Since reading this post, E-Series Ford Door Panel Removal
, and knowing that different year panels are interchangeable, I have always wanted to do this project.
I recently found a pair of MY2010 grey door panels at the local junk yard that were fully intact panels including the power window/power door lock switches. I figured now was my chance!
Obligatory finished project pic first, for the TL;DR crowd:
Here are the steps I took.
After doing a little research it appears that the newer switches are a bit different than the older switches and after seeing a few posts of others that had tried, I decided against trying to work with the DC wiring. I took a different approach. What I noticed is that while different, the layout of the old switches vs the new ones were somewhat similar. So I thought, what if I modified the new switch bezel plate to simply accommodate the older switches. No need to mess with wiring, just plastic, glue, Bondo, and paint. I figured that the door locks, switches, door handle, and upper door trim triangle were all black, so maybe if I modified the switch bezel then painted it black, it would blend it well enough to not look completely horrible and I would get the advantage of having 2 additional storage bins in my door panel instead of the one crappy door pocket.
Not wanting to totally F up my existing MY2000 door panels, switches, and bezels, I headed back to the junk yard found an older van and took the switch bezel plate, and switches. This would give me something to work with and if I couldn’t get it to work or look good, I could simply abandon the project and put the original panels back in.
Here is what I started with:
Donor MY2000 switch bezel:
Donor MY2010 switch bezel:
I measured the space that all 3 switches took up on the older switch plate and it lined up pretty well with newer switch plate, but I had to remove the middle section of the newer switch plate so I was left with one large hole in the new switch plate bezel:
I next cut out, as one piece, the entire section of the MY2000 bezel where the 3 switches were, power door lock switch and the 2 power window switches:
With some filing it was almost a perfect fit:
I next had to find a spot for the power mirror controls. Luckily the wiring harness is long enough that I was able to move it to the back of the switch plate bezel on the new switch plate, on the original one it is up front. So I cut the power mirror bezel out of the MY2000 bezel and fit it to the MY2010 bezel. The result is below.
Here is a view of the bottom of the switch plate bezel. You can see that I was able to retain the clips that hold the bezel to the door panel.
Once I had everything test fitted together, I glued all pieces together.
After the glue cured I found a product at Autozone called bumper repair kit by Bondo and used it to fill in the voids.
After that it was time to paint. I tried a gloss, a semi-gloss, and finally settled on a flat black. Since the door accents are already black, (handle, inside of cubbies, switches, lock rod cover, and the triangular trim piece that covers the side mirror hardware) I figured that the painted switch plate bezel would match well enough in black as well. The pics below are the result of 2 coats of gloss black, 1 coat of semi-gloss black, 4 coats of flat black, and 5 coats of flat clear. I sanded using 400 grit after 3 coats of flat black, then wet sanded with steel wool after 4 coats of flat clear. Not sure if it made a darn bit of difference but I am happy with the finish. It could have used an additional application of the Bondo to clean up around the holes a little bit more, but I was satisfied with the result.
The second part that needed adapting was the plate that attached the switches to the bezel. In order to get it to fit I needed to trim off one side of it. The wires are a little tricky to get out of this plate, but using a pick I was able to remove them. If anyone actually attempts this and needs help getting the wires out PM me and I can help you out.
This means that you cannot actually screw the baseplate for the switches to the bezel, but only time will tell if that is really an issue or not. When installing the bezel into the door panel the wires for the switches were pushing upwards pretty good, so I am hoping that upward pressure will keep things in place.
Here are a few more finished product shots:
I have not yet tackled the passenger side, but my approach will be exactly the same!