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Stimpy2301
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Old Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 12-29-2007 , 02:16 PM

I’ve created this DIY to provide instructions only for door panel removal & installation for the following reason:

The DIYs for interior door panel removal seem to be embedded in other harder-to-find, non-door-panel specific threads. (For example, there’s a pretty good one in a thread about Window Motor Replacement.) Not everyone is trying to replace a motor or a specific piece – sometimes people just want to know how to take the panel off for their own specific purpose.

(Note: Depending on your project’s subsequent goals, you might wish to reference my DIY: Interior Door Handle (Latch/Lock Assembly) Replacement or Shift21’s DIY Window Motor Replacement. )


Terminology used in this DIY:
“Grip handle” or “Grip” – The long handle which you grab to pull the door closed.
“Latch handle” – The movable handle which you pull to unlatch & open the door.
“Latch handle backing” or “Catch” – The cup behind the latch handle, in which you insert your fingers to pull it open.
“Bushings” – the plastic hat-shaped pieces through which (5) of the door screws are installed.
“Caps” – the screw head covers for the (3) screws along back edge of door.


Tools you will need:
-- Flathead screwdriver
-- Tiny flathead screwdriver
-- Philips head screwdriver (magnetic optional, but will help)
-- Door upholstery removal tool (optional but worth it. ~$6 at auto parts store.)
-- Paper & pen for screw retention sketch


(Note, my tiny screwdriver has duct tape on the tip to protect the car's hardware)



Special Note for screw removals:
I find it’s often easy to lose track of screws, or remember which screw goes where. I recommend using your pen & paper to draw a sketch of the door and handle area, showing the screw locations. Then, when you remove each screw, pierce the paper with the screw near the sketched location. Here is mine, to show you what I mean:





Panel Removal Procedure:

1) Remove (2) screws & plastic bushings near front of door, above speaker.




2) Remove (3) caps covering screws along back edge of door, by prying them out with the tiny flathead screwdriver. Remove (3) screws & plastic bushings.




3) Remove grip handle using flathead screwdriver. Pry the grip near the small cutouts; prying near the bottom with another screwdriver will help. Grip handle will pop off.




4) Remove (2) screws holding latch handle backing.




5) Remove latch handle backing -- pull latch handle open and slide backing off




6) Remove (2) screws under grip handle (magnetic tip will help pull these out once loose)




7) Remove window switch plate by prying up around the edges with flathead screwdriver. (Held in with plastic and metal tabs, and will pop out once loose.) Disconnect window switch wire plug (and mirror wire plug, if driver’s side).




8 ) Remove tweeter triangle by simply pulling it off. (Held on by two fixed plastic pegs at the top and forward corners.) Disconnect tweeter wire plug.




9) Once all the screws have been removed, the door panel is now held on by only five plastic pegs along the bottom edge. Looking along the bottom edge, you will see a slight opening between the panel and the door:



Inside this opening, you’ll see two bolt heads, and somewhere in between a light colored sliver – this is the edge of a plastic peg.

Using the upholstery removal tool, center the teeth around this peg and pry towards the panel. This will properly pop out the peg without breaking it. (If you don't have the upholstery tool, you can probably use the flathead screwdriver or pulling with your fingers -- all at your own risk! I recommend the proper tool.)


If you’re lucky, the adjacent pegs will pop out too … if not, now you’ve got enough opening to use the upholstery removal too to pry them too. The pegs will stay attached to the panel side.



10) Remove the panel by pulling the bottom edge away from the door and lifting the whole panel up. Disconnect wire plug for light (and for trunk release if drivers side).



Note the locations of the (5) plastic pegs.




11) You may have plastic sheeting stuck to the door with some black adhesive. If you need to access the area under the plastic, pull back the plastic with quick hard yanks. Do not pull it slowly or try to peel it, this will only tear the adhesive or the plastic and make it messy. Quick yanks will pull the whole adhesive strip up. It will remain tacky enough to re-seat later.





Panel Reinstallation Procedure:

12) Re-seat any plastic sheeting you’ve pulled up, by simply pushing the adhesive strip back into place.

13) Connect wire plug for light (and for trunk release if drivers side).

14) Re-seat door panel along top edge first, then gently push bottom edge to engage the plastic pegs. You should hear them snap in.

