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Door Trim

This component is part of Interior.

Definition

The door lining (German: Türbelag) or door trim covers the inside of the driver and passenger doors. It consists of leather or imitation leather (MB-Tex) trimming glued and stapled to a hard panel with an integral upper aluminum molding, several chrome trim pieces, window crank arms, and armrests with door pockets. These latter parts changed considerably in appearance during the Pagoda production run as shown here:

230SL doors:


Early 230SL

Late 230SL

Late 230SL

Until November 1963 and chassis number 00914 both doors had hand rails (or grab handles) after that the handle was mounted only the passenger door. These handles had the following part numbers:

  • P/N 113 810 0454 Hand rail (on right door in case of L.H.D, on left door in case of L.H.D)
  • P/N 111 810 8054 Hand rail (on left door in case of L.H.D, on right door in case of L.H.D)

The latter part is a bit shallower than the former and was also used for the handles on the hardtop.

At the same time the shape armrests was also changed from an elongated "D" shape to a "cow horn" appearance.
Also on later Pagodas the door liner was fixed in addition to a vertical bar attached to the extruded frame by a chromed sheet metal screw with a countersunk washer:

Up to chassis number 12466 the plastic insert in the hand rail was either beige or very dark gray (matching those in the window crank arm) but thereafter (August 1965) the color of these inserts matched the color of the interior trim as shown in this picture of a (early) 250SL passenger door:

250SL door:


Early 250SL

Because of new DOT regulations after December 1967 many of the parts were changed on later 250SL (chassis number 2980 and higher) and on all 280SL exported to the USA.

  • The hard door pocket was eliminated and replaced by a soft pocket.
  • The shape of the armrest, the escutcheons around the lock arrest and lock release levers changed from round to rectangular, and the shape of knob on the window crank arm changed to match the knobs on the radio and dashboard.
  • With 280SL chassis number 15819 the attachment of the window crank handle changed from a screw-type to a clip.

280SL doors:


280SL
| 280SL

Maintenance, Repair & Restoration

Entry of water into the door frame behind the liner panel is the most common cause for trouble. This problem is often exacerbated when the plastic cover sheet between the panel and the door frame was not reinstalled after maintenance work on the window lifter.

Removal of Door Lining Panel (late 230SL & early 250SL)

  • 1. Remove the chrome trim pieces numbered 1-4
  • 2. Remove black plastic cover from well (#5) and unscrew lock release lever.
  • 3. Remove plastic cover from window crank (#6) by lifting and sliding it away from the knob. Unscrew crank arm.
  • 4. Uncover screws fixing the lock arrest lever (#8) by sliding the two chromed cover plates outward. It may be necessary to press down on the leather trim in for the plates to move.
  • 5. Remove the fixing screw under the armrests shown in one of the pictures above.
  • 6. Grab the panel by the handle (#7) and lift the panel upward off the clips on the top. It will catch on the window crank, but should clear the bottom channel. Then rotate the panel out from the bottom so that it comes clear of the window crank and it should just lift up and off the door.
  • 7. Uncover screws fixing the door handle (#7) to the panel and remove the handle.
  • 8. Remove the reinforcing block with 2 holes behind the lower 2 screws and save.
  • 9. Remove the armrest together with the door pocket. They are held in place by bolts and nuts and tabs on the bottom.
  • 10. Remove the lining material from the panel and then remove the round aluminum molding by drilling out the rivets.
  • 11. Reattach the aluminum molding and the small block removed in step #7 to the new panel.

'When installing a new liner make sure to align the two horizontal seams as shown here:'

Precut and predrilled hard boards supplied by knowledgeable upholstery vendors usually have notches on both sides to indicate the position of the seams:

The board should also have beveled edges on the sides and bottom to allow the finished panel to slide easier into the rails.

Depending on vendor preferences many new liners have two narrow fabric strips on the backside above and below the seam lines. These strips are used to glue the liner to the panel after carefully aligning the vertical seams and the padded strip between to match the pattern shown above. Wait for several hours to achieve good bonding.

Do not forget to cover the aluminum molding with a 4-5 mm (3/16 inch) thick foam layer before the leather is stretched firmly over it and glued to the back. There should be no slack or wrinkles and it may be necessary to clamp the leather to the metal overnight to assure a secure bond.

Finally the leather is stretched first over the the bottom edge, stapled to the board and then over the sides and stapled.

One of the more difficult tasks is the upholstery of the armrests and sometimes it may be best to have those upholstered by a professional. To restore the the hard pocket door use the old material as a pattern.

Assembly of the door panel and installation is the reversal of the disassembly process.

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I have removed the door panels from my '66 230 many times, and it's quite simple (now that I've done it before). However, the first time, I tried to pry the thin chrome trim off the top of the door, and bent and nicked it (I got a new one from Star Quality for about $25, I think). Here's the procedure: you need to remove everything holding the panel to the door (window crank, lock button, opening lever, grab handle (if present, there's a screw below the armrest somewhere I believe). Remove the chrome panel on the hinge side of the door, and two pieces of chrome trim on the opposite side. Do not remove the chrome channel along the bottom, or the thin trim on the top. Now you should be able to lift the panel just a bit; it will catch on the window crank, but you should clear the bottom channel. Once you've cleared the bottom channel, rotate the panel out from the bottom so that it comes clear of the window crank, and it should just lift up and off the door. This is from memory, but I think it's generally accurate.

I ordered and received really nice precut/sewn leather for my door panels. Since my old boards were moldy, warped and cracked, I fabricated new panels out of hardboard. It seems that there should be some sort of soft backing between the leather and board, or does the leather get glued right to the hard board?

Your replacement leather should have come with a thin layer of padding attached on the inside, usually it is a foam rubber layer, a bit thicker at the top. I seem to recall a metal piece at the top as well, but it has been several years since I replaced mine.

The replacement leather came cut and stitched, but with no foam backing. I can probably find some foam at a fabric store ... what thickness do you recall it being? The metal piece at the top is riveted to the hardboard panel.

The best place to get foam is at an auto upholstry shop. The foam I used was about a 1/4 inch thick from what I remember. I used contact cement to put it on. You need to be careful that you only put on a thin coat otherwise the foam will stick to itself and you will have little dips in your leather. The professionals spray it on, but a brush will work.

If I remember correctly, it is thin, perhaps 1/4 inch, just enough to give it some softness. However, it is thicker, perhaps 1/2 inch at the very top and curves, where your arm rests when the window is down. I would use a brush for contact cement and make sure that the foam is flat and straight.
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