(approx) 45 Minutes
Simple installation for anyone.
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This vintage door handle in black is for those of you that have in 1997 to 2006 TJ with full steel doors that are looking to replace your door handle. Most of you are going to be looking to replace it because from the outside they can start to get rusty and just not look as good or maybe mechanically, it's starting to fail. There is a spring inside here that can start to wear out over time or if things just are starting to get corroded and aren't moving smoothly, replacing this door handle will take care of all of those issues. This is going to be a nice easy one out of three wrenches for the installation, no drilling, no major modifications to do. However, the way I'm gonna show you how to do it does have a good bit of disassembly involved. There are some other ways to do it. This is just the way that I've found it easiest over the years. But either way, I'm going to show you how to install this door handle in just a second here. So as far as the door handle itself goes, not a whole lot to say about look or function. You know how your factory door handle looks and works and this one is going to be exactly the same. From the outside, you're not gonna be able to tell that you changed your door handle. Of course, there are going to be different color ones available. There are chrome ones, all of that. This one looks just like a factory door handle. It functions just like a factory door handle. For all intents and purposes, it is a factory door handle. It's just a little bit less expensive than going directly to Mopar for a factory replacement. This is going to be OEM style, but it's not going to come out of a Mopar box, therefore, have a little bit of a lower price. This comes in at right around $30 which I think is very, very fair for what you're going to get here. So I said before, this is an easy one out of three wrenches for the installation. Let me show you how to do it. For this installation, we used a flat head screwdriver, a combination screwdriver with a T15, a number two and a number three Phillips tip, a trim removal tool and a pair of needle nose pliers. You can do this a couple of different ways, but this is the most tried and true method. It's going to keep frustration to a minimum. It is, however, going to be a little bit more disassembly and then reassembly than some of the other methods. Some of the other methods would be just removing some of this weatherstripping up here, trying to get in there to pull the pins and get the door handle out through the top side, but the way I'm going to do it, we're actually going to do most of the work from the inside. So I'm gonna get the door opened up, actually opened up more than 90 degrees to give you guys a good view of what we're doing and then we'll get the door panel off. The next thing we're going to do is to remove this door panel and there are a couple of screws that we have to remove in order to do that. The first couple of screws are right here on the door handle itself. These are going to be a small Torx screw, get those removed. Then we'll get a Philips head screwdriver and remove the three screws around the outside here. The next thing we're going to remove is the window crank here and this has a bit of a tricky clip on the backside of it. There is a specific tool that you can use that will make getting this clip off a lot easier. I'm just gonna go ahead and use a screwdriver, so I'm probably gonna have to fight with it a little bit, and once you do get it off, you are going to want to keep a hand underneath of it because these are pretty much spring loaded clips and they'll fly and you can lose them very easily. So be a little careful when you're removing this and bring your patience. If you don't have one of those removal tools, it can take a second. So now that you have the window crank removed, you can reinstall the small spring clip on the crank itself, that way you're not gonna lose the clip and you actually need to have that clip installed so that you can get the crank back on after we change out the door handle, so we'll just set this aside. The next thing we'll do is grab a trim removal tool and we'll pop the door panel off. Since all the hardware's removed, there are just some fast clips along the outside of the door holding the door panel on. We'll use our trim removal tool and just go around the edge here popping those clips. Once they're all popped, you can lift the door panel off and set it aside. The next step is to remove these two screws here and that will allow us to loosen up and move this plastic piece that's actually part of the weatherstripping on the inside of the window channel. Now that those screws are removed, we can pop this plastic outta here. And what that's going to allow is for us to remove the two screws that hold the window glass into the window track and remove the glass from the door completely. In order to gain access to the two screws that hold the glass in the window track, we'll have to temporarily re-install our window crank and put the window up. Now you can see you have access to these two screws. We'll remove those now. With those screws removed, you can just lift the glass out of the track and set it aside somewhere safe. Now that all that disassembly and removal is done, there are three pieces we have to remove from inside the door here in order to get the door handle out. The first is a small hitch pin that is on the linkage for the door handle itself. You're just gonna reach down in there with a pair of needle nose pliers and wiggle that free. And you can see, it's a pretty small pin. We're gonna hang onto that for reassembly, so we'll set that aside. The next piece we have to remove is a triangular piece of metal with some teeth on it and there are actually one of these on either side of the door handle, so one on the left and one on the right, and these are retained by some small springs that are attached to the door handle itself. So sometimes you can just pull these out depending on how tight the springs are. Other times you have to get in there with a small screwdriver and try and release some of the tension off the spring. So we'll see how easily these come out for us. A little bit of a wiggle, a bit of a pull. Here we go. So this is that retention piece. These are the teeth that that spring loaded piece actually sits up against. So if you do need to release that pressure off of the spring, that's where you're going to be aiming down inside there just with a flathead screwdriver. So one of these is removed, now we'll remove the other one. There's the other one. These are gonna be identical. Go ahead and set those aside with the hitch pin that you just removed. Now we can partially close the door to gain access to the outside of it to pull the door handle out. With all those clips removed, it should just pop right out. Now it's time to install our new door handle and the process is the same in reverse of the uninstallation, so we're going to go ahead and pop the door handle into the hole in the door, flip the door around again so we can get those retaining clips in place. So here I have the retention clips in my needle nose pliers, just get it wedged in there. The springs on the new door handles are gonna be nice and tight so it might take a little bit of additional force. Go ahead and get that locked down in there and then do the same thing on the other side. So the next clip we need to install is that hitch pin on the linkage. So you might have to reach your hand in so that so you can actually grab the linkage and also work the door handle from the other side to get everything lined up. And then the same way, we'll take the hitch pin and our needle nose pliers and get it set into place. There you have it. New door handle is installed. All we have to do now is put the glass back in and put the door panel back on. This is a good time to give your glass a good clean before reinstalling it in the Jeep. Slide it back down into the door, right onto the track where it came from. There we go. Now we'll reinstall the two screws that hold the glass into the track. The next thing we're gonna do is reinstall this weatherstripping with the plastic spacer piece, but first we have to wind the window down into the door. This is a good time to check and make sure that you have everything in the track properly. So if you feel any binding, don't just force it, that's a good way to break the window. If it does feel like there's any kind of resistance, just undo those screws, pull the glass out, pop it back in, make sure it's on all of the proper tracks. So now that that's in place, grab our plastic filler piece, goes in here. At the same time, feed this weatherstripping piece over top of the window track. All right, everything's back together. We'll reinstall the two screws on the backside here. So the plastic clips that hold the door panel to the door are pretty fragile and these can break sometimes. They are pretty easy to pop out and replace, so before putting the door panel on, you want to make sure that all of them are in good working order. If you need a couple of these, you can find them at your local auto parts store. Ours are, for the most part, in pretty good shape. So we'll get the top of the door panel set in place here first just like that and then work our way around the outside, pressing those plastic clips into place. Now we can install the three Phillips head screws around the outside and the two Torx screws on the handle. The last thing to reinstall is our window crank, then we can close the door and we're finished. So if you're looking for a factory style replacement door handle for your TJ, I would recommend this one, and you can find it right here at extremeterrain.com.
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Fitment: 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
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(approx) 45 Minutes
Simple installation for anyone.
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