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Old 10-10-2009, 10:05 AM   #1
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New door handles

I'm the original owner of my '02 Sahara, just had its 8th birthday last month. It has been a maintenence free vehicle util the starting problem which led me to join this forum. With the help of the forum, all that is fixed and I've taken a new interest in fixing every other little thing. The outer door handles looked bad, paint had peeled and some rust had set in. I ordered a new pair from eBay for $34 and installed them yesterday. I had to remove the door glass but that turned out to be easy. Took almost an hour to do the first door but only 20 minutes for the second door.

I found that the knuckleheads at the factory had only started one of the two door glass screws (big #3 philips self threader into a nylon block) and had installed one door handle with the rubber gasket folded.

I never liked the way the doors opened, had to pull the handles to the limit of their travel. I was able to adjust all that and now they look good and open swwwweeeet! Driver side door handel was always a little loose, thats taken care of too, held in by tapered wedges, easy to snug up.

I owe this forum a big thank you and a warning, if you're not careful a Jeep can become like part of the family.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:36 AM   #2
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Nice! Door handle fixes/replacement isn't the easiest thing to work on. After you've done it once it's much easier. Looks good!

I didn't have to replace mine, but I had a similar issue with my passenger door and had to fix that. What a pain. I'm kinda hoping that the other one has a problem because I know how to fix it now.

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Old 10-10-2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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I have the same problem. Is it possible to just unmount them and paint them?

Thank you
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:07 PM   #4
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Looks Great!
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2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport, White/Khaki, Dual Top, 4.0 6-Cylinder, Auto, 3.73 Axles, Dana 44 Rear, Rugged Ridge RC Bumpers, 31x10.50x15's on stock Ravines, Rubicon Fender Flares,
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Old 10-10-2009, 03:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionel-boukobza View Post
I have the same problem. Is it possible to just unmount them and paint them?

Thank you
I took a look at my old door handles and at first glance I'm thinking no way, riveted parts, but I looked up under the lever (photo) and saw a snap ring. Only problem would be the return spring (other photo) would have to come off, appears to be staked on. So if you could work the spring off, pull the pin and remove the door handle you would be good to go. Replace the spring and stake it back on with a punch or dull chisel. Having the backing plate powder coated would be a real good fix, but cost may make just buying a new pair a better option.

Removing the door handle is another issue, but like steven243 said, once you've done it once, its easy.

To remove the handles you have to strip the inside of the door, 5 screws and window crank on my '02, then pop the door panel off. Crank the window up a little from the bottom and remove the 2 big philips screws that attach to window bottom.

Up top you have to remove the window track felt, on first window I pulled the whole thing out but on second one I just worked it out of the triangle piece at the front of the window opening. Remove two screws half hidden by the door gasket to remove the triangle piece. Then the window will lift out and you can see the back of the door handle. Pull the clip out of the door latch rod. Then work the two wedges out with long nosed pliers. The wedges do have notches at the bottom and spring clips engage the notches to keep the wedges from falling out. Since I was replacing the handles I just bent the spring clips out of the way, if you are going to reuse the hanles may want to do another way.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:18 AM   #6
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good write up. I did this on my 98 and it was a pain. I was glad when that project was over.

jw
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jwells36 View Post
good write up. I did this on my 98 and it was a pain. I was glad when that project was over.

jw
Did you repaint the originals or install new?
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:26 AM   #8
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Looks hard to do...I think i'd better buy a set of new door handles. Or bring it to a guy who could do it for me, since the labour is pretty cheap here in Lebanon
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:56 AM   #9
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Ah Hah! Wind Rocker... You installed them backwards! (at least it appears so in your pics. Top pic vs second pic...??) My '00 has them opposite of my '03... Are they reversible on installation? My '03 is in need of replace or repaint...
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by toplessartist View Post
Ah Hah! Wind Rocker... You installed them backwards! (at least it appears so in your pics. Top pic vs second pic...??) My '00 has them opposite of my '03... Are they reversible on installation? My '03 is in need of replace or repaint...
Yeah, you're right. They are not reversible unless you switch the left and right, like I apparently did. Anyway, they work really good this way, probably not worth changing. Which Jeep had them like my new ones, '00 or '03?

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