Mechanics

DOOR PANEL

2002 Dodge Dakota

Interior problem
2002 Dodge Dakota V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 88500 miles

something is real loose inside the drivers door. I want to take the inside panel off and have removed three phillip srews. Are there more? Might it be the star screw on the side of the door? How do I proceed?

Thank you
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Enok62
July 3, 2009.



Most inner door panels are attached the same, no matter what kind of car you have.

Generally the outer edge of the panel is held to the metal part of the door with plastic clips. Expect to break about 25% of these when you remove it.

The center part of the panel normally has a few screws that secure it. Sometimes they will have a small cover over them, often the size of a dime. Just for cosmetic reasons.
There will almost always be 1 or 2 screws attaching the pull handle, the place you grab onto to pull the door closed.
Most of the time, there will be a screw somewhere close to lever you use to open the door.
If your armrest is not molded into the door panel, there will be screws that attach it. Often at a 45degree angle coming from the bottom.
And finally, on rare occasion, there will be some screws near the speaker in the door, if you have one.

Armed with this information. This is how remove a door panel that I am not familiar with.

First I remove all of the screws that I can see, and look for anything that may be a cap that is covering a screw.

Second I start at the bottom of the door and try to pull it away from the door. As the plastic clips start to release, I work my way up along the front and rear edge of the door.

Sometimes during this step, I notice the center part of the panel is still attached, and have to search for a hidden screw.

Finally, when the panel is free all the way around, grab the panel along the front and rear edges and pull straight up to get it to release from along where it touches the glass.

I hope this helps.

Buddycraigg
Jul 3, 2009.