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Pelican Technical Article:

Hatch Panel Removal

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, Philips screw driver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)

Parts Required:

Trim clips

Hot Tip:

Always lever off gently

Performance Gain:

Freshen up interior appearance

Complementary Modification:

Replace rear windshield wiper motor

The rear hatch panel covers the wiper motor as well as the hatch opening mechanism; if you need to repair or replace any of these systems you will need to remove the panel. The panel can also get pretty torn up from stuff you haul around in the back and a new panel can really freshen up the look of your vehicle.

Begin by opening the hatch and removing the nine plastic screw pull tabs (red arrows).
Figure 1

Begin by opening the hatch and removing the nine plastic screw pull tabs (red arrows).

The plastic screws unscrew with a Philips head screwdriver then the base of the plug pulls out from the hole in the hatch.
Figure 2

The plastic screws unscrew with a Philips head screwdriver then the base of the plug pulls out from the hole in the hatch.

With all the tabs removed the panel will come off the lower section of the hatch and free up the bottom of the panel.
Figure 3

With all the tabs removed the panel will come off the lower section of the hatch and free up the bottom of the panel.

On the interior of the panel unscrew the lock pull (red arrow), then remove the single plastic push pull tab (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

On the interior of the panel unscrew the lock pull (red arrow), then remove the single plastic push pull tab (yellow arrow).

Gently pry the cover plate off (red arrow) it is just held in place by a few plastic clips.
Figure 5

Gently pry the cover plate off (red arrow) it is just held in place by a few plastic clips.

Use a trim removal tool and gently pry the two tabs on the tie down covers and remove (red arrow).
Figure 6

Use a trim removal tool and gently pry the two tabs on the tie down covers and remove (red arrow).

You do not need to remove the third brake light housing to remove the panel as it will separate around the housing (red arrow).
Figure 7

You do not need to remove the third brake light housing to remove the panel as it will separate around the housing (red arrow).

Use a trim removal tool and gently pry the two plastic clips on each side of the panel away from the hatch (red arrows).
Figure 8

Use a trim removal tool and gently pry the two plastic clips on each side of the panel away from the hatch (red arrows).

There are three metal clips (red arrow) that sit in a channel along base of the window glass.
Figure 9

There are three metal clips (red arrow) that sit in a channel along base of the window glass. Lift the panel straight up towards the glass to remove.

The panel is now free of the hatch.
Figure 10

The panel is now free of the hatch. In this photo you can see the four plastic clips (red arrows) and the six metal clips along the top of the panel (yellow arrows). Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Phil Comments: Can't remove the panel workout unscrewing the bottom, which I can't access with the hatch stuck closed
August 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Then it will have to be broken, then the panel replaced. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Phil Comments: So what do I do if the hatch won't open from inside or outside? Am I just in eternal purgatory?
August 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You tried removing the panel and releasing the latch from inside the trunk? - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:41:55 AM