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Mazda MX-5 Miata Interior Door Panel Removal Guide
How to take off the plastic interior door panels to upgrade the OEM speakers in a 2016 to 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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2018 MX-5 Door Panel
Door Opener Handle
Pry Out Trim Piece
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 4th generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021) Mazda MX-5 Miata 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 Mazda vehicles such as the Mazda2 (Demio), Mazda3 (Axela), Mazda5, Mazda6 (Atenza), CX-3, CX-5, CX-7, CX-9, RX-8 and MPV may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to remove the door panels include a small plastic pry bar tool and a Phillips head screwdriver.

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


Trim Piece Removed
Door Pull Well - Armrest
Pry Out Rubber Cover
The first two steps are to fully lower down the power window and open the door.

Then use a plastic pry bar tool to gently remove the plastic trim cover located behind the door opener handle and the door lock rocker switch.

Set the trim cover aside in a safe place.

Then move to the middle of the armrest and locate the rubber cover in the bottom of the well in the door pull handle.

Gently pry out the rubber cover at the bottom of the well.

Rubber Cover Removed
Loosen Counterclockwise
Remove Armrest Screw
Set the rubber cover aside in a safe place.

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

Set the screw aside with the plastic trim cover.

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

Set the screw aside with the rubber cover.

2 Trim Pieces - 2 Screws
Insert Pry Bar Tool
Remove Plastic Pop Rivets
Insert a large flathead screwdriver or the plastic pry bar tool in between the bottom edge of the plastic door panel and the metal door frame.

Firmly pull out the bottom edge of the door panel to release the white plastic pop rivet friction fasteners.

Continue releasing the pop rivets all along the bottom edge and both sides of the door panel.

Lift Door Panel Off Frame
Tilt Away Top Edge
Push In Release Tab
Carefully lift the plastic door panel up and off the upper lip at the top of the metal door frame.

Tilt the top edge of the door panel towards yourself and support the bottom edge with your legs.

Push in the release tab on the white plastic electrical connector on the underside of the switch panel.

Remove Power Plug
Two Metal Cables
Pull Out Plastic Bracket
Slide the power plug straight out of its socket.

Then locate the metal cables with black vinyl insulation that operate the door lock rocker switch and the door opener handle.

Carefully pull the rear of the black plastic bracket out of the rear of the door panel.

Remove the door handle and door lock rocker switch cables bracket out of the back of the door panel.

Door Panel Removed
Metal Door Frame
OEM Door Speaker
Set the plastic door panel aside in a safe place.

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

The OEM front door speakers can be replaced with aftermarket car speakers in the following sizes: 6 1/2" (6.5") and 6 3/4" (6.75").

Replace Stuck Pop Rivet
Three Speaker Screws
Hold Panel Near Frame
If any of the white plastic pop rivet fasteners remained attached to the door frame, remove them and re-attach them to the door panel.

The speakers are held in place by three 10mm bolts.

Remove the bolts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

I highly recommend applying some Dynamat sound deadener to the metal door frame and the back side of the plastic door panel to help prevent rattles and vibrations 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.


Re-Insert Cables Bracket
Cables Bracket Secured
Electrical Connectors
Re-insert the door opener handle into the opening in the door panel.

Lower the back side of the cables bracket towards the door panel and push it into the mount.

The bracket should "click" securely into the mount.

Push In Power Plugs
Switch Panel Plugs
Lower Panel On Frame
Push the electrical connectors straight into their sockets on the underside of the switch panel.

The plugs should click securely into place.

Lower the top of the door panel on to the upper lip on the metal door frame.

Line Up Pop Rivets
Firmly Tap In Fasteners
Pop Rivets Secured
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 the pop rivets all along the bottom side and both edges of the door panel.

Door Handle Screw
Tighten Clockwise
Replace Armrest Screw
Replace the screw behind the door opener handle by turning it in the clockwise direction with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Then replace the screw in the armrest by turning it in the clockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver until it is snug.

Replace Rubber Cover
Pop In Trim Cover
Door Panel Replaced
Replace the rubber screw cover into the bottom of the well in the door pull handle.

Snap the plastic trim piece behind the door opener handle back into place.

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

Be sure to record the speaker upgrade or other procedure in your car's service records.

For more, check out all of my 2016-2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata 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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