Maybe I am confused, the second panel you are talking about is the red panel that is blocking your view of the mechanism inside the door? If that is the case then you are correct. This is the inner door panel and does not remove. This provides the structure for the door and can only be cut out.
Unfortunately what you are dealing with is one of the worst things a mechanic has to do, working inside a door panel. There is no room and they always seem to put the access holes in the worst place to make it more difficult.
The L end of that rod has to hook to the latch. Can you see your latch? That rod has to hook to the lever on the latch that releases the door.
I know it is not the best illustration but if you can get a couple pictures of the latch then I can hopefully show you the portion of it that this has to hook to.
Sunday, June 20th, 2021 AT 7:11 PM