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Removing a Door Panel
Removing a Door Panel
Originally contributed by Kenneth Potter
Published by 1996 328ti
12-03-2005
Default Removing a Door Panel

This is fresh in my mind since I just did this again Sunday to install m final Chrome pieces. Here's how to remove a ti door panel. The usual disclaimers apply, as I am in the middle of drinking *a* Molson XXX :-) You'll need a Torx-head screwdriver (T20?) or a set of hex-key like Torx keys (is that what you call them? Tim Taylor? Anybody?), a piece of masking tape labeled "tweeter", a long twist tie, a really small headed flat head screw driver, and something soft to kneel on. Let's do the driver's side door. First thing, remove the cover around the inside door handle. Pry up the end towards the rear of the car with your fingernails, then slide it forward. It should come right off. The first fastener you'll need to loosen is a Torx screw that's in a hole just below the grab handle. Make sure you tool is firmly seated in the screw before turning it. You don't want to strip the head on one of these little buggers. This screw is a little over a half-inch long. After it's out, set it aside in a safe place where you can remember where it goes. It'll be the shorter of the two screws when you have them both out of the door. Next, you need to pop off off the plastic panel where the mirror control is (procedures relating to this control are the only difference between driver's and passenger's side panel removal) with that tiny screwdriver. Be careful not to mar the plastic. you may want to shim something underneath the screwdriver so you don't hurt the soft plastic surrounding the control. After you loosen the control, carefully pull it out of the handle, then disconnect it. Don't worry about labeling it because its a pretty unique harness. Set the control aside. The second screw is at the top of the handle, visible through the whole you just removed the mirror control from. Unscrew it with the Torx, but be careful not to drop it down in the door. The screw is a little over an inch long. You may want to keep an index finger on the side of it as you remove it so it doesn't fall. Now comes the fun part. Using your fingers (or if you're brave and not worried about scratches, a tool) pry the bottom edge of the door panel away from the steel part of the door. The panel is secured by re-useable pop-rivets (for lack of a a better name) made of plastic that scure horizontally into holes in the steel part of the door. These fasteners are along the bottom and front and rear edges of the panel. Pry them all gently out. Carefully, carefully, lift the door panel straight up. Remember, its still secured by metal slide-type fasteners at the top of the door panel (along the bottom of the window). If any of these fasteners come off the door with some rubber trim, don't worry, they go back in place easily. As you're lifting the panel off, don't lift it too far, because you don't have more than 4 or 5 inches of slack in the speaker wires. Tilt the panel so you can see the wires, then disconnect the tweeter's (smaller speaker) wire. Put the masking tape "tweeter" label on it. Disconnect the other speaker wire. The panel is now free. You have access to the speakers, handle, and locking and window mechanisms. Don't break anything :-) As usual, installation is the reverse of removal. However, I recommend attaching the twist tie to the mirror control harness to easily thread it back through the correct whole in the panel, as that harness' wiring has very little slack. Have fun!
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  #1  
By aceyx on 12-08-2005, 01:09 AM
Default

EDIT: T20 is correct.

I've done a photo-essay of the same process, in my gallery here:
http://www.318ti.org/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=557

EDIT: sorting figured out.
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  #2  
By sparkchaser on 01-16-2006, 03:48 AM
Default

Most excellent. I can see me using this in the near future.
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  #3  
By momorugger on 04-05-2007, 11:44 PM
Default

Ummm, airbag cars, pop out the little airbag icon, and unscrew the torx head screw behind it. otherwise it has been perfect.
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  #4  
By Xenocide on 07-09-2009, 12:58 AM
Default

Wow, just took my door panel off for the first time since I was having issues with it separating, DANG these things are easy to take off compared to other cars!
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  #5  
By BMW530i on 12-18-2009, 06:19 PM
Default

Just repaired the clip pylons on my daughter's car door panel. Prior owner had made repairs previously that failed. Don't use generic hardware store hot glue. This stuff is LAME and will not last. Get an industrial glue gun and use polyamide resin glue sticks.
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  #6  
By cooljess76 on 12-18-2009, 06:29 PM
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW530i View Post
Just repaired the clip pylons on my daughter's car door panel. Prior owner had made repairs previously that failed. Don't use generic hardware store hot glue. This stuff is LAME and will not last. Get an industrial glue gun and use polyamide resin glue sticks.
I think that's what they used at the factory. In my experience, JBweld works best. Thanks for the tip though
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  #7  
By trunxgp1224 on 12-28-2009, 02:11 AM
Default

Does any one know the part numbers for the black things. I know that they are each unique and are numbered but I cant seem to find how to order them. Some of mine are missing/broke. I can find the while clip thats attached (51411973500) but not the black "pylons" themselves. Help?? Thanks.
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  #8  
By cooljess76 on 12-28-2009, 02:17 AM
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by trunxgp1224 View Post
Does any one know the part numbers for the black things. I know that they are each unique and are numbered but I cant seem to find how to order them. Some of mine are missing/broke. I can find the while clip thats attached (51411973500) but not the black "pylons" themselves. Help?? Thanks.
They aren't available separately as BMW considers them part of the actual door panel. You need to find them used off of a junk Ti door panel. You can either search the forum classified section for someone parting out their Ti, search local salvage/wrecking yards for a Ti, or try Bavarian Auto Recycling. They're based out of Rancho Cordova, CA. They have a website or you can call them, but be sure to specify that they have to come off of a 318ti.
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  #9  
By cali_guy_559 on 11-02-2010, 08:38 AM
Default

Does anybody know the part number for the T20 bolts? I'm pretty sure i've either lost or stripped them all. Been looking on realoem and can't find them.
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  #10  
By budget76 on 11-02-2010, 07:45 PM
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cali_guy_559 View Post
Does anybody know the part number for the T20 bolts? I'm pretty sure i've either lost or stripped them all. Been looking on realoem and can't find them.
FWIW I just replaced mine with phillips heads, now I don't have to search for the torx's when I pull the panel off.
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  #11  
By cali_guy_559 on 11-02-2010, 07:53 PM
Default

If you can remember what size and thread more specifically. I tried finding something similar but couldn't.
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  #12  
By budget76 on 11-03-2010, 03:43 AM
Default

For the one that goes in behind the mirror switch, on mine it threads into plastic, so I just used a sheetmetal screw that was slightly fatter than the hole, with a washer on it.

For the one on the regulator/lower armrest, I had to replace the regulator, and lost the clip or whatever was there stock. I wound up using a nutsert (google it, inserts like a rivet but is threaded like a nut), and that's a standard 10-24 thread IIRC. This one also has a washer on it to spread out the load.
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  #13  
By lemon.j.poodingtonsworthy on 11-12-2010, 06:37 AM
Default

Awesome right up. But just a heads up, when removing the mirror control, instead of prying it out, you can pull off the nob used to move the mirrors and there are holes to pry from inside there, this way you don't mar that soft plastic
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  #14  
By bc318ti on 03-01-2017, 10:50 PM
Default

I found a good way to get the rearview switch out without damaging the plastic was to remove the pushon thumb button to reveal the stalk. Then simply hook the hard plastic of the swtch body and pull the switch out. No prying or damage to the housing.
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