View Full Version : How to take the inner plastic door pannel off

01-09-2003, 12:02 PM
Need instructions how to take the inner plastic door panel off, so I can furnish the door pockets.
The way it is now leads to too much rambling of stuff put there.
Tried pulling, but stopped at that, because afraid it would brake.
The little screw behind the door handle only leads you to the locking mechanism, I guess.
Kuhl to the rescue please.

PS First I wanted to wait the Service Manual to come out at Helminc.com, but lost patience.

01-09-2003, 12:02 PM
Need instructions how to take the inner plastic door panel off, so I can furnish the door pockets.
The way it is now leads to too much rambling of stuff put there.
Tried pulling, but stopped at that, because afraid it would brake.
The little screw behind the door handle only leads you to the locking mechanism, I guess.
Kuhl to the rescue please.

PS First I wanted to wait the Service Manual to come out at Helminc.com, but lost patience.

01-09-2003, 02:06 PM
JCJ, I had the same problem, but lined the door pockets with some of that anti-slip stuff sold for motorhome drawers. It comes in many colors and is not noticeable. AL

"Follow the white rabit" .. Matrix 1999

01-09-2003, 04:08 PM
I found some dark brown adhesive-backed felt drawer lining stuff at Home Depot. It's a really dark brown, so it looks pretty good.

01-09-2003, 04:38 PM
SMA is faxing me instructions do to this. I'm looking at replacing my door handle covers because of the easy of thief with the cheap plastic one. I can see about scanning it in and posting it here.


01-09-2003, 08:51 PM
Well, got the fax on replacing the billet door handle. Didn't say anything on exactly how to remove the trim panel. It just say 'Remove door trim panel'.

For those who are thinking about swaping out to the billet door, it's compliated...here are the first few steps:

1 - Remove door trim panel
2 - Remove water deflector
3 - Remove window <------------!!!!
4 - Loosen clamps securing window to the window module
5 - Remove outer window belt sealing strip
6 - Remove window through the bottom of the window frame
7 - disconnect outside door handle rod
8 - disconnect lock cylinder rod

There's also drilling and grinding that has to be done.

The illustrations are minimal at best. You'll have to be an expert mechanic to tackle this one. It's not one you can DIY that's for sure.


Kühl Carbon
01-11-2003, 01:16 AM
Ooooo, that whole billet door thing sounds nasty. Quite a bit of work I'd say.

To remove door trim, remove the screw behind the handle. Remove the silver painted plastic plate the screw held on. you will find two more screws that hold the bracket for the pull handle (the leather wrapped one) to the door. Remove those. I believe there are 7 two stage plastic fasteners that simply hold the trim to the sheet metal. Your dealer or a body shop has a "special tool" they use to remove them. It is simply a skinny crow bar they wedge between the edge of the trim and the sheet metal and "twist" or "pry" the trim off in the attachment areas .... if you pry a little you can kind of "see" where the trim stays stuck to the sheet metal. Once you pop one or two clips, you can get your fingers in there and just pull the panel away from the door.

A MAJOR word of caution here. DO NOT pull on the top edge of the map pocket to remove the door. It WILL crack and cannot be repaired. It is heat staked (permanently attached) and cannot be repaired if broken. You will need to replace the whole door trim panel.

The clips, as I said, are "two stage". Half of the clip is designed to be removed with the trim and the other half is designed to stay in the sheet metal. Do not be alamed because it seems that the clips are "broken", they are not.

Simply reverse the operation to re-install. There are two molded in plastic locators on the back of the door that protrude quite far. Start both of these and all of the clips should find their home naturally.

The procedure is the same for both front and rear doors.

Roadsigns are just a suggestion ... like pants http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

01-11-2003, 03:53 AM
I did not know those are leather, I have to go to the garage to smell it. What else is leather beside seats, top of center console, handles?

"pull handle (the leather wrapped one) to the door."

I saved your instruction for possible future use.

01-11-2003, 11:54 AM
So do I understand correctly, that for the sole purpose of sticking noise reducing lining in the map pockets, it is no use taking the door panel apart?
Because the map pocket is "permanently attached" to the door trim, so to speak.
I'd thought the inside wall (towards cabin) of the map pockets were attached by similar clips, which would appear after taking the door trim off.
So now I'll have to be really carefull with that glue gun and/or double-sided advesive tape, when sticking those pieces of anti-slip sheets and even more careful when cutting them off at the edges.
ER experience comes in handy now.

