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Toyota Tacoma Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels in a 3rd generation 2016 to 2021 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

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2020 Tacoma Door Panel
Pry Off Sail Panel
Release Pop Rivets
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and probably also the 2022 and 2023 model years) Toyota Tacoma pickup truck 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 Toyota or Lexus vehicles such as the Tundra, 4Runner, Hilux, Highlander, C-HR, Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Supra, Land Cruiser, Prius, RAV4, Mirai, Sequoia, Sienna, Yaris, CT 200h, ES 300h, RX 350, GX 460, LX 570, NX 300, RX 450h, UX 200 and UX 250h may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a plastic pry bar tool, a Phillips head screwdriver, a small flat head screwdriver and a large flat head screwdriver.

To remove the OEM door speakers, you'll need a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet or a Phillips head screwdriver.

The first two steps are to fully lower the power window and open the door.

Move to the top inner corner of the door panel and locate the triangular shaped sail panel by the side view mirror.

Use the plastic pry bar tool to gently loosen the three plastic retaining clips that secure the sail panel in place.


Sail Panel Removed
Detach Retaining Clips
3 Plastic Retaining Clips
Try to avoid using excessive force. The sail panel should pop off relatively easily.

(On some Toyota or Lexus models, the sail panel may contain a tweeter speaker that will need to be disconnected.)

The three white plastic retaining clips might remain attached to the door frame.

Carefully pinch the tabs on the retaining clips to remove them from the door frame.

Re-Attach White Clips
Pry Out Trim Piece
Trim Piece Removed
Re-attach the three retaining clips to the back side of the sail panel.

Set the sail panel aside in a safe place.

Move to the door opener handle.

Use the pry bar tool to gently remove the plastic trim piece located behind the door opener handle.

Set the trim piece aside in a safe place.

Pry Out Felt Cover
Armrest Well Cover
Pry Up Switch Panel
Use the pry bar tool to lift out the felt fabric trim cover at the bottom of the well at the door pull handle in the center of the armrest.

Set the felt cover aside with the other trim pieces.

Use a plastic trim panel removal tool or a large flat head screwdriver to gently pry up the switch panel.

To prevent from scratching the plastic surfaces, you may choose to cover the tip of your screwdriver with a thin micro fiber cloth.

Avoid using excessive force! The switch panel is held in place by a few plastic retaining clips that should pop out relatively easily.

Releasing Plastic Clips
Switch Panel Removed
Push In Release Button
Continue gently and carefully prying up the outer edge of the switch panel.

Lift the switch panel off the armrest.

Turn over the switch panel to access the electrical connectors.

Use a flat head screwdriver to push in the release tabs on the power plugs.

Push In Release Tab
Power Plugs Detached
Loosen Counterclockwise
Slide the electrical connectors straight out of their sockets.

Set the switch panel aside in a safe place.

Loosen the screw behind the door opener handle by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Phillips Screw Removed
Remove Armrest Screw
Second Screw Removed
Set the screw aside with its corresponding trim cover.

Remove the screw at the bottom of the well in the armrest by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Set the armrest screw aside with the felt cover.

Fastener - Top Inner
Push In Center Button
Pry Out Plastic Fastener
Move to the top inner corner of the door panel just below where the sail panel used to reside near the side view mirror.

Use the small flat head screwdriver to pop in the small round button in the center of the plastic fastener.

Popping in the button unlocks the fastener.

Then you can gently pry out the base of the plastic fastener.

Fastener Removed
Trim Pieces & Screws
Pry Out Bottom Edge
Set the plastic pop rivet aside with the other fasteners.

At this point, you should have removed the sail panel, the switch panel, the door opener handle trim piece, the felt trim cover, two screws and the small plastic pop rivet.

Move to the bottom edge of the door panel.

Insert the plastic pry bar tool in between the bottom edge of the door panel and the metal door frame.

Firmly pull out the bottom edge to release the pop rivets.

