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Firebird Door Panel Crack – What Years?

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Old 07-21-2016, 04:06 PM
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Default Firebird Door Panel Crack – What Years?

Does anyone know the approximate vehicle build date after which firebirds had/have the door panel crack problem?

IIRC, my TA build date is March 1998 (ASC conversion 4-10-1998), and the panels are as yet un-cracked. Have considered some preventative maintenance, but do not want to mess with them if mine are not at risk.

I did find the following while searching here.

Originally Posted by blue09rocket View Post
GM changed their supplier back in mid 1998, I know this is not everyones cup of tea, but I changed my interior to a different color (ebay, junkyards) and also got a set of pre 98 door panels with no cracks….
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bsf View Post
Does anyone know the approximate vehicle build date after which firebirds had/have the door panel crack problem?

IIRC, my TA build date is March 1998 (ASC conversion 4-10-1998), and the panels are as yet un-cracked. Have considered some preventative maintenance, but do not want to mess with them if mine are not at risk.

I did find the following while searching here.
I think 98 you'll be safe from the cracking issue. I have two 98's that still have perfect panels. If you want to be safe, do the door panel mod.
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:43 AM
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I have 2 98s. One has a build date of sept 97 and does not have the cracks. My other 98 does have cracks, but I have yet to check the build date on it.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:14 AM
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Same here, 98s still looks good, no need to worry I guess

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Old 07-10-2018, 08:28 PM
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I am updating this thread as I just pulled both my door trim panels this week and what I learned may be of value to others.


My car build date is March 1998.


The door window inner sweeps on both sides show a manufacture date of 2-25-1998.


Both doors show manufacture dates of 03-16-1998, possibly 2nd shift. Sticker on inner surface of outer door skin.

Upon visual inspection of the exterior surface, there was no evidence of impending failure on the RH side. However, look closely at the back side, bottom of the square notch, specifically the corner nearest rear edge of door. All photos I have seen of the back of a cracked door trim panel had the crack in the exact same spot, both RH and LH.


Back side of RH Door Trim Panel. Left is towards rear of vehicle. Small, vertical, discoloration near the top middle of the photo, corner of notch.

LH side is different.


Slight dip visible in the top of the installed LH Door Trim Panel in the problem area.


98 TA LH Door Trim Panel problem area wide view back side. Pointed tape marking common failure point.


Close-up view of back side LH Panel. Appears same as RH with the discoloration indicating stressed plastic. Discoloration at notch directly opposite dip visible from other side.

I suspect my door inner panels suffer from the same design flaw as other LS1 Firebirds, but survived this long due to low mileage (26xxx); very little window use; overall excellent vehicle care; and garage storage. What I see indicates to me they would crack w/o preventative maintenance. When, I do not know.

So, in summary, March 1998 vehicle build date; March 16, 1998 door manufacture; and February 25, 1998 inner sweep manufacture. If there was a change in the Door Trim Panels 98 model year that lead to the infamous failure, my car indicates it was probably prior to March 16, 1998. Take this into consideration if you are one of the few owners left of Firebirds with as yet un-cracked, original Door Trim Panels. I just did the preventative maintenance on mine and consider myself fortunate to have nice stock panels yet.

See huge Firebird door panel thread (check Posts 159, 349, 476, 483, 485, & 504-508) for information on Door Trim Panel Repair.

Last edited by bsf; 07-10-2018 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:40 PM
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I have seen a 97 TA with cracked door panels. They all have this flaw, esp. oi-02. The only way to truely prevent it is remove the staples and put screws in. Without this mod they all will crack eventually and its dependant on the windows being put up and down, the climate, opening and closing the door and most importantly a window out of adjustment.
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