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Pelican Technical Article:

Removing Your Front Door Panels

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

T20, T30 Torx, trim removal tool

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

Hot Tip:

Get some spare door clips

Performance Gain:

Doors that work

Complementary Modification:

Replace switches

Over the life of your GTI MkV, 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 much better than a flathead 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. These components include: the door pull (red arrow), the T20 Torx screw by the triangular trim piece (yellow arrow) and the three T20 Torx screws along the lower door trim (green arrows).

Use your trim removal tool and carefully pry up the interior door handle.
Figure 2

Use your trim removal tool and carefully pry up the interior door handle. Start at the front and work your way along the side (red arrows).

Use care when prying up the handle area (red arrow).
Figure 3

Use care when prying up the handle area (red arrow). Do NOT force anything.

There is a plastic insert in the handle area that has three holes (yellow arrows) that the handle posts sit in (red arrows).
Figure 4

There is a plastic insert in the handle area that has three holes (yellow arrows) that the handle posts sit in (red arrows). Wiggle and pry these up gently.

The piece (yellow arrow) that the handle sits in is held to the door panel by two plastic hooks (red arrow).
Figure 5

The piece (yellow arrow) that the handle sits in is held to the door panel by two plastic hooks (red arrow). If you force the handle up you risk breaking one or both of these hooks. One of the hooks on our project car was broken (green arrow) and this leads to a loose fitting handle. You cannot replace these hooks separately and need to replace the door panel if these break.

Squeeze in the clips and remove the wiring connections for the window switches (red arrow) and the mirror adjustment (yellow arrow).
Figure 6

Squeeze in the clips and remove the wiring connections for the window switches (red arrow) and the mirror adjustment (yellow arrow).

Inside the handle opening in the door panel are two T30 Torx screws (red arrows).
Figure 7

Inside the handle opening in the door panel are two T30 Torx screws (red arrows). Remove these.

Use a T20 Torx and remove the single Torx screw (red arrow) from the panel close to the triangle trim piece.
Figure 8

Use a T20 Torx and remove the single Torx screw (red arrow) from the panel close to the triangle trim piece.

There are three T20 Torx screws (red arrows) along the lower door panel.
Figure 9

There are three T20 Torx screws (red arrows) along the lower door panel. Use a T20 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.

The door panel will still be attached to several components so do not just try and pull it away from the car.
Figure 11

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 wiring connection for the door panel speaker. Squeeze the tabs together on the connector and separate (red arrows).

Remove the hooked end of the cable (red arrow) from the pull (yellow arrow).
Figure 12

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

Unclip the plastic end of the cable (red arrow) from the door handle assembly (yellow arrow) and remove the cable.
Figure 13

Unclip the plastic end of the cable (red arrow) from the door handle assembly (yellow arrow) and remove the cable.

Disconnect the wiring harness from the window motor.
Figure 14

Disconnect the wiring harness from the window motor. Lift the purple clasp (red arrow). It will pivot up towards the window.

With the clasp pivoted upwards it will push the connection out from the motor (red arrow).
Figure 15

With the clasp pivoted upwards it will push the connection out from the motor (red arrow). Finish by pulling the connection from the motor.

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 16

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.

Using the trim removal tool to remove the clip from the door frame will re-expand the clip (yellow arrow).
Figure 17

Using the trim removal tool to remove the clip from the door frame will re-expand the clip (yellow arrow). Reinsert the plug into the clip holder in the door panel (red arrow).

There will be five expanding clips (red arrows) and one none expanding clip (yellow arrow) that you should have removed from the door frame and placed back into the door panel for reinstallation.
Figure 18

There will be five expanding clips (red arrows) and one none expanding clip (yellow arrow) that you should have removed from the door frame and placed back into the door panel for reinstallation.

Passenger Door Handle - The only difference between the drivers side door and the passenger side removal is the inside door handle or pull.
Figure 19

Passenger Door Handle - 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).

Passenger Door Handle - Use a T30 Torx and remove the two screws (red arrows).
Figure 20

Passenger Door Handle - Use a T30 Torx and remove the two screws (red arrows). The rest of the removal procedures are the same as the driver side door. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:37:15 AM