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daniswaytough

Stuck Interior Door Panels Help

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Hi,

i'm in the process of stripping my car down for new paint and interior, but i am having trouble removing the interior door panels to get the outside door handles and mirrors.

Everything has been removed, armrest, ventilator knob, interior door latch, window crank, etc etc. I've undone the clips on the side and bottom of the panels, but can't figure out how to remove the top edge. Right now my panels are hanging from the top. The panels seem to go over the top edge and then tuck down where the window is. How do i remove them? I don't want to get too forceful and ruin my panels!

Is there a way to loosen the upper chrome trim?

all your help is appreciated

daniel.

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Presuming the carboard backing on your panels isn't torn or soggy from having been wet many times, you should be able to pull the bottom edge of the panel away from the door, and smartly hit the panel's bottom edge upward with the heel of your hand, starting at the door's trailing edge. That will jar the clips under the aluminum trim loose from the door frame. Keep hitting along the bottom edge, back to front until the panel pops loose. You can also use a rubber mallet, but be careful not to damage the cardboard.

If that doesnt work, take a long, thin piece of wood (like a yardstick, but thicker) and slide it up under the panel (at the door's trailing edge) until it hits the underside of the aluminum trim, then hit the wood with a mallet--gently does it--again working back and forth--until the panel pops loose.

You really don't want to bend the aluminum--it's difficult to straighten, and expensive to replace.

Happy rapping.

mike

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or worklight and get on your back so you're looking up between the door panel & the door from below. At the top of the panel there are clips that hold the inner metal trim piece to the panel & to the door. You want to tap up lightly on the longer (north to south) clips until you see the top of the panel (along with the inner upper metal trim) start to come off the door. Work you way along the door a bit at a time.

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My car had the same problem - I used the long, thin screwdriver method while lying under the car door. Tap upward on the edge of the clips and the entire panel should come loose. Use copper anti-sieze paste on the clips before re-installing the panel.

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I use Mike's second method utilizing a long wood shim that is used in new home construction to align and plumb doors and windows. They're available at Home Depot, et al., but next time you drive by a new home under construction in the final framing stage, go look around and you'll likely find a # of scrap shims lying around. I then tap it lightly under the chrome strip w/ a small ball peen (sp.)hammer.

Bob Napier

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