Originally Posted by Crusin in da BONE
ok i started to follow the guide on the site, but I gave up because I didn't want to break anymore than I already had. It is also very cold over here so the plastic tends to crack easily. I followed the guide, but I couldnt get the panel off. When you take off the cover behind the door latch, how are u supposed to remove it while the lock lever is in place? Do you have to dissconect the lock rod connected to it or what? I kind of left it on dangling in place and tried to pry the panel off with a paint scraper. Does anyone know the locations of the plastic fasteners that hold it in place? I know there are 2 on the left side, and possibly one on the right side. Its just so frustrating to remove, especially when you can't feel your hands after 5 mins
I would have to say that out of all the parts to that door, the little lock lever has the biggest size to pain-in-the-*** ratio. You just gotta yank that sucker toward you (not
toward the rear of the door), but try to support the rod so that you don't bend it. It takes a tremendous amount of force and I'm not aware of any better way to remove it other than by brute force.
There are eight "Christmas tree" fasteners total per door. I wish I had the piece of mind to take pictures of them while I had them off last week. Basically, if I recall, there are two on the leading edge of the panel (the edge that faces the front of the car), three along the bottom, and three along the trailing edge. It would definitely help to have a panel remover tool to help you (it looks like a miniature crowbar with a screwdriver handle), but maybe a flathead screwdriver will do. I found out that pulling on the trailing or bottom edges of the panel first are the easiest to get to. Just pull straight out with steady, but very strong force. If you can manage to slip your fingers or a tool underneath the panel somewhat, do it to support the panel or it can crack very easily.
Inevitably, one or two fasteners will release just a little bit enough for you to be able to slip a tool or your fingers in there. Take a peek inside the panel (as much as you can, anyway) and try to see where the fasteners are located. You'll want to use your tool and jam it right underneath the base of the fastener to pry it up. I suggest that you pry with the most force with the tool only underneath the base of the fastener
or you'll risk breaking off the entire fastener anchor from the door panel (as inevitably will happen - purchase a tube of epoxy for this incident).
Once you get the sides and bottom fasteners all out (you'll know this when you can sort of swing the door panel outward like a doggie door), you're supposed to just pull the panel straight out toward you to unseat the trim at the top of the panel. Frankly, I've never been able to do this correctly and botched it up on both of my doors, so my advice stops there.
Those damn staples don't hold for crap. You'll probably want to purchase new fasteners from the dealer, but it is possible to reuse them, but I don't think the panel will seat as securely after one pull.
And you're right, my friend...the job starts to get old real fast when you feel like your fingers are about to fall off. Only the love of my car kept me plugging on. :P
Originally Posted by willwren
I know now that we're alot easier than the Buick LeSabre. Just went through that on Mom'* car last week. What a nightmare. Took an hour to get it off, and 30 minutes to put it back.
Damn, my mommie'* got a LeSabre also, with a failing driver'* side window. Not looking forward to that job.
Originally Posted by BonneMeMN
Pull the black plastic piece off the rod, and you'll be fine. Don't do it in the cold, things shatter quickly!
GM plastic = worst plastic, EVER. The stuff will shatter if you look at it the wrong way.