I thought that cutting out the door panels was going to be easy.
On an E250, and probably every other van ever made, each door panel is a different shape. And I didn’t have the original ones to use as templates.
The first decision was to stick with the door skin for a uniform look.
Step one was to create new templates. I did this by using brown kraft/wrapping papper. I taped a large rectangle over the inside of the door. When it was secure, I took a piece of graphite and rubbed around the edges of where I thought the door panel should be. Rubbing lightly, the edge of the area where the panel would sit came into view as a dark line. I also made sure to rub over the screw holes to I would know where to place them.
The next step was to cut the panel template out of the paper and place it into the panel valley in the door to make sure everything was sized correctly, and to double check the holes for the screws.
I did this for all four of the cargo doors. When the templates were finished, I placed them on the door skin in such a way as to waste as little of the wood as possible, and traced them.
The next step was to cut them out. This can be done with the tool of your choice. I used a hand saw and I used my dremel tool to finish out the curves.
The panels were then painted in the same way as the walls – mold resistant primer and then two coats of good paint.
To attach the panels to the inside of the doors, if you are lucky enough to have the old door panels, you might be able to salvage the clips and fasten them onto the new panels. I did not, so I used screws to attach the panels. I used some steel washers as decoration as well, just to lighten it up a bit.