Introduction

Removing the door panel allows you to replace your speakers, add sound deadening material, or replace the trim on your Subaru. It also allows you to fix any problems with the door lock, as well as the windows.

Image 1/3: Move the plastic cover out of the way so that the Phillips screw is fully revealed. Image 2/3: Use a #2 Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the screw residing underneath the plastic cover. Image 3/3: Use a #2 Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the screw residing underneath the plastic cover.
  • Use a spudger or a flat-blade screwdriver to unlatch the plastic screw cover residing within the door pull handle.

  • Move the plastic cover out of the way so that the Phillips screw is fully revealed.

  • Use a #2 Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the screw residing underneath the plastic cover.

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Image 1/2: Move the plastic cover out of the way so that the Phillips screw is fully revealed. Image 2/2: Use a #2 Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the screw residing underneath the plastic cover.
  • Use a spudger or a flat-blade screwdriver to unlatch the plastic screw cover residing within the door arm rest.

  • Move the plastic cover out of the way so that the Phillips screw is fully revealed.

  • Use a #2 Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the screw residing underneath the plastic cover.

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Image 1/3: You’ll find a notch in the door panel on the bottom of the door. This is where you should insert your door panel pry tool. You can also use a couple of flat-blade screwdrivers or a paint scraper in lieu of of a door panel pry tool, but you may accidentally damage your door panel’s paint. Image 2/3: Optional (if the tool is metal): Wrap the pry tool in blue masking tape — or another type of tape — in order to minimize scratches to the car. Image 3/3: Optional (if the tool is metal): Wrap the pry tool in blue masking tape — or another type of tape — in order to minimize scratches to the car.
  • There are several retaining clips holding the door panel in place. Their locations are roughly outlined by the red circles.

  • You’ll find a notch in the door panel on the bottom of the door. This is where you should insert your door panel pry tool. You can also use a couple of flat-blade screwdrivers or a paint scraper in lieu of of a door panel pry tool, but you may accidentally damage your door panel’s paint.

  • Optional (if the tool is metal): Wrap the pry tool in blue masking tape — or another type of tape — in order to minimize scratches to the car.

I must be missing something. I am looking for the red circles that indicate the places for the retaining clips in the photos but do not see them. Any ideas before I begin this process? Thanks a million!

-Kevin

Kevin Liles - Reply

Image 1/3: Once fully inserted, pull towards you in order to disconnect the first retaining clip. Image 2/3: The door panel should now be slightly looser on the bottom. Re-insert the pry tool on the bottom-right of the panel, and pull toward you to disconnect the second retaining clip. Image 3/3: The door panel should now be slightly looser on the bottom. Re-insert the pry tool on the bottom-right of the panel, and pull toward you to disconnect the second retaining clip.
  • Insert the door panel pry tool into the notch found on the bottom of the door panel.

  • Once fully inserted, pull towards you in order to disconnect the first retaining clip.

  • The door panel should now be slightly looser on the bottom. Re-insert the pry tool on the bottom-right of the panel, and pull toward you to disconnect the second retaining clip.

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Image 1/3: Bottom-left of the door panel Image 2/3: Far-right of the door panel Image 3/3: Far-left of the door panel
  • Re-insert the pry tool in the following sections of the door panel (and pull toward you) to disconnect the remaining retaining clips:

    • Bottom-left of the door panel

    • Far-right of the door panel

    • Far-left of the door panel

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Image 1/2: Grab the door panel with your hands on both sides. Image 2/2: Lift the panel about one inch upwards, and then gently pull it away from the metal door frame.
  • The door panel should now be loose on all sides — but do not pull it off completely just yet! There are cables attached to it on the inside.

  • Grab the door panel with your hands on both sides.

  • Lift the panel about one inch upwards, and then gently pull it away from the metal door frame.

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Image 1/3: Firmly grip the plastic blue sleeve and disconnect it by pulling it perpendicularly away from the plastic bracket. Image 2/3: Lift the sleeve upwards so that the metal ball at the end of the cable is removed from its housing. Image 3/3: Pull the entire cable away from the door panel.
  • Two cables operate the door lock and door pull handle — a blue cable for the door lock, and a black one for the door pull handle. Each cable has a plastic sleeve that needs to be disconnected, as well as a metal cable ball that has to be de-routed from the door handle.

  • Firmly grip the plastic blue sleeve and disconnect it by pulling it perpendicularly away from the plastic bracket.

  • Lift the sleeve upwards so that the metal ball at the end of the cable is removed from its housing.

  • Pull the entire cable away from the door panel.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Repeat the same procedure above with the black cable. First disconnect the black sleeve, then the ball, and finally move the entire cable away from the door panel.

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Image 1/2: Depress the white plastic tab that resides on top of the connector. Image 2/2: With the plastic tab depressed, pull the connector away from its socket.
  • There is one more connector on the bottom of the door panel that needs to be disconnected.

  • Depress the white plastic tab that resides on top of the connector.

  • With the plastic tab depressed, pull the connector away from its socket.

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Conclusion

Follow these instructions to reassemble your door latch properly!

One other person completed this guide.

One Comment

First off thank you, I'm replacing my wood trim with silver and have been clueless on how to do this. With two people doing this, do the wires need to be disconnected to get to the trim screws? Is doing the front doors similar to the rear? Anyway you can do a walk through on how to replace the trim?

Jules Lane - Reply

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