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How do you remove door panels?

3201 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  boardboy330
I need to remove the driver side door panel to get access to the window motor/latch.

If anyone has pictures or tips I would appreciate it.

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From Ken's website under FAQs

Note: There are multiple sources for the hint. His website has pictures.

Ken K. Yee
on 08/12/1998 at 10:00 PM Frequently Asked Questions What radios/CD's can be put in the M-Class?

How to Remove Door Panels

From Frank Kuenhl:

Use a screwdriver (flathead) or similar prying insturment to remove the clips on the bottom and sides of the door; this will prevent breakage.

Several white rubber washers may fall to the ground, one goes on each of the small plastic clips.

Some clips may remain in the door rather than coming off with the panel. Use extreme caution when installing them in the door panel, the edges are razor sharp (i found out the hard way).


From DaveL on the MBNZ forum:

Not bad. All you need is a Phillips head screwdriver and some sort of panel tool--I use a old 2' putty knife....I am not sure if MB sells a $50 precision crafted putty knife, but any similar sort of tool will work.

1. With the putty knife (or like), pry off the panel on the door handle. It works best if you put the knife under the edge at the bottom and gently pry upward. On MY98 an MY99, this piece is fake wood (apologies to all of you who have just had your bubble burst...please avoid reading my next post re: the Easter Bunny) and on MY 00, it is the same color as the interior trim.

2. Remove the two screws in the door handle

3. If you feel the bottom edge of the door panel, you will feel a slight indentation--slide the putty knife between the door and panel at this point and gently pry upward. You will hear a couple of pops as a couple of the panel fasteners release. Slide your fingers into the opening and work them around the panel and slowly pry the panel off. If you are practiced, you can do this without breaking any fasteners. If not, before you start this project, head of the MB dealership and buy a few spares--they are about $.50 each.

3a. If you need to remove the sail panel at the A-pillar, it simply pops off

4. Rest the door panel on the ground. There is a black cable that goes from the door latch release mechanism to the door. Pull back on the silver door latch to put some slack in the cable. Grasp the cable where it connect to the latch and pull back gently. This will reveal the actual cable. Pull until you can see about 1/4' of the cable. You can then slide the cable out of the guide it is in and unhook it from the silver door latch. This sounds complicated, but when you look at the panel, it will make sense. On the front doors, you can now set the panel off the side. On the rear door, their is a second cable to the door lock plunger thingie, but you do not need to remove this cable: it is long enough that you can move the panel out of the way.

5. If you want, you can remove the door speakers--they are held in place with three Phillips screws

6. Simply peel the black insulation of the door frame. There is a bead of tar-like adhesive along the edge of the insulation--careful, it is sticky! Lay it off to the side.

To put it all back, reverse the steps, with the following notes:
1. To help you re-position the black insulation, there are some holes in it that align with little bumps on the door frame
2. Once you have re-positioned the insulation, you can use the DynaMat roller to roll over the adhesive on the edges to make sure you have a good seal
3. The is a lip on the top edge of the door panel--make sure it fully engages in the channel in the seal on top of the door.


JimB posted a good set of pictures on the MBNZ forum:

First remove the sail panel by pulling it outward, then take off the door handle cover by using a screw driver but be careful not to damage the trim cover, then pry off the SRS plastic and remove the screw inside, then start prying off the door panel starting from the bottom corner, once you hear a pop sound you're out of one plastic clip. And start from there. I would advise buying an extra plastic pin because I guarantee you, you will break a few clips. Good luck.


From MBLady on MBNZ:

I'd like to add some details to Jim's instruction. I was lucky that I saw this done by a MB service guy while he tried to remove the sound reducer material on one of my doors. I followed this procedure and did not break any plastic clips.

1. First remove the sail panel by pulling it outward.
2. Take off the door handle cover by using the plastic stick. This ensure no damage to the the trim cover. Remove 2 screws
3. Pry off the SRS plastic by using the plastic stick and remove the screw inside. Make sure you use a magnetic screw driver.
4. Pry off the bottom door light with the plastic stick and disconnect the power cable.
5. Then start prying off the door panel starting from the bottom outer corner with 2 plastic tools. Once you hear a pop sound out of one plastic clip, continue from there.
6. Once all plastic clips pop out, lift the door panel up to remove.
7. Disconnect the lock tension cable to remove the door completely.
8. To assemble the panel back, make sure to remove all plastic clips that are still stuck on the door (most of them will stick on the door)
9. Do not forget the lock tension cable
10. Install plastic clips back onto the panel (NOT THE DOOR)
11. Do not forget the bottom door light cable
12. Line them up perfectly with the door holes before you pop each one of them back in.
13. Put back screws, door handle, and the SRS plastic.

I attached a picture of the tools that I used. Hope this helps.

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