Auto body repair & detailing/Car door swap


Door dent
Door dent  
Hi Dave,
I have a 2007 Prius that got dented from a concrete parking post.
The damage is in between replacing the skin if the horizontal braces are still good, or replacing the door. It looks like it's too deep to try to pull and fill the dent. There are lots of articles about taking parts off these doors but I would like to ask you to see how difficult it is to get a pic-n-pull driver's door and simply swap it out. And yes the mirror had it's mounting brackets cracked as well. Hopefully I can find the right color. The internal wires need to be pulled which doesn't seem too bad but the weight of the door and tricks to make sure the door hinges are properly aligned would be great to know. And any other tips would be appreciated. I got a $1000 deductible with one place wanting $2500 and another place wanting $1600. So should is challenge myself to do this? Or fork over the money?

Hi Dave.

Thank you for sending me the picture. Judging by the picture itself, in my opinion, if one was to repair this door, the best method would be to replace the door skin. From the picture also, it doesn't appear that any structural components are damaged, that mainly being the "crash" or "intrusion" beam. This could also be repaired the conventional way with a uni-spotter, hammer and dolly, filling, and priming, but the labour rate for repair, would be more than the cost of replacing the door skin.

In regards to replacing the door, if you would like to do this yourself, it is actually a pretty straight forward procedure. Give your local Auto Wrecker a call, and if possible, have the paint code and VIN number handy. From that information, they will be able to decode the serial number as to what options your vehicle has in regards to power door locks, power windows, power mirrors, power seats, etc., as well as the correct color code. This way, the used door wiring should be the same as your original door, and should not have to be replaced. In regards to connecting the wiring, almost every late model vehicle made today, has a connector plug just inside the pillar where the wiring boot is installed. Simply pull out the boot, and the connector should be readily accessible.

In regards to installing the replacement door, request that the replacement door comes with the hinges. Mark the original old door hinge locations with a scratch awl, or marking pen before removing. After removing the old door and hinges, you will now have a reference mark as to where to align up the new door and hinge assembly. You may need to do some fine tuning on the hinge adjustment, as to get the proper gaps.

Hope this helps you out....If you have any problems if you decide to repair this yourself, please drop me another line anytime. I will guide you through any other questions or concerns.....Thanks....Dave.  

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Dave Norgardt


Absolutely anything autobody related... Frame repair, suspension, alignment, panel replacement, panel repair, fiberglass, plastic repair, paint, air bags, etc.....


Over 30 years in related areas. 25 years in HEAVY frame repair, suspension, and alignment procedures. As well as panel replacement and repairs, etc.....

Journeyman Autobody Technician with Red Seal/Interprovincial certification from N.A.I.T. in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Top Achiever award second year, also from N.A.I.T. Also have Platinum status from I-Car Canada...Also have Journeyman Partsman Certificate, Lethbridge, Alberta...

Awards and Honors
Second Year Top Achiever from N.A.I.T.Edmonton

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