My Beetle Restoration

Tag: window register

Removing Door Components

by on Nov.07, 2010, under Disassembly

I removed all of the components from the driver side door. I think this would be a challenging set of processes even if the car wasn’t 50 years old. The way the parts fit in and the specific order in which everything needs to be removed indicates that more than likely, VW didn’t really expect these items to be replaced very often. The sharp edges on many parts and the way they have to be routed through the door to get them out signals the difficulty ahead once the painting is done and the doors need to be reassembled again with the new and refurbished parts. I can envision many tense moments attempting to get it back together without scratching the new paint. Great care will need to be taken.

First to be removed was the window glass and regulator. I unbolted the regulator and pulled the glass down to the bottom of the door. I didn’t realize that the regulator arm just slips out of the lift channel on the bottom of the glass and removed them together, which is a little more difficult. Next were the felt channels, the inner and outer scrapers, the division bar and rear felt channel mount, and the vent window and its seal, post mount, and vent latch plate. All of the rubber seals and scrapers were brittle and rock-hard. All of these will be replaced with new components. I also removed the outer door handle.


Next to be removed were the door remote, remote rod, and latch mechanism. The remote rod is attached to the latch mechanism with a pin and C-clip. It took me a little while to figure out just how I could access the C-clip to remove it since these pieces are mated inside the door where there is little space. After shifting them downward, I was able to expose the connection and remove the clip. I’ll have to remember this when reassembling.


The last thing I removed was the check rod that keeps the door from opening too far. It attaches to the body with a pin and retaining ring.


I repeated the same processes for the passenger side door and now both doors are disassembled. I did discover a couple of issues with the passenger door. First, there were a couple of large dents below the outer door handle which made it difficult to remove the door locking mechanism. Secondly, when removing the window glass, the glass came down at a sharp angle towards the outside of the door and hit the door skin long before it was down far enough for it to come all the way out and clear the guides. I’ll address this when doing the body work and I am wondering if maybe the door is bent.

I also attempted to loosen the large screws that attach the doors to the body. I purchased an impact driver on ebay for about $15 that included the #4 Phillips bit that is required. I started with the driver side door and was able to loosen all eight screws, although the bottom four screws were a little difficult to loosen. On the passenger door, the top four loosened easily as did the top two on the bottom. After much hammering, one of the bottom screws loosened, but the other would not. The area that the bottom hinge attaches to (the A pillar) is severely rusted and will need to be replaced. Because it is so rusted, it gives way to the hammer blows and makes the blows less effective. I soaked the hinge and screw in penetrating oil, waited a day, and was able to get it to turn maybe two complete turns. I sprayed a little more penetrating oil on the screw, waited another day, and was finally able to loosen it enough to turn it by hand and remove it completely. I estimate that it took at least 100 blows to remove that one screw. I'm sure my neighbors are happy it's finally removed as well…


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