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Removing the Door Panel
Author : Matt Blehm
Published : 09/26/2002
Last Modified : 09/26/2002
This procedure will work for any door on the car.

First, pull all the trim pieces off. On the front doors, you'll see two screws near the front covered with plastic discs. Pop the discs off with a flat head screwdriver and remove those two screws.

At the top of the door handle, there is a plug that conceals another screw. Use the flathead to pry that out. Remove the silver screw you see there.

Being very careful, pry the trim piece off around the door lock. The tabs are on either side of the lock, so you'll have to play around with it to get it off. I don't remember exactly, because mine have been on/off so many time, I just grab them and pull off by hand.

Now if you'll look just to the front of the pull-lever to open the door, you'll see a slot in the plastic about " wide. Stick your screwdriver in there and pry that out. You should see two silver screws- one holding the door handle on, the other going straight down holding the switch panel to the door. Remove both of those screws. The door handle should now come free, and you should see another silver screw through the hole the handle came out of.

Now for the hard part. The plastic trim piece that holds all the switches must come out. There are tabs at the front and rear of this panel, and they are very hard to remove the first few times. It takes some getting used to. It will probably take 10-20 min your first time to get each one out, but once it's done a couple times it gets much easier. Disconnect all the wires from the switch panel, but don't go too far with the thing. You'll need to hook it back up later to get the window up/down.

You should now be able to pull the panel from the door. There are about 8-10 plastic tabs around the outer edge of the door panel, and they'll be a pain to remove the first time also. just be fairly careful and yank the panel straight out from the bottom, then from the sides. It should come straight out, with the top lip still hanging on. if it "snags" in the middle somewhere, you missed a screw. Look around for another silver screw. (there are 3 per door)

Now, before you pull the door panel off the car (or before you walk away with it after it's loose), unhook the entry light and trunk release connectors. I find it easier to pull the panel then remove these. Other people like to remove them before they take the panel completely off. It's up to you.

That should be it. If the door panel hasn't come off yet, just tilt the bottom out and lift straight up to pull it out of the window gap and you're done!

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