Monday, November 20, 2017

Porsche 987/997 door panel removal


Removing the door panel on cars can be tricky and you often break things.  The are generally attached with an assortment of hidden screws and plastic clips.  I recently removed the drivers door panel on my 2006 Cayman S so I thought I would share some handy info for the next person.

Here are the tools you will need.

  • Torx T30 bit and the proper driver or a long T30
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Putty knife

I also had a T30 set which I used for convenience.

Start by removing the trim at the top rear of the door panel and the screw under it.


Then remove the top front panel and the screw under it.  Be careful with this panel.  Pry the bottom edge out and then lift up to remove.  This panel hooks at the top so do not pry on the top.


Now remove the leather trim cover over the door pull handle.  Do this by opening the compartment and prying out on the leather covered trim.

It looks like this with the trim removed.
Now remove the screws at the front and back that are set deeply into the panel.


Now remove the round plastic cover and the screw behind it, both being behind the door latch handle.  You need to hold the handle all the way out to do this.

 This one is best accessed with a shorter torx to ensure you are squarely aligned and don't strip the torx screw or bit.  The tool shown above is not ideal actually.

Next you need to carefully pry the bottom edge of the door panel out releasing the clips.  Here is a photo of the inside of the door panel showing where the plastic clips are.

Unfortunately it seems there is no great way to do this.  Often one or 2 of the clips will not properly release and the panel area holding the clip will break instead.  Plan ahead with some good epoxy to fix the damage.

Once you have the panel disconnected from the door, you need to disconnect the electrical connectors and the door latch cable.



 The door handle cable clips in place with that white plastic cable end.  Start by prying the ends outward away from each other.  Then slide the clip forward until it disengages with the slot.  Once the white plastic cable end is apart from the panel, rotate the cable assembly perpendicular with the hole to disengage the cable.
Be careful with the door latch cable as it does not have much room to work with and you can easily break it.  Depending on options, you may not have all the same connections.

Here is what the inside of the door looks like.




The clips hare 2 piece where the center expands the outer piece when the door panel is pushed in place.  When you pull the door panel, the center is supposed to pull out releasing the clip.  See these 2 clips in the photo below.
Notice the clip on the left is released and the one on the right is still expanded.  They are supposed to release like the one on the left.  If this happens, remove the clip and release it by pressing the center back out.  I used a vice and a hammer for this.

Make sure all 4 tips tuck under the tip properly.  If one is sticking out, push the center in far enough to tuck it back in the then press the center back out fully.

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