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Picture of How to remove your car's door arm rest.
This is my first ever Instructable.

This how to was written for someone on here requesting how to do this so they can paint their arm rest without having to tape it off.

This was done on a 1996 Honda Accord Ex. The process is basically the same for other vehicles though some screw, wire and clip locations will vary.

 
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Step 1:

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These are the only tools you will need for this.
A flat head screw driver, A Philips head screwdriver, and a tiny flat head screwdriver.

Step 2:

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Now for the fun part.

Remove the handle. There is a screw holding the handle to the door. Remove teh screw and gently slide the handle to the right (or left depending on the car)

Step 3:

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Behind the handle is a plug (if you have power locks), and a connecting rod that links to the door latch.

Gently unplug the plug and use the flat head to GENTLY pry the clip off the connecting rod.

Step 4:

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Use the small screwdriver to pray up the cap covering the screw in the pull handle in the arm rest and remove the screw.

Step 5:

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Now gently use your fingers to pry up the corner and pop the plug out.

********NOTE: Some cars will have a screw or small bolt here so check first.********

Step 6:

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Now using your fingers, gently pop the panel around the edges.

********NOTE: There is a panel puller tool made for this.  I recommend this tool for certain model cars. I have been doing this for 15 years and know how to use my fingers and not damage the panel.********

IF YOU USE YOU FINGERS OR THE TOOL AND HAPPEN TO PULL THE PANEL LOOS FROM THE SNAP CLIPS THEY ARE SIMPLE TO SNAP BACK ONTO THE PANEL.

Step 7:

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Roll down the window and lift the panel off the door.

Reach behind it and gently unplug the wires.

Step 8:

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Now that the panel is remove lets flip it over.

This model is simply snapped in place. Some models will have screws, So check.

Use the flat head to gently lift the panel over the snaps and push the arm rest up.

Step 9:

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Now that it is out. Flip it over and you will see 3 screws holding the window switch unit and a clip holding the mirror unit.

Remove and they will pop out with ease.

Now you have a clean slate to prime and paint.

Revers to put it all back together and enjoy.
Dr. P1 year ago
I got weak in the knees at step two! But it's a great set of instructions. Sadly (well, happily, actually) I won't get the chance to use them any time soon--I traded the Z for a Miata! Fun times!
Mr. D. Dr. P1 year ago
Why would you trade anything for a Miata? I wouldn't trade a bicycle for a Miata. I did trade my Miata for a bag of beans. Best trade ever.
Dr. P Mr. D.1 year ago
Well, that's pretty cool. Are your beans manual or automatic?
Honda Enoch (author)  Dr. P6 months ago

They are magic beans, they can be both. LOL

I don't mean to bag on Miata's, Just owned one before so I know what they are like.

Dr. P Honda Enoch6 months ago

me, too: they're like an mgb, but with everything working.

Dr. P2 years ago
I bow to your expertise! That would definitely eliminate the tape, as well as the cramped working conditions. Congratulations! Keep 'em coming! (Can you show me how to remove headlight covers and clean the inside? Mine are getting yellowed.)

When your headlights get clouded/yellow it is usuallly the outside of the light that is the issue. not the inside. pick up a kit from autozone and sand/ buff your way back to clarity

Cheap plain white tooth paste (not gel), and a cotton rag and elbow grease will do the trick, a lot cheaper and works just as well as the kits.

Honda Enoch (author)  Dr. P2 years ago
You can remove the headlight lens, but shouldn't. They are sealed to keep moisture out.
Oh. Then I won't. But I'm not getting the 370Z. I have to draw the line somewhere.