Kia Door Panel Removal
2008 Kia Spectra Door Panel Removal
This tutorial is written to assist other Spectra owners in DIY modifications related to replacing the speakers in the front driver and passenger doors. From what I know, this basic process should work on 2004.5-2009 Spectra EX, SX and Spectra5 EX,SX. This tutorial covers power window models of the Spectra/Spectra5 only. I do not have a manual window car to compare the process to.
DISCLAIMER : The author of this article is not responsible for any damages you may cause to your car or yourself. Feel free to email me if you are stuck, or have an idea of how to improve this tutorial. Feel free to not send me an email if you destroyed your car and you feel like it might somehow my fault. I completed this process at least twice and did not damage my car, tools, or self. Go drink a beer. You’ll feel better.
Usage — This is a copyrighted work. You are free to print it off for your personal use or to help your friend. You are NOT allowed to copy this article onto your website, include it in any documentation you may write, or sell it in any way, shape, or form. Please feel free to link to this page if it helps someone else out.
We are going to start on the passenger door. Look around, get a feel for what you are getting into, and make sure you have a fresh beverage. Right then, with the door all the way open, find the fasteners or plastic covers shown in the red boxes below
The fastener in the upper left corner of the door (just below the side view mirror) can be released by gently pressing into the center of the fastener’s dot. The center will push in and you can use a flat blade screwdriver or razor knife to pry the fastener up. It shouldn’t take a lot of force. Next the cover behind the door pull (shown below in a closeup) is a bit of a pain…it’s actually a fairly tight fit, but with a careful pry from a very tiny screwdriver, similar to the ones they use on glasses, it comes off without damaging any plastic.
Now onto the other end of the panel. Below you will see pictured, the armrest of the passenger door. There are two screws under here so you MUST remove this, as much of a pain in the butt as it is. Start as the image shows by prying at the rear of the armrest with a strong putty knife or wide flat blade screwdriver. I would recommend wrapping either item in electrical tape to keep from marring your plastics. Once you break the back of the armrest loose (and it will take significant force if it’s never been removed) Move up to the front part of the armrest near the window switches and you can fight with that for a little bit. There are two small plastic clips that will either go flying, or fall inside your door, so keep an eye out for those.
The next two pictures (Which will probably end up side by side after i resize them again) Shows the first 4 screws which need to be removed to take the door panel off. Use a phillips #2 screw driver and remove these 4 screws and PLEASE dont loose them. Note that the two short ones go behind the door pull and the two long ones go under the armrest.
Alright, Now you might think it’s time to pull the door off. WRONG! See the next two pictures. Those LOOK similar to the first little plastic pin we pushed the center in during step one. Not the case here. Those are actually little plastic caps over two more phillips screws similar to the 4 you just removed. Pry the little caps off with a tiny flathead screwdriver and remove the screws that are now exposed. Again. Lots of little pieces here. Please don’t lose them. For some reason Kia parts dept people give you confused looks when you ask for replacement parts for your car that’s only 2 months old.
Now I missed taking a picture here, so use your imagination for a second. We are ready to separate the inner panel from the door itself. Kia used nice clips for this, so it is unlikely you will break anything here, but still, be careful. Starting on the back edge of the door near the top (see picture on the right, just above this paragraph), use a strong putty knife to pry the door panel away from the body. You can scratch the paint underneath if you are not careful. This may matter to some of you, to others, it may not. Just giving you fair warning. As you feel the first clip snap loose, proceed along, working down, then forward along the bottom of the door and finish near where you took out that first plastic push clip. See the photo below for the two small white electrical connectors you need to remove. One for the power windows, one for the OEM tweeter.
Alright! assuming you did all of this work to get to the OEM speakers, here is about what you should see. Never seen blue oem mids before, but always a first eh? There is one more white connector near the bottom (boxed in yellow in the picture) and 3 phillips screws (boxed in red) holding the speaker in place. Remove those and the OEM speaker should drop into your hands.
As for these last two pictures, you will see how irritating this project becomes all of a sudden. The OEM speakers are VERY shallow, so they can clear the window when it rolls down inside the door. Problem is it’s kind of difficult to find aftermarket mids that retain good performance, that are that shallow, and are affordable. My solution will be to build some MDF rings to space the speaker out from the door panel. Hopefully I can do this without having to cut away TOO much at the plastic speaker grill that is integrated into the inner door panel. I have not made it this far yet as I am waiting on a few more parts from Elemental Designs.
Once I get to the point of actually mounting the new speakers I will take pictures and update the site with details on how much ‘customization’ needs to be done to mount these speakers.