01-11-2003, 11:56 AM
More leather parts:
Steering wheel, passenger roller coaster bar, shifter handle, your pants. http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

01-11-2003, 11:58 AM
So...you use glue guns and double-sided adhesive tape in the ER there in Aruba? http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

I'd love to see some of those reports that you dictate!!! http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

01-11-2003, 12:20 PM
Actually that was the Voodoo ER in downtown Kingston Jamaica.
Luckily we get so much US tourists here that we can afford the regular stitching material. http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

01-11-2003, 12:29 PM
Whew !!! My DH's company may be sending him out to Aruba at some point in the future...so it's good to know that you use the good old fashioned Vicryl instead. Had me scared there for a minute! http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Kühl Carbon
01-11-2003, 01:58 PM
Haha, I have the whole forum sniffing their vehicles http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif . JCJ is correct on all counts of leather. He is also correct that removing the door panel will not make access to the map pocket any easier.

Pull handle - screwed on
Silver bezel around pull handle - heat staked on
Inside door release handle - attached to the door sheet metal
Courtesy lamp - snapped in
Switch escucheon - snapped in
Map pocket - heat staked on
Upholstered door bolster - heat staked on
Armrests - heat staked on

This is all I can think of right off the top of my pointed head. If anybody has a question about how a certain component is attached, please post it up and I'll try to get an answer.

Roadsigns are just a suggestion ... like pants http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

01-11-2003, 06:45 PM
OK, Kuhl, your info is getting really helpful now.

I have been thinking about replacing the map pockets on the fron doors with a custom assembly that contains a row of smaller (6.5") speakers.
Do I undertstand you correctly that there is no way to ake them off?

Kühl Carbon
01-11-2003, 07:03 PM
Uh, my info wasn't helpful before http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif ???

The door speaker is actually mounted in a molded plastic "basket" bolted to the door sheet metal. The speaker is not mounted to the trim. The speaker grill on the trim panel really just "covers" the speaker.

BTW, the grill portion itself simply has some tabs that are inserted into slots on the trim. It is metal and the tabs are simply bent over to retain them to the door panel. Would be very easy to remove with the door panel off if you ever wanted to.

Founding member of the "No Hummer Krew"

Kühl Carbon
01-11-2003, 07:07 PM
Sorry, just reread your question and it seems you just want to remove the map pocket from the door trim panel. If you remove the panel from the sheet metal and filp it over, you will see where some tabs have been pushed through the panel to attach the map pocket. They will appear to be melted ... and that is the attachment method. Some work with a dremel should give you the ability to remove the map pocket with no visible damage to the front side of the door ....

.... keep in mind you will see several little slots where the tabs for the map pocket used to reside.

Founding member of the "No Hummer Krew"

01-11-2003, 07:16 PM
I still would prefer to have some pictures with your otherwise very descriptive instructions, Kuhl.
Tried taking the door trim of today following your instructions, but stopped when I felt afraid I would be breaking something. http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif
Too bad the Service Manual is still "out of stock" according to Helm Inc.
But that might easily mean, that it was never in print? http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Kühl Carbon
01-11-2003, 07:24 PM
Sorry I can't be more helpful but I don't exactly have anything to take pictures OF http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif .

What happened exactly, and where on the panel did you think you were going to "break" something??? If you can describe what you are doing, maybe I can help.

Did you remove all 3 screws???

Founding member of the "No Hummer Krew"

01-11-2003, 09:52 PM
Yup, removed all 3 screw and plate behind door (opening) handle. Then tried pulling on door trim panel holding it at the lower armrest.
I heared a few snapping sounds when the front part of the arm rest gave a little way, but still just too little compared with the loudness of the sound.
My question now is:
What includes "door panel".
IOW what comes off when pulled and comes loose after loosening the clips?
Does the panel include the arm rest (and switche[s]) and (upholstered) door bolster?
Thank you so much 4 your patience.

