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Door card (panel) removal on a mk4 Jetta or Volkswagen Golf
How to remove the door panels (door cards) on a mk4 Jetta or Volkswagen Golf
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If you want to add soundproofing, service the window regulator clips, door locks, speakers, or reupholster the doors, you must first remove the door cards on your VW.
Note that the driver's side door is slightly different than the other doors because of the extra electrical switches. The small triangular rear window trim also tends to rust - removing the rear door panels is the only way to remove them for repainting. See 1000q: triangle trim removal for more details Also see 1000q: soundproofing for some basic soundproofing tips. Refer to 1000q: window regulator clip and motor replacement if your window is clicking, popping, or fell into the door.
For the mk4 Passat, see 1000q: Passat door removal.
T25 torx screwdriver
slot screwdriver or pry
Driver's side door card removal
Pull the inside handle edge (outlined in red) out and parallel to the ground. It is held only by clips. If you use a screwdriver, wrap it in cloth to protect the plastic.
The rest of the handle should just pop up and out, remove the one plug for the windows/doors, etc, outlined in green. You may want to wear gloves for this because there are sharp edges in the metal and plastic. When you pull on the clips, etc., they let go suddenly and you may slice yourself on an edge. It will also prevent you from getting dirty fingerprints all over the interior.
Remove 3 torx screws at the bottom, 1 phillips screw near the driver's side view mirror (outlined in yellow)
You can now pull up and out, starting at the bottom edge, and moving to the window seam where the door card hooks into the door edge. There are six plastic snaps holding the door card, pull up and out to pull these out. Here is the reverse side of the door to show you the plastic snaps (circled in red). Remove the door electrical plugs for the trunk and gas cap release and door latch wire.
To remove the door latch wire, pull the plastic holder forward and away from the door in the direction of the blue arrow. Note that the wire goes into the tube (outlined in red) and is locked in place by the plastic holder (outlined in green, old position outlined by green dashes). You can then unhook the door latch wire (outlined in yellow). Remember their original positions for reinstallation.
Here is the inside door panel. Note the door latch hook. When reinstalling the driver's side door, make sure you pull up all the window control wires through their holes before you reattach the door or else they will be stuck inside the door.
The other doors are pretty much the same. The passenger side door has a handle that has to be split in half with a screwdriver or pick. 2 phillips screws hold the door in place, remove them. The three smaller screws hold the handle to the door card, it's not necessary to remove them unless you want to remove the handle from the door card.
The rear doors have two torx screws on the bottom and the same style door handle that must be removed, everything else is the same. (torx screws and plastic snaps outlined in red)
For reinstallation, double check that all wires and door latches are reattached before putting it back on. Hook the door at the top, at the window seal first, then press in the plastic snaps from outside. You should hear them click, you may also have to bang it gently with your hand to make it click. Then reinstall the torx screws.
Pictured below is the rear door. The red circle marks the location of the bolt that holds the rear triangular trim piece that gets rusty. See 1000q: triangular trim for more details.