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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6
Taking Your Doors Off

Hello Friends and fellow KL Cherokee enthusiasts. I got the inspiration for this from some Friends of mine at work who are Wrangler owners and Jeep enthusiasts.
August for us here in Michigan means car show season is in full swing and the biggest one of them all is the Woodward Dream Cruise. Each year thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, exotics and customs descend on the Detroit area for one of the world’s largest annual automotive events. I wanted to do a little something with my mostly bone-stock Cherokee Trailhawk to set it apart a from the massive crowd of modified vehicles. Also, having done the Dream Cruise for several past years in an open-top Mazda Miata, I was also looking to get that unique, immersive experience of open-air cruising on a Michigan evening.

The solution was simple and I think the results speak for themselves.

DSC05192 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

I thought there might be some others out there in our little community who might like to try the same thing with their own vehicles, so I figured I would post a simple how-to.

You really only need a few things to do this.
-T40 Torx driver
-1/2” Socket Wrench
-A strong buddy to help lift (ratchet straps can substitute if your friends can’t be bribed)

1) Roll down all 4 windows. This will give you a window frame to hold and to lift from once the hinges have been unbolted and everything is disconnected.

DSC05140 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

2) Using the T40 torx driver, unscrew the bolt that attaches the door-proper to the jamb. The door will now swing freely on it’s hinges so be mindful of your paint and nearby cars/objects.

DSC05142 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05144 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

3) With a ½” socket wrench unbolt the retaining pin on each of the doors two hinges. The pin on the upper hinge is on the underside, the pin on the lower hinge is on the top of the hinge (see photos) The door assembly is now simply resting on the hinges.

DSC05148 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

4)Simply apply gradual pressure straight up on the window frame and the door assembly will lift free of the hinges.
I actually used ratchet straps secured around a ceiling joist in my garage to lift my doors free. The doors are not that heavy and can easily be lifted by one moderately strong person, but once they are lifted off of the hinges, you’re not going to get very far without unplugging the wiring harness which is difficult and awkward if you are trying to support the weight of the door at the same time.

DSC05150 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

5) Finally, disconnect the wiring harness. To do this, you’ll first have to work the rubber boot off of the wiring harness clip. A plastic prying toolworks great for this, but it can be done with your hands as well. Once you’ve worked the rubber boot off, you’ll see two plastic tabs on the top and two plastic tabs on the bottom of the wiring harness clip. Press all 4 of these at the same time and the wiring harness will pop right out of the door jamb.

DSC05153 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05154 copy by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

Pull the harness/plug assembly out of the jamb and you’ll see a gray retaining clip that secures the vehicle-side of the plug to the door-side. Press down on the black release tab and lift the gray retaining clip and the plug will easily pull apart.

DSC05155 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

6) Once the wiring harnesses are released, the doors are totally free of the vehicle! I hung mine by utility hooks in my garage to keep them from getting damaged, but you could also lay them down gently on a carpeted floor.

DSC05163 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

Note: The only part of this process that is different from the front doors to the rear is the wiring harness. To remove the wiring harness in the rear doors, first pull back the rubber boot, the same as the front doors. Then there are 4 plastic retaining clips, one at each corner that hold the plug into the door jamb. Release all 4 clips and the plug will pull out of the jamb. Then there is a blue slide-lock on the wiring plug. Slide this blue piece down and the wiring plug will easily pull apart.

DSC05161 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05162 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

Once the doors are all off, your EVIC in the instrument panel will give you a warning saying “service airbg system.” This is because the side-impact sensors are mounted in the doors. This is as good a place as any for a disclaimer; Your vehicle with the doors removed may not be as safe in the case of a side-impact as the same vehicle with doors on it. If you choose to remove your doors you obviously do so at your own risk.

DSC05167 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

That being said, my vehicle ran and drove perfectly well without the doors on. No issues at all to report. What’s more, the open-air driving experience is incredible and should be enjoyed by all.

DSC05169 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05170 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05174 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05177 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05184 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05198 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05203 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05205 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

DSC05208 by Alexander McGowen, on Flickr

IN MY OWN OPINION, this is a great and simple way to temporarily enhance the enjoyability of driving a Cherokee Trailhawk.
DenGas144, sgrim, Duke2015 and 2 others like this.

Last edited by McGowen; 08-28-2016 at 11:51 AM. Reason: imbed photos
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 03:26 PM
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Awesome for the Dream Cruise. I haven't driven up for the past 5 years. Time to go again next year.

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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 04:45 PM
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IN MY OWN OPINION, this is a great and simple way to temporarily enhance the enjoyability of driving a Cherokee Trailhawk.[/quote]

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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 04:59 PM
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Sorry, just one more reason for Wrangler owners to point and laugh at us.
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 05:14 PM
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In this situation it would be highly illegal in the US also - you are missing some mirrors there buddy. But A+ for trying something new.

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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 07:17 PM
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I don't know quite what to think about this. I did LOL already so I can't take that back. I mean...I don't know. Whatever I guess..
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 07:59 PM
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always easy to take something off then put back on right
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 08:07 PM
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Great write-up! Thanks for the info. Seems like that would be nice for a summer/fall drive- especially if you have the pano sun roof to open!

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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 09:00 PM
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removable half-doors would be a cool mod
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 12:17 AM
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Yea, first thing I thought of was that you don't have any side mirrors. Definitely not road legal. Are there some magnetic or clamp on ones that can be added?

Personally, I'd hate to have all that dust getting into my car.

Last thought... does that mess up the Air-bag restraint systems since we have side-impact bags?
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