Those of us who notice new vehicles often do because we’re car guys or because we repair them for a living. One of the most significant design changes was the move to new inlaid doors, which fit into the body sides rather than wrapping over the roof of General Motors’ full size pick-ups and SUVs .
The design change from an engineering perspective reduces wind noise and air turbulence, helping quiet the cab. The new body style doors on the 2014 Silverado/Sierra full-size pick-ups and the 2015 full-size SUVs, has led to a shift in repair strategy as General Motors recommends a “belt-cut only” repair method for door outer panel replacement.
A full door outer panel is serviced for both front and rear side doors. However, GM Service Engineering recommends the panel be modified along or above the belt line when door outer panel replacement is an option for repair. Belt-cut or partial panel replacement is an industry standard strategy for door and quarter panel replacements. However, for an auto manufacturer to endorse a belt-cut strategy only for doors on new full size pick-ups and SUV’s is unique.
Section only preferred
The reason GM prefers a “section only” strategy for door outer panel repairs is because the outer and inner panels are hemmed around the door glass opening, and there isn’t sufficient room to get a dolly behind the inner panel. Hemming tools utilized in production are not feasible for use in the repair industry. Included for your review is the recommended GM repair procedure for front door outer panel repairs. Ultimately, GM would like to see complete door replacement for every door damage situation. However, we understand there are times when the door outer panel is a convenient repair option.