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Pelican Technical Article:

Removing Your Front Door Panels

Steve Vernon

Time:

30 min

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

T20, T27 Torx, trim removal tool. Philips head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

VW Golf (1999-05)

Hot Tip:

Get some spare door clips

Performance Gain:

Doors that work

Complementary Modification:

Replace switches

Over the life of your GTI MkIV, the doors will take a tremendous amount of abuse and sooner or later something will fail. 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.

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 trying to swing open or closed. 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.

There are three main components that need to be removed to remove the door panel.
Figure 1

There are three main components that need to be removed to remove the door panel. The door pull (red arrow), the Philips head screw by the triangular trim piece (yellow arrow) and the three T20 Torx screws alone the lower door trim (green arrows). Some people like to remove the door light (blue arrow) with a trim tool and unhook it from the front side but I prefer to do it once the panel is off to avoid any chance of marking the panel while removing.

Begin by prying out the inner part of the door pull (red arrows).
Figure 2

Begin by prying out the inner part of the door pull (red arrows).

This photo illustrates the clips (red arrows) that hold it in place.
Figure 3

This photo illustrates the clips (red arrows) that hold it in place.

Use a trim removal tool and gently pry up the pull handle and switch housing (red arrows).
Figure 4

Use a trim removal tool and gently pry up the pull handle and switch housing (red arrows). Start at the rear and work your way forward.

Turn switch housing over and remove the wiring connection (red arrow).
Figure 5

Turn switch housing over and remove the wiring connection (red arrow).

Inside the handle opening in the door panel are three large Philips head screws (red arrows) remove these.
Figure 6

Inside the handle opening in the door panel are three large Philips head screws (red arrows) remove these. You do not need to remove the smaller Philips head screws

Use a short Philips head screw driver and remove the single Philips head screw (red arrow) from the panel close to the triangle trim piece.
Figure 7

Use a short Philips head screw driver and remove the single Philips head screw (red arrow) from the panel close to the triangle trim piece.

There are three T27 Torx screws (red arrows) along the lower door panel.
Figure 8

There are three T27 Torx screws (red arrows) along the lower door panel.

Use a T27 Torx (red arrow) and remove the three screws.
Figure 9

Use a T27 Torx (red arrow) and remove the three screws.

Use a large trim removal tool (red arrow) and gently pry the door panel away from the door.
Figure 10

Use a large trim removal tool (red arrow) and gently pry the door panel away from the door.

With the panel free lift it up and out from the channel along the top of the door (red arrows).
Figure 11

With the panel free lift it up and out from the channel along the top of the door (red arrows).

The door panel will still be attached to several components so do not just try and pull it away from the car.
Figure 12

The door panel will still be attached to several components so do not just try and pull it away from the car. You will need to release the clip (yellow arrow) on the guide clip and disconnect the electrical connection (red arrow).

Remove the hooked end of the cable (red arrow) from the pull.
Figure 13

Remove the hooked end of the cable (red arrow) from the pull.

Unclip the electrical connections for the gas cap and trunk switches by pushing in on the tap (yellow arrow) and pull the connections straight out.
Figure 14

Unclip the electrical connections for the gas cap and trunk switches by pushing in on the tap (yellow arrow) and pull the connections straight out.

Remove the wiring connection from the rear of the door light (red arrow)The back of the light will come out from the lens to make removing the connection and changing bulbs easier.
Figure 15

Remove the wiring connection from the rear of the door light (red arrow)The back of the light will come out from the lens to make removing the connection and changing bulbs easier.

Disconnect the wiring for the lock button (red arrow).
Figure 16

Disconnect the wiring for the lock button (red arrow).

When you remove the panel from the door some of the plug clip combinations may stay in the door frame (red arrow), if this happens just use your trim removal tool and remove them from the door.
Figure 17

When you remove the panel from the door some of the plug clip combinations may stay in the door frame (red arrow), if this happens just use your trim removal tool and remove them from the door.

Reinsert the plug into the clip holder in the door panel (red arrow).
Figure 18

Reinsert the plug into the clip holder in the door panel (red arrow). Triangle Trim Piece

Remove the lower T20 Torx screw (red arrow) from the trim piece.
Figure 19

Remove the lower T20 Torx screw (red arrow) from the trim piece.

Pull the trim piece up (red arrow) and out away from the door (yellow arrow).
Figure 20

Pull the trim piece up (red arrow) and out away from the door (yellow arrow).

With the trim piece removed you can see the plug/clip that holds the upper section in place (red arrows).
Figure 21

With the trim piece removed you can see the plug/clip that holds the upper section in place (red arrows). If this stays in the door frame just remove it with your trim removal tool and reinsert it into the trim piece. You can also see where the lower clip sits in the trim piece (yellow arrows). Remove the foam insulation piece (green arrow).

Unplug the speaker connection from the harness (red arrow).
Figure 22

Unplug the speaker connection from the harness (red arrow). Passenger Door

The only difference between the drivers side door and the passenger side removal is the inside door handle or pull.
Figure 23

The only difference between the drivers side door and the passenger side removal is the inside door handle or pull. Remove the handle cover with your trim removal tool. Gently pry it away in several places (red arrows).

This photo illustrates the three clips that hold the handle face plate on (red arrows).
Figure 24

This photo illustrates the three clips that hold the handle face plate on (red arrows).

Use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the two screws (red arrows).
Figure 25

Use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the two screws (red arrows). The rest of the removal procedures are the same as the driver side door.

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Comments and Suggestions:
ken Comments: is there a plastic membrane in the door ? if so will its deterioration lead to serious flooding in drivers and offside wells?#
Thank you Ken Wilbraham
January 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a sealed foam vapor barrier. if faulty, it could allow water to enter the vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Mon 8/21/2017 02:39:37 AM