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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 panel clip tool, flathead screwdriver, T25, T30 Torx, trim

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2004-10)

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 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 X3. I suggest having extra door panel clips (eight in total for each door panel) 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 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 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The interior door trim panel (red arrow) has to be removed to access components behind it, such as the door speaker, side airbag, window regulator, door latch and door mirror.
Figure 1

The interior door trim panel (red arrow) has to be removed to access components behind it, such as the door speaker, side airbag, window regulator, door latch and door mirror. I suggest having extra door panel clips (eight in total for each door panel) 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.

Using a plastic prying tool, lever the door handle trim piece off the door panel (red arrows).
Figure 2

Using a plastic prying tool, lever the door handle trim piece off the door panel (red arrows). Inset and blue arrows show the trim piece clips that detach when removed.

Then, remove the two door panel T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 3

Then, remove the two door panel T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Working inside of the door handle, remove the plastic cap.
Figure 4

Working inside of the door handle, remove the plastic cap. Then remove the T25 Torx fastener beneath it (inset).

Using a plastic prying tool to lever the trim cap out at the end of the arm rest (red arrow).
Figure 5

Using a plastic prying tool to lever the trim cap out at the end of the arm rest (red arrow). The cap will slide out toward the rear of vehicle, not down. Then remove the T25 Torx fastener beneath it.

Using a plastic prying tool, lever the power window switch up at the door jamb side (red arrow).
Figure 6

Using a plastic prying tool, lever the power window switch up at the door jamb side (red arrow). Once the side of switch closest to jamb is slightly up, slide it out in direction of blue arrow. Pull the window switch assembly straight up to remove. Flip the window switch over, then disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight out (inset).

Next, use a plastic prying tool to remove the airbag fastener cap, lever at both sides straight out (red arrows).
Figure 7

Next, use a plastic prying tool to remove the airbag fastener cap, lever at both sides straight out (red arrows). Then remove the T30 Torx fastener beneath it (blue arrow).

Using a door panel clip tool, release door panel clips (red arrows).
Figure 8

Using a door panel clip tool, release door panel clips (red arrows). I like to start at lower corner. Then work my way around door panel, releasing all other clips. I suggest having extra door panel clips (eight in total for each door panel) on hand before removing the panels, as the clips can often break when removing (inset).

Once door panel clips have been disconnected, lever the top of door panel (red arrow) off the door.
Figure 9

Once door panel clips have been disconnected, lever the top of door panel (red arrow) off the door. Start at outer edge of door and work your way toward interior. You are detaching four clips, three of which have blue arrows showing them.

Support the door panel, then disconnect the speaker electrical connectors by pulling them straight out (red arrows).
Figure 10

Support the door panel, then disconnect the speaker electrical connectors by pulling them straight out (red arrows).

Support the door panel, then disconnect the airbag electrical connector by pulling lever out the lock (red arrow), then pulling the connector straight out (blue arrow).
Figure 11

Support the door panel, then disconnect the airbag electrical connector by pulling lever out the lock (red arrow), then pulling the connector straight out (blue arrow).

Pull door panel away a little farther to access the door latch Bowden cable.
Figure 12

Pull door panel away a little farther to access the door latch Bowden cable. Unclip the plastic retainer (red arrow) and lift the cable end off to remove

You can now service items behind door panel and repair as needed.
Figure 13

You can now service items behind door panel and repair as needed. To replace the airbag, remove the five 8mm airbag fasteners (red arrows). 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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Page last updated: Wed 5/24/2017 03:19:40 AM