I've been searching the forum for a while looking for more information on this problem. I found a number of references to removing the panel, but no details seem to be available.

I went to replace the drivers side door handle today, on my 1999 K1500 Burb. Many of the posts I have read here say the inner sub assembly panel, the metal one with all the hardware on it, has to be removed, so I can re-attach the cylinder and release pushrods to the handle, after I bolt the handle back into the pocket on the door.

So, (sigh) I peeled off the rain deflector plastic, unbolted the inner steel panel, and it began sag out of position. I noticed that all the lock actuator and hardware were attached to it, so I expected a bit of weight. However, I could barely move it back up to its original position. I see that the window regulator lift arms and the motor and all are also attached to the steel panel. Once I figured all that stuff was moving, I feared that the window was going to drop out of the tracks, so I just put the panel back (grunt ugghhh push push) and bolted it back up. I guess part of the reason it was so hard to lift back up into position was that it did not want to slide across that sticky rubber seal around the edges of the panel opening.

OK, the big question. Now that I have removed the original handle, inner trim panel(s), and rain deflector, What do I have to disconnect, move, break, burn, shoot, or run from, in order to get the sub assy panel off the door. It is obviously the only way I can get my hand far enough up in there to diddle around with those tiny and hard to move retainer clips on the pushrods and lock cylinder.

And, no, for those of you who have never done this, and are suffering from the same misconception that I had, the door handle WILL NOT go back into the pocket with the lock cylinder and latch release pushrods already mounted to it, NO WAY.

I would certainly appreciate any knowledgeable help in this task.

I tried my AllData subscription for the Burb. In the door handle instructions, everything was crystal clear, even the line about "Remove the Inner Sub-Assy Panel", but they have no instructions for removing the stinkin panel.