Introduction: How to Remove the Door Panel From a Porsche 996

This is a step-by-step photo how-to that will show you how to remove the door panel from a Porsche 996. This particular car is a 2002 (996.2). The 1999-2001 models may be slightly different.

You will need:

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • H4 hex driver
  • T30 Torx driver
  • Trim removal tool

Safety first: You will be working near an airbag. You should disconnect the car battery and wait 10 minutes for residual voltage to discharge. If you switch the ignition on while an airbag is disconnected, you will trigger an airbag fault code, which can only be cleared with a Porsche diagnostic tool.

Step 1: Remove Silver Plug

Use the trim removal tool to remove the silver plug with Airbag written on it. Behind this plug is a hex screw.

Step 2: Remove Hex Screw

Use the H4 hex driver/allen wrench to remove the hex screw. If the screw may drop into the door innards. Once you've removed the door panel, you should be able to find the screw.

Step 3: Remove Door Storage Compartment Screw

There is a plastic Phillips screw in the door storage compartment. It is screwed into a plastic plug. You will need to half close the storage compartment to access the screw.

Step 4: Remove Screw From Behind Interior Door Handle

There is a Phillips screw behind the interior door handle. You will need to pull the door handle to gain access to the screw.

Step 5: Remove Handle Trim

Use the trim removal tool to pry the handle trim away. This will expose two Torx bolts.

Step 6: Remove Door Bolts

Use the T30 Torx driver to remove the two door bolts. The lower bolt is longer than the upper bolt.

Step 7: Remove the Door Light

Use the trim removal tool to remove the door light. Disconnect the bulb holder from the wiring harness.

Step 8: Remove Triangular Trim Piece

Use the trim removal tool to remove the upper trim. On the driver's side, this trim will have the mirror controls. The top of the triangular trim piece slides down into the rubber weather seal. Pry from the bottom, then lift up, and remember this when reinstalling.

Step 9: Door Panel Ready for Removal

Your door should now look like this.

Step 10: Pry Door Trim Away From Door

There are several plastic snap fasteners that hold the door trim the door. Work your away around the sides and bottom the door trim with the trim removal tool to pop these fasteners. There are fasteners at the top.

The door trim slots into the top of the door, so when the trim is free, gently pull it away from the door at the bottom and slide it up to free it from the door.

Step 11: Disconnect Electrical Connectors and Door Pull

While supporting the door trim, disconnect the electrical connectors the LED (white connector) and door handle microswitch (black connector). They are keyed so that they can only be connected the correct way and into the correct socket.

The door handle cable is removed by carefully opening the white connector so that its teeth are free and sliding it back. There is a metal rectangular hook that at the end of the release cable that can now be maneuvered free of the door handle.

Step 12: Interior of Door Is Now Exposed

You can now work on the interior of the door. The grey material is a moisture barrier that is affixed to the door structure using adhesive. In this particular picture, you can see the moisture barrier was torn and cut. This should not be the case: the moisture barrier should form a complete seal.

Step 13: Disconnect Speaker

Disconnect the door speaker. The connector has two prongs that must be squeezed so that the connector can be pulled free. You may need to use the trim removal tool or a flat head screwdriver to push the prong that is closest to the moisture barrier.

Step 14: Remove Door Speaker Surround

Remove the door speaker surround by unscrewing the six screws using a T20 Torx driver.

Step 15: Remove Edges of Moisture Barrier

Remove the edges of the moisture barrier by carefully using your fingers or the trim removal tool to lift it up from the adhesive. You may be able to re-use the adhesive. If not, use 3M Strip-Calk or equivalent (this is available from auto parts stores).

Step 16: Keep the Moisture Barrier Out of the Way

You can use making tape to keep the moisture barrier out of the way while you work.

Step 17: Reinstallation Is the Reverse of Removal.

Make sure that you securely fasten the moisture barrier, using new adhesive if necessary. If you use the caulk strip, use a roller to push down on the moisture barrier so that it forms a good seal.