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Acura MDX Front Door Panels Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior panels on the front doors in a 1st generation 2001 to 2006 Acura MDX SUV.

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2006 MDX Front Door Panel
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Pry Off Sail Panel
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Sail Panel Removed

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically created to assist owners of the first generation (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006) Acura MDX in taking off the plastic interior panels on the front driver side door or the front passenger side door in order to add soundproofing material or replace a broken power window motor.

Owners of other Acura or Honda vehicles such as the RDX, ILX, TLX, RLX, TL, CL, RSX, RL, TSX, ZDX, NSX, Integra, Pilot, Accord, Civic, Fit, Clarity, CR-V, CR-Z, HR-V, Odyssey, Element  and Ridgeline may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a plastic automotive trim panel removal tool, a small flathead screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver.

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Push In Release Tab
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Disconnect Power Plug
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Front Door Speaker Cover
The first two steps are to lower the power window all the way down and fully open the door.

Move to the top inner corner of the door panel.

Gently pry off the sail panel which contains the tweeter speaker by using a plastic trim panel removal tool.

The sail panel is held in place by two metal retaining clips.

Push in the release tab on the electrical connector before sliding the tweeter speaker's power plug straight out of its socket.

Set the sail panel aside in a safe place.

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Small Notch Rear Corner
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Pry Off Speaker Grille
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Speaker Cover Removed
Then move to the large grille that covers the front door speaker.

Insert the plastic pry bar tool into the small notch at the rear edge of the speaker cover.

Gently pry off the speaker cover and set it aside in a safe place.

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Remove Screws
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Remove Top Screw
There are three screws that secure the plastic door panel to the metal door frame.

There are another three screws that hold the speaker in place to the door panel.

I only removed the three screws that hold the door panel to the door frame.

I recommend that you remove all six screws, disconnect the speaker and set it aside in a safe place.

Remove the speaker at this point is slightly easier than having to disconnect the power plug from the back side of the door panel.

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Three Screws Removed
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Plastic Pry Bar Tool
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Pry Up Switch Panel
Remove the screws by turning them counterclockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Then use the plastic pry bar tool to gently lift up the rear edge of the electrical switch panel.

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Electrical Panel Removed
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Disconnect Power Plug
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Door Opener Handle
Pull the switch panel off the armrest and turn it over to access the electrical connector.

Push in the release tab on the power plug before sliding it straight out of its socket.

Set the switch panel aside in a safe place.

Then move up to the door opener handle and door lock switch assembly.

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Pry Open Screw Cover
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Hinged Screw Cap
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Armrest Screw Cover
There is a small notch on the rear edge of the screw cover.

Gently pry open the hinged screw cover by using a small flathead screwdriver.

Then move to the door pull handle and storage compartment well in the center of the armrest.

Gently pry open the screw cover. The screw cover is supposed to be hinged, but it was broken on our MDX.

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Screw Cover Removed
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Remove Door Handle Screw
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Phillips Screw Removed
Remove the screw behind the door opener handle by turning it counterclockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the screw aside in a safe place.

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Remove Armrest Screw
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Armrest Screw Removed
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Pry Out Door Handle
Remove the screw at the bottom of the well in the armrest by turning it counterclockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the armrest screw aside with the other fasteners.

Then use the plastic pry bar tool to gently loosen the door opener handle assembly by pushing it forward to release the three plastic hooks on the back side.

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Assembly Removed
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Pull Off Purple "C" Bracket
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Lift Bar Out of Socket
Carefully pull out the door opener handle assembly.

Turn over the door opener handle assembly to access the metal door release bar and the door lock switch electrical connector.

Swing the pink / light purple plastic "C" shaped collar off the end of the metal bar near the elbow bend.

Lift the end of the metal bar out of its socket.

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Disconnect Lock Plug
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Pull Out Bottom Edge
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Plastic Pop Rivet Fasteners
Push in the release tab on the power door lock switch's electrical connector before pulling it straight out of its socket.

Set the door opener handle assembly aside in a safe place.

Move to the bottom edge of the plastic door panel.

Insert the plastic pry bar tool in between the bottom edge of the door panel and the metal door frame.

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

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Speaker Power Plug
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Disconnect Power Plug
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Pinch Both Sides of Plug
Continue carefully pulling out the pop rivets all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

If you didn't already remove the door speaker, disconnect the speaker's electrical connector by pinching together the two side tabs before pulling it straight off.



