Door panel removal & Exterior handle replacement
by Ron Pickett (aka RonsMinnie)
First, thanks to Arron Cornaby – Outmotoring.com - for his instructions on how to remove the upholstered panel, without this I would not have attempted the install. Another huge thank you for Recardo Ribero -- Recardo who is a tech at Momentum Mini who took time from his day off to explain the install to me.
Torx Set – Plastic pry tools – Ratchet-10mm socket – BMW-Mini Spanner wrench is nice but optional.
Most Useful Tool - GearWrench LowProfile ratchet.
And it is nice to have a magnet - dropping fasteners in the door is a possibility.
Also wish I would have had small plastic triangular wedges to re-install glass.
Disassemble the door:
Pull the pin at the bottom of the lock trim ring.
Remove the trim ring (there are 4 clips holding it) - this is tough and tedious.
Pull the door panel away from the frame starting at the corner and work yourself all the way around the panel.
Plastic pry’s are great to start the process along the top edge.
Disconnect the light at the bottom of the panel. (Also here is a view of the plastic rivets we were popping out.)
Remove and store the panel.
Check for lost plastic rivets out of the panel (some may fall out).
Pull and lift to remove the armrest – it is just clipped on, no fasteners.
Using a plastic pry tool, insert and lift exterior window seal/molding (the belt line).
Work your way across carefully, so as to not the bend the molding.
Remove and store the molding.
Unwire / unclip wiring and remove speaker: 4 screws and remove and store speaker.
Remove Torx shoulder bolts around perimeter of panel and 1 in armrest.
Torx shoulder bolt removed. You gotta get this plastic piece pretty loose to create room the work in the door cavity.
Remove 3 fasteners on aluminum top rail (2 torx, 1 10mm nut).
Remove 2 plastic fasteners on rubber end cap with plastic pry bar.
Remove 3 torx screws on end clip of aluminum top rail.
Remove forward rubber plug on window access hole – this will expose the bolts thru the glass, when glass is lowered.
Remove rear plug on window thru bolt access hole.
Adjust window glass height until window glass thru bolt is exposed. This picture shows the rear access hole.
Front access hole.
Mark the glass position with a felt tip pen (this will start your alignment on re-install).
Un-screw the torx bolt while pulling out on the bolt (see also below).
I used tweezers to pull out while unscrewing (Roberto uses a wire loop, which would be more secure).
Extract both forward and rear thru glass torx shoulders bolts.
Pull glass up - be careful with this!
Make sure you have a good grip and then remove and store the glass.
Gently pull up and in on aluminum top rail to lift off frame and create working room to position hands inside the cavity.
Take a picture of drivers unlock cable routing for re-install.
Passenger side unlock cable routing picture.
Remove the handle:
Insert hand and use low profile ratchet and allen bit to remove exterior handle fasteners.
Extract fastener and backing plate.
Remove other fastener on lock end of handle by removing rubber cover and insert allen bit on extension.
You can use the ratchet on the lock end too (I did not find the access hole until I did the driver’s door).
Extract the old handle!!!
We are ready to start the reinstall:
Clean and wax the area underneath the door handle (this will be your only chance to ever do this completely.
Position the new handle and reverse above steps to re-install.
The alignment of the glass is very important!
Use your felt tip mark on the glass to start the process by matching with your marks made earlier.
Tighten the glass thru torx bolts hand tight.
Raise glass with door open and gently close checking the fit. I should have taken pictures of the proper clearance before I started, so as to have a reference point.
If you have the special BMW-Mini spanner tool you can adjust the glass from the outside of the car, holding the glass with one hand and tighten/loosen the glass thru bolt with the other hand.
If you do not have the BMW-Mini tool, use the glass thru bolt by lowering the window into position and then use your torx bit to tighten/loosen the glass thru bolt.
The basic process is accomplished by the holes thru the glass being over size allowing movement of the glass as required to achieve correct alignment.
As mentioned previously, plastic triangular wedges would have been nice to hold the glass in place during the alignment process.
“Queen of Clubs”