Patching my Esteem

Sam Car 4 Comments

This is my Esteem, its make is a year 2000 Suzuki Esteem Wagon. It’s been a very reliable and fun car since day 1.

But the rust patch on the passenger door has been getting progressively worse and we had to do something about it.


Horace found a silver passenger door from a junk yard (somehow) and dragged it home. We have never worked on our cars before and have no idea how to start.

First we start taking out all the screws and then popping off the handles off the ‘new’ door…

Next we have to strip down the blue door.

Removing the electrical components and then labelling them.

Side mirrors, power lock, power window, keyhole…all have to come off.

Most difficult part was to swap the power windows.

Finally pulled it off with wires dangling.

Wiring up the new door on the floor first.

Putting it back up, hope it fits into the frame.

Everything came back together, doesn’t look too bad at all.

With a few codes under the hood, Napa Auto Parts could mix a spray can of touch-up paint. We had to wait for a sufficiently warm day before we could apply the paint onto the door panel.

We taped up the blue areas and then scuffed the top coat with 400 grit sandpaper. Wiped it down and used a heater to ensure the surface is dry.

Next we wiped it down and started applying thin coats of paint, giving 10-15min between coats to dry.

After 5 coats of paint we started laying down the gloss finish. It took a lot longer than we expected.

Another few hours to set then we peeled off the tape see how it looks. The color is a little lighter but not too noticeable.

Last step is to glue back on the silver trim. For a project under $200, we now have a door that somewhat resembles the original blue color!

SamPatching my Esteem

Comments 4

  1. Horace

    Haha, a photo documentary of a door transplant surgery.

    Imagine that the silver one didn’t fit when you have taken everything apart..

  2. JL

    wow this is so impressive; i don’t think i noticed the new look on monday night! can’t believe everything fit back together seamlessly…that hardly ever happens on the first try! can’t figure out the 2nd last picture–looks like sheet of metal is carved out, or will there be another piece on top? very cool…

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