How to remove the rear door panel and inner handle

Nearly everything aft of the cab is supposed to be the same from the NCV3 to the VS30 but one thing isn't: how to remove the rear door inner handle so you can get the panel off. So here's a write-up after figuring it out on my 2019 144.

My van has the cargo panels option in the entire interior but I assume the rear door panel is the same for all. The panel is held in place with those plastic thingys you pop out with a trim panel remover tool. But the panel can't be removed without removing the door handle.

The new handle is a solid unit, the trim part you see is not separate. Here's how you get if off:

1) Remove all the panel trim clips

2) Rotate the panel 90 degrees and push it upwards until you get a gap at the top of the door handle unit (sorry, no pic)

3) Right in the middle of the unit is a small lever that you push or pull so you can slide the whole door handle unit to the left and then it pops out (see pic)

4) That's it, you're done. Do the opposite to re-install.

Hope this helps someone.
 

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paintrain

Member
Kudos for taking the time to write up a simple and effective 'how to' post....WITH PICS AND A RED ARROW. :clapping:

Here's to hoping more folks take the time to author posts like this.

Well done! :cheers:
 

Pastoril

New member
Very helpful, you just saved me much grief and doubtless prevented me from breaking some trim. Many thanks.
 

Rocksnsalt

There Can Be Only ONE
Nearly everything aft of the cab is supposed to be the same from the NCV3 to the VS30 but one thing isn't: how to remove the rear door inner handle so you can get the panel off. So here's a write-up after figuring it out on my 2019 144.

My van has the cargo panels option in the entire interior but I assume the rear door panel is the same for all. The panel is held in place with those plastic thingys you pop out with a trim panel remover tool. But the panel can't be removed without removing the door handle.

The new handle is a solid unit, the trim part you see is not separate. Here's how you get if off:

1) Remove all the panel trim clips

2) Rotate the panel 90 degrees and push it upwards until you get a gap at the top of the door handle unit (sorry, no pic)

3) Right in the middle of the unit is a small lever that you push or pull so you can slide the whole door handle unit to the left and then it pops out (see pic)

4) That's it, you're done. Do the opposite to re-install.

Hope this helps someone.
Thanks for the great info. 👍🏽 Removed mine just now, for whatever reason did not have to release lever or catch. As I gently but firmly (gbf) pulled outward and rotated slightly left toward the van interior as you tipped us off I could see the opening was allowing the panel to pass over the latch release trim so out it came pretty easily. Perhaps due to the heat today. But do be gentle with it. Most of the orange “plastic thingys” were still in the door so I removed them with trim tool and reinserted into thier rightful homes on the panel. Figured it would be easier install that way so that the conical part can pop into the respective holes in the door as designed. Being toasty warm today with the sun shining on the panel I think that helped make the plastic bits more pliable and cooperative. If it was cold out I’m pretty sure I’d be replacing some trim plastic thingys! And yes it appears Helmet, Dietrich or Axel at the factory spilled coffee on the lower area the door interior and didn’t bother to clean it up (der faule Messenmacher!)
 

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TheBob

BrainVan2020
I just insulated this door today, on my 2020 cargo van. Removing the factory panel was pretty easy, like Rocksnsalt mentioned. After taking the clips out with a trim tool, I was able to rotate the panel about 60-70 degrees clockwise, then wiggle it around and flex it slightly to get one corner of the panel on the outside of the handle trim. Then some more rotating and flexing and it came off. Replacing it later was slightly more time consuming, maybe 1-2 minutes, as I had to flex around to get the bottom part of the panel under the handle trim, then rotate to get the upper part. Considering my lack of mechanical aptitude, if I can do it, you can do it. In particular, I did not have to remove the door handle itself.

Noico sound deadening mat (not much, there wasn't a lot of accessible flat space) plus a bunch of Thinsulate made this door much less tinny to the tap, and slamming it shut sounds way more solid now.
 

wtofd

Member
Dumb question how do I get the clips off? I was able to use a flathead screwdriver to turn them 90 degrees and sort of pop up and out of their recess, but couldn't seem to get them out. I'm assuming I need a trim tool to pry them off from there?
 

Rocksnsalt

There Can Be Only ONE
Dumb question how do I get the clips off? I was able to use a flathead screwdriver to turn them 90 degrees and sort of pop up and out of their recess, but couldn't seem to get them out. I'm assuming I need a trim tool to pry them off from there?
Yes trim removal tool. Readily available on amazon with multiple tools forcdifferent situations and assorted replacement clips in one kit.
 

TheBob

BrainVan2020
It is a little easier than the video shows, when using a simple trim tool instead of a screwdriver. One thing to note is that the central pin can pop out of the outer "donut" and then cleverly fly off into hyperspace. So be careful about that.

To reinsert with the pin still pulled mostly out of the donut, I squeeze the 2 sides of the pins (that go into the panel to hold it on) together just to make them marginally fit better, then shove them back into the panel+van hole, then press the pin in with my thumb. Usually that works, but occasionally the pin has to be tapped in with something firmer than flesh.
 

wtofd

Member
Thanks, TheBob. It's interesting how you can go from no idea how this works to a pro with a little practice. The trim tools made it a lot easier.
 
Replying to Mcjohnson5174, I bought these clips and have had good luck with them:

 

Crossman

New member
How about the rivets on the sliding door panel? Can’t figure them out. It’s a 2020 so no help videos. Do you guys know how to get them out?
Thanks!
 

TheBob

BrainVan2020
How about the rivets on the sliding door panel? Can’t figure them out. It’s a 2020 so no help videos. Do you guys know how to get them out?
Thanks!
On my 2020 cargo van, the pins holding the sliding door panels are the same as for all the other panels, including the one described above. That is, a plastic something that looks like a screw head set into a plastic pin that goes into the panel and then the door. The video linked above shows what they look like and how to remove them.
 

Crossman

New member
On my 2020 cargo van, the pins holding the sliding door panels are the same as for all the other panels, including the one described above. That is, a plastic something that looks like a screw head set into a plastic pin that goes into the panel and then the door. The video linked above shows what they look like and how to remove them.
Hmmm... Mine does not have the screw head, just flat. But I’m sure they must work the same way. I’ll keep working on it. Thanks!
 

Christian-

Active member
Yeah this is a two piece plastic pin. You can use a trim pry tool to pop the inner head up a bit, then pull more. Once the pin is out far enough you can remove the retaining housing also.

It's a bit weird but once you do one it's easy. A small knife or tiny screwdriver works, too but be careful you don't damage them if you intend to keep them.
 

wtofd

Member
Hmmm... Mine does not have the screw head, just flat. But I’m sure they must work the same way. I’ll keep working on it. Thanks!
I have much better luck with trim tools than with a flat head screw driver. YMMV. For me, the trick is to use the thinnest tool available to get lift the top piece enough to be able to get a claw in to rip the top enough so that it raises the bottom piece. Then use the claw to remove the entire pin by prying from the bottom.
 

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