This afternoon we were helping a friend install car stereo speakers and found ourselves quickly reaching for our panel clip removal pliers and door panel removal tools. If you’ve ever wondered how the pro shop installs your speakers in 1/4 the time it seems like it should take, you should know the answer now: they have the right tools.
We learned this watching the pros: Pick up a couple of tools that make removing door panels simple. Details after the jump.
Panel clip removal pliers (see link below) are essentially a pair of very flat pliers with a slot in the middle. You simply stick the thin ends under the clip and squeeze, which spreads the ends apart and applies force directly to the clip. No breaking clips, cracking plastic doors, or tearing vinyl (or leather) with slipping screwdrivers.
While you can use a standard pry bar to get at some sticky door panels, what you really need is one that is bent square at the end. Or, better yet, a kit with pry bars from small to large with varying end bends. Eastwood Co. sells just the set for $35.99 (link below).
Finally, when you just have to pry at it and you just know you’re going to break it, try using a nylon pry tool instead. You’re much less likely to mar the door panel. These are also useful for all kinds of interior disassembly.
Of course, there are lots of other specialty interior tools available, but these seem to be the ones we reach for the most.