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Porsche 911 Carrera Door Panel Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Porsche 911 Carrera Door Panel Removal

Time:

1"5 hours

Tab:

$0

Talent:

***

Tools:

Torx driver set, trim removal tools

Applicable Models:

Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-05)
Porsche 996 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2001-05)
Porsche 997 Carrera models (2005-12)
Porsche 997 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Door handle, door stay, mirror switch, speaker, etc.

Hot Tip:

Don't pull too hard on the foam moisture barrier

Performance Gain:

Working door equipment

Complementary Modification:

Repair your window regulator

If you are not the original owner of your 911, then chances are that there are quite a few things wrong with your car and you wonder how they got broken. There probably isn't a place on the car with more gadgets and devices that break than inside or on the door. Not only do you have window glass and seals that leak, but you have door handles, mirror switches, window regulators, door stays, and door panels--all of which are very susceptible to damage and breakage. Even if you work on your car only moderately, there is a very high chance that you will need to dive into the door to fix something that has broken. This project shows you how to remove the door panel, specifically so that you can get to the door lock assembly and the window regulator (see Project 78 and Pelican Technical Article: Replacing Your Window Regulator and Motor on the Porsche 911 Carrera), but because there are so many moving parts on the door, I'll discuss just about everything else as well.

The first step in working on just about anything on the door is the removal of the door panel.

Lets start with the 996 first. If you are going to be removing the panel you are going to be working around the airbag. I recommend you disconnect the battery and leave the car for at least fifteen minutes to give it a chance to discharge the electrical system. There isn't really anything you can do to set off the airbag but why take a chance? The toughest part of pulling the panel out from the door is it is attached with nine plastic clips that can be difficult to snap out of their home in the frame of the door. With the door panel removed, you should see a foam covering that is "glued" onto the backside of the door. A black, sticky goo is what attaches this to the door--it can be removed and reused again if the gooey material is still pliable. Be careful not to tear the foam covering when you remove it.

With the panel removed, you have access to a whole lot of items inside the door. The door stay can be simply unbolted from the door frame and removed. The plastic door handle can easily be swapped out. The window regulator can be removed or repaired (see Pelican Technical Article: Replacing Your Window Regulator and Motor on the Porsche 911 Carrera). Any door seals or channel guides that need renewing are available to you as well. If one of your door-mounted speakers is broken, don't forget to replace it while you have the chance.

Closing up the door panel is straightforward. I always like to use new plastic door panel clips because new ones are cheap, and the old ones get brittle and may break in the very near future, causing an annoying rattle. Don't forget to install the foam covering--it's common to accidentally leave this on your workbench, only to discover it later on when you're putting your tools away!

Now on to the 997. If you are going to be removing the panel you are going to be working around the airbag. I recommend you disconnect the battery and leave the car for at least fifteen minutes to give it a chance to discharge the electrical system. There isn't really anything you can do to set off the airbag but why take a chance?

Porsche resigned the door for the 997 and made it modular. The doors now have an inner aluminum panel that houses the speakers, wiring harness, power window controls and motor, the control module and the air bag, in what is referred to as "the dry zone". This means they are no long subject to leaks or any exterior elements. This has also enabled Porsche to do away with the foam covering you use to have to place between the door skin and panel.

To remove the door panel you begin by prying out the mirror triangle piece (pull out from the bottom then lift straight up), unplugging the harness, and removing the door panel T30 screw behind it. Then remove the T20 screw inside the door handle pull and remove the handle piece. Behind the door handle, there is an oval trim piece--gently pry this off and then remove the T30 screw behind it. Remove the lower speaker trim and the T30 screw behind it. Open the arm rest and gently pry up the trim by the handle. Once the trim is sufficiently lifted to get your T30 driver under it, remove the screw. Remove the end cap on the top inside of the door panel and remove the T30 screw behind it. With all the screws removed you can begin removing the door panel. There are 9 plastic clips holding the door panel on to the door frame. The clips need a surprising amount of force to remove. The first time I did this I thought I was going to break something. Just make sure to use a good trim removal tool and once the first one lets go you can get your hand under the panel and get a little more leverage on the others.

Shown here are the fasteners that hold on the door panel.
Figure 1

Shown here are the fasteners that hold on the door panel. Pluck out the small air bag emblem and remove the screw underneath (green arrow). Remove the small screw underneath the trim clip on the pull handle (purple arrow). Under the plastic trim that surrounds the door handle there is a screw that needs to be removed (yellow arrow). Remove the screw inside the door pocket (red arrow) and the one behind the inside of the door handle pull (orange arrow).

