to email them about shipping costs. I will check out your site and the ASC sight. How much did the work on your doors cost you?
The bodywork on my car was performed by the previous owner, a local bodyshop manager at the Chevrolet Dealership in town. I do not know how much extra cash it would cost to do. Sorry I can't help there.
Bill, I also am trying to save my 87 RS convertible. Darly's suggestion about buying a set of door from a 2-door model and cutting them up yourself if a good idea because that is exactly what I am doing right now. I also had trouble finding a set of doors, but I got lucky and found left and right doors in excellent condition. Someone had rustproofed these doors with that orange goop so there is no rust at the bottom of these doors. Going around the wreckers I found that the hardtop doors are usually in better shape than the convertible doors.
I am not writing this to gloat over my good fortune, but to tell you that the doors came from an 89, yes, 2nd generation cavalier. In fact, the wreckers told me that their book does not show that the 89 doors would fit an 87, but that is because their books only match up exact fits. The trim on the 89 is not the same as the 87 and that is why the doors look like they won't fit, but get you tape measure out and start measuring and you will find that the body lines will line up even though the trim does not but you can always get that off of the old doors. You may be able to use doors alllthe way up to 94 but do double check this on your own before parting with the hard earned cash.
I am also going to have to weld up some trim holes because the 89 doors came from a Z24, but that is a cheap price to pay for good doors. I also cleaned up and put new electric motors (got the motors from the 89 doors) in my rear windows and found a vendor for the window belts (except the outside ones) so I am going to change most of the rubber window trim.
Hope this helps you find those doors. By the way, I deal with a wrecker that will let me walk through the yard and take the parts out myself. I save a lot of money this way (doors cost me $150 for the two) and I learn how parts come off before I get to my car. Also I get a chance to search for the best parts in the yard.
i put doors off an 89 onto my 86 coupe a couple years ago. the trim is different and i had to drillone hole for the 1st gen miror to mount correctly. other than that, it was a direct swap from coupe to coupe.
all coupe doors from 82-89 should work. 90 has the seatbelts in the door, so it would be best to stay away from them if possible. 91+ cars the doors are slightly different.
Convetible doors have a different window regulator assembly inside them to make up for the lack of upper bracing in the window frame. You'll need to use your convertible door "guts" inside a new coupe door if you go this route. I said F it and bought convertible doors thru car-part a few years back.
Yes, I agree with Prontus about the regulator assembly. Looks like ASC cut out the inner door skin and pop rivited an aluminum plate (no rust) to cover up the cut out. But one of the reasons that thye cut out the inner door skin was to be able to pop rivit another beam at the top of the door to contain the window stop. If you are converting a hard top door, don't forget this additional beam. It is in place with pop rivits and some two part adhesive.
Great Info guys, I appreciate it. I spent this weekend troubleshooting the electric windows. The electric windows stopped working except the passenger side with the passenger side switch. It turned out that I had a pink power wire that some how broke. I had to reconnect the wire and the windows worked, except the left rear. It is getting power but not moving so I think the motor is bad. Any of you removed the rear electric window? I looked at it and I think you have to remove the whole window. I'm not sure how they put it since the space is so tight.
I checked out the front door real well and I can see where ASC cut the door and window frame and where they inserted the replacement section. That is a lot of ribbits to drill out. I'm also going to check around some of the junk yards and see if I can find a door to include the 89 doors. I'm also going to write a couple of car-part junk yards to see what the shipping cost is for a door. The closest place is about 200 miles away. Thanks again.
I also had problems with my 87 convertible rear windows and had to change a motor. The motor can be removed by drilling out the pop rivits and replacing it. While you are at it, why don't you clean out the old grease and dirt and replace with fresh grease. I had gotten a replacement motor from the wreckers and a wire harness to so that I could bench test the motor and assembly before putting it back into the car. I just used my battery charger for testing. Reversing the two wires changes the motor direction.
The rear windows do come out but there is not a lot of room. You do have to remove all the window guides at the top of the regulator assembly.
BTW, the motor is fairly standard. I used a front window motor from the 89 doors I salvaged. I believe the the motors are left and right side though, but I could be wrong on that account.
If you are looking for doors still, why don't you keep your eyes out for a donor car. Every once in a while I pass a Cavalier on the side of the road for sale for $500. I very seldom see these types of cars advertised for sale in any paper. You may get lucky.
Thanks for the info. I plan on heading out to the junk yard soon to look for donor cars for the door. I will see about the window motor too. I would like to get the rear window running too since it looks funny with the top and windows down except the left rear
Do you know where to get new rubber for the door and windows? The rubber is cracking and chipping off. I have been using black silicone but replacing the rubber would be better. Thanks.
Funny you should ask because that is just what I am doing right now too. I have placed an order with Restoration Specialties, http://www.restorationspecialties.com
but have not received the order yet so I am not exactly sure how the pieces will fit. If you go to their "Our Catalog
" and then click "Click here to view our catalog now
" you will get to their PDF catalog. I ordered part numbers:
M224XP – 96” Length
YM3 – 96” – Length
YMR260X – 96” Length
YMR255X – 96” Length
You have to buy one length, but thye will cut them in half so you don't have the shipping surcharge for extra long.
I figure that I am going to have to put a 90 degree bend in the YMR260X so that it will rub up against the back window.
The YMR255X is for the inner door panels on the front doors. You will have to cut these to length and pop rivit or staple them in place.
What I have not been able to figure out is how to do the rubber on the outside
trim. Also, I have not been able to find the flocked material that covers the "fingers" that rub up against the glass. If you find this, let me know please.
Thanks for the website, I will check them out. Let me know how your weatherstriping works out. If I locate the flocked material for the windows I will post it. I haven't see too much out there for these cars.
Is this a car for sale in Maryland?
I have rear lights and fronts for sale if you need them
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