Apart from what I need for the drive train swap, there aren’t many parts that I intend to save from Ketchup. There was only one small piece from the exterior that I removed for myself, and almost all of the interior will (hopefully) be sold off too. It would be cool to have a full ST3 interior in the car but because of the rewiring needed for it I don’t wish to go that far with the conversion, and I also want to sell more off to help recover what the car cost.
The two largest interior pieces that I set aside for myself were the rear door panels, and a couple of days ago I had a bit of free time so I decided to throw them in. There’s still a bit more work to do but I’ll discuss that more below; on to the photos!
Swapping the door panels in these cars is a super fast and easy process so this won’t be a long post – I also only photographed one side as the other was against the wall in the garage so lighting wasn’t the best, and it’s the same anyway.
This is what I had from day one; my front door panels have fabric inserts but the rears were 100% plastic which honestly felt a little cheap. It wasn’t the biggest annoyance in the world since they were in the back but seeing as I had the opportunity to swap them out, I took it.
To remove the panel I started by popping out the little plastic cover behind the door handle. A T20 Torx bit then undid the small screw. Important note – Don’t lose those little plastic covers! They’re surprisingly expensive from the dealer.
Next the door handle/window switch panel had to be removed. These pop out (straight up) with a little help from a trim removal tool. Doing this exposes the second and third screws.
Those are the only three screws that hold on the panels so at this point I could start working around the edge with another trim removal tool and one by one pop out the clips. I kept the door handle hooked up and removed it from the panel since it’s super easy to do so – only three little tabs hold it on. Popping one or two out will release enough pressure to remove the whole handle.
Here we see the old and ‘new’ door panels side by side, being on the left and right respectively.
Looking at the backside of the ST panel shows the backing and some of the padding for the fabric insert, and another (smaller) difference.
As I compared the two panels I found one change which I wasn’t expecting to. On my original panels, this white clip sat approximately where it is shown here, but on the ST panels it sits higher up, where the red circle is. The white bracket behind the insert doesn’t exist on my SE panels and meant that the clip was obviously nowhere near lining up with the hole in the door, instead sitting where the foam barrier was.
I found this a little odd as I didn’t see why Ford would make two separate doors for different models, so I explored a little further. Underneath the foam barrier was the corresponding hole on the door which the clip would line up with were it installed in the ST panel, but on my car that hole already had a clip in it, from inside the door. I assume it was to hold wiring or something in place, so I left it alone and opted to simply omit this clip from the door panel.
One missing clip doesn’t affect the fitment of the panel so leaving it out doesn’t really matter. I could go as far as to remove the clip from that hole in the door, switch to the foam barriers from the ST, and utilize that last clip on the panel, but I don’t really see the point to be honest.
Now, I always go on about not overlooking details and there are two others here that I should point out and quickly discuss; first, the fabric used for the insert does not quite match that of my front door panels. It’s something that will likely never even be noticed but regardless they are different. Second is the fact that the tweeters are currently not hooked up as my original door harnesses don’t accommodate them; that will be dealt with whenever the audio is upgraded. As for the inserts, I ultimately intend to recover them all so I needed the factory fabric pieces as a starting point.
I knew that putting the door panels in like this would result in them not being 100% done by my standards but it’s so fast and easy to swap these that I don’t mind having to take them off again down the road. For now my interior is just a little nicer, and the inserts and wiring can be projects for another day.