The 996 Carrera panel is attached to the door using plastic clips (green arrow).
Figure 2

The 996 Carrera panel is attached to the door using plastic clips (green arrow). To remove the door panel, simply pull on the panel near where the plastic clips are located, and they should pop right out of the holes in the door (one shown by the yellow arrow). Use Figure 3 for guidance on where the clips are located around the outer edges of the door panel. With the door panel loose, pull it out from the bottom, and release the door lamp bulb from its holder (red arrow). Pull the panel off of the door and then reach around the rear to disconnect the door handle cable (purple arrow). You may have to clip a zip tie in order to disconnect the cable.

Shown here is the backside of the 996 left driver's side door panel.
Figure 3

Shown here is the backside of the 996 left driver's side door panel. There are nine plastic clips that attach the panel to the door. You need to remove each of these clips from the holes in the door prior to removing the door panel. It will feel like you're breaking the door panel, but you will need to apply significant force to pull off each of the plastic clips. Use a stiff plastic spatula to wedge the door panel out without scratching the paint on the door.

With the door panel off, disconnect and remove the air bag.
Figure 4

With the door panel off, disconnect and remove the air bag. Be sure that you disconnect the battery and wait about 15 minutes prior to disconnecting the air bag (see Pelican Technical Article: Porsche 911 Carrera Battery Replacement Trickle Charger Installation). The air bag is simply attached to the door using four screws (green arrows). The speaker located in the lower corner is attached to the door with four screws (blue arrow). Remove the screws and then unplug its speaker connection. All that remains is the foam moisture barrier, which is removed in the next photo.

The pre-molded foam moisture barrier is glued onto the door with a gum-like adhesive.
Figure 5

The pre-molded foam moisture barrier is glued onto the door with a gum-like adhesive. You should be able to carefully pull it back without damaging it. Use a plastic spatula and take your time--it's very easy to rip or tear it and a new one costs about $70. As you can see, with the moisture barrier removed, you can access all of the door components underneath (see Project 78 for the door locks; see Project 77 for the window regulator).

The mirror switch simply pops out of the door panel plastic trim piece.
Figure 6

The mirror switch simply pops out of the door panel plastic trim piece. If you need to replace this switch, pry it up out of the door and unplug it. Be sure to install it with the left/right switch on the bottom--it's very easy to install it upside down. If you need to pull off the triangular panel, pull on it from the bottom and slide it up. There's a small tab on the top that breaks very easily (red arrow). The good news is that a new piece is only about $10 if/when you break it.

With the door apart, it might be a good time to think about replacing your door seals.
Figure 7

With the door apart, it might be a good time to think about replacing your door seals. At the time of this writing, the door seals are super expensive (over $250 each). However, I expect the costs of these to come down as more and more of them start to wear out and the aftermarket manufacturers start making replacement reproduction rubber available.

The door stay is another item that you can replace with the door panel removed.
Figure 8

The door stay is another item that you can replace with the door panel removed. Disconnect the stay from the body by removing the pin that holds the stay to the body (red arrow). Then remove the two bolts that attach the stay to the door. Finally, remove the stay from the inside of the door by reaching into the forward access panel in the door.

On the 997 door panels there are five trim areas that need to be removed to get access to the screws holding the panel to the door.
Figure 9

On the 997 door panels there are five trim areas that need to be removed to get access to the screws holding the panel to the door. The mirror triangle (red arrow) pulls away from the door on the lower corner, then lifts straight up. The door handle (yellow arrow), speaker trim and pull handle trim (blue arrows) and the end trim (green arrow) all need to come off.

The actual interior door handle is attached with a T20 screw to the mechanism.
Figure 10

The actual interior door handle is attached with a T20 screw to the mechanism. You need to remove this to get access to the cover behind it. To remove the handle pull it away from the panel and hold it out with your finger of one hand (blue arrow) while using the other to remove the T20 screw. Once the screw is removed slide the handle off its mount (insert green arrow). Next you need to remove the trim cover (yellow arrow). Push this in from the bottom and the top should pop out (insert lower left). Once the trim piece is out remove the T30 screw behind it (insert upper right).

To remove the end trim (blue arrow) insert your trim removal tool under the trim piece and gently pull away (insert, green arrow).
Figure 11

To remove the end trim (blue arrow) insert your trim removal tool under the trim piece and gently pull away (insert, green arrow). Once the trim piece is off you can unscrew the T30 fastener (yellow arrow).

Using your trim tool (green arrow) remove the speaker and pull handle trim pieces and the T30 screws behind them.
Figure 12

Using your trim tool (green arrow) remove the speaker and pull handle trim pieces and the T30 screws behind them. Once these are removed use your larger trim removal tool and start to remove the fasteners that hold the panel on (insert upper right). These fasteners take a fair a mount of effort to remove.

