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Front Door Panel Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Door Panel Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, door panel clip tool, T25 and T27 Torx drivers

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

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 items behind door panel

Complementary Modification:

Replace vapor barrier

The front 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 E60. 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. There are a few differences in removing the front and rear door panels. This tech article covers the front. See our tech article on rear door panel removing, should you need access to what is behind your rear door panels.

Each inner door trim panel is equipped with SRS airbags. 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 the 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 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.

Please call a sales rep for parts ordering at 1-888-280-7799

Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out the entrance light, which is located at the bottom of the door panel.
Figure 1

Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out the entrance light, which is located at the bottom of the door panel. Then, disconnect the electrical connector by pulling straight out to remove it (inset).

Next, open the window fully.
Figure 2

Next, open the window fully. Then disconnect the battery's negative cable. See our tech article on battery replacing. Using a plastic prying tool, lever out the airbag fastener cover on the outer edge of the door panel. Then remove the T27 Torx fastener beneath it (red arrow).

Working at the inner edge of the door panel, remove the small plastic cover (red arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the inner edge of the door panel, remove the small plastic cover (red arrow). Then remove the Phillips head screw under the cover (inset).

Using a door panel clip tool (red arrow), release the door panel clips.
Figure 4

Using a door panel clip tool (red arrow), release the door panel clips. I like to start at the lower corner. I then work my way around the door panel, releasing all the other clips.

Once the door panel clips have been disconnected, lever the top of the door panel straight off the window seal clips (red arrows).
Figure 5

Once the door panel clips have been disconnected, lever the top of the door panel straight off the window seal clips (red arrows). Start at the outer edge of the door and work your way toward the interior. Next, lift the door panel up to detach it from the center clip, near the handle (inset). Sliding the panel up will disconnect the clip, leaving the clip attached to the door. You will have to transfer the clip to the door panel before reinstalling.

Pull the door panel back enough to access all the electrical connectors.
Figure 6

Pull the door panel back enough to access all the electrical connectors. Disconnect the power window switch electrical connector (red arrow) by pulling the connector straight out of the switch. Then, disconnect the speaker electrical connectors, by pulling the connectors straight out of the speakers. Then disconnect the door panel light electrical connector at the bottom of the door by squeezing the release tabs and pulling it straight out (yellow arrow). Working at the top of the door module, disconnect the electrical connector (green arrow) by pulling it apart. Next, unclip and release the cable from the door handle by releasing the tab and pulling it out. Then disconnect the airbag by pressing the release tab (purple arrow) and pulling the connector straight out of the airbag. Once all the electrical connectors are disconnected and detached from the door panel, remove the door panel from the vehicle. You can now service items behind the door panel and repair them as needed. When installing, reverse the order of the removal instructions. Be sure to replace any damaged door panel clips. Properly route all the wiring as it was before.

Remove the center door panel clips from the anchor on the door by squeezing the metal tabs with pliers and sliding the clip off.
Figure 7

Remove the center door panel clips from the anchor on the door by squeezing the metal tabs with pliers and sliding the clip off. Then slide the clip back onto the door panel (red arrow).

If you are replacing the door panel or passenger airbag, remove the four T25 Torx fasteners and transfer the airbag to the new door panel.
Figure 8

If you are replacing the door panel or passenger airbag, remove the four T25 Torx fasteners and transfer the airbag to the new door panel.

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Comments and Suggestions:
hoshotninja Comments: Actuator mechanically broken, and cant open door from both sides. Trying to open door panel with door closed to at least get to ope the door to do the rest. Help!!!
September 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You're on the right track. You will need to work to remove the door panel. Then with the window up, try to unlatch the door latch. Your best bet is try to do it at the front where the handle actuates the bracket. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tindo Comments: Cheers folks. Worked a treat...but in my 2007 UK LCI at step 5 above the entire panel detached including the vapour barrier. I've temporarily managed to reattach the lot but I think I'll need to sort it out again to get the OEM flush look. Any tips/ideas on how to slide the vapour barrier back in?

Secondly I've changed the midranges to Gladen Audio mids for which they recommend grinding part of the metal panel for their speaker to sit properly where the OEM one was. Any ideas on how I can work around this. Their speaker is almost the same size as the OEM and has slots at the same sites though their mounting raises the profile of the speaker about half an inch higher than the OEM was. Do I necessarily have to retain the metal panel?

I've temporarily closed it all off as there's rain coming but aim to sort both sides including tweeters in the next few days. Any ideas would be much appreciated
June 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use butyl tape to reattach the vapor barrier.

I don't have experience with the speaker modification. Check with the manufacturer. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dave Comments: Have removed the door on passenger front and now have now power when refitting
May 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Inspect the door vapor barrier and trim clips. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Raymond Comments: Thank you very much for your advise.
April 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Raymond Comments: My BMW5 E60 525i was year 2007 & need to remove & replace the front door window power main switch & cover with door holder as attached picture . Could you please help to advise how to take it out from the door inner panel ? Do we need to open the inner door panel & remove any screws that tightened it ?

Thanks in advance for your help .

April 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Once the door panel is removed, there are a few Torx screws for the switch, remove them. Then remove the switch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Willman Comments: Followed these instructions and the panel came off like a dream.

Well done you guys from a very grateful chap across the pond :
March 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Robert Comments: 2006 BMW 525i, Instructions worked perfect. I changed out my drivers side airbag.
One red clip did break.
Thanks
February 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Matt C Comments: What a great guide. Thankyou very much. Possibly not something you know but thought I'd ask anyway. Is it possible to gain access to the rear of the grab handle with the door card removed? The clips holding one of mine are broken and as a result the handle isn't seated properly. I'd like to replace the handle but want to avoid the door card removal process if possible.

Cheers,
Matt
July 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The door panel has to be removed to access the handle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cosmin Comments: Thank You for this guide!
June 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ed Comments: I've had this door problem for almost half a year now, I think the thing connecting the handle inside the door just came loose and BMW dealer Crevier are quite expensive to bring it to. Can you recommend a shop who specializes in door repair near Irvine or Tustin. Thank you for all your help but I'm not too handy with my hands and feel it'll do harm than good. Thank you so much for your blog and everything youvguys do.
February 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the website bimrs.org. They have a shop locator. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:39:20 AM