View Full Version : how to change YJ door handles...

05-08-2009, 12:21 PM
this is for those who undertake this nightmare of a job....

So started with that [j] Both my outside door handles, and inside ones were broke, the door panels were gone from water damage, and the window cranks are broke........ :confused0006:

So off to PG Auto wreckers....and SCORE [36]


I went later and got the other side for the outside, black even.....all for 60 bucks, online all this was over $400. Panels alone are $120, anyhow I was not sure on this I read horror stories of how hard the handles are to change, but I will tell you now, reallyits a 15 minute Job once you realize how the pins and clips work.

So off I go...OH I must say, before you do start this have a big drink of your favorite beverage, PATIENCE is a virtue here.....

I tried various methods here at first as I was not sure on WTF to do....to look at the inside of the door handles you cant tell what has to come off in order to get them out...BUT really it is easy....first, remove the panel and take the top inside handle off, broke or not, this will allow you to easier move the door lock and door release bars out of your damn way, now here I got my parts from a 95 and a 90 and 95 although YJs, are not 'quite' the same....the 95 does not have the panel at the top like mine, it is solid metal with a chrome strip to break it up so it did not quite fit perfect but you cant notice, and the connections behind the door for the bars are different to, so getting the bars for the door lock and release wont help you here....prolly as new as 92 I think are the same

Anyhow with the panel off there is a metal panel covering inside access to hte door handle take it off to, about 6 screws and again on mine it wraps around and 2 bolts on the door jam..a 95 it did not...after this is off you can get access to the door 'clips/pins'

these pics show the door lock rods and release rods from the top inside handle

These are the bars, the clips slide off the bar and allow the bar to easily pop out. the plastice clips DO NOT come off the handle, if you did...well you did something wrong ..... &idea if they did, heat them up and try and get them to stay in place again. the bottom release bar is longer so if you cant remember wich goes whre when putting it back together just remember that, they do only go one way tho...so remember which way you took them off.
taking pics off the handle while trying to get it out was impossible to the following 2 pics I will try and explaing how to get them out....first thing actually is to remove the release bar from handle ease needle nose pliars or small screwdriver and pull the pin..

nex two pics are of the old handles already out but easier to explain this


Tp top pic is the 'pin' your after here....the bottom pic is pointing at the F#cking 'clip' that wont let it out....I tried for 20 minutes to get this clip OUT to release the pin......but really stop right there.....take a flat head screwdriver and BEND it out....think car hoist here. As the pin slides down the clip 'clicks' in place at each divot in the pin....

all needs done is get the F#cking click part out o da way....so bend it out, then take said screwdriver and smack the pin up...DONE...

now one other necessary tool to have here is small hands, so Dirk go get your grandaughter to get the pin all the way out, you have to reach in and pull it up the rest of the way, and here again 90 to 95 is different, the 95 had a notch in it making it easier to slide up and not hit the window frame, mine did not, took a little more coaxing.


said POS mother F#cking clips.....DONT LOSE THEM BTW....

Once the pins are out just slide the handle out....
to put it back in leave the 'clips' attached


there is no WAY to get them on there when you slide the handle in, just no room back there, with them on all you need to do is jimmy rig somehow, again small hands, the pin to get it situated so it drops in, then push it down or pry it with a screwdrivere, it dont need much force to go in......done...
reattach the release bar with the cotter pin..


and put it all abck together.....


mmm sexy blakc handles......10 bucks each.

05-08-2009, 12:30 PM
Man I wish this was here 2 years ago !!!!...I HATED THIS JOB !!!!!!!! and yes drinks are needed LOL ...And those clips.....oooooohh gets me mad just thinking about them again

05-08-2009, 12:32 PM
LOL ya the first took mo over an hour, I had the second out and back in, in 10 mins....once you look at it and understand how it works it is stupd easy.

05-08-2009, 12:35 PM
I know the same here first one drove me *(&%^*&^ nuts

05-16-2009, 04:02 AM
Sticky! Great pics and great write up!

05-16-2009, 10:23 AM
And stuck ..Good write up and helpfull might as stay at the top !

05-16-2009, 09:20 PM
woo hoo my first sticky.........


07-25-2009, 10:29 PM
Half doors are a lot easier to do. I did mine easily before and after they got painted

07-25-2009, 10:35 PM
nice writeup! good pics!

02-04-2010, 09:20 PM
the only thing i hate more is the in dash speakers :)

02-05-2010, 02:41 PM
bungee cords annn done

02-12-2010, 01:35 AM
a sledge hammer works great for taking them off
not so good for puting back together
your way better ugg

04-17-2010, 01:35 PM
The worst part of a jeep is the doors.....I had my Yj for 2 years and had problems all the time. Finally fixed them right and traded it! Small hands work well to change speakers, did that to:)