Jeeps have been around since before WWII, and they’ve been modifiable since the very beginning. Because of their unique nature, Jeeps sit in a class all of their own: a coupe, a convertible, and a capable off-roader, all in one iconic package. They are exceptional off-road vehicles even without modifications, but there are certain customizations that can benefit the off-road driver, such as removing the top and the doors.
Some people wonder why removing the doors is so popular, and many Jeep owners argue its benefits. Some purists agree that one of the best driving experiences one can have is that without climate control or a radio. Who needs that when you can hear the hum of the engine with the wind in your hair?
The best way to accomplish this essential experience is more than just rolling down the windows: take the doors off. Weighing the practical benefits, each door weighs about 50 pounds, so trimming off that excess weight can help you on the trail, and it also improves fuel economy. It also aids visibility, letting you more easily plot your path over challenging terrain.
As with any vehicle modification, safety should be top priority. Jeep advises that you only take off the doors for off-road recreational purposes. You should leave your doors on if you use your Jeep for simple daily driving. In any case, on the trail or in the city, it should go without saying that you always wear a seat belt. Follow the simple steps below to learn how to take the doors off your Jeep, refit the side mirrors onto the body, and turn off the dome light and buzzer.
Part 1 of 3: Removing the doors
- 13mm socket (depending on your Jeep model)
- Metal lubricant, such as WD-40 (optional)
- Torx T-50 bit (depending on your Jeep model)
- Door clips (suited to your Jeep model)
Step 1: Open the doors you want to remove and examine them. Locate the door jamb and the hinge connectors that hold the door to the frame.
You will also want to determine if there are any electronic connections for door locks or windows. If there are, make sure you roll down the windows before you disconnect the wiring. This will minimize the risk of breaking the windows while taking them off and storing them.
Step 2: Disconnect the power cables. Do this by moving the tab across the wiring harness to disengage it.
With minimal pressure, press the black tab to disconnect the wiring.
Tip: If your Jeep is four-door, the electronic wiring will be located in the B-Pillar of the frame.
Warning: To prevent damage, do not pull excessively on the wiring harness.
Step 3: Loosen the lock nuts. These are at the bottom of each door hinge.
Do this with the Torx T-50 bit and ratchet or 13mm socket, depending on the model. It’s important not to take them off one at a time because pressure can build on the final bolt, which can cause the threads to become stripped. Instead, loosen each bolt bit by bit, alternating one after the other, until they can be removed easily.
Step 4: Remove door straps. Follow them to the connector under the dashboard.
Gently lift them off the hooks.
- Warning: The door straps prevent the doors from opening too far and banging into the body. Once these straps are off, be very careful when moving the doors to prevent damage.
Step 5: Remove each bolt going from bottom to top. Once the top bolt is removed the door is ready to come off the frame.
Step 6: Remove the doors. Using upward force, carefully move the door in and out until it comes free from the connecting hinge.
Repeat this process until all doors are off.
Tip: Since the doors are heavy, you might want to have someone help keep the door steady during the removal to prevent damage. If the doors are difficult to come off, use a metal lubricant and try again.
Step 7: Replace the Torx head bolts back in the doors. This will lessen the chance of misplacing them, and they’re ready for you when you want to put the doors back on.
Step 8: Store the doors. Store the doors in a safe position and location so they do not get damaged while in storage.
Part 2 of 3: Removing the side mirrors and refitting them onto the vehicle
- 17mm socket
- Mirror-removal kit
- Torx T-40 bit
Step 1: Loosen heads. Use the Torx T-40 bit to loosen the two heads below the windshield, near where the side mirrors were before.
Step 2: Tighten the mirror plates to brackets. Take the mirror plates from the kit and place them over the loosened heads and tighten them to the mirror brackets.
Step 3: Remove mirrors. Remove the mirrors from the doors with a 17mm socket.
Put the nuts in a container to avoid misplacing them, and set them aside.
Step 4: Fit mirrors into brackets. Attach the mirrors to the black sleeves from the kit and fit them into the brackets.
Step 5: Tighten nuts. As you put the washers from the kit on the bottom of the bolt, thread the mirror nuts onto the connections and tighten them.
Tighten them just enough so they can still be adjusted, but don’t move on their own.
Part 3 of 3: Turn off the dome light and buzzer
When you remove the doors, the dome light and buzzer will stay on, and it’s important to turn this off one way or another so you don’t kill your battery. There are two different methods to do this. Follow whichever method suits your needs best.
Method 1: Pull out the fuse. Near the E-Brake pedal, find the fuse labeled “Door Jam Defeat” and pull this out to turn off both the light and the buzzer.
- Tip: Make sure to store the fuse in a safe place to avoid misplacing it.
Method 2: Install door clips. Purchase and install spring-loaded door clips that fasten to the dome light sensor pins located inside the door well.
This will prevent the need to remove fuses.
Taking off your Jeep’s doors are an excellent way to get more out of your ride when going on adventures and taking your Jeep off-road. This is an easy way to have a terrific experience with your car and a little extra fun. Be sure to have regular maintenance on your Jeep to keep it up to speed and at max performance.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Take the Doors Off Your Jeep and was authored by Brent Minderler.