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BMW E39 Rear Door Panel Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Rear Door Panel Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

***

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, Door panel clip tool, Phillips screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW E39 5-Series (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Vapor barrier, Vapor barrier seal, door panel clips, wood trim clips/grommet

Hot Tip:

Have door panel trim clips on hand in case they break when removing

Performance Gain:

Access to vapor barrier, window regulator, and door latch/actuator assembly

Complementary Modification:

Replace vapor barrier

If you have a water leak coming in from the rear window, a broken window regulator or a broken door latch you are going to need to remove the interior rear door panel to service any of these items. In this tech article we are going to outline the procedure for removing the rear door panel. You should have spare door clips and vapor barrier sealant on hand in case anything breaks or becomes unusable after removing. Some vehicles may have an optional retractable sun-screen. The additional steps are mentioned in the procedure.

Pictured here is the rear door panel.
Figure 1

Pictured here is the rear door panel. There are some parts that need to be removed before you can pop off the door panel.

If you have the optional sun-screen use a plastic pry tool to lever off the cover for the rear door guide.
Figure 2

If you have the optional sun-screen use a plastic pry tool to lever off the cover for the rear door guide. You can then unhook the shade guide. Start in area of green arrow and lever it off.

Use a plastic prying tool to lever off the wood trim in the upper part of the door, start at the outside of the and slowly work your way in while levering it off.
Figure 3

Use a plastic prying tool to lever off the wood trim in the upper part of the door, start at the outside of the and slowly work your way in while levering it off. With the wood trim removed you have exposed two openings for Phillips screws (green arrows) for the retractable sun screen.

Now letÃÆ'‚'s move to the door handle.
Figure 4

Now letÂÂ's move to the door handle. You may need to pop off the cover cap if itÂÂ's not already missing to access the interior door handle mounting screw.

Remove the mounting screw and let the inner door handle just hang until you are ready to remove the panel.
Figure 5

Remove the mounting screw and let the inner door handle just hang until you are ready to remove the panel.

At the bottom of the door there is an access light.
Figure 6

At the bottom of the door there is an access light. Lever the light out with a plastic pry tool.

Squeeze the electrical connector (green arrow) and the light and pull them straight apart.
Figure 7

Squeeze the electrical connector (green arrow) and the light and pull them straight apart. You should fish the wiring harness inside the light opening so it doesnÂÂ't get caught when you pull off the panel. If you are going to remove the window or window regulator you will want to position the rear window all the way down. After removing the door panel guide you may want to put the window all the way in the up position. This means you are going to have to use the driverÂÂ's door switch or plug back in the passenger side door switch turn the key on to move the window. This will give you access to the glass mounting screw later.

Next remove power window switch.
Figure 8

Next remove power window switch. Use a plastic prying tool and gently lever the switch out of the door panel and fish the wiring inside the switch opening.

At this point you can use a door panel clip tool or a plastic pry tool to pop off the outside perimeter of the door panel.
Figure 9

At this point you can use a door panel clip tool or a plastic pry tool to pop off the outside perimeter of the door panel.

Lift straight up on the door panel to unhook it from the top of the door frame.
Figure 10

Lift straight up on the door panel to unhook it from the top of the door frame. Tuck the inner door handle (green arrow) inside the opening to allow it to pass through the door while lifting off the panel.

There is a door panel mounted speaker in the front of the upper part of the door.
Figure 11

There is a door panel mounted speaker in the front of the upper part of the door. Squeeze both sides of the connector (green arrow) and pull straight apart. You can now move the door panel out of your way.

There is a door clip (green arrow) mounted on a bracket in the center of the door frame.
Figure 12

There is a door clip (green arrow) mounted on a bracket in the center of the door frame. Lever off the door clip with a pry tool.

Install the door clip in the direction of the blue arrow on the bracket mounted in the middle of the door panel before re-installing.
Figure 13

Install the door clip in the direction of the blue arrow on the bracket mounted in the middle of the door panel before re-installing.

Peel away the vapor barrier to get access to components inside the door.
Figure 14

Peel away the vapor barrier to get access to components inside the door. You can use a blade to cut the sealant as you remove it. You may want to have extra sealant on hand when reinstalling. When installing, reverse order of removal instructions. Be sure to replace any damaged door panel clips. Properly route all wiring as before.

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