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Old 03-24-2006, 04:03 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 182

1997 SW2
Default Re: How To Remove Outter Door Panels & Lube locks etc - Step by Step 1997 SW2 w/ pictures

thanks, I did'nt know about the How-To section. I actually have a slightly improved version below:

Thanks to this forum I didn't know to get the handles off and when I did I thought why not photo and type


Updated: 03-21-2006,

Admin Please make sticky, feel free to use the pictures and this text as you wish for the forum. It may be reworded and updated and or corrected this way there wont need to be tons of replys of corrections.

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Make: Saturn SW2
Model: SW2
Year: 1997
Body Style: Station Wagon
Miles: 111,000
Age: 9.5 years, one owner.
Location: Southern California (6 years), previously Northeast “rust belt” for 3 years.
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Repair: Maintenance, How To Remove Outter Door Panels & Lube locks etc - Step by Step 1997 SW2 w/ pictures
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Less noise and smoother locking unlocking, longer life on power door locks which wear out as locks get more difficult to move. Torx screws will be lubed so then won’t rust and seize. If that happens the door is much more time consuming to remove. Remember, the door needs to be removed: 1.) if a side window breaks, lock is damaged or needs repair, rear door inner metal panel rusts or rots away; fun, you want to install new or replace broken stereo speakers in the doors.
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How to proceed:
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On Saturn, unlike most cars, you access the door "guts" power lock motors, lever, windows, etc from the outside by removing the plastic outer door panels.
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purchase 5 or more clips and several push button door handle push-pins from Saturn Dealer and have a drill and bits ready to drill out a rusted bolt. Cordless drill, White Lithium grease Spray ($3 most auto stores) . Torx T-30 & T-15 bits (I bought a whole set for $12). Needle nose pliers ($3). Razor cutter or Mat knife (safer). Safety glasses - the pressure of the lithium spray can cause it to splash back in your eyes! It happened to me but I had my safety glasses on.

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Working on one door at a time.
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1. Loosen with a hand tool / break the large main bolts free Torx bit size T-30 and the two smaller ones on the upper gloss black plastic piece T-15. Why do any other step until you determine that your Torx bolts aren’t so badly rusted that you need to replace the clips they screw into?

2. Finish removal with cordless drill. This saves a lot of time as you will screw and unscrew almost 30 bolts. Place Torx bit in drill chuck. Remove all Torx bolts. You don’t need to unscrew any interior screws near the handles, etc.

3. Remove the handle as follows: Lift up handle and stick a pry bar or screwdriver etc to keep handle up. Look to right mount point and split the plastic push button pin. Pull out center piece with pliers and entire pin will pull out easily. The system works like a dry-wall screw & plastic anchor.

4. Slide handle to Left about 1/2 inch. If it won't move hit it gently.

5. Lift door panel from bottom upward but don't try to remove yet.

6. Grab rubber strip at the base of the window and lift up / back when things are right it will lift straight off then remove the outer plastic door panel.

7. Optional - front doors - you could remove the mirrors - I didn’t and save some time.

8. Remove the plastic panels bu lifting from the bottom and working top off . The two pins tend to hang on like a hinge.

9. Pull plastic with one hand and cut the old glue with razor cutter. Remove the top 1/2 of the plastic.

10. LUBE: Now spray Lithium Grease on everything the moves. Move the door lock back and forth and spray, lift what's left of handle manually, roll window, etc. Spray Lock tumbler, door hinges top, bottom inside, out, etc. Spray all threaded holes with grease etc. This will speed up reassembly.

11. Reassembly: Spray adhesive spray on plastic - follow the old glue as a guide. Spay on metal but keep can spray nozzle no more than 1 inch off surface so it doesn't spread. Make sure all screw holes etc line up so black plastic won't interfere with outer door skin. DON'T SEAL ENTIRE BOTTOM EDGE! Water must be able to drain out when it goes between the window and rubber strip.

12. Place top of door on first - use the plastic that sticks out towards the top front of door as a guide. Keep door pressed in tight and lift up from bottom. Place a large Torx bolt in the whole closest to the door lock and screw in. Now place on in the opposite side. Open and shut the door throughout reassembly to make sure things are lined-up correctly.

13. Put rubber strip on and tap gently down to seat.

14. place black plastic vertical piece on. Turn power to lowest setting on cordless drill. You should be able to hold the drill chuck from moving with your hand. Now install all Torx screws and tighten up. Test door opens and shuts correctly.

15. Done. Optional, you might want to spray degreaser on the overspray, if any, from the lithium grease, and use glass cleaner on windows to clean off finger prints.
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