2005 2.5i door trim removal - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 06-04-2008, 07:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2005 2.5i door trim removal

I just got two big dings on my back doors in my 2005 2.5i. I am furious. One of the dings shows where whoever hit the car, rubbed their finger to asses damage and then left the scene. I am talking not your average dent but huge. Question is how can I pull the door panel off without breaking all the plastcic clips and doing more damage??? (back doors for now, front would be helpfull) Anyone got a maintenance manual copy for trim removal??? Thanks
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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johneracer

That's a bummer. I can well appreciate your frustration.

The inner trim panel is held on by:

Two screws under the hand grip (the more or less vertical handle used for pulling the door closed);

One screw behind the inner remote (the handle used to unlatch and open the door from inside);

Push clips around the perimeter.

The pull handle has a plastic cover that wraps around a metal frame underneath. If you look behind the handle itself with a mirror, youíll see that the cover (mine is black plastic) doesnít go all the way around. This has to be removed to get at the screws underneath. According to the service manual, it should be possible to twist it off towards the front of the car (that is, the back part coming off first), while pushing upward on the horizontal part of the panel where the handle meets the door panel (to provide clearance at the top). Alternatively, a flat screwdriver or similar can be used to pry the cover off at the top. (Techs have told me that taking the plastic cover off is tricky and it occasionally breaks in the process. I havenít tried it, but others on this forum apparently have, as there was some postings involving inner door trim removal in the past.) Note the positioning of the cover (which end is up and which is toward the front) because it has to go back on just one way. There are two screws underneath at the top and bottom of the metal frame.

Next is to pry out the small cover thatís behind the inner remote handle. You can see a small slot toward the top that can be used to help with this. You might need to rig up a tool to get behind the cover through the small slot to pull it out. There should be a single screw behind the cover.

The panel then can be removed by pulling out the clips around the perimeter. These should pop out fairly easily. The wiring in behind to the lock and window controls will have to be unplugged before fully removing the trim panel.

The procedure is the same for the front and rear doors.

Edit: Incidentally, access to the outside sheet metal from the inside might be limited. Often the largest openings in the inner sheet metal are blocked by the window lift mechanism, but perhaps others who have had the trim panel off can provide more insight.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This forum is awesome!!!! THank you for that info, that is all I needed. I am very crafty and will post my dent removal process so that all can ,hopefully, save some money and remove any dents without going to body shops.........
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Try at your own risk, but...

I used to have this old Saab, which was the perfect vehicle to take to SukMart...didn't matter if anyone tagged it, ran great, rode great, 186K when I gave it to my buddy.

It had a few big dings on it from pigs that swung the door open on their 1976 Bulgemobile and didn't give a **** what was in the way, as long as they could rush right in there for their next cartful of Twinkies. A guy at work told me about something similar to the link I'm posting below...he suggested I turn a spray bomb of compressed air (like to clean keyboards) upside down so it came out as a super-cold liquid I'd then spray on the dent, wait a minute or so, then heat the area with a hair dryer.

I tried it and it didn't do a dang thing.

So I did it again, and this time used a heat gun that I have for stripping paint and applying shrinkwrap. Hey, it was a 14 year old car with a zillion miles on it...who cares, right?

Maybe a little bit came out...I'm not sure...but I am kind of an optimist. I never thought about using dry ice like this guy did. Apply at your own risk!

I was trying to find a video with the aerosol can, but saw this instead:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/820799...asy_and_cheap/

Rather than take the door apart, you may want to invest in a slide hammer...use some hobby-type hot glue to glue a heavy suction cup over the dent, hook the tool to the suction cup and work the slide sharply a couple times...won't be perfect, but it should pull biggest part the dent out. The hot glue should come right off your paint without damage (assuming there are no chips you'll make "run" by picking off the glue with a plastic razorblade.)

Then you can get Grissom and the CSI team to track down the culprit and re-dent your door...with his forehead...
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You know I tried that trick with blue ice and it did not do a **** thing. I actually did a dent removal on my other car and it was not that hard. I used a piece of soft wood to apply pressure on the dent from the inside while feeling the painted side of the door with my other hand and gently massaging the dent. The trick is to be very patient and apply a small amount of pressure at a time. Also a light shining at a right angle that clearly shows the dent is very helpfull.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In the vodeo you linked, under comments you can see what people are saying about dry ice dent removal......either works very little or does not work at all.
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, I was in a hurry when I linked (orchestrating our plans to go watch our local hero Kelly Pavlik defend his title), and I went back and read the comments. I suppose in theory it sounds good but it looks like it doesn't do anything better than the aerosol thing I tried. I kept the heat on my dent and waited for the pop...but the only pop I heard was my wallet springing open to buy a couple cans of compressed air.

I like the wood idea, too...a while back I priced the tools the Paintless guys use and they are big bucks...but they're only a more intricate, refined version of your wooden tool. I'm sure you know if either of the dings have creases you'll...remember why I like dogs better than I like people...uh, no, I meant to say won't get them completely out...what a **** shame this happened to you!

Especially since the person knew he did it and actually got out and touched it. Unreal.

Good luck! And sorry about not reading the whole link before I posted it.

~R

PS: Happy to report "The Ghost" remained undefeated with a 3rd round TKO!
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