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E30 325i, c, door locks, actuator, window, stripdown.

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Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 3097
Location: N.W.U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:10 pm    Post subject: E30 325i, c, door locks, actuator, window, stripdown. Reply with quote

recently got an e30 sedan, and i noticed the door locks suck.
also, when inside my cabrio, the doors unlock by simply pulling the interior lever, but not in a sedan.
so, here is the teardown procedure to completely strip the door, which isn't necessary for just lock replacement, but since i haven't found any other places online showing anything (e30) referring to MY current car, i will post up as much as i can. in all my searches, i have only found e46, and i do know many people are afraid of the doors (dont be)

btw, a video will be included later, as i did record the entire ordeal.

tools needed in order:
gloves (i used about 5 pair with all the sticky gum and greasy inside)
tape -(to protect your paint against any levering objects)
flat head screw driver -(pull out the window tweeter cover, or blank cover)
10mm 6point socket- (2 bolts hold the mirror on)
phillips screw driver- (door handles x4 on a cabrio)
dykes- wire cutters (for zip ties...not wires!)
6mm 6point socket or wrench/wratchet (for the actuators)
#30 torx (3 star pattern bolts on side of the door lock) * note, #30 in reference to my harbor freight tool

start with the window rolled up.
remove the interior mirror cover or tweeter to access the two 10mm bolts holding the mirror on, while your here, disconnect the tweeter wires (x2) and the mirror motor plug (if applicable) by simply pulling the black squares apart.

put the bolts back in the mirror and set it aside for safe keeping.

2. remove the interior door handle cover, (square plastic ring- pull in one direction)
3. remove the plug or mirror switch cover and remove the 3 phillips screws holding the interior handle.
4. take the nylon levers (or wide flat head screw drivers) to go around the edge of your door card.
___start in the lower corner and slide the lever until it cannot go any further, you found a plug. at this time use the 2nd lever on the other side of the found plug and use both at the same time to lever off the door card about 1 inch
___continue around the bottom, and up both sides... your door card should be able to flap by the top clips now.
5. push up from the bottom of the door card as it is hanging on the window sill, by can wiggle it pretty rough, and it should be fine...and just slide off (note. if you have big door lock knobs, twist them off..the cabrios have just pills)
6. the door card is off, and now, ensure your gloves are on, to peel back the moisture guard... (you can save it easily, and just don't throw it on the ground. keep it as clean as possible.

now we see this. (passenger side cabrio door with card, and guard removed).

this is where i removed the inner/outer window seals (b/c i remove the glass too)
7. pry up on the clips inside, and up on the outside trim evenly... _
__tape over the paint you care to save, and go slowly...its a pita, and will take about 10 minutes minimum per side.

8. remove all the 10mm bolts you can see, and now you can slide the window around and remove that too.
___ the rear-ward window rail inside the door can be removed... its only held in place with one 10mm bolt under the actuator, at the bottom corner, and the top part is held in place by being wedged in.... wiggle that rail out.

9. now the window should slide right out easily.

10. the window motor/ scissors/ and railing should be able to be removed too (you do not have to unclip the wires.

11. remove the outer door handle (two phillips screws)

12. remove the lock 'backing' plate and lock cylinder

13. remove the two 6mm bolts holding in the actuator

14. remove the three torx screws on the side of the door (usually very tight) my harbor freight tool states #30

15. remove the interior handle (two phillips screws) and a wire, but let it hang

16. now the hidden two 10mm bolts behind the exterior door handle.. here you will need at least a 4" extension

drivers door shown in pic below

thats it.
now all the parts should be able to be removed easily...
i did number all the wires, and i also put all the nuts/ bolts/ screws back into the holes they came out of to keep them from getting lost or mixed up.

this whole procedure took about 30 minutes to an hour, and the doors were scrap, and on the bed of my truck, so it is the easiest it can be, but it was overall very simple... i do wonder why there are such small holes in the doors to access all this, as it would have been great if they made the door split in half so it had more access, but really its not too bad.

here is a shot of all the elements placed out in a rough position of where they are inside the door, without the door.
the mirror is placed for reference, and i will take a few more of this layout in different angles too, as some parts (like the rear rail) is slightly hidden.
passenger door.
left side is the bottom, right side is the top of the door. mirror is the reference.

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