Door Trim

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Inner Panel Removal

Q. How do you remove the inner panel door trim?

A. With great difficulty unless you know how.

This is a very common question as there are lots of door related issues: rattles, speakers and electric windows. A good starting point is a visit to your dealer to obtain some spare orange plastic door button retaining clips.

1. Here's a schematic and picture of the door

Service Manual VD1 Door panel.gif DoorPanelRemoval01.jpg

2. Remove the two trims: The bottom one ought to be just stuck on with an adhesive so peel it off gently - if you want, you can remove just the areas around the 7 screws, seen in the detail below. The top leather part is stuck on with a rubber compound so just pull it off and remove the two screws behind the door handle. Clean up the excess rubber of the trim panels.


3. This is a tricky little bugger: The idea is that the orange part can be coerced into popping out, this allows you to lift it off but it's not always that easy. Take your time or order a new set in advance. The orange clip is prone to breaking, part nos. A100B6151H from Lotus (£1.08 + VAT @ Sept 2009) or SJ100B0010 from SJ Sportscars (£0.72 + VAT @ Sept 2009) and also Vauxhall dealers who also sell the knob and orange clip (GM part 90252695).

DoorPanelRemoval03.jpg Orange Clip.jpg

4. Here it is removed, and the reason you have to remove it, that screw (part no A100W5191F or Screw No 10 x 5/8")


5. Now tackle the door handle assembly: In the top of the handle there's the end of the metal rod, if you're lucky it'll have moved up. Grab it with a pair of flat nosed pliers and pull it out. The handle will come off. I didn't bother with this part, this time, you can get the plastic trim off very easily without removing the handle.


6. Remove the screw behind the interior door release handle, and unhook the handle escutcheon from the trim panel. You should now see two screws securing the handle bracket and door trim to the door shell. Remove these.


7. The plastic cheater (triangle) at the window corner, is stuck on with a plastic velcro like thing, just pull it off.


8. And after removal.


9. The inside of the door hides another screw.


10. In the middle of the door there is another screw. Earlier Elans have a little plastic triangle here as well - don't lose it as it's apparently about $100 or more likely no longer available.


11. Close up of the screws running along the bottom of the door.


12. Close up with screws removed from the left hand side of the handle. You can see the two others to be removed from the right hand side. Note they have washers behind them, watch out they don't fall as you remove the screws. A tip for when putting them back on is to get some sticky glue to hold them, pritt stick works fine.


13. Remove the three screws in the dash recess at the front of the door trim, and last but by means least, the screw behind the door weatherstrip. This can be tricky to find as its behind the top rear end (door button side) of the weatherstrip which is bonded to the door. The door trim can now be removed.


14. A close up of the speaker assembly.


15. If you want to get inside the door panel, you need to remove the couple of black plastic panels which are held on by little pins, these need to be removed by either pulling them out or drilling them out with a small bit - tricky but not to hard. These little fasteners are called fastex scrivets (A100W6470F pack of 18) Top tip: Carl Keil suggests pushing the pins through the top and then recovering them later.


16. Back of the speaker. Remove the plastic, unclip the wire retainer and the 4 screws at the front of the speaker and it will pop out. Speakers went through a few revisions so yours might be different.


17. Refitting, as they always say, is the reverse of the above! Take care when refitting to make sure the door button lock rod passes through its aperture, and that it’s in its fully up position when refitting the infamous orange retaining clip.

18. Here is the top door insert after applying black silicone adhesive sealant - put plenty on and wear gloves as it's icky stuff. Make sure you remove all the old silicone before doing this and give it a clean with a light solvent. Clean the target surface make sure its dry, and stick it in place, it takes about 24 hours for this stuff to set, but I found after an hour it'll hold its own, if not you probably didn't have enough on. Be warned though this stuff stinks for a week or two


19. As for the lower trim, I used a spray fix adhesive that worked really well, spray it all over and apply it, takes a while to cure, and you might find yourself sticking it back on for a day or two but once it sets its fine *DON'T* use a permanent adhesive, super glue, epoxy etc. you might want to get it off again later!

Note: Click on the pictures for a larger images

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