This guide is for the replacement of Ford Explorer door panel (interior) and can only be used for models 2001-2005. Some cars may resemble this method of replacement but do not risk trying this method on your different model cars, else you may damage your car’s door panel for good.
This very guide can also be used for door speaker replacement, protective shield or door lock repairs but only for Ford Explorer.
By following these simple steps, you can have your car’s door panel replaced in no time at all. All you need is a proper set of tools and some good material handling with the removal and reinstallation process. Also, you can save a lot of money doing this at your home.
- 7mm Socket
- Flathead Screwdriver
Parts to be removed before complete removal of the door panel
- Door handle bezel
- Power Window Switch
Total number of screws used to hold the door panel to the door frame
- Three 7mm bolts
While most of the parts are held by screws, some parts are also attached with clips. You need to handle them with care, for example, you can’t pull such parts straight up, instead, try sliding or pulling slowly and gradually. These clips once damaged are hard to restore and may not hold the door frame as they used to.
Use a proper set of tools. Wrong ones may damage the holdings.
Keep the screws at a safe place, for example in a small box, in order to reuse them.
If the screw threads are damaged, replace them with new ones.
Damaged screws would not stick to the door frame and the whole door panel may come off.
When removing the Power Window Switch panel, remove their connections with care. These connections are delicate and may cause Power Window malfunctions.
Handle the door handle bezel with care, though it is made of plastic and is quite flexible.
Now that we are familiar with all the parts and tools, let’s get started.
STEP 1: Unscrewing the Screws
- Take the ratchet, and put a 7mm socket on it.
- Now remove the two 7mm bolts at the bottom of the door panel using ratchet.
STEP 2: Removing the Door Bezel
- Remove the bezel from the door handle by inserting the flathead screw in the gap, tilt and pull it towards yourself.
- Your door handle will be fully exposed now.
STEP 3: Removing Power Window Switch
- Now we need to remove the Power Window Switch panel.
- First slowly pull it upwards to free it from the clips.
- This Power Window Switch Panel has a hinge at its left side. Slide it towards the hinge to bring its back side to the front.
- When tilted, we can now see the electrical wiring of the Power Windows Switch.
- There is a total of two connections. Unplug each connection by pulling them one by one.
- The Power Windows Switch Panel is now free and you can put that aside.
- By removing the Power Window Switch Panel, you can now see a 7mm bolt behind it.
- Loosen it using 7mm Socket Ratchet.
STEP 5: Removing the Door Panel
- Now the door panel is completely free.
- First slowly pull the bottom left using the small compartment, that will loosen up the left clips.
- After that, pop the panel out by sliding it upwards and then pull it towards yourself. This will release its center clip from the hole making it completely free.
- You have completely detached the door panel from the door frame.
This whole process of door panel removal is necessary if you want to repair power window switch, door speaker, door handle, button panel and etc. You will have to remove the door panel in order to do those repairs.
There is a protective shield (black) on the door frame that you can remove easily and put it back on.
So, once you’ve removed the door panel by following the steps mentioned above, you can then do whatever is needed. Place the protective shield cover back at its place and you can then install your door panel again.
You will have to add some adhesive for perfect seal between the shield and the door frame. After that just clip the protective shield back to the door frame.
STEP 6: Reinstalling the Door Panel
- Take the door panel close to door frame, lift it up, put the centre clip of the door panel at its respective hole on the door frame.
- The door panel will be now hanging from the door frame.
- Push your hand all around the door panel in order to clip it back to the door frame.
STEP 7: Reinstalling Screws and Harnesses
- Using 7mm socket ratchet, tighten the 7mm bolt located behind the Power Windows Switch panel.
- Now take the Power Windows Switch Panel, and reconnect the harness to their respective switches.
- Insert the Power Windows Switch Panel back in by simply clipping it back to its place.
- After that, add the door handle bezel.
- Finally, tighten the two 7mm bolts at the bottom of the door panel using 7mm socket ratchet.