Join Date: Nov 2010
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With the help of this forum and the Haynes Manual, I was able to do this on my '03 2-door. For anyone else who is going to do this, here are a few specifics:
-My door didn't have any screws by the door pull recess (next to the power window buttons), the only two screws were found behind the door handle screw cover, which pries out via a flat-head screwdriver inserted into the lift-clip towards the bottom
-The "insulation" (the white plastic covering) on the door was a pain to pull off, as Honda uses some goo to seal it that reminded me of the weather-caulk people pump in gaps around their house's brickwork, etc. So be careful and diligent so it doesn't tear under the pressure.
-Although the Haynes manual references a "door panel removal tool" ( I swear there's a tool for everything), I found gently using a flat tip screwdriver and prying via leverage popped the panel out easy. The recommended way is to start at the side-top by the door lock nub and follow the panel downwards, across towards the speaker, and then up towards the side mirror. Then the panel simply lifts up & out, assuming you've done all the unscrewing/electrical cable disconnecting already.
-I ran into the annoying problem that the replacement checker had two major issues: no screws were on it (instead, just two holes where screws were to be inserted), and the two holes were too far apart to sync up with the holes in the metal door. So I had to actually expand the lower hole in the door by drilling.. not fun. And of course a trip to the hardware store, because who has 12mm wide 1.5 cm long screws sitting around the the shop? Nobody.
-Upon re-attaching the door panel make sure that not only are all the cables reconnected, but make extra sure the internal door opening latch cable is attached to the shiny metal door opener's backside, but also seated in the plastic clip that's mounted on the backside of the door latch (not the plastic clip/sleeve that wraps 90 degrees around the metal cable). You can always check if the door latch functions properly by 1) detecting tension, and 2) using a screwdriver to simulated shutting the door by pushing it through the door catch, and then pulling on the door latch. If you miss it you'll have to take the panel off again after opening the door from the outside handle.
The new door checker works excellent, no more door constantly shutting on my shin as I'm getting out of the car. All and all a simple job, assuming the replacement part is correct and you have a little bit of patience and yankee ingenuity, and definitely worth the benefit!