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

Screws around door pull

Screws around door pull

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.

Closeup of screws behind door pull

Closeup of Door Pull

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.

Armrest Removal

Armrest Removal

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.

Closeup of screws behind door pull

Closeup of screws behind door pull

Screws behind padded armrest

Screws behind padded 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.

Panel Screw Locations

Panel Screw Locations

Panel Screw Locations #2

Panel Screw Locations #2

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.

Electrical Connections

Electrical Connections

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.

OEM Speaker - Passenger Door

OEM Speaker - Passenger Door

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.

eD 6000v2 6.5" Mid

eD 6000v2 6.5" Mid

Kia Spectra OEM Speaker Depth

Kia Spectra OEM Speaker Depth

15 thoughts on “Kia Door Panel Removal

  1. Hey this information was really helpful. Any chance you know how to remove the rear speakers from a hatchback 2009 Kia Spectra5? Thanks much,
    Aron

  2. You are a life saver with your fabulous description and pictures you provided. The passenger window slipped down and I couldn’t for the life of me find anything about those last two screws that were disguised as push button clips. I was able to get panel off fix window and make an 82 year old woman happy as hell that she could roll her window up and down again. Your my hero.

  3. Awesome tutorial! It made it really easy to do. The outer ring on my OEM Mid on my passenger door was loose on one side so i needed to reglue it. It may sound really stupid, but how do I put the panel back on? I need to get the corner by the side mirror in first but it was a pain to remove and it is proving to be impossible to put back… Any assistance is appreciated! Thanks! :)

    1. David,

      That was always the hard part… I don’t own that car anymore, but as I recall, hold the back of the panel (farthest from the mirror) higher and slip the corner in, then rotate the panel down and it’ll sorta slip in. I do remember it not being fun ;) Glad you found this helpful otherwise. Good luck

      1. Thanks for replying. I was trying that without success. As a last resort I tried to pop out this black piece of plastic on the door covering the wire for the power mirrors and it worked. So, anyone else doing this (at least on an 04 Spectra):
        -take your flathead screwdriver with tape on it and slide it behind the black piece behind the mirror on the side that is closest to the car
        -starting from the bottom, slide the screwdriver upward popping out the 2 clips holding it
        *there is a flimsy clip like the ones under the armrest on the bottom so be more gentle with this one
        *the top clip is sturdy
        -place the panel in place, put the black piece back, and re-assemble the door in the opposite order
        Thanks again for this tutorial! It made everything so much easier to do!

  4. The ring can be built from the old speaker by removing the central elements and then carving off the inside fitting ring with a box cutter. The speaker can then be attached by drilling holes in the old remaining ring. The depth problem can be met by using two “fender washers” between the new speaker and the old screw insertions and using 1 1/2 inch # 12 screws. The window now clears the end of the speaker and the inner door panel still fits.

  5. Thank You , You were a lifesaver, my door handle (ext.) broke and I had to get inside of door panel. Our local auto parts stores have no repair manuels on Kia Spectra,You were a great help, Thanks again

  6. Great article. Very helpful. I had to replace the exterior door handle and didn’t want to break anything while removing the door panel. Suggest using a nylon trim tool instead of a putty knife wrapped with tape. The hard nylon tool will not scratch your paint.

  7. thanks for the tutorial. my girl’s 08 kia spectra’s drivers side front speaker had an annoying rattle. i bought a $90 set of pioneer speakers that fit just fine, allowing the window to close. just had to drill 3 holes to mount them. i found the entire process of removing & replacing the door panel to be pretty simple. replacing the door panel was just a matter of lining up the “tabs” that hook over the rim of the door and slipping them down over it while applying pressure against the door.

    1. Hey Mike, My speakers were doing the same thing. Do you happen to know what model number your pioneer speakers were? That, or the dimensions of those speakers? Thanks,
      -Chris

  8. Great, /what if the door is stuck closes, and both the inner and outer latch are broken, How can I get it open ( with out using the blowtorch) ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>