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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really like that the older 2nd gen Troopers have a door handle on the back door. The pockets on the back doors of the '98+ Troopers are really nice, but none of them had door handles. Swapping doors and cutting out a spot for the handle is relatively easy. What if you want the handle on your '98+ Trooper though? No problem, all the appropriate holes are still in the doors, you just need to change the lock mechanism from an older Trooper and grab the handle.

Keep scrolling for photos and tutorial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I took photos as I did this, but since it was my first time figuring everything out, I wasn't all that organized. I'm going to try and make this as comprehensible as possible. Ask any questions for clarification if it doesn't turn out that coherent.

This first picture is of a '98+ interior door panel on a '93 Trooper where I had switched panels and cut a hole to fit the door handle. I pulled both panels, pulled the door handle out, laid the old panel over the new panel, traced the hole onto the new panel, and cut out the rectangle to fit the handle. You'll have to do this on your '98+ panel toward the end of this swap. It'll look better with the correct color handle. Mine is crooked because the handle isn't clipped in all the way.


To pull the panels on both vehicles, open the screw covers on the handle, and remove the screws on either side (indicated by the arrows). There is a screw inside of the door handle that needs to be removed as well. Pull the handle away from the door and unhook it from the handle rod. Starting at the bottom of the panel, with a standard screw driver (pocket knife, cats paw, or some other flat tool) gently pry the panel from the door on the left, right, and bottom sides of the panel. It is held in by several panel clips that can be reused if you don't get crazy.


The rest of the photos will be on an old style panel. This metal rod is what opens the lock when you pull on the door handle. You can leave this in place as seen in the photo and indicated by the yellow arrow. You'll need to cut a hole in the plastic as shown around where my hand is in the door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Next remove the three screws on the outside edge of the door. These hold the lock mechanism in place.


The next two photos are optional, but removing the handle gives you more access and can make the job easier. To remove the handle, remove these two rubber plugs. Inside of each you can see a gold, hex head bolt with a phillips screwdriver head. The bolts are 10mm and I strongly recommend breaking them loose with a socket first as they strip easily with a screwdriver.


Looking inside the door, through the plastic window that you cut, you can see the third hex head bolt. You'll need a 10mm open ended wrench to loosen this. Once loose, you can remove with your fingers. ***This is a bit difficult to reinsert when putting everything back together. I recommend holding the handle in place and re-inserting this bolt first, with everything else loose so you have the play to wiggle this bolt back in place.***


You don't need to take the handle all the way off; just having it loose gives you more room to work and better manipulation of everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm going to jump ahead and show you the removed lock mechanisms. Looks out of context within the scope of this walk through, but will make sense when you can look into the door and see what you are working with. You may want to enlarge this photo if possible. The yellow arrows indicate the plastic clips that need to be removed to free the mechanism. There are only two if you decide to keep the door lock attached. The top lock has the door handle bar still attached. The bottom lock has the door lock still attached.



The right arrows in the photo above that are pointing to the metal rod can be seen in the photo below, looking behind the handle. This is a large yellow clip. Read ahead to see how to correctly remove these clips without breaking them.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Reference the lock mechanism comparison photo in the last post. The top arrows correspond to the left arrows in the previous photo, and the bottom arrows correspond to the right arrows in the previous photo. In the previous photo, this short arm is hanging down and it makes it look like the arrows are pointing at the blue clips, but really they are pointing at the red clips.


The following photo series demonstrates how to properly remove these clips so you don't break them. Once you understand how to properly remove, you can take apart whatever you want, on all five doors, and can easily get everything put back together.


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you've followed the steps so far, you should have been able to completely remove the lock mechanism, with door handle shaft and door lock shaft attached from a '92-'97 Trooper. Transfer to your '98+ Trooper and install in reverse order. You'll need to have cut the panel to fit the door handle by this point, and don't forget to cut a little window to fit the handle on the '98+ panel plastic. Arrow indicates the hole that houses the plastic clip in the door panel that accepts the screw to hold the handle in place. To remove this without breaking it, use a pick tool of some sort, or the bent needle nose pliers in all the other pictures to squeeze one side of the clip, and force out from the inside of the door toward you.


Hope this was helpful. Can't wait to continue building this Trooper into something I can both wheel and hunt/camp out of.
 

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Very good idea, it was one of the very first things I've done to my Trooper after purchasing it too ;) That handle is really handy. Btw. pretty good tutorial :)
 

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Do latches from vehicles that didn't have the handle have a spot to connect the rod?

In other words, will any latch do, all we'd need is the rod, pull handle, and plastic connecting bits?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmmm, unfortunately I don't remember and don't still have the only lock mechanism. I'm under the impression that you need the lock mech that comes out of the trucks with the handle. It only takes an extra 5 minutes to pull the lock, so if you're in the position to do so, I would. I wasn't thinking of that particular question when I did the conversion because I was swapping all components between vehicles as I had them both at the time. Sorry about that.
 

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A 92 rolled into the yard this afternoon, and I'm now sitting on all of the parts.

I'll look at my stock one and see if the rod works with the other latch.
 

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Nope, it will not. You need a latch from the model that come out with a handle. Othwerwise the latch will be missing the inner handle lever.
 

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I saw that. The latch is exactly the same, they just left off the brass piece for the handle rod and the child safety lock bits.
 

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SupATro.0pA said:
I saw that. The latch is exactly the same, they just left off the brass piece for the handle rod and the child safety lock bits.
You're exactly right.
 
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