 

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Pull Out Wire Fastener
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Remove Courtesy Light
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Lift Door Panel Off Frame
Pull the pop rivet fastener for the courtesy step light housing wire off the back of the door panel.

Then rotate the courtesy step light bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise to remove it from the housing.

Carefully lift the plastic door panel up and off the upper lip on the metal door frame.

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Plastic Door Panel Removed
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Metal Door Frame
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Power Window Motor
Set the plastic interior door panel aside in a safe place.

If you look down into the hole where the door speaker resides, you'll see the power window motor.

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Door Speaker Removed
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Trim Pieces & Screws
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Line Up Door Panel & Frame
If you'd like to add some soundproofing to the door frame or door panel, I recommend buying Dynamat sound deadener. It will help reduce road noise and allow your speakers to sound their best by stopping rattles and vibrations.

To replace the door panel, hold it near the door frame and tilt the top edge towards yourself.

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Re-Insert Step Light
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Hang Door Panel On Frame
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Door Lock Stalk In Slot
Replace the courtesy step light bulb socket at the bottom of the door panel by rotating it 1/4 turn clockwise.

Secure the wires for the courtesy step light by pushing in the plastic pop rivet.

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

Be sure to guide the door lock stalk through its corresponding opening near the top rear corner of the panel.

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Pull Out Connector
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Switch Panel Wire
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Secure Wire Loom
Pull the electrical connector for the door opener handle and door lock switch assembly through the opening.

Pull the switch panel electrical connector through the opening in the armrest.

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Speaker Power Plug
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Line Up Pop Rivets
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Firmly Tap In Fasteners
Pull the power plug for the door speaker through the opening.

Line up the plastic pop rivets on the back side of the door panel with their corresponding holes in the metal door frame.

Firmly tap in the pop rivets all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel to secure it in place.

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Line Up Door Speaker
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Push In Speaker Plug
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Replace Door Speaker
Push the electrical connector for the door speaker back into its socket until it clicks securely into place.

Push the door speaker back into place on the door panel.

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Replace Three Screws
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Tighten Clockwise
Replace the three screws that secure the speaker to the door panel by turning them clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.
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Replace Other 3 Screws
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Replace the other three screws that secure the door panel to the door frame by turning them clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.
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Door Handle Assembly
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Lower Bar End Into Socket
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Snap On "C" Shaped Collar
Hold the door opener handle assembly near the door panel.

Lower the metal bar into the socket.

Swing the pink / purple plastic "C" shaped collar towards the bar and pop it into place.

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Door Lock Switch Plug
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Slide Back - Lock
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Re-Insert Phillips Screw
Push the power plug for the door lock switch back into its socket.

Line up the three hooks on the back of the door opener handle assembly with the openings in the door frame.

Re-insert the hooks and then slide the door opener handle assembly back towards the rear of the vehicle to secure the hooks in place.

Replace the Phillips head screw into the door opener handle assembly by turning it clockwise until it is snug.

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Tighten Clockwise
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Snap In Screw Cover
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Replace Armrest Screw
Gently pop in the hinged screw cover.

Then replace the screw into the bottom of the well in the armrest by turning it clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

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Replace Screw Cap
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Screw Cap Replaced
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Electrical Switch Panel
Push the plastic screw cover back into place.

Hold the electrical switch panel near the armrest.

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Push In Power Plug
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Plastic Hook - Front Edge
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Re-Insert Front First
Push the power plug for the switch panel straight into its socket.

Lower the plastic hook at the front edge of the switch panel down into the opening in the armrest.

Then gently lower the rear of the switch panel on to the armrest.

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Push Down Switch Panel
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Line Up Speaker Cover
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Re-Insert Front Edge
Push down on the switch panel to secure the retaining clips.

Line up the speaker grille with the door panel.

First, re-insert the hooks on the front edge of the speaker cover back into their slots.

Then push on the rear edge of the speaker cover to secure it in place.

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Sail Panel - Top Inner Corner
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Plug In Tweeter Speaker
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Tweeter Connected
Then line up the sail panel with the top inner corner of the door frame.

Push the electrical connector for the tweeter speaker back into its socket.

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Line Up Metal Clips
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Push On Sail Panel
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Front Door Panel Replaced
Line up the metal retaining clips on the back side of the sail panel with their corresponding slots.

Push the sail panel back into place.

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

For more, please check out all of my 2001-2006 Acura MDX DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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