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  #1  
Old 04-30-2012, 02:01 AM
gastropodus's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 378
HOW-TO: Remove a 190D / W201 door panel

I wasn't able to find a clear tutorial on how to get into a W201 / 190D door to repair a lock, so I took pictures after I learned how to do it at the junk yard.

Photo 1: the first step is obvious: unscrew the Phillips screw that holds the plastic striker trim in place. Once that is done the trim slides downward to disengage a tab that holds the upper end in place.

Photo 2: this was a rear door of a Euro model, so it has window cranks. Like a lot of Mercedes models, the trim piece is what secures the crank in place on the shaft. The key to getting the trim piece off (black in this photo) without damage is to apply slight pressure to slide the trim away from knob. You don't want to be a gorilla about, just slide it enough to open a crack up near the knob. Then put the tip of a small screwdriver into the crack and push down slightly to release the tab that is holding the trim in place.

Photo 3: this trim piece around the top of the door handle needs to be removed so that you can get at the 10mm bolt head under it. To remove the trim, insert a flat blade screwdriver at the bottom as shown, and pop the trim out.
Attached Thumbnails
HOW-TO: Remove a 190D / W201 door panel-img_0206-small.jpg   HOW-TO: Remove a 190D / W201 door panel-img_0205-small.jpg   HOW-TO: Remove a 190D / W201 door panel-img_0207-small.jpg  
__________________
'79 240D - engine swap complete! Engine broken in! 30-31 mpg! Lovin' the ride!
'86 190D (W201-126) - 2.5 NA engine, 5 speed, cloth interior, manual climate controls, 35-37 mpg.

Last edited by gastropodus; 04-30-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2012, 02:12 AM
gastropodus's Avatar
Mercedes Benz apprentice
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 378
Photo 1: the next step is obvious. Once the trim around the door handle bolt is out, remove the bolt! This single bolt is really what locks the whole door panel in place.

Photo 2: the door card is held by clips along the sides and bottom and underneath the arm rest. The clips require you to lift the door panel UP to disengage the clips from the holes in the door sheet metal. However, the interior pull handle is still holding the upper part of the panel in place. So as this photo shows you have to start at the lower, outer part of the panel and wiggle that a bit to free things up. I was rotating the panel slightly clockwise in this photo.

Photo 3: meanwhile, the surround around the interior door pull handle has to be pulled sideways to free it up from slots in the sheet metal! So you have to wiggle and do two things at once: lift the panel gently, while pulling the surround toward the front of the car! You might also need to apply pressure with your knee or other body part to the arm rest, since there is a big clip under it that is hard to get free.
Attached Thumbnails
HOW-TO: Remove a 190D / W201 door panel-img_0208-small.jpg   HOW-TO: Remove a 190D / W201 door panel-img_0209-small.jpg   HOW-TO: Remove a 190D / W201 door panel-img_0210-small.jpg  
__________________
'79 240D - engine swap complete! Engine broken in! 30-31 mpg! Lovin' the ride!
'86 190D (W201-126) - 2.5 NA engine, 5 speed, cloth interior, manual climate controls, 35-37 mpg.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:31 AM
gastropodus's Avatar
Mercedes Benz apprentice
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 378
Photo 1: at some point, your careful wiggling and lifting of the door panel will pay off, and the card will come free. However, you still have to reach behind it, between the panel and the metal of the door, to detach a rod that is hooked into the interior pull handle that opens the door. This is a poor photo, but it will be easy to see what is needed once the panel comes free. I found that having the window down made it easier to reach in behind, by the way.

Photo 2: you will need to detach the two rods that connect up to the lock assembly. One is the other end of the interior pull handle rod, and the other comes from the vacuum actuator for automatic locking. The door pull handle rod is just a simple hook; pop it out of the guide in the middle of the door and then you can unhook it. The locking rod is held to the lock lever by a little white plastic keeper; you just pop the rod end out toward you to detach it, leaving the keeper in place.

Photo 3: the lock itself is held in place by three heavy duty Phillips head bolts. I found that they were quite tight, and so I put a large size screwdriver insert into a 1/4" socket. This made it quite easy to apply leverage, and the bolts came out easily then.

Once the lock is free, you have to disengage it from the outside handle. Reach up in there and you will find that when the exterior handle is pulled outward it pulls a lever that pivots at the bottom of the lock mechanism in the door. I think that I disengaged that inner lever by first pulling the outside handle of the door, and then whole mechanism was able to move down and out of the door.

Once I had my mechanism out, I cleaned it up with brake cleaner, and then applied a drop of light oil to all the pivot points. For some of the interior pivots I used a spray lubricant applied via a small red tube (not WD-40, rather something that actually sticks around and lubricates). Put it back in, and now the vacuum actuated door locking works again! When I first had it out, I could not even move the locking lever with the little white plastic keeper!

Reassembly is the reverse of disassembly, as they say. Just be sure to hook the rod into the pocket of the interior pull handle before you slide the card down into place - you really can't do it once the panel is attached. Don't ask me how I know! I hope that this helps someone in the future!

Kurt
Attached Thumbnails
HOW-TO: Remove a 190D / W201 door panel-img_0211-small.jpg   HOW-TO: Remove a 190D / W201 door panel-img_0212-small.jpg   HOW-TO: Remove a 190D / W201 door panel-img_0213-small.jpg  
__________________
'79 240D - engine swap complete! Engine broken in! 30-31 mpg! Lovin' the ride!
'86 190D (W201-126) - 2.5 NA engine, 5 speed, cloth interior, manual climate controls, 35-37 mpg.

Last edited by gastropodus; 04-30-2012 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:24 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Placerville, California
Posts: 184
Thanks. I have to do this to get to a slight dent in the door to straighten it out. Now I know what I'm in for! Good info!
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:24 AM
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