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Removing Your Rear Door Panels
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Removing Your Rear Door Panels

Steve Vernon

Time:

20 min

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

T20, T27 Torx, trim removal tool

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W203 (2001-07)

Hot Tip:

Get some spare door clips

Performance Gain:

Doors that work

Complementary Modification:

Replace switches

If you need to service your doors mechanicals or want to freshen up the appearance with new trim you will need to remove the door panel.

This article will show you how to remove your rear door panels. It is not a difficult job, but door panels can be very expensive so take your time and double check things. Also, if you are going to be working on your own car, it is a good idea to purchase a set of trim removal tools. They are a set of hard yet flexible plastic tools of different shapes and sizes that are used in removing trim pieces. They work a lot better than a flat head screwdriver and there is nothing worse than ruining a "do-it-yourself" project by scratching up your car or damaging expensive interior pieces. Pelican sells a full line of these tool sets for under $20.

Before you begin removing the door panel, you need to disconnect the battery and let the car sit for half an hour. You are going to be working around the air bag and you want to make sure there is no electricity flowing in the car and that there has been time for the residual power to drain. You should also park the car on as level ground as possible. Nothing is more frustrating than working on the door while it is trying to swing open or closed.

First remove the plastic lock along the upper ledge. It unscrews counter clock wise. The door panel is only held on by three attached pieces of hardware. The first is the door lock trim piece. Remove this piece by unscrewing the single T20 Torx head screw and pulling the trim piece straight back.

Second is the door pull handle. Use your trim removal tool and gently pry the cover off the pull handle. With the handle off use your T27 Torx and remove the 2 screws inside the handle securing it to the door.

Next using your trim removal tool, remove the trim SRS trim piece located on the panel below the lock. Use a T20 Torx and remove the screw behind this piece.

There are eight clips that hold the panel to the sides and bottom of the door. Use your trim removal tool and gently pry the panel away from the door. If your door panel has never been removed it may take a little force.

With the clips detached lift the door panel up and away from the door.

With the panel off you need to remove the pull cable for the handle. Slip the metal end of the cable from the handle then gently extend the cable and slip it out of the channel.

Unplug the wiring for the power windows.

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 (purple arrow) SRS trim piece (yellow arrow), the door pull trim piece (red arrow) and the door lock trim piece (green arrow).

Begin by removing the door lock pull (red arrow).
Figure 2

Begin by removing the door lock pull (red arrow). It unscrews counter clockwise.

Remove the door lock piece by unscrewing the single T20 Torx head screw (red arrow) and pulling the trim piece straight back.
Figure 3

Remove the door lock piece by unscrewing the single T20 Torx head screw (red arrow) and pulling the trim piece straight back.

Use your trim removal tool and gently pry the cover of the pull handle (red arrow).
Figure 4

Use your trim removal tool and gently pry the cover of the pull handle (red arrow).

With the handle off use your T27 Torx and remove the 2 screws inside the handle (red arrows) securing it to the door.
Figure 5

With the handle off use your T27 Torx and remove the 2 screws inside the handle (red arrows) securing it to the door.

Next using your trim removal tool, remove the trim SRS trim piece located on the panel below the lock.
Figure 6

Next using your trim removal tool, remove the trim SRS trim piece located on the panel below the lock. Use a T20 Torx and remove the screw behind this piece.

There are eight clips that hold the panel to the sides and bottom of the door.
Figure 7

There are eight clips that hold the panel to the sides and bottom of the door. Use your trim removal tool and gently pry the panel away from the door (red arrow). If your door panel has never been removed it may take a little force.

Unplug the wiring for the power windows (red arrow).
Figure 8

Unplug the wiring for the power windows (red arrow).

With the panel off you need to remove the pull cable for the handle.
Figure 9

With the panel off you need to remove the pull cable for the handle. Slip the metal end of the cable from the handle (yellow arrow) then gently extend the cable and slip it out of the channel (red arrow).

This photo illustrates the eight clips that secure the panel to the bottom and sides of the door (red arrows).
Figure 10

This photo illustrates the eight clips that secure the panel to the bottom and sides of the door (red arrows).

This is what the door looks like with the panel off.
Figure 11

This is what the door looks like with the panel off. You can see the air bag unit (yellow arrow) and the speaker (red arrow).

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Comments and Suggestions:
Chris B Mweetwa Comments: How do u remove rear door opening facility
December 1, 2016
JD Comments: Looking for the replacement clip holder that is glued to the for panel of my 2001 SL500, similar to what the red arrows point to in figure 10. Specifically the one shown in the attached photo. Any chance you carry these or know of a source? I can't even find an indication of a part number.
October 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it may be part of the panel. I’m not the best with part numbers.


Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
CHIPPY Comments: Hi can you get the master window switch out of the drivers door panel without taking the panel off. If so how does it come out. Mercedes ML280 W164 year 2007
June 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't have that vehicle in the US. On similar models the door panel has to be removed to access the switch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Twise Many Comments: Thanks I managed to open my W203 rear panel, but not sure I located the problem. The speaker sounded with bass like it was brrurring against something. Moved the Styrofoam around as it seemed like responding to the burr bass sound. Tried pushing speaker wires away from the moving cone. Still.... Not sure.
June 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a blown speaker. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tim Comments: My rear passenger door suddenly quit opening. It is on a 1998 ML320. The lock sounds like it is activating but neither the interior or exterior door openers are working to open it.
And now that I tried to remove the door lock the locks are clicking and acting up.
November 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check if the handle is stuck in the pressed position. Try pushing it back to the rest position, then opening it. if jammed, the lock will not disengage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
billyjack Comments: I was looking for how to remove the panel in the rear seating area of the CLK 320, not the front door panel as my seat belt is once again not retracking as it had been & is now hanging down. I suspect I can lubicate the seat belt behind that side rear panel rather than having to replace, or atleast I want to check that possibility out.
October 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If your seat belt will not retract, you need to replace the belt reel. 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
 
T Comments: I may need a trim removal tool for this project, however I cannot find which tool ti buy fir my rear door panel removal.
July 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you are asking about the shape of the tool?
I suggest any local body shop can show you several styles.

If you are asking for a brand or part number?
IMO: This is a personal preference question.
Most generic auto parts, tool, and hardware stores sell these sets.
My personal set is gathered from at least eleven styles and brands covering thirty plus years.

A cheap option that works for many small jobs is a heavy PLASTIC camping fork, spoon or knife, with the rough edges sanded smooth.
-whunter-
 

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