REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1 through 9
- Remove the small screw holding the plastic trim bezel at the inside door release. Slide the trim off the handle.
- On Prizm models, disconnect the rod from the door handle and remove the handle. Before attempting to disconnect the rod, note that the retaining clip can be released from the rod and pivoted out of the way. The rod then lifts free.
If not equipped with electric windows, remove the window winder handle. This can be tricky, but not difficult. Install a piece of masking tape on the door trim panel to show the position of the handle before removal. The handle is held onto the winder axle by a spring clip shaped like the Greek letter omega. The clip is located between the back of the winder handle and the door pad. It is correctly installed with the legs pointing along the length of the winder handle. There are 3 common methods of removing the clip:
- Use a door handle removal tool. This inexpensive slotted and toothed tool can be fitted between the winder and the panel and used to push the spring clip free.
- Use a rag or piece of cloth and work it back and forth between the winder and door panel. If constant upward tension is kept, the clip will be forced free. Keep watch on the clip as it comes free; it may get lost as it pops out.
- Straighten a common paper clip and bend a very small J-hook at the end of it. Work the hook down from the top of the winder and engage the loop of the spring clip. As you pull the clip free, keep your other hand over the area to retain the clip.
- Remove the armrest retaining bolts and remove the armrest. The bolts may be concealed under various trim pieces. On cars with power windows, the front part of the armrest is bonded to the door panel and cannot be removed.
- On Novas, the outside remote control mirror must be removed before removing the front door panels.
- Using a broad, flat-bladed tool - not a screwdriver - begin gently prying the door pad away from the door. You are releasing plastic inserts from plastic seats. There are 8-10 of them around the door.
- When all the clips are released, lift up on the panel to release the lip at the top of the door. This may require a bit of jiggling to loosen the panel; do so gently and don't damage the panel.
- Once the panel is free of all its mounts, check behind it before removing it from the door. Disconnect any wiring and then remove the panel.
- Connect any disconnected wiring and align the upper edge of the panel along the top of the door first. Make sure its left-right positioning is correct and tap it into place with the heel of your hand.
- Make sure that the plastic clips align with their holes. Use the heel of your hand to gently pop the clips into position.
- Reinstall the armrest and tighten the bolts. Install the bolt cover (trim) pieces.
- Install the window winder handle if not equipped with power windows. Place the spring clip into the slot on the handle. (Remember to position it so the legs point along the length of the winder.) Align the handle with the tape mark made earlier and put the winder over the end of the axle. Use the heel of your hand to give the center of the winder a short, sharp blow. This will cause the winder to move inward and the spring will engage its locking groove. The secret to this trick is to push the winder straight on; if it's crooked it won't engage and you may end up hunting for the spring clip.
- On Nova models, reinstall the remote mirror. On Prizm models, reconnect the actuating rod to the door handle. Make sure the clip is installed properly.
- Install the door handle trim bezel and its retaining screw.