Removing 97+ doors with power *write-up*
So, everyone knows the whole "cut hinge with angle-grinder, cut off bottom ear of hinge" way to do <97 XJs, but there hasn't been that much literature, let alone pictures, on removing 97+ doors, not to mention with power. So here goes.
Roll down your window
this will help protect the glass while stowed, will make it easier to carry, and will just be all-around easier.
We need to deal with the door-controlled dome light now, unless you like jumping your Jeep
Use the correct size box-end wrench to unscrew the dome light button on the body near the door hinges, and unplug the unit.
Once unplugged, the dome light will not be able to drain your battery
Next, we are going to need that pesky door-helper to stop "helping"
to do this, get a hammer up there, and pound it from the bottom
once it gets to where you can't pound it any longer, get a philips head screwdriver under it, and hammer on the screwdriver
Support the door with a broom handle or pipe
the door will be inclined to close on you, and we need it opened to the maximum
put a cloth towel over the end that touches the door, or it could possible scuff, mar, or scratch it
Now, we have to deal with the electronics
Notice that when you open your door, there is a rubber boot between the body and the door, containing a big bundle of wires.
To remove the door, we have to unplug these wires. The easiest place to do this is behind the kick panel.
Start out by removing the two screws pointed out with red arrows
Pull this panel up (it will still be attached, so be gentle), and slide the kick panel out. The passenger side will have a bolt under the door for the fuse panel, it's 11mm, and is easy to remove. Then you can access the plugs.
Pull the plugs that are attached to the door wire bundle
The driver's side has three plugs, and the passenger side has four
on the passenger side, the plugs are easily removable by pressing down on the lock. The driver's side is more complicated, and my advice is when you get them out, cut the tabs on the plugs on the driver's side, so they slide in and out easier.
PICS TO COME
Now we have to deal with the grommet on the inside of the body
Feed the plugs out of the body (2 holes in the 2 layers of the sheet metal)
It should just pull out initially, but you won't want to keep it there, as it will be an unnecessary burden
use dikes to clip the grommet away from the wire bundle.
Now, onto the hinge pins themselves
There is a plastic shield to the hinge pins that must be removed. Use a chisel (for wood or for metal) to chip away at the plastic
Using some creative techniques, make sure you get all the way around, and the plastic should just come out
This is the end product
Notice that the hinge pin is pressed in on both sides of the hinge.
This can only mean one thing: we get to do some good ol' metal cutting! I would start on the bottom first, so the top can hold the door's weight.
I used my handy-dandy dremel tool that I got at Ace Hardware for $40! Such a good deal!
Now, each pin should take a full grinding wheel or two, that is normal.
Now cut into the middle of the hinge pin, which will result in this
We still have to get these pressed pins out, and to do this, I used my good old prybar as a lever to get each side out
They might take some creativity and some gumption, so be patient.
Repeat the last step for the top hinge
Probably needless to say, but I'll say it anyway.
Nothing is holding the door on now, so we can just pull the door back, and off the hinges.
If your wires aren't out of the interior yet, you will wish they were
And the end product for one side
What about being legal without doors?
In most areas, the law requires two mirrors, so you will have to find a way to get a mirror on one side (in most states, the driver's side) of the Jeep. I got a Autozone mirror and ghetto-rigged it to sit on the hinge. Simple, but functional.
I sprayed some duplicolor engine enamel on it, to get rid of the chrome, and it was good to go.
What about putting them back on?
Well, if you are like me, you now want them to go back on at some point
So how are we going to do that? Quick pins come to the rescue here
I got two different types: cotter pins and quick pins
Both have their strong points, but I find cotter pins easier to put in at the top, because they are offset at the bottom, and won't be a pain to install
Quick pins, on the other hand, have a ball-lock, and are good for security, as the cotter pins technically can rattle out (though I think it's a long shot of them doing it)
The rest of the re-installation is pretty intuitive
Just take the kick panel off again, feed the plugs through, plug them in, and you're set.
This isn't like installing a lift, rotating your tires, or changing your spark plugs. This is a modification that has certain ramifications:
1. You will never have stock hinges again without buying full stock ones from MOPAR
2. You will probably never have it seal perfectly anymore, as the pins you use will not fit perfectly, because if they did, you wouldn't be able to get them out again. Thus, the door will hang down a good 1/8 or 1/4".
3. You will always need a set of hands to put the doors back on, as lining it up is nearly impossible without them. And note that people will not always want to go out at 11:00pm to help you put your doors back on.
4. You will never want to drive with doors again, and it will become an addiction.
5. Be prepared for everyone's stares at the doorless cherokee.
6. It is illegal in some areas to drive doorless, and it is illegal in MOST areas to drive doorless without mirrors. Conduct yourself accordingly.
If you are okay with this, then doorless it is. If not, wait till you have a little more experience and help, and you can be doorless too.
Have fun, be safe, be legal, and drive happy :)
edit: I will not be held liable for any consequences arising from the removal of your doors.
very nice writeup. im still debating on doing this with mine.
wait wait wait.
what if we dont have any lesbians around to help with the grommet?
i dont get it? :confused:
Dikes — as in the phrase "a pair of dikes" — is jargon used especially in the electrical industry, to describe diagonal pliers.
Dyke and Dike are alternative spellings which may both refer to:
Excellent writeup :thumbsup:
I got really lucky, my 97 had pre 97 hinges on it. Nice write-up sharpie.
Do the doors sag at all with the quick pins?
nicely done! it is supposed to be 80 here today and i was thinking about doing this. how long did it take you the first time, approx?
about an hour each side, to get it fully done. When you have the quick pins of any sort in though, it takes close to 5-7 minutes per side, including putting back the kick panel and screwing down the bottom panel to get to the kick panel.
excellent writeup :thumbsup:
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