Paul's Travel Pictures

Subaru Forester Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels in a 4th generation 2014-2018 Subaru Forester to upgrade the speakers.

Main Menu                 Home                Digital Cameras                Misc. Pictures                 Articles                 My Blog

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-001
2017 Forester Door Panel
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-002
Door Opener Handle
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-003
Pry Open Screw Cover

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fourth generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) Subaru Forester 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 Subaru vehicles such as the Outback, Impreza, Legacy, XV Crosstrek, WRX, BRZ, SVX, Tribeca, Exiga, Trezia, Levorg and Baja may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to remove the door panel include a small flathead screwdriver, a plastic pry bar tool, a large flathead screwdriver and a standard Phillips head screwdriver.

The OEM door speaker is held in place to the door frame by four Phillips head screws.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-004
Hinged Screw Cover Open
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-005
Silver Door Pull Handle
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-006
Small Notch Near Top
The first two steps are to lower the power window all the way down and open the door.

Then use a small flathead screwdriver to gently pry open the hinged screw cover located behind the door opener handle and in front of the door lock rocker switch.

You'll see a single Phillips head screw located behind the cover.

Then locate the small notch near the top front edge of the silver plastic trim cover on the door pull handle.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-007
Pry Off Trim Cover
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-008
Plastic Pry Bar Tool
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-009
Handle Cover Removed
Use either a flathead screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool to gently remove the silver trim piece from the door pull handle.

Lift the trim cover up and off the door pull handle.

Set the silver trim cover aside in a safe place.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-010
Remove Phillips Screw
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-011
Single Screw Removed
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-012
Loosen Counterclockwise
Remove the screw located behind the door opener handle by turning it counterclockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the screw aside in a safe place.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-013
Top Screw Removed
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-014
Remove Bottom Screw
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-015
3rd & Final Screw
Then remove the two screws located in the door pull handle by turning them counterclockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-016
Three Screws & Trim Piece
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-017
Pry Out Bottom Edge
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-018
Release Pop Rivets
Set the two screws aside with the silver trim cover.

Insert the plastic pry bar tool or a large flathead screwdriver 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 plastic pop rivet friction fasteners.

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

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-019
Lift Panel Up Off Frame
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-020
Tilt Away Top Edge
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-021
Door Lock & Handle Cables
Carefully lift the plastic door panel up and off the lip at the top of the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself and support the bottom edge with your legs.

Locate the two metal cables for the door lock switch and the door opener handle.

The door lock rocker switch cable has a white plastic collar on it and is located near the top of the door panel.

The door opener handle cable has a green plastic collar near the end of it and is located lower down.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-022
Pull Collar Out of Bracket
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-023
Lift Ball Out of Socket
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-024
Pull Out White Collar
To release the cables, first pull the plastic collars out of their "C" shaped holders on the bracket and then lift the metal ball at the end of the cable out of their sockets.
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-025
Lift Ball Out of Socket
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-026
Two Cables Released
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-027
Push In Release Tab
Move to the underside of the electrical switch panel.

On the front passenger side door panel, there are two white plastic electrical connectors.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-028
Use Flathead Screwdriver
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-029
Push In Release Tab
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-030
Disconnect Power Plugs
Push in the release tabs on the electrical connectors before sliding them straight out of their sockets.

If you have trouble pushing in the release buttons on the electrical connectors, use a small flathead screwdriver.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-031
Disconnect Step Light
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-032
Courtesy Light Bulb Plug
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-033
Door Panel Removed
Locate the courtesy step light near the bottom rear corner of the plastic door panel.

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

Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.



 

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-034
Metal Door Frame
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-035
Stuck Pop Rivets In Frame
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-036
Pop Rivet Removal Tool
If any of the white plastic pop rivets remained attached to the metal door frame, use a pop rivet removal tool to pull them out.

You could also use a large flathead screwdriver or a pair of needle nose pliers.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-037
Pop Rivets Removed
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-038
Slide Into Holders
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-039
Replace Panel Pop Rivets
Re-attach the stuck pop rivets back into place on the plastic door panel.
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-040
OEM Door Speaker
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-041
Loosen Counterclockwise
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-042
Hold Panel Near Frame
The OEM door speaker is located at the front bottom corner of the metal door frame.

To remove the OEM speaker, loosen the four screws by turning them counterclockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver.

The front door speakers can be replaced with aftermarket car speakers in the following sizes: 6 1/2" (6.5"), 6 3/4" (6.75") and 6"x9".

I'd highly recommend applying some Dynamat sound deadener to the metal door frame. It will help stop any vibrations or rattles and allow your new speakers to sound their best and also reduce road noise.

To replace the plastic door panel, hold it near the metal door frame.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-043
Push In Step Light Plug
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-044
Door Opener Handle Cable
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-045
Lower Ball In Socket
Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself.

Push the small white plastic power plug for the courtesy step light into its socket near the bottom rear corner of the door panel.

Re-insert the metal ball at the end of the door opener handle cable (green plastic collar) into it socket closer to the bottom of the door panel.

Then snap the green plastic collar into the "C" shaped socket on the bracket.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-046
Snap Collar In Bracket
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-047
Door Lock Switch Cable
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-048
Snap Collar In Bracket
Then lower the metal ball at the end of the door lock switch cable (white plastic collar) into its socket closer to the top of the door panel.

Push the white plastic collar near the end of the cable in to its "C" shaped socket on the bracket.

Double check that the two cables are securely attached.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-049
Push In Switch Panel Plugs
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-050
Power Plugs Replaced
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-051
Lower Panel On Frame
Push the electrical connectors straight into their sockets on the underside of the switch panel.

The power plugs should "click" securely into place.

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

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-052
Line Up Plastic Pop Rivets
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-053
Firmly Tap In Pop Rivets
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-054
Replace Lower Screw
Line up the white plastic pop rivets on the rear 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.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-055
Tighten Clockwise
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-056 Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-057
Replace Upper Screw
Replace the two screws in the door pull handle by turning them clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver until they are snug.
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-058
Tighten Screw Clockwise
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-059
Pop In Screw Cover
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-060
Re-Insert Tab - Bottom Edge
Replace the single screw located behind the door opener handle and in front of the door lock rocker switch by turning it clockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver until it is snug.

Close the small black plastic screw cover and snap it back into place.

Re-insert the plastic tab at the bottom edge of the silver door pull handle trim cover.

Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-061
Line Up Trim Cover
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-062
Snap Cover In Place
Subaru-Forester-Interior-Door-Panel-Removal-Guide-063
Door Panel Replaced
Then push the top part of the door pull handle trim cover back into place to secure the retaining clips.

Sit inside the SUV, close the door and verify that the door opener handle, door lock rocker switch, power window switch, power door lock switch, courtesy step light and speaker all still work properly.

For more, please check out all of my 2014-2018 Subaru Forester DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the PayPal.com "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
(Note: I am not a registered charity. Donations are not tax deductible.)

Please help support this website by shopping at Amazon.com. Thank You! 

Main Menu            Home            My Digital Cameras            Misc. Pictures            Articles            My Blog

 

Google

Copyright 2017 PaulsTravelPictures.com
 All Rights Reserved