Here is the door with the interior panel off.
Figure 13

Here is the door with the interior panel off. The 997 doors are modular in design and contain an aluminum inner door panel. This design allows for the doors electronics to be located in the "dry zone" of the door and eliminated the moister barrier between the interior door panel and door. Yellow arrows show the air bag, green arrow the power window motor and control module, blue arrow the speaker and the red arrow the door handle actuator cable.

The green arrows point to the location of the nine fasteners that hold the door panel to the door frame.
Figure 14

The green arrows point to the location of the nine fasteners that hold the door panel to the door frame. Insert upper right shows one of the fasteners. Once removed the fasteners need to be reset to place the panel back in the door. Use your trim removal tool and slide the large base of the clip forward.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Rudedog Comments: I replaced the outside door microswitch and still the window will sometimes not drop down when opening on my 2008 911 passenger door. What should I look at next?
October 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does it go down once the door is open if pushed?- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rudedog Comments: When I pull on my door handle in my 2008 997, sometimes the window will not drop, causing door to stick when trying to open. This happens every once in a while with both inside & outside handles. What might be the cause?
October 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The outside door handle microswitch. 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
 
Albrecht Comments: Hi, I hope I can get advise on my problem. I currently have the driver’s door panel off on my Porsche 911 Carrera, 2000. The door won’t unlock or lock with the key. The central locking switch on the dashboard locks and unlocks both doors electrically. My key with remote-control function hasn’t worked in a while even with a battery replacement…that’s another problem. I haven’t read all of your articles yet and I am hoping there is one that will detail both problems. Any suggestions about what parts may have failed?
August 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The lock cylinder connection to the latch may be faulty. See this article:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Porsche-996-997-Carrera/78-BODY-Door_Locks_and_Handles/78-BODY-Door_Locks_and_Handles.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Milton Marchesoni Comments: Hello, i have a problem with both right and left door. Can't open neither from outside but works perfectly from inside. I'm oppening door panel to try to figure out the problem.
Which kind of glue shoud I use to mount the foam back on?
December 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will want to use a butyl tape to reseal the foam. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Obed hernandez Comments: Hi I've Porsche 911 the problem is latch right door not open still with beeper function but I going a little push to the door then open it ,thanks
July 8, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The latch sounds like it is faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tony Comments: Hello. I lost my door trip driver side for my 2006 997 that is at the end of the door. The part that needs to be removed when unscrewing a nut to unassembled the door panel. the color is brown. Can you help me out? 626 419 3721. Attached is a pic from your library. The color is the same.
June 8, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: OEM-997555683005Z1 is for the color in the photo which is Beige. If you have Brown it is OEM-99755568300T13 - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Merle Comments: I have a 2001 996 Cab with a broken inside door release cable. This is a different cable than mostelectric remote. How do I disconnect the cable from the wrap around connector on the door lock?
February 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The bowden cable pulls out then unhooks from the latch.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jon R Comments: I've completed the process and didn't have too much trouble. However, the airbag failure red light is now on. I'm sure it's connected. What can I do to reset it or clear the failure?
January 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The fault needs to be cleared using Porsche scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Wissam Comments: Nick!
Got the window regulator out of my 987-2 Boxster with the help of your guides...specifically this one. Sure enough, one of the plastic spools was broken. Shame on Porsche for such an under engineered part!

Anyway, is there any consensus to your knowledge of how to reset/re initialize window limits on the 997/987-2 once a new regulator is reinstalled? Thanks Again!

P.s. I've written to your colleagues about a 987-2 Boxster repair manual for the convertible repair issue... Waiting to hear

Wissam
November 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give this a try:


Actuate rocker switch and fully close window once.
Actuate rocker switch once more to close.
The upper end position of the window is stored.
Actuate rocker switch and fully open window once.
Actuate rocker switch once more to open.
The lower end position of the window is stored. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Wissam Comments: got it. thanks for the recommendation.

-Wissam
November 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Wissam Comments: Hi, love Pelican Parts!
I'm currently in the process of replacing a window regulator on a Boxster 987-2 and based on the pictures I'm finding the 997 instructions to be near identical, and the 987-2 door design internally also seems to have the same modularity and layout of components...

My question, once the outer door panel is removed and in order to access the regulator, do all the components attached to the aluminum panel airbag, speaker, window-motor, etc need to be unbolted, or should the whole aluminum frame be unbolted with everything still attached?

Thanks
November 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I prefer to remove the components, to protect them. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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