2nd Gen "How To" Door panel removal and Exterior handle replacement

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First, thanks to Arron Cornaby at Outmotoring.com for his instructions on how to remove the upholstered panel, without this I would not have...
By RonsMinnie · Jan 30, 2018 ·
  1. RonsMinnie

    RonsMinnie New Member
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    Installed "BlackJack" door handles on my Gen2 MINI and documented along the way. Would appreciate suggestions and improvements for the next MINI "modder".

    Motoring Alliance needs to build it's Library -- Dig out your "How to's" and submit them to the Library or just send to to Steve (MA Librarian).

    Door panel removal & Exterior handle replacement - Gen2 MINI


    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.


    Tools:

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    Torx Set – Plastic pry tools – Ratchet-10mm socket – BMW-Mini Spanner wrench is nice but optional.

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    Most Useful Tool - GearWrench LowProfile ratchet.

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    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:

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    Pull the pin at the bottom of the lock trim ring.

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    Remove the trim ring (there are 4 clips holding it) - this is tough and tedious.

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    Pull the door panel away from the frame starting at the corner and work yourself all the way around the panel.

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    Plastic pry’s are great to start the process along the top edge.

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    Disconnect the light at the bottom of the panel. (Also here is a view of the plastic rivets we were popping out.)

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    Remove and store the panel.

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    Check for lost plastic rivets out of the panel (some may fall out).

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    Pull and lift to remove the armrest – it is just clipped on, no fasteners.

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    Using a plastic pry tool, insert and lift exterior window seal/molding (the belt line).

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    Work your way across carefully, so as to not the bend the molding.

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    Remove and store the molding.

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    Unwire / unclip wiring and remove speaker: 4 screws and remove and store speaker.

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    Remove Torx shoulder bolts around perimeter of panel and 1 in armrest.

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    Torx shoulder bolt removed. You gotta get this plastic piece pretty loose to create room the work in the door cavity.

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    Remove 3 fasteners on aluminum top rail (2 torx, 1 10mm nut).

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    Remove 2 plastic fasteners on rubber end cap with plastic pry bar.

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    Remove 3 torx screws on end clip of aluminum top rail.

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    Remove forward rubber plug on window access hole – this will expose the bolts thru the glass, when glass is lowered.

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    Remove rear plug on window thru bolt access hole.

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    Lower window adjusting height until window glass thru bolt is exposed. This is the rear access hole.

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    Front access hole.

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    Mark the glass position with a felt tip pen (this will start your alignment on re-install).

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    Un-screw the torx bolt while pulling out on the bolt (see also below).

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    I used tweezers to pull out while unscrewing (Roberto uses a wire loop, which would be more secure).

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    Extract both forward and rear thru glass torx shoulders bolts.

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    Pull glass up - be careful with this!

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    Make sure you have a good grip and then remove and store the glass.

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    Gently pull up and in on aluminum top rail to lift off frame and create working room to position hands inside the cavity.

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    Take a picture of drivers unlock cable routing for re-install.

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    Passenger side unlock cable routing picture.

    Remove the handle:

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    Insert hand and use low profile ratchet and allen bit to remove exterior handle fasteners.

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    Extract fastener and backing plate.

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    Remove other fastener on lock end of handle by removing rubber cover and insert allen bit on extension.

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    You can use the ratchet on the lock end too (I did not find the access hole until I did the driver’s door).

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    Extract the old handle!!!

    We are ready to start the reinstall:

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    Clean and wax the area underneath the door handle (this will be your only chance to ever do this completely.

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    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.


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    The unveiling!!

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    Ron-s M!nn!e

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    “Queenof Clubsâ€
     
  2. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Wow! Nice job on the "How To". And here I thought those were simple plastic covers that snapped over the stock door handles. I will have a much greater appreciation the next time I see these handles on a MINI.

    Looks sharp:yesnod:

    And yes, let's start filling up the library with more "How To's" ;)
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    Apr 23, 2009
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    This is an excellent how-to and moreso because it's multi-purpose. It's also useful to folks who aren't trying to replace the exterior handles but still can't figure out how to get at other things in the door area. Well done Ron! :Thumbsup:

    The Library does need more content to make it a first class reference library. Everything there is good; more would be better. As Ron says, you may send ready articles to me (pm first and I'll tell you what to do). However, if you would like to build it yourself just let me know and I can set up a dedicated Library Gallery section for your article as well as answer any questions. One HUGE benefit to assembling an article directly within the Library is the software allows you to build it as a draft (just need to find and click the right box), so you can work on it a bit and then save it so you can come back to add/edit later and "publish" when you're done. The benefit to this is it saves you having to work on it elsewhere and then rebuild and reformat it as you transfer its content to the Library. A very cool feature IMO.

    Back to the thread topic, one question for you Ron. From the pics it looks like you started the project with your windows already all the way down, but one step says "Lower window adjusting height until window glass thru bolt is exposed." Am I missing something or is this instruction meant for anyone who hasn't already lowered the window all the way before getting to that step?
     
  4. RonsMinnie

    RonsMinnie New Member
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    I should have said "adjust window height until window glass thru bolt is exposed".

    With the window in the fully down position, you need to raise the glass slightly.
    I will edit and correct this, thanks.
     

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