: Door Panel Removal



DopeStar 156
08-09-07, 01:10 AM
As soon as I can bear to be outside for longer than 5 minutes in this gross humid heat that has swept the east coast I'd like to get my driver's side door open on my 76 DeVille. Since I'm still sans a shop manual and one isn't in the budget right now I was hoping someone on here knew specifically how to get the door panels off a 76 Coupe with the door closed. I realize it's going to be hard as hell but I'm willing to bust my ass. Also what rods or whatever do I have to tug/push/yank to get the door to open. Thanks in advance, I'm pretty sure once I get the panel I can at least get the door to open......

77CDV
08-11-07, 03:25 PM
OK, this is based on my experience with my 77, and I'm assuming (dangerous, that) that 76 will be similar. Start by removing the trim panel behind the interior door handle release, then reach up inside and disconnect all the wires that power the windows, locks, etc., and detach the remote sontrol toggle for the side view mirror. Remove the trim on both ends of the door pull strap using a thin flathead screwdriver. There should be very large phillips head screws behind them that hold the strap and the door panel to the door. Unscrew the manual door lock button on the top of the trim panel. Now it gets tricky, since the panel is now held on only by some pastic button tabs which insert into holes in the door. Start from the bottom, as I *think* the door panel does not go all the way down, that is, there's a gap between the bottom of the panel and the bottom of the door. Most of the buttons will break (brittle with age), but replacements are available at any auto parts store. From there, you may be able to go around the edge and loosen the other tabs. If the door was open, once all the tabs are detached, you just slightly lift the trim panel up from the window sill, and it's off. I don't know if you'll be able to get that far in your state, but you'll likely get enough of the panel off/loose to see inside the door. I'm sorry I don't know more about the interior workings of the lock mechanism, but if you remove the passenger side trim panel, you can use it as a comparitor to see how things work and what may be broken/jammed on the driver's side.

As to your humidity, now you know why I will never leave the desert southwest. Please try not to drown in your air. ;)

Craig

DopeStar 156
08-11-07, 10:21 PM
OK, this is based on my experience with my 77, and I'm assuming (dangerous, that) that 76 will be similar. Start by removing the trim panel behind the interior door handle release, then reach up inside and disconnect all the wires that power the windows, locks, etc., and detach the remote sontrol toggle for the side view mirror. Remove the trim on both ends of the door pull strap using a thin flathead screwdriver. There should be very large phillips head screws behind them that hold the strap and the door panel to the door. Unscrew the manual door lock button on the top of the trim panel. Now it gets tricky, since the panel is now held on only by some pastic button tabs which insert into holes in the door. Start from the bottom, as I *think* the door panel does not go all the way down, that is, there's a gap between the bottom of the panel and the bottom of the door. Most of the buttons will break (brittle with age), but replacements are available at any auto parts store. From there, you may be able to go around the edge and loosen the other tabs. If the door was open, once all the tabs are detached, you just slightly lift the trim panel up from the window sill, and it's off. I don't know if you'll be able to get that far in your state, but you'll likely get enough of the panel off/loose to see inside the door. I'm sorry I don't know more about the interior workings of the lock mechanism, but if you remove the passenger side trim panel, you can use it as a comparitor to see how things work and what may be broken/jammed on the driver's side.

As to your humidity, now you know why I will never leave the desert southwest. Please try not to drown in your air. ;)

Craig

Thanks a lot. I know it's not exactly the instructions for a '76 but it's more information than I knew about. The trickiest part will be the seat's position since it's as far back as it goes. I'll have to do my share of squeezing and wiggling. If anyone else has something to add feel free......