I need to pull the driver door panel from a 94
Buick Century, the driver's window came loose and
isn't connected to anything solid for some reason.
I have a Chiltons shop manual for 97 - 00
Century/Lumina... , which I hope will be
The book recommends using a "door trim panel
and garnish clip remover such as GM/s J38778".
The Buick dealer's (Braley and Graham in
Portland, Or.) parts doesn't sell tools
but suggested I check local parts stores. A
clerk sold me a Powerbuilt Door Handle Tool.
This tool has "648542" stamped on it.
I'm wondering it this is in fact the correct
tool, and thought I'd ask here before I take it
out of its packaging.
The door lock latch handle protrudes through
a small slot in a plastic panel that is separate
from the rest of the door panel. This handle is
fixed to a horizontal bar that disappears back
toward the lock mechanism It doesn't look like
it's going to slip out of the plastic panel. It
looks like this might prevent me from removing
the door panel even if I separate the clips that
hold the panel to the door. Will this resolve
itself when I get the panel loose?
From the service manual:
1. all inside door handles
2. door inside locking knob
3. screws inserted through door armrest into door inner panel or armrest
4. mirror escutcheon; then disengage end of mirror control cable from
5. with power windows disconnect wire harness in switch assembly
6. control handle escutcheon screws
7. screws, plastic retainers, and clips from perimeter of door trim pad
using J 38778 and a screwdriver
8. escutcheon from trim panel
9. pass belt webbing through upper and lower slits in trim panel
10. push trim panel upward and outboard to disengage from door inner panel
at the beltline
11. with courtesy lamps in lower area of trim panel disconnect wire harness
at lamp assembly
You should be able to get a door trim "tool" at a place like Advance or
AutoZone. The tool you describe sounds like a door handle spring clip
remover (which you might need anyway). The trim panel tool will look
something like a medium width putty knife that has a notch cut out of its
center and has rounded corners.
Silver Surfer wrote:
Thanks Silver Surfer:
I'm not familiar with the whole Century line.
This particular '94 wagon has electric windows,
locks, and side view mirrors. I don't know if any
of this is optional.
The attach points for the door handle and mechanical
lock handle are behind, and protruding through, a small
plastic panel which also has all the electric window
and lock switches mounted on it. This plastic panel is
separate from the rest of the interior door panel.
The lock latch handle is attached to a bar that goes
back to the door lock.
I'm not seeing any obvious method to remove the door
latch or the lock latch handle from the end of the rod
that goes back to the lock. The door latch handle looks
like it will slide out of this small panel, but the lock
latch handle doesn't fit through the slot on the small
panel. The small panel with the door and lock latch
handles and the window and lock switches screws over a
hole in the door panel, but the small panel is much
larger than the hole it sits over, so it will have to
be removed before the door panel can come out.
It's hard to see behind the small panel, because
the door handle and lock latch handle are holding it
on, but there is also wiring for the electricals on
the small panel. I'm also not seeing any obvious
plugs in the harness where these can be disconnected.
I appreciate you taking time to offer me this
assistance. But I'm not having much luck.
More from the manual:
Remove inside handles and switchplates:
With power windows:
Remove screws (2) from inside remote handle escutcheon
Remove door lock knob
.insert a small flat bladed tool such as a screwdriver behind end of
lock knob and pry to force it away from rod
.after end of rod is free from know slide knob rearward from assembly
Remove all wire connectors and bulb from escutcheon
Remove escutcheon by sliding it forward to clear inside handle and inside
locking rod and then sliding escutcheon rearward to disengage tabs on front
of escutcheon from trim panel
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