Pull Out Pop Rivets
Lift Door Panel Off Frame
Tilt Away Top Edge
Continue pulling out the pop rivet friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Carefully lift the top of the plastic door panel off the lip on the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself.

Lock & Handle Cables
Pull Out Plastic Collar
Swing Out Cable
Locate the two cables that operate the door lock rocker switch and the door opener handle.

The bottom cable with the green plastic piece is attached to the door opener handle. The top cable with the white plastic piece is attached to the door lock rocker switch.

Pull the plastic collar out of the "C" shaped bracket and swing the cable out away from the back side of the door panel.

Lift the metal ball out of the socket.

Lift Ball Out of Socket
Door Lock Cable
Upper Cable Detached
Repeat the process to detach the other cable from the rear of the door panel.
Set Aside Door Panel
Metal Door Frame
OEM Door Speaker
Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) front door speaker is situated at the lower front corner of the door frame.

The factory door speaker can be replaced with aftermarket car speakers in the following sizes: 6 1/2", 6 3/4" and 6"x9".

I highly recommend applying some Dynamat sound deadener to the metal door frames and the back side of the plastic door panels to help prevent rattles and vibrations when you crank up the volume.

Push In Release Tab
Disconnect Power Plug
Loosen Four Bolts
Push in the release tab on the white plastic electrical connector at the top of the OEM speaker.

Slide the power plug straight out of its socket.

The old speakers are held in place by four bolts that can be removed with either a Phillips head screwdriver or a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Hold Panel Near Frame
Lower Ball In Socket
Pop Collar In Bracket
To replace the plastic door panel, hold it near the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself to access the rear side of it.

Lower the metal ball at the end of the cable with the green plastic collar into the bottom socket for the door opener handle.

Snap the green plastic collar into the "C" shaped bracket.

Replace Door Lock Cable
Rubber Trim Piece
Rubber Piece Replaced
Repeat the process to replace the cable for the door lock rocker switch which has a white plastic collar.

When I removed the plastic door panel from the metal door frame, a rubber weatherstripping trim piece fell off.

Be sure to replace the rubber trim piece at the top outer corner of the door frame, close to the bottom rear corner of the window frame.

Lower Door Panel On Lip
Pull Out Power Plugs
Line Up Pop Rivets
Carefully lower the top edge of the plastic door panel on to the upper lip on the metal door frame.

Make sure that the electrical connectors for the switch panel are pulling out of the opening in the armrest.

Line up the white plastic pop rivets on the back side of the door panel with their corresponding holes in the metal door frame.

Firmly Tap In Fasteners
Fastener - Top Inner
Pop In Button - Secured
Firmly tap in the pop rivet friction fasteners all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Make sure the small plastic fastener has the small pin in the center in the out and released position.

Re-insert the plastic pop rivet into the hole at the top front corner of the door panel.

Push in the button to secure the fastener in place.

Replace Armrest Screw
Replace Handle Screw
Line Up Switch Panel
Replace the screw at the bottom of the well in the armrest by turning it in the clockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver.

Replace the Phillips screw behind the door opener handle by turning it in the clockwise direction.

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

Push In Power Plugs
Line Up Plastic Clips
Push Down Switch Panel
Push the electrical connectors straight into their sockets.

You should hear or feel the power plugs "click" securely into place.

Line up the white plastic retaining clips on the bottom of the switch panel with their corresponding slots.

Push down on the switch panel to secure the retaining clips.

Replace Felt Cover
Line Up Trim Piece
Pop In Trim Cover
Lower the felt trim cover down into the well.

Gently push the plastic trim piece behind the door opener handle until it clicks securely into place.

Line Up Sail Panel
Push On Sail Panel
Door Panel Replaced
Line up the sail panel with the front upper corner of the door panel near the side view mirror.

Gently push on the sail panel to secure the plastic retaining clips.

Sit inside the truck, close the door and verify that the door opener handle, door lock rocker switch, power window switch, power door lock switch and the speaker are all working properly.

Please check out all of the 2016-2021 Toyota Tacoma DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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