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BJ8 Rear Seat Side Panels


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My next task is to repair and reupholster the back-seat side panels on my BJ8.
1. What is the best way to remove the panels?
2. The bottom couple inches of each panel have deteriorated, probably due to water damage over the years. Any suggestion on how to repair these panels?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Healey Nut

Luke Skywalker
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The originals I think were made from a kind of fibreboard type stuff which basically turns to porridge when it gets wet .
The panels I got for my restorations came ready covered to install (although not the checker board pattern) which doesnt bother me as Im not a purist . They are a sheet flexible black resin plastic stuff with an aluminum section riveted on where they angle towards the door edge opening . They fit great .


Darth Vader
Country flag
My next task is to repair and reupholster the back-seat side panels on my BJ8.
1. What is the best way to remove the panels?
2. The bottom couple inches of each panel have deteriorated, probably due to water damage over the years. Any suggestion on how to repair these panels?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Whatever you do, buy or diy, make sure the panels are flexible or you’ll have a nasty outline of the metal front piece that the wood attaches to.


Darth Vader
View attachment 63182Hi Bob,

How is your waffle pattern sections?

Back in the early 1980, when I decided to revitalize my BJ8, I had the traditional water damage on the rear panels. After removing the panels, it was obvious that the major damage was primarily narrowed to the lower sections that touched the floor. With no access to the internet at the time and no contact with other Healey owners, I decided to remanufacture the rear panels.

On my business travels across the US, a 6-month search for black vinyl with a matching grain finally yielded a good match at a restoration supply shop that dealt in Model T Fords. After removing the upholstery from the panel, I made patterns and created replacements out of sealed Door Skin wood (used back then to modernize old panel doors) and riveted them to forward refurbished metal sections. By carefully cutting the waffle section from the original cover, I cut and sewed a new forward section using the vinyl purchased and, as originally done, laid and glued the new cover over a thin medium density foam.

Although the new panel reflected the original quite well, it did create another problem. As it turned out, over the years of driving my Healey with the top down, the black had faded and now the richer and deeper black color of the new piece made the door panels look Old. So, my next task was to create new door panels and from there, new kick panels, dash cover, dash insert, and console.

IMG_0845 (2).jpg
IMG_0847 (2).jpg
IMG_0848 (2).jpg

However, redoing the door panels was not a negative as the driver's side panel was bowed in from my leaning my knee against the door when driving. The door panel backing panel has also deteriorated from water and, therefore, needed a water proof material that was also resistant to my knee pressure. Back then home centers carried a tempered panel used to modernize old showers and bathrooms. From an 8-ft x 4-ft panel, I created 2 door backing panels and neither has shown any deterioration in their 30-years of use. However, I would not recommend using similar tempered material for panel backing as working the material was quite a chore (material is quite hard).

I mention the later because I had initially thought I only would do the rear panels but I have found that on my Healey, one thing will always lead me to another, and another, and another. I guess, in my case, this is one major element of why my Healey has kept me interested for the past 56-years (this month).

Enjoy the Adventure,
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