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Rear Door Handle and Release Bracket Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Door Handle and Release Bracket Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, door panel clip tool, flathead & Phillips screwdriver, T20, T25, T30 Torx drivers

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz E320 (2003-09)
Mercedes-Benz E500 (2003-06)
Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG (2003-06)

Parts Required:

Door panel, vapor barrier, vapor barrier seal, door panel clips

Hot Tip:

Tape body to avoid scratches

Performance Gain:

Door opens normally

Complementary Modification:

Lubricate and clean door latch

Central locking in Mercedes-Benz W211 models controls door locks, trunk lid or luggage compartment lock and fuel filler flap lock. The electronic functions of central locking are spread out over several door control modules, with sensors and actuators connected directly to a control module in the vicinity of their installed location. The rear electronic (SAM) module is the master control module for central locking.

The lock mechanism in each door consists of a latch, an exterior door handle and an inside door lock release handle. Only the driver door (left front in North America) is equipped with a lock cylinder. The exterior door latch is responsible for locking, unlocking and latching the door shut. The latch itself is pretty reliable. However, having the electronic lock solenoid integrated in the latch creates some problems. The lock solenoids fail over time, leaving you with a malfunctioning lock. If it is the driver lock, you can still lock and unlock with the key. With other kinds of doors, you may not be so lucky. If you are having a problem with the lock, try cleaning and lubricating the latch. I find this will restore function of the lock from time to time. If I can successfully restore function this way, I still replace the latch to avoid future problems. It is a good test to see if the problem is electrical or mechanical.

The issue with your lock could also be the door handle or handle release bracket. When you pull the outer door handle, it relays a lever that opens the door latch. If the lever on the bracket fails you will not be able to open the door from the outside, but the door will open from the inside.

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 you're 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.

In this tech article, I will go over how to replace the rear door handle and rear release bracket on the left side door.

Working at the side airbag, disconnect the electrical connector by pulling it straight out.
Figure 1

Working at the side airbag, disconnect the electrical connector by pulling it straight out.

Slowly peel the vapor barrier off the door.
Figure 2

Slowly peel the vapor barrier off the door. Be careful not to tear the barrier while removing it. If the vapor barrier tears (green arrow), replace it. The red arrows point to the butyl seal you are separating from the door.

Peel the vapor barrier (green arrow) off the door until you can see to the window motor (red arrow).
Figure 3

Peel the vapor barrier (green arrow) off the door until you can see to the window motor (red arrow).

Looking inside the door toward the latch, you can see the latch (yellow arrow), door support (red arrow) and the door handle release bracket (green arrow).
Figure 4

Looking inside the door toward the latch, you can see the latch (yellow arrow), door support (red arrow) and the door handle release bracket (green arrow). To remove the latch you will have to remove the door support and the exterior door handle and release bracket. See our tech article on rear door handle removing.

Working at the outer edge of the door, peel the tape (green arrow) away from the door to expose the door support retaining tabs (red arrows).
Figure 5

Working at the outer edge of the door, peel the tape (green arrow) away from the door to expose the door support retaining tabs (red arrows). Be sure to replace this piece of tape when reinstalling. Press the release tabs while reaching inside the door and rotate the door support clockwise (when facing interior of door).

Remove the door support from the door.
Figure 6

Remove the door support from the door.

Working at the outer edge of the door, in line with the outer door handle, pull the seal away from the door.
Figure 7

Working at the outer edge of the door, in line with the outer door handle, pull the seal away from the door. This will expose the door handle cap fastener access hole (red arrow). Loosen the T20 Torx door handle cap fastener. To do this, you will need a Torx driver about six inches long. I use a long bit and a small bit ratchet. My bit is in place as shown in the photo.

As you loosen the T20 Torx (blue arrow shows Torx as viewed from outside the door), the door handle cap will move away from the door (red arrow).
Figure 8

As you loosen the T20 Torx (blue arrow shows Torx as viewed from outside the door), the door handle cap will move away from the door (red arrow). Slightly pull the door handle while pulling the door handle cap out of the door.

Next, you have to remove the outer door handle.
Figure 9

Next, you have to remove the outer door handle. Do that by pulling the handle toward the outer edge of the door. Then pull it out at an angle.

If you want to replace the handle bracket, use the following steps.
Figure 10

If you want to replace the handle bracket, use the following steps. If you are only replacing the outer handle or lock cylinder, see the few last steps for reinstalling notes. Working at the door handle seals (red arrows), pull them off the door by unclipping the rubber retainer. Then loosen the T20 Torx fasteners for the inner bracket (green arrows). Loosen the fastener about six turns.

Once the fastener is loose, push the bracket toward the doorjamb (green arrow).
Figure 11

Once the fastener is loose, push the bracket toward the doorjamb (green arrow).

Remove the door handle bracket from the door cavity.
Figure 12

Remove the door handle bracket from the door cavity. To install the new bracket, reverse the steps. Be sure that the bracket is properly seated in the door. Then tighten the T20 fastener. Install the rubber seal.

To inspect the release bracket, check if the plastic end of the lever (green arrow) moves the metal end (red arrow) when pressed or pulled.
Figure 13

To inspect the release bracket, check if the plastic end of the lever (green arrow) moves the metal end (red arrow) when pressed or pulled. The door handle is attached to the plastic end (green arrow). When the handle is pulled, it presses the metal end (red arrow) against the door latch to release the latch.

When installing the handle into the door, start by feeding the handle in, then sliding it toward the jamb to engage the pivot and bracket release lever.
Figure 14

When installing the handle into the door, start by feeding the handle in, then sliding it toward the jamb to engage the pivot and bracket release lever. If you look into the door toward the jamb side of the bracket, you can confirm that the handle pivot is engaged with the bar on the bracket. When installing the door handle, listen for an audible click to indicate it is properly engaged with the bracket. Then install the door handle cap.

Once the handle has been reinstalled, check the latch operation.
Figure 15

Once the handle has been reinstalled, check the latch operation. Lock and unlock the door. Then latch the door latch using a screwdriver (red arrow). Confirm that the door latch releases with the inner and outer door handles. Then reassemble the door panel.

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