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  #1  
Old 01-03-2016, 04:38 PM
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Front exterior door handle replacement guide

Alright, I finally decided to remove the chrome door handles on my 2014 limited and replace with brilliant black handles. I can typically find very useful DIY guides and posts on this forum. For some reason, I could not find any decent descriptions for removing the exterior front door handles (there are plenty of posts on the rear handles, but not the fronts...and the posts that did try to explain the fronts were very confusing and did not include pictures). Therefore, my time spent in frustration this weekend is your reward (hopefully).

Here is my guide to removing the exterior front door handles. No need to remove the inner door panel. No need to remove the door regulator. It's so easy that it took me an hour to complete 1 door (I will not share the rather embarrassing amount of time it took me to complete the 1st door though). Hope this helps some of you!


1.) Remove interior door panel. This is well covered on Page 45 of the interior trim manual, so I will not cover that here:
http://www.wk2jeeps.com/interior/201...emoval_001.pdf

2.) After you complete Step 1, your panel should look like this:
IMG_0549.jpg

3.) Disconnect the speaker from the inner panel by removing the 4 screws and electrical connector

4.) Using a flat head screwdriver, remove the inner belt molding:
IMG_0551.JPG

5.) Align the power window about 3/4 of the way down so that you can see the window release tabs through the holes in the regulator bracket.

Here's the one looking through the cutout where the speaker was removed:
IMG_0552.JPG

Here's the other side of the window looking through the inner door cutout hole.
IMG_0554.JPG

6.) I used a flathead screwdriver to push the yellow tab back (towards the front of the door). At the same time, I pushed up on the bottom of the window. You will know when the window has been released from the regulator bracket.

Do the same with the other side of the window:
IMG_0555.JPG

7.) Pull the window completely out of the door frame. It helps if you rotate the window almost 90deg while pulling out.
IMG_0556.JPG

8.) Next I popped off the door handle retaining rod. If you have small enough hands, you may be able to reach in through the cutout and pop it off with your hand. Personally, after doing this step with the other 3 doors, I found that the easiest way was to loop some wire from the top of the door and catch it on the corner of the plastic and then pull the wire up. I was able to pop off the rod in 30 sec with this method.
IMG_0557.JPG

9.) Next I remove these 2 bolts connecting to the handle. You can access these by removing the small oval plastic piece on the door.
IMG_0560.JPG

10.) Remove the 3rd bolt. Again, reach your hands through the cutout if you can. I used a small ratchet reaching down from the top window opening. You can't see the bolt, but this is the location of the 3rd bolt:
IMG_0561.JPG

11.) Disconnect the power connector from the door handle
IMG_0562.jpg

12.) At this point, you can FINALLY remove the handle from the door.

Now all you have to do is attach the new door handle and reverse the steps above...good luck!!

I was able to complete the steps above in about an hour, but then again, this was my 4th door so I was getting pretty good and tearing apart these PITA door panels.

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Old 01-03-2016, 04:39 PM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

Here is the final product:

IMG_0565.jpg
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:14 PM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxon217 View Post
Here is the final product:

Attachment 63711
Looks great, Jaxon217!

Thanks very much for taking the time to do the DIY! I'm much more likely to attempt it now.

Thanks again,

ddb1
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:35 PM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

Thanks for the guide. I'm working on wrapping my trim. Handles with be next...
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:46 AM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

According to the wk2jeep website the door card clips are to be discarded. Are they reusable?

Edit: All good. Did rear handles last night. Only took half hour to do. Will tackle the front today. Thanks for the right up.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:40 AM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

Awesome wright up! This has been on the mod list for quite some time. I had planned to do the rear ones myself as there is much less going on back there and than taking it in for the front ones. Might give it a go now - that wright up is solid
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:48 AM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

Great info. Thank you.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:46 PM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

I just went through doing the fronts and managed to get the window and everything out only to find I was sent LHD door handles not export so had to put it all back together for another day. Now that I have done, it is pretty easy. Just working out how to release the window out of the runner was the hard bit. The other hard bit is getting the single bolt on inner side of the handle started so can get a ratchet on it. My 1/4" drive ratchet was too short so went to 3/8". That was slightly too big to pass through the top of door so had to feed it up through the access hole.

I definitely think if you are even slightly handy you could do this. Just need to take your time. Panel trim removal tools are your best friend here pulling the door cards off.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:32 PM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

I had some trouble removing the window and kind of got stuck there. Anyone in Los Angeles and know of anywhere or anyone that can help me with this?
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:22 PM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by GCDingo View Post
I just went through doing the fronts and managed to get the window and everything out only to find I was sent LHD door handles not export so had to put it all back together for another day. Now that I have done, it is pretty easy. Just working out how to release the window out of the runner was the hard bit. The other hard bit is getting the single bolt on inner side of the handle started so can get a ratchet on it. My 1/4" drive ratchet was too short so went to 3/8". That was slightly too big to pass through the top of door so had to feed it up through the access hole.

I definitely think if you are even slightly handy you could do this. Just need to take your time. Panel trim removal tools are your best friend here pulling the door cards off.
Did my rear handles today without removing the windows. The front proved to be a pain and had issues removing the window so maybe I will try again tomorrow or next week.
Any tip on removing the window? Or getting to the bolts possibly without removing the window like the rear doors?
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:38 PM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbaisburd View Post
Did my rear handles today without removing the windows. The front proved to be a pain and had issues removing the window so maybe I will try again tomorrow or next week.
Any tip on removing the window? Or getting to the bolts possibly without removing the window like the rear doors?
First, I would like to say thanks again to Jaxon217 for the DIY. It is very helpful and gave me the confidence to give this a try.

lbaisburd, I also did the rears yesterday, and the fronts today. The first front took some time, but the second one was simple. Make sure you are looking at the pictures closely and lowering the window down to the correct spot. Once you have the window there, use a screw driver, or something else, and place pressure on the yellow tab pushing towards the outer door skin (the painted exterior part where you are replacing the handle) and lift up the window at the same time. Repeat on the other side. When both sides are free you can maneuver the glass out as Jaxon217 states.

It is a little difficult to get the single bolt in/out. I had this thin, foot-long, ratcheting wrench that worked perfectly from the top of the window opening. I also used a pair of extra long, angled, needle-nosed pliers to aid in disconnecting and connecting the electrical connector to the front handles.

The other suggestion that I have is to place some tape at the forward part of the old handles before removing them. You have to rotate the rear part of the handle 90 degrees to get the forward part out. If you're not careful, you can cause scratches.

Hope this helps,

ddb1
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File Type: jpg 20160306_132618.jpg (570.3 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg 1457296041785.jpg (99.8 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg 20160306_145630.jpg (567.9 KB, 52 views)
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:07 PM
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Re: Front exterior door handle replacement guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddb1 View Post
It is a little difficult to get the single bolt in/out. I had this thin, foot-long, ratcheting wrench that worked perfectly from the top of the window opening. I also used a pair of extra long, angled, needle-nosed pliers to aid in disconnecting and connecting the electrical connector to the front handles.

Completely agree. I actually went out and bought a wrench similar to the one you showed for this exact purpose. It allows you to access the bolts from the top window opening with ease.

Looks great, ddb1! Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement to others giving this DIY job a try.
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