How to Remove the Door Panel for a 1997 Ford Escort

Removing the inner door panel from your Ford Escort allows you to access the latch, window regulator and other components inside the door. The panel is held in place with plastic clips and several screws that must be removed before the panel comes off the door. Below the panel is a plastic vapour barrier that keeps water and air from passing through the door and into the interior of the car. Do not tear this barrier while you remove the door panel.

Open the door, slide a crank window removal tool behind the crank handle and push the snap ring off the back of the handle. Grasp the handle and pull it straight off the regulator shaft.

Locate the two retaining screws on the lower section of the armrest and remove them with a Phillips screwdriver. Set the screws aside for use later.

Locate the screw in the centre of the inner door handle and remove it with a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the door handle away from the door panel and remove the actuator rod from the white plastic clip on the back of the handle.

Pry the door panel away from the door working around the edges with a trim stick or other flat tool. Pull the panel out from the door and lift it straight off the door.

Things You'll Need

  • Crank handle removal tool
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Trim stick or pry tool
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About the Author

Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.