Last Updated
15 September, 2004

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Removing the
MKII Door Trim Panel

I've read a few complaints on the various MR2 lists that owners have had a nightmare removing the interior door trim panels on the MKII. Personally, I've had more problems with other cars (but that's another story). Anyway, I've had the trim panels off and on about six times on my '93 Turbo, so during the most recent attempt to get the inserts the right color of red, I took some photos and made some notes.

The photos on this page are also available in 1024 x 768 by clicking on the image. The photos show the process on the driver's door, but the passenger side is the same.

Remember that this is only a guide -- not gospel. What you do to YOUR vehicle is YOUR responsibility. I do not endorse, approve, authorize, or otherwise encourage you to make alterations to your vehicle. Be careful, and recognize the dangers associated with modifications to your vehicle's critical systems, like electrical, engine, brakes, etc.

Please contact me if you have comments or suggestions about the article or the project, or if you find errors on these pages.

Tools/Materials Needed

  • Phillips and flat-bladed screwdrivers in various sizes

Doing It

Make sure you have adequate room to open the door most of the way, as some of the screws can only be reached when the door is nearly wide open.

Roll down the windows, otherwise you'll have more trouble removing the panel, and you risk the possibility of scratching any window tint (if you've applied tints).
  The first step is to remove the switch assembly from the armrest. Here's a side view of what the switch looks like:

Note the "hooked" retaining tab on the back. This is easy to break if you apply pressure at the wrong point.
Take a thin-bladed screwdriver (or other flat-bladed tool) and apply some electrical tape to the blade to (hopefully) prevent the blade from gouging the trim material.

Carefully work the blade under the front lip of the switch assembly. Do not attempt to lift the rear of the switch assembly -- you'll break off the hooked tab located there.

Once you've pried the front of the switch assembly clear of the armrest, pull it towards the front of the car, and the back hooked clip will clear the rear of the armrest.

Disconnect the two electrical connectors, and set the switch assembly aside.
The door pull is easily removed. It's merely a plastic cup that snaps into the armrest. Use your thin-bladed tool again, starting at the front...

...then repeat the process at the rear. Here's a photo of the removed door pull:

Next, you'll need to remove the door handle trim. There's a single Phillips flat-head screw to remove, as shown below inside the yellow circle:

This screw is very short, so be ready to catch it when it pops out.
The trim piece needs to be pried out from the rear, not the front. Pull the handle open, then use your flat-bladed tool to get it started.

Note: It may pop right out, or it may get stuck. If it's stuck, it's likely that it's hung up on the central hinge pin for the door handle and lock assembly. The detail photo below shows the areas that you'll need to work it past:


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