I finally got around to installing my aftermarket black birdseye door handles. These were made by Schatz and match the OEM wood exactly. They are really elegant and relatively easy to install. To do so meant removing each door panel. Here is the procedure:
Removing a W210 door panel –
The door panel is held in place by 3 major screws and a number of metal and plastic clips. Here is the removal process, assuming that you need to get the panel off to install something like my aftermarket door handles. Time to complete each door – 20 minutes or so.
(1) Tools – T25 Torx driver, Phillips and standard screwdriver, strong fingers. It helps to have two other inexpensive tools (available at Pep Boys) – 1) a wide flat plastic body putty tool (looks like a small machete) for slipping between panel and door and 2) panel clip popping tool (looks like a flat spoon with a v-groove). Obtain extra plastic clips first (dealer) in case you break or lose any.
(2) First, roll down the window all the way. Remove the door latch escutcheon with a single small screw. Remove the door lock (unscrews). Gently pry off the ‘SRS’ plastic cover near the airbag (one screw is underneath). Pop off the round cover below the door handle (one screw is underneath). Carefully pry out the plastic finger cup behind the door handle – easiest by starting toward the front of the door (one screw is underneath). Remove all 3 screws (Phillips) and set carefully aside.
(3) Starting at the bottom of the door, insert a thin tool (plastic body tool) between the door panel and the door. This will allow you to see the clips and pop at each one with the panel clip popping tool. Work from the bottom up to the last clip just below the wood insert trim. They pop with relatively little force.
(4) The top of the door panel is held in place with a number of metal clips which hold the top turned-down edge of the door panel. After popping all of the plastic clips (step #3), start at the latch end (rear) of the door and lift underneath slightly to loosen the rear clip. Then stand with your body against the door panel and put fingertips of both hands just behind the window (not into the window slot) on the top of the door panel. The rubber window gasket stays in place. Pull fingertips toward you and lift slightly and the door panel will ‘pop off’ suddenly. Lift up and over the door lock arm, which swings down. Take care to chase down and re-set any metal clips that fly off.
(5) Look over the top of the panel, holding it against your body and locate the door release hook mechanism. Pull forward slightly to take pressure off and unhook. Pull on the hook again to expose cable and slip the bare cable up through the cable guide to free the door panel. There is enough slack in wiring to switches and puddle lights to actually swing the door panel into the car door opening in order to access parts inside the panel.
(6) If you are replacing the door handles, use the Torx T-25 to remove one screw at the base of the door handle and two T-25s at the top of the handle. You may have to pull back some of the adhered sound-deading material. All the torx screws are on the inside face of the door panel. The handle can now be removed. Reverse operation to re-install.
Last edited by tjcMBE55AMG; 06-15-2004 at 10:47 PM.
Drives: E-Class W210, SLK R170, Jetta MKV TDI, MINI Cooper S
Thanked 0 Times
Good instructions. I installed wood handles on mine to. The door panels have to be removed to install blinker mirrors as well so these instructions are a handy thing. I have a video tape of the door panel removal and it shows the use of a long and flat putty knife for popping the clips off around the door panel without breaking them. It is also used to pull the black trim around the chrome door opening handle so that you can get at that hidden screw. I would pull the puddle light out at the bottom of the panel first too so that the wires don't get yanked. Don't forget to unplug the seat position control cable either. The cable to the door opening handle needs to be taken out like a fish hook before you swing the panel away to keep it from getting damaged. A needle nose pliers works great for this.
Drives: GL320CDI / C63 Edition 507 Coupe (EDP) / E63 S (on order) / G500 / Smart Brabus
Thanked 0 Times
Originally posted by E-Klasse
Good instructions. I installed wood handles on mine to. The door panels have to be removed to install blinker mirrors as well so these instructions are a handy thing. I have a video tape of the door panel removal and it shows the use of a long and flat putty knife for popping the clips off around the door panel without breaking them. It is also used to pull the black trim around the chrome door opening handle so that you can get at that hidden screw.
I suggest using the tool Mercedes suggests, which is a plastic wedge... you can get these at the dealer for a few dollars (in the US). It is made of a self-lubricating nylon material and is relatively soft, so it is less likely to scratch or dent things.
For the door clips, you just drive the wedge in between the panel and the metal door frame (rather than prying) so that the wedge is actually... well... wedged in.
I believe this is shown in the W210 training videos... I don't recall though, but I do know by the W211 videos it was used.