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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

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  #1  
Old 05-19-2013, 08:10 AM
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Door Panel Removal

The following was performed on an '03 E250, Power Window & Power Door Locks (PW & PDL). Apart from removing the window crank on standard window regulators this is common for model years 1992 through at least 2008. Later years may be the same or similar however I have no direct experience with those models.

The exact order of the first steps isn't important though---this becomes apparent as we proceed. Left door is shown but procedure is similar for the right side as well.

Everything done here can certainly be accomplished with dedicated auto upholstery tools but they don't need to be expensive. Used here is the Lisle #35400; cheap, readily available at most auto part retailers or online. Fact is a good metal kitchen spoon would work.

Onward then............

Fully assembled door, yellow outlines denote four (4) screws that need to be removed, access first requires removal of three interior trim pieces numbered in green:

Click the image to open in full size.

First off is the upper black trim panel covering the mirror mounting bolts. Fingers alone will work here as long the top clip pops loose first. Once free at the top it simply lifts straight up so the bottom tab clears the door panel.

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The first of four (4) screws to be removed is now visible and accessible:


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Closer view of this panels attachment clip & tab:

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Next are interior door handle and PDL/ PW switch trim panels, no particular order. Notice there are small notches in each allowing use of the lifting tool:


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As this assembly is lifted upward the lower rear portion contacts the underside of the armrest, resisting further removal. Beoing persistent but gentle continue lifting it out, slightly careful to not damage attached wiring. Once the switch body has cleared the armrest the entire assembly is now slid backward and free from the main door panel. Its supported by the wires alone as its light, won't stress the wire harness at this point.

The second of four (4) screws to be removed now visible and accessible:

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Now the interior handle trim, also with a small opening to ease removal:

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Once the front clips are popped loose lift outward just enough to allow the panel to slide forward so the rear tabs clear the larger panel:

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Once the front clips are out, raise the door handle enough so this panel slides forward and free, the rear tabs clearing the main panel . The third of four (4) screws to be removed now visible and accessible:

Click the image to open in full size.

Fourth screw, located bottom rear:

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The main panel is now free to be pulled straight upward in order to free its top edge from the inner glass weather strip:

Normal:
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Lifted and free at the top:

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As the main panel is lifted free the PDL & PW assembly is pushed down through the opening in the armrest. As you continue lifting the panel and pulling slightly outward at the same time this easily slides through the opening:

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FYI The main panel is retained in place by the already-removed screws, the top edge fitting into the weather strip and the pictured tabs. These serve to pull it tight to the door shell:

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Closer view:

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They fit into these punched openings:

Click the image to open in full size.

Points marked as A on both main panel and door shell are for orientation.

Please note the plastic sheet is firmly attached, its main purpose is to reduce wind through the door shell into the interior. They are NOT available for replacement (unless I've been mislead by my dealer) and need to be carefully handled if they need to be removed.

If the applied adhesive no longer holds it to the door shell any weather-resistant tape can be used to reattach it. Don't underestimate the importance of this too often overlooked feature---it was originally installed for good reason!

Reassembling is just reverse order of removal. Be advised its possible the PD and/or PDL's might not function after assembly, on just one side if both panels have been removed/reinstalled. This is due one or more wires have been slightly dislodged, not a huge problem.

Simply remove the offending switch panel once again, jostle wires leading into the particular lost function switch and eventually you'll find the loose wire. This might seem a somewhat crude approach but nothing more complicated is necessary. Operation shouldn't fail again since nothing typically acts on those connections; if they fail again you'll know where to begin troubleshooting.

If anyone can add a few images of handle removal for non-powered windows it would be a nice addition here.

Hope this is just a bit helpful!
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:15 AM
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Great stuff, I like all the pics. Added to tech folder!
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:39 AM
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Thank ya Sir!
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:32 AM
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The 02 and earlier or maybe it's 01 not sure but they only have 3 screws. Behind the black trim piece, behind the door handle cover and at the bottom of the door. Other than that it the same. Great info as alway JWA
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:14 AM
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That door panel (pocket specifically, and overall condition) appears to be from a model newer than 2003...
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Im50fast View Post
That door panel (pocket specifically, and overall condition) appears to be from a model newer than 2003...
The model year was mentioned in the first sentence---that's not changed since it was originally posted. Everything is original to the chassis, nothing altered that would affect this information.

While there might be a few relatively small MINOR differences between the outward features of an interior trim panel as seen in the one used here as an illustration or reference the process remains very similar. In addition to being in the auto glass biz AND having done this chore on my own '97, '00 & 03 E250's I can assure its very much the same.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:16 AM
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JWA

thanks for posting, this is a great reference guide. I recently pulled my door panels to add new speakers, the factory book is good but this is much better! BTW I snagged, and cracked, the front clip in the passenger side power window mechanism. Went back in fine but I had that oh **** moment!

My vans at the paint shop, getting the upper portion painted viper red. Hope to get it back in a week then I'll post some pictures.

When you get a brake upgrade solution for an E-150 worked out, let me know. I see that you changed avatar pictures, Linda will be hurt! Take care, Mike
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by redtanrt10 View Post

When you get a brake upgrade solution for an E-150 worked out, let me know. I see that you changed avatar pictures, Linda will be hurt! Take care, Mike
Linda's still #1 in my book of car chicks----Donna Loren would be my real true love though--Christie's just a place holder for now!

The '08 brake upgrade on my '03 E250 is done and has enough miles on the swap to strongly suggest it to anyone not happy with the stock pre-'08 brakes. Not sure if its doable on the E150 chassis since the front spindles etc etc of the E150 (before a certain year) aren't the same as the E150's.

Remind me what year your E150 is RT?
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:44 AM
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Great post! I think we have the beginnings of a new career!
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:04 AM
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Great post! I think we have the beginnings of a new career!
I'm alternatively pleased and confused---what new career?
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:09 AM
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JWA,

I've got a 2003 E-150 (Chateau). We did trade some notes on the brakes before, Seems like I'd need to go to the 8 lug hubs. don't really want to have to get rid of my factory 2004 aluminum wheels too. Keep me posted and thanks
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redtanrt10 View Post
JWA,

I've got a 2003 E-150 (Chateau). We did trade some notes on the brakes before, Seems like I'd need to go to the 8 lug hubs. don't really want to have to get rid of my factory 2004 aluminum wheels too. Keep me posted and thanks
Ahh okay I recall all this now----darned old age!

Can't be of much help changing the E150 front bits, not even sure if its possible on that year chassis. Wish I could be of more help but in this case I can't.

Sorry RT!
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
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I'm alternatively pleased and confused---what new career?
A career as a how to tech writer! You would be great!
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PStruwing View Post
A career as a how to tech writer! You would be great!
Oh!

I'd need only be a better photographer, write more like an adult than a pre-schooler and possess a much much more thorough knowledge of my subject matter.

So yeah I guess that new career might be possible?

Thanks for the compliments---they're indeed truly appreciated!
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:24 PM
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JWA:

I want to thank you for taking the time to write this up and supply photos. Even a novice should have no problem getting the door panel off. While I don't need to take mine off right now, I may have to in the near future if I have to replace the door latch assembly on my 2000 E150. I have bookmarked this for future use.

Thanks again,

Joe
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:24 PM
 
 
 
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