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Discussion Starter #1
Tools Needed:
New door handle
Car trim tool OR flat head screwdriver
Cross head screwdriver
Gorilla tape
Ratchet
Ratchet extension
10mm socket
8mm socket
T30 star bit
Magnetic bolt retriever



Let me first say, I’m sorry your door handle broke… because it is not a fun install. It isn’t all that difficult of a process, but due to the lack of access to the inside of the door handle area it is certainly a tedious procedure. I hope you have small hands! That all being said, anybody can do this one.

The problem with our door handles is that they are plastic – even the threads that the mounting screws attach too. And that is normally where they break. My six year old nephew actually broke mine by tugging on it when the door was locked. And sure enough, the metal mounting screw simply pulled out and broke the plastic threads holding it on. So if he can break it, anybody can.

So let’s get started. I’ll be discussing my rear driver’s side door handle. The process is the same for the rear passenger side door handle. However, the front door handles are different, and I believe they are much easier. Lucky me. Here is my broken handle – the side of the handle towards the front of the car is what broke, and this is commonly where they do…




And here is my new replacement door handle. It is not an OEM door handle, but it is a factory replacement. When I had both off of the car, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two. I purchased it off of eBay for $22 shipped…




First step – remove the door panel. This is the easy part. There are two mounting screws hidden behind little covers – one behind the interior door handle and one just below the door pull. These little covers flip DOWN. I previously had broken one off on my front door when replacing my speakers by trying to flip them up, so I wasn’t going to make that mistake this time. Flip the little covers down with a car trim tool or carefully with a flat head screwdriver, and remove the screws with a cross head screw driver…




Next there are four screws that need to be removed – three along the bottom of the door panel and one more up the side towards the front of the car (not pictured). Remove these screws with a cross head screwdriver…



Now you need to remove the push button retainers on the lower part of the door panel, or whatever they are called. There are four of them – three up the rear side of the door panel, and one more up the opposite side towards the front of the car (not pictured). To remove these, you simply press the little button in the middle in towards the door – not hard, just enough for it to click. If you push the buttons all of the way through, no big deal – you’ll just have to fish them out of the bottom of your door later. I usually just use a cross head screwdriver to push the buttons. You can then give the bottom of the panel a little tug or use a trim tool to pry it out a bit and the fasteners should fall out. Here they are…



***Note: These push button retainers are famous for breaking and the dealer charges way too much for them. You can buy replacements from ClipsAndFasteners online very cheap. I keep extra boxes of all of them.

***Another note: Just noticed my dog snuck into that pic. He’s such-a-good-boy! :)

Next up, remove the door pin. These simply unscrew. I have BT pins, but just the same as stock pins – just grab and unscrew them…



It’s beneficial to have an extra set of hands on this next step, but certainly not necessary. And warning for those with tinted windows: since the window must be up, be careful that you don’t yank the panel into your window and scratch the tint. The bottom of the door panel is now loose and the top of the door panel is just held on by two round push retainers and one flat push retainer. I recommend starting at the rear of the door panel and give it a good tug to pop out the flat push retainer that is at the very top of the door panel. Then with a good grip on the door panel, give it a good tug away from the door and the two round push retainers should pop right out. It kind of pulls out and up. But hang onto the door panel – it’s not completely disconnected yet. Here it is partially removed – note the two white round push retainers on the panel and the two green receivers on the door. You can also see the receiver side for the flat push retainer at the far left edge of the image…



***Note: These round push retainers are also famous for breaking. Again, dealer = expensive, ClipsAndFasteners = dirt cheap. Keep some of these around.

Now you just need to disconnect the latch release bar and the wiring harness for the door switches. Unsnap the blue plastic clip that holds the latch release bar, then disconnect the bar from the door panel. And simply remove the wiring harness by pressing on the release tab and pulling the plug…




Now the door panel is free! But wait, where the hell is the exterior door handle?!



This is where it starts to get a bit tricky since Chrysler decided to make this difficult to access. First, you need to partially remove the watershield. It is held on by some strange gummy goo stuff. Start at the very back and top of it and begin peeling it away. A trim tool is useful for this. Try not to touch the gummy stuff or let it get dirty because you’ll need to stick it back on when you’re done. Peeling the back half of it is good enough since we are only going to be working on the very back part of the door…





***Reinstallation note: When I was putting the watershield back on, I wasn’t super happy about the gummy stuff holding, so I added some Gorilla tape for good measure.


