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Mercedes Benz Rear Vacuum Solenoid Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Mercedes Benz Rear Vacuum Solenoid Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$85

Talent:

***

Tools:

Phillips screwdriver, trim removal tool, needle-nose pliers, 8mm, 10mm socket

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W201 (1984-93)

Parts Required:

Vacuum element

Hot Tip:

Door panels are expensive, take your time

Performance Gain:

Doors that work

Complementary Modification:

Replace switches

This article will show you how to replace your rear door lock vacuum elements. To perform this work you will need to first remove the door panels.

Before you begin you should park the car on as level ground as possible. Nothing is more frustrating than working on the door while it is swinging. It is also a good idea to get yourself a small box or container to keep all your parts organized.

Begin by rolling the window all the way up, into the closed position. Next remove the plastic lock along the upper ledge. It unscrews counter clockwise. The door panel is only held on by two (2) attached pieces of hardware. The first is the door latch/lock trim piece. Remove this piece by unscrewing the Phillips screw and pulling the trim piece straight back.

Second is the door pull handle. Using your trim removal tool, remove the trim piece at the top of the pull handle. Underneath, remove the 10mm nut. Now you can slide the housing for the interior door handle forward and out of the panel. Once it is forward you can remove the actuator rod that connects the handle to the lock assembly behind it.

Now using your trim tool, you need to remove the window switch. Pry the switch from the door panel and disconnect the wiring harness from the switch.

You have now removed everything that is bolted to the door panel. Mercedes-Benz door panels are different from most other manufacturers in that they do not use compressible clips to hold the panel to the door. These panels are held on to the door by hard plastic hooks that sit within pockets in the sheet metal of the inner door. Once you have all the hardware off the door, you simple need to lift the panel up and away from the door. The rear doors have two metal clips that help hold the panel to the upper rail of the door. These can take a little pressure to get them to release from the door, make sure you don't break the panel while remove these.

With the door panel removed you will see what is referred to as a "vapor barrier" between the panel and the door. It is really just a piece of plastic held on by glue, and is used to keep out any wind, weather or noise from entering the vehicle. If you are going to be doing further work on your door, carefully, and I mean carefully, try and remove it in one piece so you can reuse it when putting the door back together. If you damage it, you can get some thin plastic sheeting from your hardware store and recover the door with it.

With the panel and vapor shield off you are ready to remove the vacuum element.

Begin by using your needle-nose pliers to remove the clip holding the rod that comes out of the element. This rod connects to the rest of the locking rods and can be adjusted for height by screwing or unscrewing it from the vacuum element unit. With the clip off you can separate the rods and free up the rod from the element for removal.

Next, unscrew the two 8mm nuts holding the element to the door frame and the using your Phillips screwdriver, remove the screw that hold the plastic protective shield that goes around the element inside the door frame. With plastic shield loose, reach into the door through the access hole and lift the shield up, and then down and out of the door. Next you will need to reach back in and separate the vacuum line from the element. This needs to be done in the door and is pretty much done by feel.

With the line disconnected, reach in and lower the unit until the rod clears the door frame and then remove the element out through the access hole. Once you have the unit out of the door, mark the connecting rod showing how far down into the vacuum unit the metal rod sits. Once marked, remove the rod and transfer it to your new replacement unit, installing it to approximately the same length.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Shown here is the interior door panel.
Figure 1

Shown here is the interior door panel. You will need to remove the door lock pull (blue arrow) lock trim piece (green arrow), the trim piece by the door pull (red arrow) and window switches (red arrows). The purple arrows show where the retainer clips are located under the panel.

After unscrewing the door lock pull, remove the lock trim piece by removing the Phillips screw and pulling the trim piece straight back (red arrow).
Figure 2

After unscrewing the door lock pull, remove the lock trim piece by removing the Phillips screw and pulling the trim piece straight back (red arrow).

Remove the door pull handle trim piece with your trim tool.
Figure 3

Remove the door pull handle trim piece with your trim tool.

Unbolt the 10mm nut behind the trim piece.
Figure 4

Unbolt the 10mm nut behind the trim piece. Once this is removed you can slide the complete handle piece forward and out of the door.

After the handle unit has been pulled forward, reach in and remove the actuator rod (green arrow) from the handle (yellow arrow).
Figure 5

After the handle unit has been pulled forward, reach in and remove the actuator rod (green arrow) from the handle (yellow arrow).

Shown here are the two clips that help secure the panel to the upper part of the door.
Figure 6

Shown here are the two clips that help secure the panel to the upper part of the door.

Here is the interior of the door panel.
Figure 7

Here is the interior of the door panel. You can see the five hooks that hold it to the door (yellow arrows). Insert lower right shows the plastic hooks.

With the door panel removed, you'll see the plastic moisture barrier on the door.
Figure 8

With the door panel removed, you'll see the plastic moisture barrier on the door. You'll want to carefully peel this off the inside of the door starting at the rear edge of the door. The idea is to peel it off in just a way so that it can be glued back onto the door later.

Using your needle nose pliers, remove the clip that connects the rod from the vacuum unit to the rest of the lock actuator rods.
Figure 9

Using your needle nose pliers, remove the clip that connects the rod from the vacuum unit to the rest of the lock actuator rods. With the clip removed you can separate the rods from the hinge. This will free up the vacuum element rod so it can be removed as part of the unit.

Use your 8mm socket to unscrew the two bolts (yellow arrows) that hold the element to the door frame.
Figure 10

Use your 8mm socket to unscrew the two bolts (yellow arrows) that hold the element to the door frame. Once those are off, use your Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screw (red arrow) that holds the plastic protective unit to the door.

With everything unscrewed push in the lower retaining clips on the plastic unit, reach in the door, lift up slightly to clear the clips and then remove the unit down and out of the door.
Figure 11

With everything unscrewed push in the lower retaining clips on the plastic unit, reach in the door, lift up slightly to clear the clips and then remove the unit down and out of the door. When reinstalling this don't forget to make sure the plastic clip on the top of the piece gets seated in the access hole before setting the lower clip.

You will need to remove the vacuum line (yellow arrow) from the base of the element while the element is in the door.
Figure 12

You will need to remove the vacuum line (yellow arrow) from the base of the element while the element is in the door. The insert left shows what the vacuum connection nipple looks like. The nipple just pulls off of the unit. You can see the clip the vacuum line sits in on the lower part of the unit beside the yellow arrow. The connecting rod sits in the top of the unit (red arrow). You should make its height and then unscrew it and transfer it to your replacement unit, screwing it in to approximately the same height as the unit you took it from.

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Page last updated: Fri 11/17/2017 02:28:57 AM