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This DIY/FAQ is for the partial removal of the interior trim in the trunk/hatch of a GTI/Rabbit.
As always, any work you do on your car is at your own risk. Myself, and this website cannot be help accountable for anything that goes wrong while working on your car. Please undertake at your own risk.
Tools Needed:
Flathead Screwdriver
Torx T25 driver / bit
Torx T30 driver / bit
Steps
1) Remove the trunk storage trays, trunk floor, and hatch cover. You do not need to remove the spare tire unless you want to.

2) Use your flathead screwdriver to pop open the trim cover directly underneath the seatbelt.

3) Under this cover, there are two T25 screws. One is all the way inside the trim, against the body. A magnetic bit driver is VERY useful for this step. Keep in mind, for step 4, that the front piece of trim (that the seatbelt rests on, does not need to be removed. You can push is forward a bit, and slide the "12V / Trunk Light" trim piece out without removal.


4) There is one last T25 (Three in total) screw, hiding under the trunk latch trim piece. Peal back the top of the trim, to access the screw. The trunk latch trim is held on be metal clips. To remove the carpet trim, you will also need to pop out the black "plug" bellow the screw. You might as well do that now.

5) Then the trim piece will litterly just pull off. There are no more screw holding it on, just plastic "clips" unlike every other VW trim removal I've done, I somehow didnt break any clips. They seem pretty sturdy.

6) Here, you can see the clips (in red circles) that hold the trim piece on. I had to pull pretty hard, but sure enough, it does pop off. Before you can remove it completly, you will need to unclip TWO harnesses (red arrows) - one for the 12V plug, and the other for the hatch light.

7) To remove the carpet trim, you'll then need to remove the "tie down" hook. Here is where you will use your T30 bit/driver.

8) Peel back the trunk latch trim. I only need access to the right hand side, so I only pealed back enough to remove the right carpet trim. The trunk latch trim is held on with metal clips.

9) To fully remove the carpet, you will need to remove the seats, or cut the carpet. I didnt want to do either, so I will just keep it pulled back for this project. (seen here)

10) Here is a view of the body with the trim removed/pulled back.

11) When you put everything together, don't be an idiot like me and forget to reinstall stuff. Oh well, who needs a hatch light when you have a 10,000 candlepower flashlight back there?

12) Put the trunk storage, floor, and hatch cover back together.


Edit: Added additional photos


Modified by bhb399mm at 9:01 PM 6-22-2009
 

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Re: (goldn)

BUMP
Quote, originally posted by goldn »
what about removing the plastic cover off the hatch door... anyone done it?

...seriously tho, I need info to access the panel from the back side... got a minor ding mysteriously in the hatch.
 

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88 Scirocco 16V, 80 Scirocco (track car), 07 Rabbit, 51 Bel Air
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Trying to remove my rear wiper, the only screws I see are in the handles on the hatch to remove the plastic piece to gain access to the wiper motor. Are there more than these two?
 

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what about removing the plastic cover off the hatch door... anyone done it?
That's easy. undue screws.. Pull down like a mother *******.. proceed to break clips and curse when you crack your face on the plastic.
Trying to remove my rear wiper, the only screws I see are in the handles on the hatch to remove the plastic piece to gain access to the wiper motor. Are there more than these two?
Nope, just those two screws and ten very stubborn trim clips.

The ten metal trim clips snap into the ten oval slots in the metal inner section.
 
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