brg2290
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:07 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Dec 2012
Leaf Number: 018872
Location: Eastern Washington

Passenger door damage - repair or replace?

Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:19 am

Hi all. Here's my issue - my car 2013 Nissan Leaf, black, with damage to the right rear door panel. I've explored a few options, here are some details:

Paintless dent repair - $350 - $400 to get the door panel to "90%"
Regular auto body shop - $1100 for dent repair and paint
Used door (correct color) - ~ $700

Pros and cons:
Paintless dent repair - cheap but not perfect
Auto body shop - close to perfect but not cheap
Used door - close match to original at medium cost

Concerns:
Paintless dent repair - will I be happy with "90%"?

Used door - This option seems to have the most variables. I have tools and have done a fair bit of work on cars. I have a good workspace. I don't know how well the paint from a 2015 will match my car. I don't know if the electrical for the door is a plug and play setup, or if the interior door panel will have to come off to make electrical connections. I don't know what is involved (or if it's even possible) to get the door lock to work with my keyfob).

Please share thoughts on choices and any issues I may have overlooked.
Thanks.

estomax
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:23 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 424033
Location: Seattle

Re: Passenger door damage - repair or replace?

Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:45 am

Used door will be your best bet in my opinion, if you are at all handy. I am not sure of the Leaf, but it might be as simple as removing the interior panel, then popping off the outer door skin and replacing it with a skin from a donor door. unless your door frame itself is damaged also. (you said PDR will get you to 90% so i assume door skin is the only damage (cosmetic)). with newer VW/Audi the outer skin comes off, haven't dug into my Leaf that much yet. Quick look in the FSM says you gotta replace the door as a whole though.

The plugs come off inside the door from the window switch and speaker and then you can pull them off with the rubber grommet through the door. Definitely a job you can do in your driveway.

i am quite sure the paint code on 2015 is still the same as 2013. to confirm, check with dr colorchip website to see touchup paint part number for the two cars. i know with white they don't match through the years (that's what my car is..)

Marko
2013 Leaf SL Premium
27k, 93% SoH 2/17 32k, 96% SoH 6/17
46k, 94% SoH 2/18 52k, 88% SoH 6/18

aluminumwelder
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:39 pm
Delivery Date: 14 Jun 2014

Re: Passenger door damage - repair or replace?

Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:24 pm

bondo
seriously, leaf is ugly already anyways.
It's not like you drive it because it looks cool.

erco
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:32 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Passenger door damage - repair or replace?

Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:54 am

aluminumwelder wrote:bondo
seriously, leaf is ugly already anyways.
It's not like you drive it because it looks cool.


Terrific comment. Thank you for taking the time to share your valuable insight. Solid gold. Really. Can't wait for more. So excited.
Ocean Blue 2014 S, 3.6kW OBC, no QC, purchased 10/21/17, 12 bars, Los Angeles
Car first sold in Buford Georgia
Dropped 1st bar 11/30/17
AmazingE 3.8 kW EVSE

brg2290
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:07 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Dec 2012
Leaf Number: 018872
Location: Eastern Washington

Re: Passenger door damage - repair or replace?

Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:17 am

Hi, and thanks for the input. Latest update is I will be having one more paintless dent repair guy look at the car for an estimate. The tech has years of experience and he is well reviewed. Will update on my end when I have more information. Meantime, anyone else have experience swapping out a door, making the electrical connections and getting the lock to work with the key fob?

goldbrick
Posts: 244
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Colorado front range

Re: Passenger door damage - repair or replace?

Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:24 am

I've swapped doors on my ICE vehicles to get rid of door dings. If you can find one at a junkyard for a reasonable cost, it's usually not hard to just unbolt the door, swap the electrical connections and bolt the door back on. I don't have any experience with a Leaf but a quick glance at the door hinges should show you how easy they would be to access. Then it's just a matter of popping off the door liner on the inside and removing the window regulator etc.

A few things to keep in mind if you go this route is that the paint may not match exactly if one of the cars was in the sun more than the other or even if they just came from a different batches of paint. The door alignment is usually not an issue since the alignment is usually done on the hinge itself, not the bolts that hold the door to the hinge. There may be rivets (plastic or metal) or one time use clips behind the door panel that could complicate matters but I would assume you could buy replacements at your local Nissan dealer if needed.

Bottom line, I haven't done this on a Leaf but I have done this on other cars and it wasn't a tough job. YMMV.

On my cars the key fob communicated with a central locking controller that was matched to the fob. The doors were simply told to lock/unlock by the central controller. I'm not 100% sure but I would assume the Leaf works the same.

brg2290
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:07 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Dec 2012
Leaf Number: 018872
Location: Eastern Washington

Re: Passenger door damage - repair or replace?

Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:07 am

goldbrick wrote:On my cars the key fob communicated with a central locking controller that was matched to the fob. The doors were simply told to lock/unlock by the central controller. I'm not 100% sure but I would assume the Leaf works the same.


Hi goldbrick. All good information, especially the key fob info. If this is indeed the case (and it seems logical to me), then it eliminates one of my greatest concerns with the door replacement approach.
Thanks for posting.

aluminumwelder
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:39 pm
Delivery Date: 14 Jun 2014

Re: Passenger door damage - repair or replace?

Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:49 pm

Terrific comment. Thank you for taking the time to share your valuable insight. Solid gold. Really. Can't wait for more. So excited.

at least I offered a viable cheap easy fix, unlike your sarcastic jack a*s comment that offered nothing positive. when you point a finger look at the 4 pointing back to you.

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