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Door Panel Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Door Panel Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, Door panel clip tool, flathead & Phillips screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Door panel, Vapor barrier, Vapor barrier seal, door panel clips

Hot Tip:

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

Performance Gain:

Access to interior door components

Complementary Modification:

Replace window regulator

The doors, particularly the driver door, are equipped with a large number of electrical and electronic components. The interior door trim panel has to be removed to access components behind it, such as the door speaker, side airbag, window regulator, door latch and door mirror. In this tech article, I will go over the steps involved in removing the front door panel on your BMW Z3. I suggest having extra door panel clips on hand before removing the panels, as the clips can often break when removing. If you have to remove the vapor barrier, have vapor barrier sealant on hand. Be very careful when removing the vapor barrier. It tears easily and if it is reinstalled with a tear, an interior water leak can develop. 

Each inner door trim panel is equipped with an SRS airbag. For safety reasons, be sure to disconnect the vehicle battery before beginning work on the door panel. See our tech article on the battery.

Be sure to use plastic prying tools when working on interior trim panels and other components. Alternatively, wrap the tip of a screwdriver or other metal prying tool with masking or electrical tape to avoid marring trim items.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

For parts, please call one of our specialists at 1-888-280-7799.

Lower the window on the door you are removing the door panel on.

Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out the power mirror switch (green arrow).
Figure 1

Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out the power mirror switch (green arrow).

Once mirror switch has been removed, disconnect electrical connector by pulling straight out of switch.
Figure 2

Once mirror switch has been removed, disconnect electrical connector by pulling straight out of switch.

Working inside of the power mirror switch mounting hole, remove the T20 Torx screw (green arrow).
Figure 3

Working inside of the power mirror switch mounting hole, remove the T20 Torx screw (green arrow).

Then, using a plastic prying tool, lever the door handle trim piece in direction of green arrow.
Figure 4

Then, using a plastic prying tool, lever the door handle trim piece in direction of green arrow. This will unlock the mounting tabs. See next photo.

The green arrows point to the mounting tabs you have to disengage when you slide trim piece.
Figure 5

The green arrows point to the mounting tabs you have to disengage when you slide trim piece.

Using a door panel clip tool, release door panel clips (green arrows).
Figure 6

Using a door panel clip tool, release door panel clips (green arrows). I like to start at lower corner. Then work my way around door panel, releasing all other clips.

Once door panel clips have been disconnected, pull top of door panel off the door.
Figure 7

Once door panel clips have been disconnected, pull top of door panel off the door. Start at outer edge of door and work your way toward interior.

Pull door panel back enough to access the electrical connectors (green arrows).
Figure 8

Pull door panel back enough to access the electrical connectors (green arrows). Pull the connectors straight apart to disconnect. You can now service items behind door panel and repair as needed. 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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Comments and Suggestions:
45 Guy Comments: You'll want a T-25 driver for the screw behind the pull handle mine was the passenger side and a tip or three on how to replace the panel the top lip was a bear would help anyone tackling this otherwise easy job. Regarding the white door clips-you're less likely to damage them but can easily tear them away from the flimsy material they are glued onto. Be patient :
October 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Karl Burns Comments: I cannot determine if I need a door pull or the door panel. Can you confirm which part I need?
April 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I believe a door panel. Not sure if that is repairable. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bob Comments: The door card on my z3 has a secondary panel fixed to the main door card. This has come away at the front end. I need to re-glue the material and resecure the secondary panel to the door card. What clips are required? Can I remove this smaller panel without without removal of the main door card. Many thanks. Bob.
April 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would need to see a photo of the parts. There may not be a repair option available. For an instant response, give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Chris Comments: There's a curved plastic piece fastened to the top inside of a door panel that hooks onto the inner seal; it tends to fall apart in the southern climate. Come up with a metal piece to replace it. Could glue it to the inside of the door panel
December 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
BluesFan44 Comments: On my Z3, there's some white plastic between the door panel and door mechanics. Is this essential, and what is its function?
July 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is a vapor barrier, it is essential. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: figure 3 on the Z3 door panel page points right to it. The screw connects the pull handle to the door frame. There must have been a nut spot welded to the door and it's gone now.
June 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is an anchor on the door, either metal or plastic. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: Thanks for your help, all went pretty smooth. Just needed to grease the window mech. Now I notice there's no nut to screw the torx screw into. seems to have fallen inside. any suggestions?
May 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What Torx are you referring to? can you share a photo? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Scotty Comments: My apologies.

I am referring to the vinyl/leather handles that one pulls on to close the doors. Both of mine have broken and I am ready to install the replacements. Thnx again. -Scotty
October 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Those are part of the door panels. I believe. If there is a repair kit we can get it for you. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Scotty Comments: Thanks. I am replacing the door pull handles on both doors. Will removing the door panel provide the access needed, or will removing something else vapor barrier? be required as well? -Scotty
October 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See this tech article, the steps you need are there.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-Z3/101-BODY-Door_Latch_Replacement/101-BODY-Door_Latch_Replacement.htm

assuming you are referring to the interior handles. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Scotty Comments: Does this diagram show exactly where the clips are on my 2000 Z3 Roadster??
Once screws are out, is it easy to see where the plastic clips are located??
Thnx !!
October 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The arrows point to the approximate area you should lever at. See attached photo, some of the clips are visible. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Phil Comments: Excellent write-up. Thank you. I will come in handy as I need to take off the passenger door panel to replace the grab handle 2002 Z3 3.0 Roadster. I've removed the small cap on the top of the handle where it is broken away and I see a Torx under a small cap to the rear of the panel. Other than removing the door handle trim, are there any more fasteners or is just panel clips at that point.

btw, do you know where I can source the grab handle? It's the black 'rubber' one.
September 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I believe it is attached to the door panel, not sure if it replaceable separately.

We can get you the part if it is available. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
rdelong1 Comments: Great direcftions. I hate taking door panels off this was a breeze with the pics.
August 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Mon 5/22/2017 02:08:46 AM