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  #1  
Old 11-17-2005, 06:24 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 140
Question '95 E320 W124 driver's door panel pull / center door pull is loose - suggestions?

Hi guys. Just noticed when getting into my wife's '95 E320 that the door pull is somewhat loose. For example, if you were to grab the pull handle at the center of the door panel (armrest) and pull, you would feel the panel actually seperate from the inside door frame ---- as if it's no longer secure there.

However, if you grab the "vertical/narrow" pull handle toward the front of the panel, it seems very secure.

Just wondering if there is something worn/broken that I need to order before removing the panel. I "witnessed" a shop remove door panel on this model before, and it didn't look that simple --- lots of stuff to break. So I only want to do this once.

I'd appreciate any advice. THANKS!!!

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  #2  
Old 11-18-2005, 07:09 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 140
Anyone?

Thanks! Chris
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2005, 09:06 AM
Sportlines
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
Posts: 985
Sounds like you are not mechanically inclined or adventureous.
It's not tough at all, but based on your post, your best approach
would be to simply find a local auto-upholstery shop and pay them
to fix the problem.

If you decide to try, then you first should see if you can locate a possibly
loose bolt that simply needs to be tightened.

Here is my rather vague memory relative to removing the panel.
Basically you need to remove the surround moulding at the corner
near the mirror. Then you remove the plastic trim piece under the
door pull. Then there is the connection between the rod the door pull.
I'm doing this from memory which is fuzzy. There are a couple of bolts
that attach through the panel to the door frame.

Once you have all those connections done, you need to push the panel
up. It's held at the edges by plastic clips. The clips are now old and
somewhat brittle. New ones are cheap. The dealer has a kit with all the
goodies.

Good luck,

Steve
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2005, 10:14 AM
Swiss 500E
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 8
the horizontal part of the handle is held in by small plastic clips ( easily break after all these years) . while the vertical part is held in by a bolt on the top end .

first , always close the door by pulling the vertical part .
second , if you want to fix it . remove the whole door panel and screw in a bolt were clips were .

you'll need better instructions than these. but this will hopfully help.
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2005, 10:49 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 140
Thanks Steve. Yeah, I pretty much don't know a squat about cars.

But I DO appreciate you taking the time to post your instructions. They will be helpful. I've probably removed 50 door panels in my life, but never on a MB. I aluded to my "pre purchase" inspection, when we removed the RH front panel to fix the hinge stap. I remember it took the shop about an hour longer than expected, with much cursing and consulting huge german shop manuals. I just didn't want to goof this one up.

M119, thanks!

Chris.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2005, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,527
You don't know much about cars, yeah, right.

I was going to stay out of this one, but here goes. It's quite easy to pull the door panel, I've done it a few times on 123 and 124 cars. First step is to remove all the mechanical fasteners. There's one at the top of the door pull, as described earlier. You also have to remove the black plastic backing behind the silver door handle. A small flat blade screwdriver usually suffices. Somehow I think there's another task to be done in that area, but I can't recall it - maybe that was the 123?

Anywho, remove the plastic door striker trim plate on the end of the door - a single philips head screw. Remove the lock button - it just unscrews like a 'murican car.

That's all the disassembly I recall. The panel removes by lifting it upward. It may take a couple of firm bumps to break all the stiction. The door panel, map pocket, and armrest are all one piece. It's all held to the sheet metal door with a number of attached plastic wedges on the back side. Only lift the door panel up, don't pry it outward.

There are, I think, two wedges behind the armrest. Likely both have broken for it to be that loose. The only fix I know of is to use sheet metal screws and washers hidden below the armrest. You don't really need to disassemble the door panel to make that repair, but it might be best to first verify the problem, decide where/how to reattach, and insure there's actually sheet metal where you want to put the screws.

Good luck on this mission, should you choose to accept it.

- JimY
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2005, 05:45 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 140
Hey Jim! Thanks, man. I appreciate you taking the time to respond

Quote:
There are, I think, two wedges behind the armrest. Likely both have broken for it to be that loose. The only fix I know of is to use sheet metal screws and washers hidden below the armrest. You don't really need to disassemble the door panel to make that repair, but it might be best to first verify the problem, decide where/how to reattach, and insure there's actually sheet metal where you want to put the screws.
That makes total sense.... I don't know why I didn't look at it first. I'll check on it over the weekend and report back.

Thanks again, Jim. Best regards! Chris

Last edited by 71Rcode; 11-18-2005 at 05:46 PM. Reason: mistake
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2005, 07:16 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 140
Hi all -- just wanted to report back. My wife pulled up tonight (in the garage in her '95 E320 sedan) and the drivers side door panel, the center section with the armrest/pull, was hanging off.

So I pulled the entire door panel. The door panel pull has a hook broken off the rear portion of the pull. This hook attaches to the door frame (toward the interior of the car). Also, there are two plastic tabs that fit down into the lower door panel, from this armrest/pull, that have broken.

What are my options? I checked fastlane, but didn't see any mention of new door panel pulls. There has to be another option other than the dealer. I'd appreciate any advice or where to source door panel parts. Many thanks.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2005, 08:17 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,495
If you have the little bits left from the broken panel hooks, you could try JB Weld-ing or epoxying the hooks back together. Depending on what you use, I've heard this method is fairly strong. The other alternative is to see if it is possible to drill or fabricate some bolts to hold the door pull to the panel.

I have a loose pass. side armrest that does a less dramatic version of what happened to your wife's car. I pulled the panel off earlier this year, hoping for a loose bolt to tighten, but no such luck. I think I had a broken hook, and decided it was more trouble to fix than to leave, but your situation sounds different.

Either way, it's probably fixable, just inconvenient based on the way the panel was designed.
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2005, 09:59 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 140
Thanks, Anthony. I came up with an interesting fix (without photos, it's tough to describe) --- and the door panel is all back together. First, where the door pull (horizontal pull) attaches to the lower door panel, these flat plastic clips were broken (clips that fit down from the pull into the lower door panel). I used two deck screws for this section, attaching up to the door panel pull pad. Then, I drilled holes in the broken plastic rivets that attached the pull to the door panel, and installed short sheet metal screws (old ford mustang interior screws) with washers. It shored things up like it was supposed to.

The big fix was the broken rear hook - (there are two that basically attach the pull to the door frame). Because this hook is slotted, I used a longer, thinner but stout screw. But instead of drilling out the "slotted" hook, which would weaken it, I basically melted a hole with it by heating up a probe. This allowed the plastic to "collapse" around the hole, keeping as much plastic intact as possible. I then also used JBweld on the broken portion of the door panel hook, and then screwed the broken portion down into the other 1/2 of the broken hook.

That's pretty much it. Holding very nicely.

Jim, that was a good idea, about drilling a screw into the pull. But by fixing the hook, I didn't have to do that. I wouldn't hesitate doing so the next time, if my hooks are beyond repair.

Anthony, I think we had the same issues. I probably spent a couple hours on the repair this morning. It was really quite simple. Thanks, guys.

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