Volume 14, Issue 4 - July/August 2012
Appliqué and Bracket Removal
Open the door and, starting at the top, push up and forward on the flange inside the door opening, releasing the clips on the inside one or two at a time. Caution: Be sure to apply just enough pressure to release the clip, otherwise you can break the appliqué. Work your way down the appliqué to the mirror sail area, then move around the front of the door and work your hand, or a plastic trim tool between the seal and the outer appliqué to pop the lower clips to release the outer appliqué.
Turn the outer appliqué over and you will see white clips remaining. Using a quarter turn, release the white clip heads from the outer appliqué and replace them into the bracket (carrier retainer strip) from which you removed the appliqué by simply pressing them in by hand with the wings oriented cross-car. Make sure you have all the clips replaced before moving on to ensure you don't lose any. Also, inspect all of the “doghouses” in the outer appliqué to ensure none are broken. If any are broken, the part must be replaced.
Next, there is a clip head that remains in the sheet metal at the very top of the part. Using a flat plastic tool (a credit card or installation stick would work great) slide the edge under the top side of the clip head and move the plastic tool to the bottom side of the clip to release the other wing. Do not pry this clip out, as it will be damaged. (After a few times, you will get good at popping this out.) Once the clip head is out, replace it into its base in the outer appliqué. Load one side first, and then press firmly on the opposing side to re-seat the clip.
At this time, if there is a white fabric pad inside the outer appliqué, remove it and discard. It can get in the way of re-assembly, and serves no real function. Set the outer appliqué aside, as it is now ready for reinstallation later.
Lastly, remove the bolts on the carrier retainer strip (the bracket with the rubber strip that goes over the pillar edge of the windshield) and remove it to access the windshield. Repeat for the opposite side.