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I am getting ready to order deluxe interior door panels for my 69 Mach 1 build. Who has the best quality door panels these days?
 

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I've heard good things from Dashes Direct from a few of my mustang friends
 

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1970 Mustang Mach 1
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I have TMI deluxe door panels. They had many quality issues and CJ send me replacements a few times. They look great but are not as soft as the original panels.
 

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We carry the TMI panels as a premium offering, and the Dashes Direct as a lesser-cost alternative.

If I was installing in my own personal car, I would go with the TMI every time. They had some early issues, but we assisted in helping them sort it out. Once installed, they are the closest thing to looking original that's out there, IMHO. Especially the detail/crispness of the flat/beveled contour that surrounds the recess for the woodgrain, and the detail of the recess (and fit/ease of installation) where the pull-cups install. There's also that little detail along the leading-edge and rear-edge of the panel that TMI got and did well.

They are firm, but I have original door panels on both my 5K original mile '70 Mach, and my 32K original mile Boss 429, and I've literally sat those cars with a TMI panel in my lap, and you know what?? Those original panels were pretty damn firm too, very little difference IMHO.

Through the decades (originally years ago we carried Mustang Market and AAA Products, and then when Dashes Direct came out they had the best overall mix of positives vs. negatives), all the reproduction panels on the market were actually TOO soft and poofy/puffy compared to an original Ford panel. I think all those panels subliminally set in an assumption that they're supposed to be that way.

I literally, before clicking "post reply", walked out and did the pushy-finger test on my original 1970 panels, and the TMI panels in my buddy Gary's '69 Mach, and there's very little difference in the softness. They're both pretty damned rigid and stiff. I also snapped some detail shots between the originals in the '70, and the TMI in the '69. Hope it helps.

Rick
NPD

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Back in the 80's, my 69 door panels were soft. It got cold down here in Florida, and when I put my arm down on them the vinyl covering cracked. I have no idea who's I have now, I purchased them in the 90's I think. They have metal under the curved upper section and the rest is a thicker plastic backing. I did have to trim out some plastic where the door pulls go in to get the cups to fit, but in the end, they came out nice. They are hard, unlike my originals, and I did have some problems getting them on the door, but I will take that over having them crack like my originals.
 

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69bossnine, I agree with your eval of the TMI panels. I totally believe your results on the pushy finger test. I just did the pushy finger test on my TMI panels, between firm and flexible. Not Poofy!
 

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Soft feeling original door panels could also be a function of old/rotting foam underneath the vinyl outer layer.. That could explain why the panels on my very low-mileage cars are still very stiff and firm (I also have a new-old-stock 1971 deluxe door panel that is similarly firm), but cars that were driven plenty and exposed to humidity and high interior temperatures and use and-and-and could be compromised and softer. The foam used, with time, eventually begins to rot and degrade. It's just a matter of time factored with environment. Without air-conditioned storage, mine would likely head downhill too.
 

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Soft feeling original door panels could also be a function of old/rotting foam underneath the vinyl outer layer.. That could explain why the panels on my very low-mileage cars are still very stiff and firm (I also have a new-old-stock 1971 deluxe door panel that is similarly firm), but cars that were driven plenty and exposed to humidity and high interior temperatures and use and-and-and could be compromised and softer. The foam used, with time, eventually begins to rot and degrade. It's just a matter of time factored with environment. Without air-conditioned storage, mine would likely head downhill too.
Very possible the issue with my originals, as the car was sitting outside and not running for many years before I purchased it. They looked great, but one winter day, the outer shell got hard, brittle and cracked when I put my arm down on the door pull area, exposing the inner foam.
 

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Speaking of door panels, how does the vinyl dye hold up on 69 deluxe door panels on a daily driver? I need door panels in nugget gold and looks like to dye a set of white panels is the only option for me. Does anybody have experience with long term durability of dye on their door panels?
 

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+1 on the TMI panels from NPD.

The vinyl wooden inserts are another game depending on your car (early build vs. later build). They were almost unobtainium when I was redoing my 69 GT Deluxe interior a couple of years ago. Dunno how it goes now.
 
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