15) Connect tweeter wire plug; install tweeter triangle by engaging its two fixed plastic pegs and pushing it on.

16) Connect window switch wire plug (and mirror wire plug if driver’s side), and install switch plate by simply pushing it in, snapping it into place.

17) Install (2) screws under grip handle.

18 ) Install latch handle backing and its (2) screws.

19) Install grip by snapping it into place.

20) Install (3) screws, bushings, & caps along back edge of door.

21) Install (2) screws & bushings near front of door, above speaker.



--- End of DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation ---


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Heated Seats ~ Door Panel Removal ~ Int Door Handle Swap ~ Move Cruise ~ Dash USB/Audio
T-Only Center Caps ~ In-Dash Garage Open ~ Horn Swap ~ CF Hood Prop ~ Trunk Fire Ext ~ Fan Resistor

Last edited by Stimpy2301; 12-29-2007 at 04:01 PM.
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#2
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 12-29-2007 , 04:59 PM

DIY complete, first post updated.


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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 12-29-2007 , 05:26 PM

very well done... write some up for more difficult projects... lol

I think this didn't exist on its own because, for the most part, removing the panel is a relatively simple task. That and most people removing it were removing it for a specific reason covered in a DIY. This, nonetheless, is a very good addition to the DIY section.

I love the funny little drawing for the screw locations... lol
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 12-29-2007 , 05:34 PM

Hey Andy great job, but can you do a DIY Turbo install LOL, Thanks
-Pedro


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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 12-29-2007 , 07:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPGreco View Post
very well done... write some up for more difficult projects... lol

I think this didn't exist on its own because, for the most part, removing the panel is a relatively simple task. That and most people removing it were removing it for a specific reason covered in a DIY. This, nonetheless, is a very good addition to the DIY section.

I love the funny little drawing for the screw locations... lol


I often hear horror stories about removing door panels (not necessarily on NT, just for cars in general), and so I'm certain very few would want to dive into it without knowing what's in store for them. It's about removing guesswork from the equation. It's about being prepared!

In fact, just yesterday I removed a door panel on my wife's Grand Am to replace the window motor ... and I was so thankful I found a DIY for it! No guessing, no having to figure out what I'm doing wrong, no breaking anything because of something I didn't know.

This is why newbies ask, for example, how to remove the grip handle! There's no simpler task ... but rather than try it blindly and risk breaking it, people seek out the info first. (I'll admit it, I looked for a DIY for that too when I first swapped those out!) Cars and car parts are getting so expensive these days, I completely understand the hesitation!

Thanks for the props though. (I guess it helps that writing technical operating procedures is part of my day job.)

If you (and Pedro) want me to do some DIYs for more difficult tasks .... I'd be happy to if you provided me with the hardware! lol


Check out my other DIYs at:
DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal
DIY: Interior Door Handle (Latch/Lock Assembly) Replacement
DIY: Painting Over "Tuscani" on Center Caps (for those with "Tiburon" T badges)
DIY: Budget-Friendly Hood Prop For CF Hoods
Safety DIY -- Trunk Fire Extinguisher


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Heated Seats ~ Door Panel Removal ~ Int Door Handle Swap ~ Move Cruise ~ Dash USB/Audio
T-Only Center Caps ~ In-Dash Garage Open ~ Horn Swap ~ CF Hood Prop ~ Trunk Fire Ext ~ Fan Resistor

Last edited by Stimpy2301; 12-29-2007 at 07:57 PM.
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 12-29-2007 , 07:24 PM

yeah, i see your point... i just dove into my door, but then again, i don't tend to stop to think sometimes... lol

The scary one is the driver side rear interior panel... i was so afraid i was gonna break it... lol
remove screws and pull like hell... haha
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 12-29-2007 , 07:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPGreco View Post
yeah, i see your point... i just dove into my door, but then again, i don't tend to stop to think sometimes... lol

The scary one is the driver side rear interior panel... i was so afraid i was gonna break it... lol
remove screws and pull like hell... haha

lol, well there ya go. Get yourself the $6 tool next time!


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Heated Seats ~ Door Panel Removal ~ Int Door Handle Swap ~ Move Cruise ~ Dash USB/Audio
T-Only Center Caps ~ In-Dash Garage Open ~ Horn Swap ~ CF Hood Prop ~ Trunk Fire Ext ~ Fan Resistor
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 12-29-2007 , 08:21 PM

Thanks for the write up. I like the idea for keeping the screws in one place.

