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Ford Escape Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels in a 3rd generation 2013-2016 Ford Escape to upgrade the speakers.

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2015 Escape Door Panel
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Door Opener Handle
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Pry Out Trim Cover

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 3rd generation (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and maybe also the refreshed 2017 model year) Ford Escape SUV in taking off the plastic interior door panels in order to upgrade the OEM speakers, add soundproofing material, fix a faulty electrical switch or replace a broken power window motor.

Owners of other Ford or Lincoln vehicles such as the Focus, Fusion, C-Max, Mustang, Fiesta, Transit Connect, Edge, Flex, Explorer, Expedition, Taurus, F-150, EcoSport, MKC, MKZ, MKS, MKX, MKT and the Navigator may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a small flathead screwdriver or a plastic automotive panel pry bar, a 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

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Trim Piece Removed
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Gently Pry Bottom of Handle
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Carefully Pry Up Switch Panel
The first two steps are to lower the power window all the way down and then open the door.

Then gently pry out the plastic trim piece located behind the chrome door opener handle with a small flathead screwdriver.

Set the trim panel aside in a safe place.

Next, you will prying out the electrical switch panel.

Caution - There is a plastic tab on the front edge of the switch panel. Do not attempt to pry out the front edge of the switch panel. I almost broke the plastic tab.

Begin by prying down the plastic panel below the door pull handle.

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Pry Off Silver Plastic Trim
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Pull Up Rear of Switch Panel
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Switch Panel Removed
Then pry out the silver plastic trim panel on the top of the door pull handle.

Gently pry up the rear edge of the switch panel and carefully lift it out.

Try to avoid pulling up on the front edge of the switch panel to avoid breaking the plastic tab that acts as a hook to hold it in place.

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Disconnect Power Plug
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Pry Out Red Reflector
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Plastic Reflector Removed
Flip over the switch panel and press in the release tab before sliding out the electrical connector.

Move to the outer edge of the door panel and pry off the red plastic reflector.

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Loosen 7mm Screw
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Two Armrest Screws
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Screw On Outer Edge
Remove the screw located behind the door opener handle by turning it counterclockwise with a 7mm socket and 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Then remove the two 7mm screws under the armrest by turning them counterclockwise.

Remove the 7mm screw on the outer edge, which was hidden by the red reflector, by turning it counterclockwise.

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7mm Screw Removed
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Screw On Bottom Edge
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5 Screws Removed
Move to the bottom edge of the door panel and remove the 7mm screw by turning it counterclockwise.

Set the 5 screws aside in a safe place with the plastic trim pieces and the switch panel.

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Pull Out Bottom of Panel
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Pop Rivets Removed
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Lift Panel Off Door Frame
Insert a large flathead screwdriver or an automotive panel pry bar tool in between the bottom edge of the panel and the metal door frame.

Firmly pull out the bottom edge of the door panel to disengage the white plastic pop rivet friction fasteners.

Continue pulling out the pop rivets all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Carefully lift the door panel up and off the metal door frame.

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Tilt Top Edge Away
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Unplug Door Lock Switch
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Door Opener Handle Cable
Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself and support the bottom with your legs.

Press in the release tab on the door lock switch power plug before sliding the electrical connector straight out its socket.

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Pull Back Tab To Release
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Handle Cable Disconnected
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Door Panel Removed
To disconnect the door opener handle cable, gently pull back the black plastic tab and lift the bracket out of the assembly.

Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.

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Metal Door Frame
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OEM Door Speaker
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Disconnect Power Plug
The OEM door speaker is located at the inner bottom corner of the metal door frame.

Press in the release tab on the white plastic electrical connector and slide out the speaker's power plug.



 

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Remove Three 7mm Screws
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7mm Bolts Removed
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Pull Out OEM Speaker
Remove the three screws that hold the OEM door speaker in place by turning them counterclockwise with a 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Set the three screws aside in a safe place.

Carefully pull the OEM speaker out of the door frame.

The OEM door speakers can be replaced with aftermarket speakers in the following sizes: 5 1/4" (5.25") and 6 1/2" (6.5").

I'd recommend buying new speakers from Crutchfield since they usually include any necessary wiring harnesses, power plug adapters and/or mounting bracket.

To make your new speakers sound better and reduce road noise, I'd recommend applying Dynamat Sound Deadener to the metal door frame. It will also help step unwanted vibrations and rattles when you crank up the volume.

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Hold Panel Near Frame
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Push In Lock Switch Plug
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Line Up Door Cable
To replace the plastic door panel, hold it near the door frame and tilt the top edge towards yourself.

Push the electrical connector for the door lock switch in to its socket.

Line up the mounting bracket for the door opener handle cable with the mount on the back of the door panel.

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Snap Bracket In Place
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Pull Out Wire Harness
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Lower Panel On Frame
Re-insert the door opener handle cable bracket and push it down until it clicks securely in to place.

Pull the wiring harness for the switch panel out of opening in the armrest.

Lower the plastic door panel on to the top lip of the metal door frame.

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Line Up Pop Rivets
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Firmly Tap In Fasteners
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Bottom Edge 7mm Screw
Line up the white plastic pop rivets on the back of the door panel with their corresponding holes in the metal door frame.

Firmly tap in the pop rivet friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Re-insert the 7mm screw in to the bottom edge of the door panel and tighten it in the clockwise direction.

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Outer Edge 7mm Screw
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Tighten 7mm Clockwise
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Re-Insert Plastic Reflector
Re-insert the 7mm screw in to the outer edge of the door panel and tighten it in the clockwise direction.

Pop the red plastic reflector back in to place over the screw.

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Replace 2 Armrest Screws
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Tighten Door Handle Screw
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Plug In Switch Panel
Replace the two 7mm screws below the armrest and tighten them in the clockwise direction until they are snug.

Re-insert the 7mm screw behind the door opener handle and tighten it in the clockwise direction.

Push the electrical connector straight in to the socket on the bottom of the switch panel.

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Insert Tab On Front Edge
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Push Down Switch Panel
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Push In Silver Trim Piece
First re-insert the plastic tab on the front edge of the switch panel in to the opening on the armrest.

Gently push the rear of the switch panel down in to place.

Pop the silver trim piece back on to the top of the door pull handle.

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Re-Insert Trim Cover
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Pop In Trim Panel
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Door Panel Replaced
Push in the plastic trim piece behind the door opener handle.

Sit inside the car, close the door and verify that the door opener handle, door lock switch and power window switch all still work properly.

For more, check out my other 2013-2016 Ford Escape DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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