Door Panel Removal
I. Remove door catch trim (black - one phillips screw) and lock knob (unscrew)
II. Remove mirror trim (see pics)
1. Gently pull/pry the top out
2. Lift the bottom up AND out
III. Remove courtesy light
1. Pry light out and disconnect the two plugs
IV. Remove seat switch/door handle (pics)
1. Remove individual seat switches by pulling them out (here I pried them out with my fingers)
2. Gently pry out the black trim around the handle and seat switch (this is actually 2 pieces - see the pics the yellow arrow shows how they line up and attach)
2 (cont.) This is a slightly difficult step - you should start at the front of the door handle and pry the trim out, then move back towards the seat switch. The bottom left of the seat switch should be last, you must lift it up, then out (again, refer to the pics)
3. With the trim removed it should look like the last pic attached
4. Remove the two screws holding the seat switches in place
5. Remove the 8mm (10mm?) bolt holding the arm rest/handle on - covered by some foam in the picture
I also took pictures of the back of the items so that you can see the attachment points.
6. With the arm rest and seat switch out of the way you can remove the door release lever by prying it up (see pic)
7. Now slide the door handle towards the front of the car then pull it out
WATER BREAK, GATHER COURAGE (Trust me you'll need it)
V. Panel Removal
1. Basically the panel is held on by inverted "J" clips so you just need to push it up and then pull it out
2. I found it quiet difficult to push it up because there are no good grip points - it can be done though, I used a fist to tap/pound up from the bottom of the panel and the bottom of the door handle.* I also used the arm rest handle to pull up - be careful.
3. With the panel off you can celebrate - the hardest part is over. Set it somewhere safe so that it won't get dirty/stepped on etc.
*I ended up breaking two of the clips (just above the speaker) by pounding too hard on this region. I JB-Welded them back on for reinstallation and they worked fine.
NOTE: It is a good time to tighten the wood trim (green circles) -- one of mine was loose but not rattling.
Map Pocket Removal and Fix
If you're like most w124 owners, the map pocket vinyl has peeled off. I found it easiest to fix with the pocket removed.
I. Remove map pocket from door panel
1. Everything circled in yellow must come off (above pic)
2. Slide the large clip in the middle left and then pull it out the bottom.
3. Remove the white clips - pinch the exposed sides together with a good pliers then pull out.
4. Remove the two screws holding the speaker grille on
5. Finally, there is one plastic rivet that must be broken. If you look at the pictures you will see that I used a small wood screw and washer when reattaching this part
II. Re-Glue the Vinyl
1. Get your blow dryer out to heat the material
2. Heat the material for ~10 seconds, then pull as much as you can over the lip and secure with a binder clip (pic)
3. I had a few inches secured with binder clips, then started at the beginning with the gluing.
4. Remove one clip at a time, heat the material again (~5 seconds) apply Super Glue Gel to the inner pocket, then strech the material over and reclip. (*Note: the metal clips can become quite hot)
6. After removing/gluing a few clips I would return to the part that I hadn't heated/stretched yet and repeat this process
The super glue dries relatively quickly (5 - 10 minutes) so I was able to get by with only 12 clips. You'll also see that I noted which clips had glue under them by folding down the inside part.
Door Check Replacement
My door check started making this terrible cracking noise whenever I would open up the door so I knew it was time for another one!
p/n: 126 720 05 16 (Replaced by 126 720 00 16 OR 124 722 00 08 - however, when I called dealership they only had the first part number in their records/stock)
I. Remove door panel (See above)
II. Peel back the plastic sealant and/or felt sound deadening
III. Remove the door check pin retaining clip and then the pin
1. I used a hammer and a punch to drive the pin out from the bottom with the door open all the way.
IV. Remove the three 8mm (10mm?) retaining bolts (My door check was severly broken so that the two bolts in the door weren't holding anything)
V. Reach into the inner-door and remove the check
VI. Install the new check, I found it easiest to start the bolt on the interior side of the door then align and install the pin/retaining clip, then install the other two bolts.
Discussion of this DIY can be found here.