How to Replace the Exterior Door Handle on a Jeep Wrangler

Written by christian killian Google
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Is the outer handle on your Jeep Wrangler broken? Maybe you just want to add chrome or painted handles? Changing the handles is not hard, but it is a little involved. You must disassemble the interior of the door to get to the inner workings of the handle. If you are changing to a painted handle or maybe a chrome handle from painted, it can really alter the overall appearance of your Jeep or add to the theme you have started.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Long-handled needle-nose pliers
  • Long flathead screwdriver
  • Small hammer

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  1. 1

    Remove the inner door panel and the vapour barrier on the Jeep's door. Make sure the window is in the up position so that you can access the rods and clips on the back of the handle.

  2. 2

    Remove the clip that retains the rod connecting the handle to the lock mechanism, using a pair of pliers. Do not lose the clip; it is small, so find a safe place to put it.

  3. 3

    Locate the two keeper pins on either side of the handle assembly, and remove them by driving them up from the bottom. A flathead screwdriver or similar item will work fine for this. Save these pins, as you will reuse them to reassemble the door.

  4. 4

    Disengage the latch release rod from the handle. Separate the handle from the door.


  1. 1

    Attach the latch release rod to the door handle. Reinstall the small spring clip that you removed earlier.

  2. 2

    Install the gasket and new handle into the door. Make sure you line the gasket up properly so that it seals to keep out air and water.

  3. 3

    Slide the keeper pins back into the handle assembly from inside the door. They must slide in from the top of the assembly.

  4. 4

    Tap the keeper pins down with a long-handled screwdriver until the tail of the keepers are two to three steps down. If they are not down far enough, they will not hold the handle tight and the assembly will rattle.

  5. 5

    Reconnect the inside lock knob on the handle to the latch rod as well as the outside release handle to the latch rod. Replace the vapour barrier and door panel on the inside of the door.

Tips and warnings

  • Many of the clips used to secure the rods in the door are very small. It can be helpful to get someone with smaller hands to help position the clips, especially during reassembly.
  • Be careful working inside the doors. There are a lot of sharp edges that can leave your arms and hands scratched and cut up.

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