01-11-2003, 11:16 PM
Me starting to understand now (I think).
When I take the door panel off the map pockets are attached to the panel. At this point I have one part, the door panel with map pocket. If I want to take the pocket off I have to dremel the back of the plastic nobs that have been melted behind the panel to hold the pocket to the panel.

Is the 't' working on my keyboard again?

Kühl Carbon
01-12-2003, 12:51 PM
Ah, I think I understand where my description is falling short now http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif.

First, hinten, you are correct on all counts. Have at it ... you'll be fine

Second, "Door Panel" includes everything. The whole piece of trim.(substrate, armrests, bolster, swich plate ... everything).

JCJ, your mistake is that you are pulling on the middle of the panel. DO NOT DO THAT! You are correcet, you will probably break it. You need to remove the panel from around the edges ... the only fasteners in the middle of the panel are the screws. I would suggest starting at the upper rearward corner of the panel since it is the easiest place. After you remove the screws, simply put your fingers behind the black plastic strip on the top of the door and pull it straight away from the sheet metal ... it shouldn't take much effort. Then work your way around the outside edge of the panel, releasing each fastener as you go.

One last note ... and you can either do this before you begin to release the fasteners, or after. To be able to completely remove the panel (as opposed to pulling it away from the sheet metat 3 or 4 inches), you will need to pry up on the switchplare (it is just snapped in) and disconnect the harness. Also snap out the courtesy light. The electrical components will keep the trim :tethered" to the vehicle.

Founding member of the "No Hummer Krew"

01-12-2003, 03:56 PM
Problem with the map pockets is that the plastic is so thin and flimsy.
If thicker plastic was used, maybe things heavier than maps put inside 'm wouldn't make so much noise.
Stuck the aluminum door sill plates I had as spares on the outside (towards cabin) of the map pockets.
And guess what? This does reduces the noise somewhat.
Now I don't need to take the panle apart after all... http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Kühl Carbon
01-12-2003, 05:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JCJ:
Now I don't need to take the panle apart after all... http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif I should come over and MAKE you disassemble your door now just to validate my directions http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif . The thickness of the plastic doesn't have anything to do with the niose, but the attachment method should have been more robust ... the tabs should've been thicker and larger.

For noise, you should look into some adhesive backed felt available at any craft store. That is essentially what we would have used if GM had ponied up the money. It comes in a multitude of colors. If you can find an adhesive backed velvet, that would be okay to. It's just that the best of my experience says that the velvet will "shed" and the felt won't.

Founding member of the "No Hummer Krew"

01-12-2003, 06:20 PM
Okay, Okay, Kuhl, easy.
Get the next flight down here!
Guest house is vacant and available in turn for some more H2 insights.
And I DO appreciate your instructions.
Will look for self adhesive felt.
What about self adhesive suede?

Kühl Carbon
01-12-2003, 07:05 PM
Hehe, I am okay. Just after going thru all that, I am interested if somebody can remove their door trim panel based on my instructions, or if I need to elaborate more.

Hey, Kühl is goin to Abuba ... SCHWEET!! http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Adhesive backed suede would bo so durable to the point of being wasteful. If you wanna spend the money and have a source, go for it!

Another useless H2 factoid: On the original H2 concept vehicle, the entire interior was made completely of real brownish suede and aluminum trim milled from solid billets. No expense was spared. The garnish trim, doors, seats, even the IP were genuine suede. All the knobs, handles , and other controls including the shifter were solid aircraft aluminum. No "chrome" was used. You ppl would've been sniffing your vehicles for weeks http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif .

Founding member of the "No Hummer Krew"

01-12-2003, 09:26 PM
Not useless at all. That's the interior I want!

01-12-2003, 10:34 PM
For the heck of it:
Beneath is one of the best rums of the world.
It's distilled in Venezuela and I have a small stock of it.
Guess what: it comes in a neat beige suede pouch!
Next project will be cutting, fitting and glueing the suede to the map pocket.
And, yes afterwards we will have to solve the problem of unpouched bottles! http://www.elcova.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

01-12-2003, 10:59 PM
Now thats what I'm talkin about!!!! I will be right over.

01-13-2003, 12:49 PM
Self adhesive felt/carpet pads for the ones w/o rum pouch:


http://www.michellesrugbinding.com/selfadhesive-colors.htm (cinnamon will do nicely)