Car door window frame repair

Click on the images to enlarge

I was chatting to a mate while I was sat in the Mini with the drivers door open. He was holding the door as he was chatting away, and as he leant back and forwards I noticed that the top of the door's window frame went with him. Taking a closer look I noticed that a long L-shaped crack had appeared in the metal near the wing mirror. I think it's time to have another practice at welding before it shears off completely!

car door frame weld

First things first, I removed the window glass trims and wound the glass down. Then I blasted away all the paint surrounding the crack using a wire brush attachment on a power drill. I prepped the MIG welder and cleared the area of anything flammable. I also made sure I had my fire extinguisher nearby. I'm not 100 percent confident in my welding skills just yet.

wire brush on metal

I started welding and noticed that I was making a hole in the metal rather than ceiling the crack! I turned the welder settings down and that improved progress slightly. My welding is still messy and I ended up making a right mess so I had to get the angle grinder out to smooth the mess out.

This continued for some time, me welding lots of little blobs of weld, smoothing it all with the angle grinder, welding, grinding, repeat.

Finally when there was no sign of the crack, and all you could see was new metal, I called it a day. I removed the door release lever because the angle grinder had er.. accidentally shortened it by about 1mm. Oops!

The next morning I inspected my welding. It wasn't the nea, but at least the frame was no longer wobbling and threatening to snap off.

preparing the area for painting

Using old clothes, pieces of cardboard and masking tape I covered everything that I didn't want to paint. I gave the frame 3 coats of grey primer leaving it to dry for 20 minutes in-between sprays. I then left it overnight (this is the weekend and I didn't need the car so I tend to take my time with bodywork, allowing each stage to fully dry/harden).

repaired car door frame

The next morning I gave the area 4 coats of top coat allowing 30 minutes between sprays. It was a busy day so I had other jobs to do around the house, so visiting the car for 5 minutes each half hour was ideal rather than hanging around watching paint dry.

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