Thanks Again for the DIY

--
Red Baron
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 01-12-2009 , 11:00 PM

Thanks! I needed this!!!
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 01-13-2009 , 01:35 PM

I just did this yesterday. it worked great. thanks. I need to remove the covers for my speakers in the back seats. Can someone create a DIY for it?
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 01-13-2009 , 09:38 PM

i lost 1 of those little things that cover the outside screws the first night i worked on my girls car lol

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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 03-03-2009 , 12:43 AM

Hey thx haha, i had to replace my window motor... this helped a lot
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 03-03-2009 , 06:12 AM

Great! I'm glad this has been helpful for a lot of you.


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Heated Seats ~ Door Panel Removal ~ Int Door Handle Swap ~ Move Cruise ~ Dash USB/Audio
T-Only Center Caps ~ In-Dash Garage Open ~ Horn Swap ~ CF Hood Prop ~ Trunk Fire Ext ~ Fan Resistor
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 10-25-2009 , 06:40 AM

Thanks heaps for the post! do you know how easy/hard it is to remove the panel inside the door panel where your arm goes just before the door handle? I have seen a lot of people have it re-trimmed blue and white.
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 05-23-2011 , 03:12 PM

Your guide was easy to follow and proved to be extremely beneficial. This time I remembered to divide what I took off... one too many times ive lost a screw.
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 05-24-2011 , 04:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sepultura1220 View Post
Your guide was easy to follow and proved to be extremely beneficial. This time I remembered to divide what I took off... one too many times ive lost a screw.
Awesome, glad to hear it!


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T-Only Center Caps ~ In-Dash Garage Open ~ Horn Swap ~ CF Hood Prop ~ Trunk Fire Ext ~ Fan Resistor
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 11-12-2011 , 01:53 PM

nice thread stimpy! i am going to put in some led's in my door panel and sound proof the inside of my door. this thread will help me out alot!

nice tip with the screw diagram too. lol
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 11-12-2011 , 09:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidgOnMySix View Post
nice thread stimpy! i am going to put in some led's in my door panel and sound proof the inside of my door. this thread will help me out alot!

nice tip with the screw diagram too. lol

Haha, awesome. Happy to be helpful! Good luck! BTW, I did LEDs in the door panel, check these out:







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T-Only Center Caps ~ In-Dash Garage Open ~ Horn Swap ~ CF Hood Prop ~ Trunk Fire Ext ~ Fan Resistor
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 11-29-2011 , 02:48 PM

Awesome, great DIY!!!
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 01-29-2012 , 08:19 PM

nice leds!
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 02-06-2012 , 01:43 AM

very nice detailed DIY came in handy
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 03-27-2012 , 10:17 PM

Great DIY just wating for my speakers to arrive in the mail now :
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 04-07-2013 , 05:34 PM

ok, i am a newbie to this site, so let me know if i need to post a certain way.

but anyway, i need to take the door panel off and see what is broken inside. outside door handle does not pull on anything..

but i have been trying to get the screw cap coverings off and they dont want to come off. I have already trying hard enough with a tiny screw drive that it is leaving impressions in the door. Please advise.

Also, if you have a pic close up of what the back of these caps look like, maybe that would give me some insight
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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 04-07-2013 , 08:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rikochet View Post
ok, i am a newbie to this site, so let me know if i need to post a certain way.

but anyway, i need to take the door panel off and see what is broken inside. outside door handle does not pull on anything..

but i have been trying to get the screw cap coverings off and they dont want to come off. I have already trying hard enough with a tiny screw drive that it is leaving impressions in the door. Please advise.

Also, if you have a pic close up of what the back of these caps look like, maybe that would give me some insight
They look just like this:



I got them out no problem with a little flat head... You might have to dig in and twist, then dig in some more, but I assure you they come out easy.


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Old Re: DIY: Interior Door Panel Removal & Installation 04-07-2013 , 08:57 PM

That's just it, i have dug in, and its basically mishaping it, and the area around it. I have used a small screw driver just as Stimpy2301 said to use. They don't look like those (see the images that Stimpy2301 put in there. Did you take them off the tiburon?
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