How to Replace a Car Door

by Chris Moore

Replacing a car door varies depending on the type of vehicle. Always consult an expert or repair instructions for your exact vehicle before taking on such repairs. No matter what the exact procedure is, you must get a replacement door made for your make and model. You also need the same side door - driver or passenger. If your old door uses manual or power controls (like for the windows), try to find the same type to replace it or you will have to convert it.

Open the car door and disconnect all power devices attached to it. Unscrew the instrument panel bezel and unplug the electrical connectors. Remove the inside panel by removing all its mounting screws and lifting it off its tabs. Feed the electrical wiring out through the open ports near the edge.

Remove the door detent spring. This spring, also known as the hold-open spring, is behind the door's top hinge. Insert a prybar between the spring and the edge of the door and pry the spring out of place.

Disconnect the door from the body. It is either bolted on, requiring a wrench for removal, or attached with pins that must be driven out with a punch and hammer and pliers. In each case, take note of where and how each connector is attached. Have another person hold the door while you disconnect it, then lift it away.

Remove the inside panel from the new door before installing it. If it's a manual door that you need to convert to power, disconnect every motor and clip from the old door and carefully install them into the same places within the new door.

Insert the new door into place and have your assistant hold it up while you attach the connectors. Place each bolt or pin in the exact spot it was on the old door. Don't tighten the connectors fully until every one is in place.

Thread the electrical wiring from the car through the door in the same manner it ran through the old door. Attach each electrical connector to its proper device within the door. Attach the door's inside panel back on.

Place the hold-open spring back into place within the new door. Compress the spring with a tool specifically for this job that an auto supply store can provide. Place the compressed spring into its position between the door and detent mechanism, then release the compressor tool for the spring to slip into place.

Tip

  • check Use new pins - and the bushings that go with them - if the door uses them, as the old ones will have very likely been bent while removing them.

Items you will need

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.