Projects & Repairs --> Trim --> Door Panels --> 1999 BMW 323i

Removing Door Panels On A
1999 BMW 323i

Gaining Access To Repair Power Windows, Door Locks, Side Mirrors and More.

(Covers Model Years 1999 to 2001)

In This Article:

Various hidden screws are removed and then the door panel is pried away. Electrical connectors and the door release cable are disconnected to separate the panel from the door.

Related Articles:

Skill Level: 2-3 (Basic to Intermediate)

Time Taken: About 25 Minutes

By Jim Wilk, Licensed Auto Body Technician

Start:

This BMW 323i leather door panel had five T27 Torx-head screws and snap release clips fastening it to the metal door shell.

The red arrows point to the locations of the hidden fasteners.

BMW 323i door showing locations of hidden fasteners.

 

Prying electrical switch from door panel, BMW.

I used a small flat screwdriver to pry the electric window switch out of the armrest.

Then I disconnected the wire connector from the switch.

 

Using the #27 Torx screwdriver, I removed the screw behind the switch.

Note: When replacing the panel I made sure I fed the wire up through the panel so the switch could be re-connected.

Removing hidden screw behind switch.

 

Removing screw cover plugs under armrest, BMW 323i. I removed the cover plugs from the lower area of the armrest with a small screwdriver.

 

Then I removed the two screws behind the plugs with a T27 Torx screwdriver. Removing Torx screws in arm rest, BMW.

 

Prying off plastic trim on BMW door panel. At the top of the leather door panel there was a plastic trim strip.

I pried on the end with a tack puller...

 

...and carefully un-snapped the trim from the leather door panel.

I pried as close to the snap clips as possible.

Thin plastic trim strip removed from door panel on 1999 BMW 323i.

 

Hidden screws behind trim piece. I removed the two screws with...

 

a #27 Torx screwdriver. Removing hidden screws.

 

Prying off the door panel with a rigid putty knife. Then I used a rigid putty knife and pried the panel from the metal door shell.

Air Bag Warning: Above the armrest is a side air bag. When the panel is removed the wire to the air bag must be disconnected before working on the door.

 

I pulled the panel outward slightly and upward over the lip of the metal frame. Lifting door panel off the car, BMW 323i.

 

Door latch cable behind door panel. I found the door latch cable had to be disconnected, and two speaker wires.

 

I used a flat screwdriver and pried at back of the cable end... Prying door release cable from handle mechanism, BMW.

 

Door release cable removed from handle. ...and removed the cable end from the latch.

 

I removed the small speaker wire by pushing on the tab and pulling the wire out. Disconnecting speaker wire, BMW.

 

Removing wires from speaker on BMW door panel. Then on the second speaker...

 

...I pressed in on the tabs on each end of the connector and pulled the wire out.

At this point the door panel was completely separated from the car.

Speaker connector on door, BMW.

 

Rear view of door panel, 1999 BMW 323i sedan. View of back of door panel.

 

View of metal door shell with dust cover and air bag. BMW 323i front door with panel removed.

 

Removing The Rear Door Panel:

Back door of BMW 323i showing locations of hidden fasteners. The rear door had five screws fastening the leather panel to the metal door.

 

I removed the electric window switch from the pull handle armrest.

With a flat screw driver I pried the switch out carefully.

Removing switch on door panel, BMW.

 

Removing hidden screw in door panel, BMW 323. After disconnecting the wire I used a #27 Torx screwdriver to removed the hidden screw.

 

I used a small screwdriver to remove the cover plugs on the armrest. Removing small plastic plugs to reach screws, BMW.

 

Removing armrest screws on BMW 323i, 1999. Then I used a #27 Torx screwdriver to remove the two screws.

 

I pried the upper plastic trim strip at the end and carefully released the snap clips. Removing narrow trim strip on back door of BMW 323i.

 

Trim strip and hidden screws, BMW. View of back of the plastic trim strip and two hidden screws on the door panel.

I removed the two #27 Torx screws from the leather panel.

 

Then I pried the leather door panel from the metal door shell using a rigid putty knife. Prying door panel off car door.

 

Lifting door panel up to remove. I pulled outward slightly and pushed the panel upward over the metal door lip to remove the panel from the metal door shell.

But the panel was still connected to the car by some wires.

 

The door latch is released by a cable that connects to the handle in the door panel. The end of the outer housing is a piece of white plastic, shown inside the yellow circle. Door release cable on BMW 323i.

 

Disconnecting door release cable. I used a flat screwdriver to remove the door latch cable outer housing.

 

View of cable housing after being disconnected.

Next I remove the speaker wire.

Release cable, BMW.

 

Back view of rear door panel, 1999 BMW 323i. View of back of leather-covered door panel.

 

View of metal door shell with dust cover. Rear door of 1999 BMW 323i with door panel removed.

 

More Info:

Tools Used:

  • Tack Puller
  • Flat Screwdriver
  • #27 Torx Screwdriver
  • Rigid Putty Knife

Materials Used:

  • None

Related Articles:

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Written June 30, 2009