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Honda Pilot Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels to upgrade the speakers in a 1st generation 2003 to 2008 Honda Pilot.

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2006 Pilot Door Panel
Pry Off Sail Panel
Sail Panel Removed
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008) Honda Pilot SUV in removing the plastic interior door panels in order to upgrade the OEM speakers, add soundproofing material, fix a faulty electrical switch or change a broken power window motor.

Owners of other Honda or Acura vehicles such as the Accord, Civic, Crosstour, CR-V, CR-Z, Fit, Insight, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, ILX, TSX, TLX, TL, RLX, RDX, NSX and MDX may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed take off the door panels include a plastic automotive pry bar tool, a small flathead screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver.

The OEM door speaker is held in place by three Phillips head screws.

Gently Pry Up Switch Panel
Lift Rear of Switch Panel
Switch Panel Removed
The first two steps are to lower the power window all the way down and then open the door.

Use a plastic automotive panel removal tool to gently pry off the sail panel located at the top inner corner of the door frame.

The sail panel is held in place by two metal friction fastener clips and also two plastic hooks located on the bottom edge.

On some Honda vehicle models, the sail panel may contain a tweeter speaker that will need to be unplugged.

Set the sail panel aside in a safe place.

Use the plastic pry bar tool to very gently lift the back edge and the rear side corner of the switch panel.

Try to avoid using excessive force. The metal friction fasteners on the underside of the switch panel should pop out relatively easily.

Lift out the rear edge of the switch panel and slide out the plastic hook located on the front edge.

Disconnect Power Plug
Set Aside Switch Panel
Screw Below Switch Panel
Turn over the switch panel to access the electrical connector.

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

Set the switch panel aside in a safe place.

Locate the silver metal screw in the middle of the armrest that was hidden by the switch panel.

Loosen Counterclockwise
Phillips Screw Removed
Screw Below Armrest
Remove the screw in the middle of the armrest by turning it counterclockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the screw aside in a safe place.

Loosen Counterclockwise
Phillips Screw Removed
Pry Out Trim Piece
Remove the second silver metal screw located below the armrest (near the storage pocket) by turning it counterclockwise with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the screw aside with the other one.

Use a small flathead screwdriver to gently pry out the plastic trim piece located behind the door opener handle.

Screws Behind Door Handle
Loosen Counterclockwise
Remove Two Screws
Set the trim panel aside in a safe place.

Remove the two black metal screws located behind the door opener handle by turning them counterclockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Four Screws Total
Gently Pull Out Bottom
Pop Rivets Released
The plastic door panel is still held in place by some pop rivet friction fasteners.

Firmly pull out the bottom edge of the door panel to disengage the pop rivets.

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

Do not pull the bottom edge of the door panel out more than a few inches. The courtesy step light bulb socket and wires are still attached.

Courtesy Step Light
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Door Opener Handle Bar
Rotate the base of the courtesy step light bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out of the housing.

Move to the top middle section of the door panel and locate the metal bar attached to the door opener handle cable.

Swing Open Purple Collar
Lift Metal Bar Out of Socket
Unplug Door Lock Switch
Gently pull the light purple plastic retaining clip off the end of the metal bar.

Lift the "L" shaped end of the metal bar out of its socket attached to the door opener handle.

Press in the release tab for the power door lock switch electrical connector and slide it straight out of the socket.

Pry Out Wire Fastener
Door Panel Removed
Metal Door Frame
Use a pop rivet removal tool to pry out the fastener that secures the courtesy step light bulb wires to the door panel.

Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.

The OEM door speaker is located at the bottom inner corner of the metal door frame.

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

I recommend buying new speakers from Amazon since you can verify that they will fit and whether or not you will need a mounting bracket or an electrical connector adapter.


OEM Door Speaker
Hold Panel Near Frame
Push In Light Cable Fastener
To remove the OEM door speaker, loosen the three Phillips head screws by turning them in the counterclockwise direction.

For the best possible sound from your new speakers, apply some Dynamat Sound Deadener to the metal door frame to help stop vibrations and rattles when you crank up the volume.

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

Push in the pop rivet to secure the wires for the courtesy step light.

Plug In Door Lock Switch
Replace Door Handle Bar
Snap Closed Purple Collar
Slide the power plug for the door lock switch back in to its socket.

Re-insert the metal bar at the end of the door opener handle cable in to its socket.

Swing the light purple plastic retaining collar over the end of the metal bar.

Lower Panel On Frame
Pull Out Electrical Connector
Door Courtesy Step Light
Gently lower the plastic door panel on to the lip at the top of the metal door frame.

Make sure that the door lock stalk is correctly positioned through the opening at the top outer corner of the door panel.

Pull the electrical connector for the switch panel out of the opening in the armrest.

1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Firmly Tap In Pop Rivets
Securing Friction Fasteners
Re-insert the bulb socket for the courtesy step light in to its housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

Line up the plastic pop rivet friction fasteners 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.

Replace Two Small Screws
Tighten Clockwise
2nd Door Handle Screw
Re-insert the two small black metal screws behind the door opener handle and tighten them in the clockwise direction until they are snug.
Plastic Trim Piece
Pop In Screw Cover
Replace Armrest Screw
Line up the plastic trim cover and gently pop it back in to place behind the door opener handle.

Replace the larger silver metal screw in to the middle of the armrest.

Tighten Clockwise
Replace Lower Screw
Line Up Switch Panel
Tighten the screw by turning it clockwise until it is snug.

Then replace the second silver metal Phillips head screw below the armrest by turning it clockwise.

Line up the switch panel with the opening in the armrest.

Push In Power Plug
Re-Insert Hook - Front Edge
Push Down Switch Panel
Slide the electrical connector for the switch panel straight in to its socket until it clicks securely in to place.

Re-insert the plastic hook at the front edge of the switch panel down in to the opening in the armrest.

Gently push down the rear edge of the switch panel to secure the two metal friction fasteners.

Line Up Sail Panel
Push On Sail Panel
Door Panel Replaced
If your sail panel contains a tweeter speaker, replace the power plug.

Line up the clips on the back side of the sail panel with the top inner corner of the door frame.

Push the sail panel back in to place.

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

For more, check out all of my 2003-2008 Honda Pilot DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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