CONTINUED....
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #2
Next up is removing the window channel bracket. It’s held on by these two bolts here…



You don’t need to remove the bolts, but just simply loosen them. You’ll need a 10mm socket. Loosen them enough so that you can slide the window channel bracket upward and then the bolts will clear the door through the bigger holes that you can see. Once it is free inside the door, you will need to pull it downward and slide the rubber window channel out of the bracket. Here it is removed from the car, and a pic of the end tip of the rubber window channel as well as where the channel slides into the window channel bracket…





***Note: I just noticed a little blood in the rubber window channel pic – careful, the inside of the door has some sharp spots!

Now this is when it starts getting really tight in there. Next up, we need to remove a couple more of these latch bars. The first one will be the bar that is attached to the exterior door handle. Here is a pic of the new handle off of the car – note the white plastic clip that holds the latch bar…



And here’s a pic from inside the door. See the white clip? That’s the door handle. And you see the yellow clip? That’s connected to the door lock pin...



Unsnap the white plastic clip and remove the latch bar that is connected to the handle. Also, unsnap the yellow plastic clip and remove the latch bar that is connected to the door lock pin. Another warning to those with tinted windows: the door lock pin could potentially scratch the tint when it’s loose, so be careful…




There is another latch bar – the one that we already removed on the front end from the interior door handle. It’s also connected to the latch back there with a green plastic clip. Leave this one connected – it will be beneficial later during reinstallation.

Next up, we need to remove the actual door latch. It is held on by three T30 star bolts. Remove these bolts and the latch will fall downward a bit. Have no fear, that’s why we left that other latch bar still connected to it…



***Reinstallation note: Use the latch bar that is still connected to the latch to lift it and line it up to reinstall the T30 star bolts.

Now that we have all of this interior door stuff out of the way, we can finally access the three bolts that hold the exterior handle onto the door. The one towards the front of the car (the one that often breaks the threads on the plastic handle causing this issue), you may have already noticed. You can see it through the big access hole in the door…



An 8mm socket will get that one off. Either go through the big access hole with a ratchet, or use a ratchet extension and go through the bolt hole from the window channel bracket that we already removed, as I did…



For the back two bolts, the trick is to go through a small hole in the very back portion of the door. First, remove the one push button retainer that holds the top trim piece of the door. Once that’s removed pull the top trim piece back a little and you’ll see a couple of holes in the door covered by some clear tape. Remove the tape and look inside, and there you will see the back two bolts of the exterior door handle since the latch is now out of the way…





Once again, an 8mm socket with a ratchet extension will get those off. Go right through the hole that the clear tape was covering…



***Note: It’s tough not to drop these bolts down your door. So keep a magnetic bolt retriever handy. If you don’t have one, there are actually a couple of channels cut into the bottom of the door panel – I assume for water drainage. They are kind of hidden by the rubber strip at the bottom of the door, but you can probably fish your bolts out of there if they drop.

***Reinstallation note: Also tough to get these bolts back in without dropping them. I used a little bit of tape and lightly taped the edge of the bolts onto the socket so that they would not drop before I got them started into the door handle threads.

***Another reinstallation note: Do NOT overtighten these bolts. Remember, you are screwing these into plastic threads on the door handle. If you overtighten them, then you may snap those threads and you’ll be buying yet another door handle.

*** Yet one more reinstallation note: The clear plastic tape was no longer good, so a recovered those rear holes with some Gorilla tape.

With those three bolts out, your door handle is now free. You kind of need to arch the front of the handle outward and the rear of the handle needs to be pulled up and out. Give it a little wiggle and it will come. And there you have it – the door handle is off!



Congrats! :fing02:

Obviously the installation of the new handle is all of these steps in reverse. Be sure to test your progress on each step. Sucks to have to go back in later because you forgot to attach a latch bar or something. So take your time and put it all back together properly. Here’s the finished result, like it never happened…



In the end, this is pretty easy… after I found out what NOT to do. The challenge is really just that it is so damn tight back there with very little access in the back of the door. But, I can’t imagine what the dealer would charge to put a new door handle on. This cost me $22, a couple of hours, and a little blood. I’ll take that anyday. Hope this helps someone! :fing02:
 
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