Removing the rear interior door panel

Guide and pictures by Devin Fisher

Applicability Difficulty Time Materials Tools
1989-1991 (w/ electric windows) Simple two to four hours, longer if plastic or fasteners have to be replaced. Acetone, rubber cement or spray adhesive, optional: replacement ribbed plastic connectors #2 phillips screw driver, plastic knife or a flat bladed screw driver, optional: trim removal tools
  1. Remove the fasteners: with the door open, slip a flat bladed screw driver or plastic knife between the seams of the screw covers in the handles and remove them. Take out the screw in each cavity. Remove the screw from the upper right side of the door panel. Unscrew the lock knob. Remove the screw from the electric window switch bracket.
  2. Door panel
    Fig 1. Door panel
    Door panel hardware
    Fig 1a. Door panel hardware
  3. Grasp the upper right corner of the door and pull on it to separate the panel from the door. There is a ribbed plastic connector that keeps the panel affixed to the door. In total there are ten of these plastic fasteners, so move in a clockwise manner around the edge of the door pulling as close to the connectors as possible to avoid damaging the panel. It requires a good amount of force to remove the panel from the door. DO NOT PULL ON THE DOOR HANDLE! IT WILL SEPARATE FROM THE DOOR
  4. Separate the panel
    Fig 2. Separating the panel from the door
  5. Move the switch into the panel cavity while supporting the panel
  6. Window switch
    Fig 3. Threading the switch bracket through the panel
  7. Putting the panel aside, remove the two ribbed plastic fasteners holding the sound dampening material, while holding it otherwise it will fall on the ground. Also, be sure to remove all of the ribbed plastic fasteners that did not come out with the door.
  8. Sound dampening material
    Fig 4. The two fasteners holding on the sound dampening material
  9. Using a heat gun or hair dryer heat up the glue holding on the weatherproofing plastic.
  10. Plastic weatherproofing removal
    Fig 5. Warning: this is in no way legitimizing the usage of your significant other's styling appliances to work on your car.
  11. Use acetone or some other non-paint harming solvent to remove the glue from the door. Clean the door thoroughly.
  12. Cleaned door
    Fig 6. Cleaned door
  13. Use a solvent to remove the tacky glue on the weatherproofing plastic.
  14. Using acetone and a rag to remove glue
    Fig 7. Using a rag soaked in acetone to loosen up and remove the glue residue
  15. Apply an adhesive onto the plastic (and/or the door, depending on the indications of the glue, and put it back on the door.
  16. Re-gluing the weatherproofing plastic
    Fig 8. Re-gluing the weatherproofing plastic with spray adhesive
  17. Reinstall the sound dampening material.
  18. Making sure that all ten ribbed plastic fasteners are pulled from the door, reinstall them in the panel. There are slots that each fastener will slip in to.
  19. Door panel with fasteners installed
    Fig 9. Door panel with installed fasteners
  20. Put the door over the lock knob stand off and maneuver it into position to be pressed onto the door. Prior to that, thread the window switch bracket through the panel and the interior door handle through the opening. Line up the fasteners with the holes and press in each one (count from 10) in a clockwise fashion. Reinstall lock knob, the small screw on the top of the trailing edge of the panel, the window switch bracket and the handle screws, and replace the handle screw caps.