I am beginning to do cosmetic work on my Wrangler and tackle those little projects to which need tending. One of these small projects is flipping the exterior door handles on my 1997 SE Wrangler TJ. The door handles on this model are slightly inconvenient, as they pull opposite the direction of the door. My friend has both '93 and '95 models of the Wrangler. On both the door handles are turned the opposite way which is much more comfortable for openning the door. I see that all I would have to do is flip the handles and switch with the doors, as well as bend the metal rod the opposite direction. Unfortunately, I do not know how to remove the handles. I know it can be done because alternative handles are sold. Please would someone help me with my predicament.
09-05-2008 11:48 PM
This is how you do it.
Ok. After hours of deliberation, I have finally discovered how to remove the exterior door handles. I'll divulge the information for future reference. First, remove the door panel. Next, detach all wiring to the locking mechanism. Thirdly, remove the cotter pin from the wire to the exterior door handle (It is at the top of the wire, adjacent to the handle. Kind of hard to get to.). Next, use a flat head screwdriver and lift the 'spring' on the side of the door handle. Use another flathead screwdriver and position in-line with the saw-tooth metal piece. Push really hard to remove the saw-tooth piece. Do the same with the other side. Position the swinging arm on the inside of the handle so that [the handle] can be removed. Pull or push the handle out.
For '97 Jeeps, or any others that have the same 'backwards' door handle problem, remove the wiring that goes from the locking mechanism to the exterior handle and bend it so that the wires are parallel to each other. Place back in and replace the original handle with that of the other door. Place cotter pin and reattach other wiring and you are all set to go.
09-06-2008 12:31 AM
Not sure what you mean by backwards door handle. Could you post a pic of the before and afters?
09-06-2008 09:58 PM
They are talking about how the door handles pull toward the front of the Jeep to open were by removing the handles and swapping sides right to left the handle will then pull toward the rear of the Jeep to open.I have been wanting to do the same thing for a while now just never have.I put chrome handles on for a customer but put them back the way they cam off cause some people see the way they open different than others.I see it the way you do.if the handles pulled the other way the door would open at the same time as pulling on it but you have to pull out and forward to open it the factory way.BTW welcome to the Wrangler Forum!!!