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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched everywhere youtube, here etc. maybe i was using the wrong keywords, etc. But i cannot seem to find out how to replace the two lights on the lift gate that illuminate the cargo area.

The only video I found was taking off the panel and reaching the bulbs that way, but many say you can just pop off the clear lens and replace that way, I just want to be sure I can just use a flathead and pop them off before I go and try it and break something.
 

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I had to remove the panel...the lenses wouldn't just pop out. I did it at the same time as I changed the external lamps in the hatch to LEDs.
 

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2014 Summit 5.7 4wd 20" tires swapped to 18", added all skid plates
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I searched everywhere youtube, here etc. maybe i was using the wrong keywords, etc. But i cannot seem to find out how to replace the two lights on the lift gate that illuminate the cargo area.

The only video I found was taking off the panel and reaching the bulbs that way, but many say you can just pop off the clear lens and replace that way, I just want to be sure I can just use a flathead and pop them off before I go and try it and break something.
I've done it both ways. As others have said, popping off the lenses is iffy and you might break them. It can also be really hard to get them back on. I did not see the need to fully remove the panel to replace the bulbs for those lights or for the gate backup lamps. Just pop enough of the panel loose to get your hand in from the side, no need to completely remove it.
 

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That's a good tip, because completely removing and then replacing that panel is a fairly significant PITA.
 

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2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 3.6L 4x2
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I did the panel removal first to change to LED bulbs and then discovered that the clear plastic lenses pop out from the front!

I had a bulb issue about 6 months ago (LED died) and didn't want to remove the darn panel again. So I used a thin bladed screwdriver with tape wrapped around the blade. IIRC tabs on the lenses are at 9 and 3 O'Clock. Insert the screwdriver between the lens and the panel (under the lens), press it in and then gently lever out the lens on that side. The two "legs" on the lense have tabs at the bottom to grip on to the back of the panel. When you press it in it stops that bottom tab from gripping the rear of the panel and Voila! out she comes.
 

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2014 Summit 5.7 4wd 20" tires swapped to 18", added all skid plates
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I did the panel removal first to change to LED bulbs and then discovered that the clear plastic lenses pop out from the front!

I had a bulb issue about 6 months ago (LED died) and didn't want to remove the darn panel again. So I used a thin bladed screwdriver with tape wrapped around the blade. IIRC tabs on the lenses are at 9 and 3 O'Clock. Insert the screwdriver between the lens and the panel (under the lens), press it in and then gently lever out the lens on that side. The two "legs" on the lense have tabs at the bottom to grip on to the back of the panel. When you press it in it stops that bottom tab from gripping the rear of the panel and Voila! out she comes.
All you say is true. What does happen though is that sometimes in putting the lenses back on you wind up pushing the socket hard enough to make it pop off the panel. Once that happens it's almost impossible to get it back in place securely without getting your hand behind the panel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses guys! honestly popping off the panel couldnt have been easier. i actually did it side by side, so I popped it enough to get to the bulb etc, then pushed some of the clips back in and moved to the other side.

I think many think how i did and worry those blue and yellow clips will break, but i think those are pretty tough and you really have to abuse them to break them.
 

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2018 Grand Cherokee
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That's a good tip, because completely removing and then replacing that panel is a fairly significant PITA.
Removing and then replacing that panel is literally one of the easiest things I've removed and reinstalled on any vehicle. It's beyond easy. First time, having no idea what I was doing, I removed, installed LED bulbs, and reinstalled panel in less than 10 mins. Not required, but helps is a panel puller tool/set. Harbor freight...maybe 6 bucks.
 

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What issue did you run into? Did actually try to do it?
I actually did it, and successfully. But it had probably been decades since I'd pulled a panel like that, and this being a brand new vehicle (my first in 14 years), I was nervous. It was hard (for me) to get it off, being scared of breaking something. Then it was even harder to get back on, getting all of what seemed like 78 fasteners (actually something like what? 14?) lined back up and connected. There was one that I think never did snap back in.

But it was worth the effort because I like my deAuto LED backup lights so much. :thumbsup:
 

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They make plastic panel pulling tools, pretty cheap and you can find them in most auto stores. Using a steel flat head often scratches paint and panels, leaves dings in the plastic, etc....

Something to keep in mind, you also have to pull this panel to replace the bulbs for the inner tail lamps on the exterior of the hatch. So if you're switching to LED's its worth it to do them all at once instead of pulling the panel more than once. And since LED's don't burn out, it's worth it to switch and avoid having to remove the panel in the future.

I've done it, IMO, it's far from hardest panel to pull, but not the easiest either. Just the design of having to pull a panel to replace bulbs is a bad design IMO.

The cup that holds the bulb and lens clip together with the panel in between them. When I did mine, I pulled the panel and popped the lense by pushing in the tab of the lens that is accessible from the Cup side. I suppose you could pry the lens out from the front, but judging from the tab on that lens, not without a good risk of breaking the tabs. As well, since the whole assembly is held in place by the lens and cup snapping together clamping the panel in between, once you popped the lens off, there is nothing holding the cup in place. The insulation on the back of the panel snugs around the cup, so it won't fall away to the bottom of the panel. But when you push in the lens, it could push the cup back and not let them snap together.

I'm sure some folks have gotten the lens out and replaced the bulb without pulling the panel, but IMO, its just best to pull the panel. It's a pain, but not that hard.
 

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Mine was from the local auto store, red, looks like the one on Amazon except no metal tool. Think I paid $9 for it.
 

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just pull the panel very very easy to do , if you don't have trim wedges or anything like that use a butter knife , you can always put a little tape around it. just be careful when you do get the whole thing loose as there are two plugs that the panel will be dangling from.
 

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Yeah that's definitely a good reminder on the two wire connectors which you don't want to yank loose. It's kinda useful to have a helper for the removal and really useful to have one for the reinstallation as I recall.
 
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