1999 TJ Reverse Door Handles


Bionic_Scorpion

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
236
Location
Tennessee
I needed new handles so I went ahead and reversed them when I installed them. It feels so much more natural when opening the doors now. This has to be one of my favorite mods.

Thanks HondaXR250 for letting us know this can be easily done.

20200622_130459.jpg
 

2busy2work

New Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Jackson GA
Someone asked for pictures. I swapped my handles last week and made a few pictures. I removed the doors and worked on a table for better access and viewing. I mounted the rod in my vise with the tab that attaches to the door handle peg parallel to the floor.

20200625_102105 (Large).jpg


I bent the short arm of the rod parallel with the long side in the vise. Then I bent the short bend at the top of the rod slightly back in the opposite direction from its original bend. You can see how that looked when laid on the door to check fitment.

20200625_112655 (Large).jpg


The very hardest part of the job was getting the handle clips back in. I had to grind the one that was used closest to the door jamb to allow me to insert it into the slot. Then I used the elongated hole in the door and a screwdriver to push the clip back down into place.

20200625_114246 (Large).jpg


The other side, I was able to get to with my hand and push it in.

I made a couple picks from arc welding rods to help me release the tabs and pull the cotter pins.

20200625_101639 (Large).jpg


By the way. Dont break the little tabs the lock the clips into place. I used the flat pick I made to carefully push the tabs out of the way. But I broke one trying to bend it a little for a better hold when I reinstalled it. So, I had to make another to replace it (PITA).

I hope the pics help. I am glad I made this change too. The wife never could figure out how to comfortably open the passenger door until now.
 

Shawn of the farm

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Supporting Member
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Jan 31, 2020
Messages
36
Location
PNW
Many thanks for this post. I didn't know about the thumb trick to open the doors I just stood awkwardly in the front and used my fingers to pull the door handle one way so then I could pull the door the other way. I always thought this was so stupid and backward. Where is a good location to get new handles? I see them from 153 each on morris 4x4 to 17 each on amazon but don't think I trust the low priced units.
 

jeepguy03

TJ Addict
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Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
1,014
Location
Connecticut
The story is that Jeep flipped the handles on the TJ after too many people complained about tree branches snagging the old style paddles and opening the doors.

Those have to be some pretty robust tree branches to pop open the door handle.
 

freedom_in_4low

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
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Sep 26, 2019
Messages
2,086
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Monument, CO
I did this mod a few weeks ago but won't have a chance to try it out until I switch to hard top and doors for the season. Took me longer than I expected thanks to the difficult access. I bent the rod by hand and reused my handles. One of the return springs is broken on one handle but the latch springs still have enough in them to pull the handle flat.
 

Bigfoot-NM

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
187
Location
Albuquerque
Many thanks for this post. I didn't know about the thumb trick to open the doors I just stood awkwardly in the front and used my fingers to pull the door handle one way so then I could pull the door the other way. I always thought this was so stupid and backward. Where is a good location to get new handles? I see them from 153 each on morris 4x4 to 17 each on amazon but don't think I trust the low priced units.


I got mine off of Amazon...... Depo 333-50011-121 and Depo 333-50011-122

They were about $18 a piece.
 
OP
H

HondaXR250

Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Messages
26
Location
OHIO
Many thanks for this post. I didn't know about the thumb trick to open the doors I just stood awkwardly in the front and used my fingers to pull the door handle one way so then I could pull the door the other way. I always thought this was so stupid and backward. Where is a good location to get new handles? I see them from 153 each on morris 4x4 to 17 each on amazon but don't think I trust the low priced units.
Very welcome! I got my handles off ebay for $46.
 

Shawn of the farm

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Supporting Member
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Jan 31, 2020
Messages
36
Location
PNW
Honestly I didn't realize they were backwards until I found this post but then immediately realized they did feel messed up and that I didn't know why but I knew they just were wrong. I got a set off amazon (thanks for that) and did the swap.
 
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homey1

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
1
Location
Northern Vermont
It’s like anything, you get used to it. Grow a set.
So me and the wife needed to replace the TJ's door handles as they were loose, and passenger side was a pain to open. Was hoping we could get them to mount on backwards. We started on the drivers side, and honestly the worst part is just being able to get to everything, which is mainly the handle keepers. Took us about 2 hours to do the drivers side, because we was winging it, and figuring things out. Once we moved to the passenger side, it literally took about 20 minutes. It was so easy to do, no cutting at all. The only modification is bending the arm for the handle. Which you can take completely out, bend it and test it easily. If anyone is looking to fix that abomination stock junk facing the wrong way pair of handles, dont hesitate to do it. All you need is a flathead or two, torques head, and a pair of pliers.



View attachment 150501

View attachment 150504
Absolutely brilliant. Can't wait to make mine right!
Sorry, JMT, I'm not gonna "get used to it". I'm gonna grow a set and correct this mistake Jeep made on the TJ's.
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
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Feb 27, 2017
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Earth
Absolutely brilliant. Can't wait to make mine right!
Sorry, JMT, I'm not gonna "get used to it". I'm gonna grow a set and correct this mistake Jeep made on the TJ's.
Make sure and adjust the rod that descends from the latch to the base of the interior door and then ascends above the locking mechanism at the clip that holds it, where the threads are at the end of the rod. Now “get to it” if it makes your balls tingle.
 
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voodooridr

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
523
Location
INW
This is fairly close to the top of my list of crap to get done
The Handles are completely assbackwards compared to my Superduty and they drive me nuts everytime I open the Jeep doors
 

freedom_in_4low

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
2,086
Location
Monument, CO
I did it on my TJ and while I did enjoy it, the rod was wanting to bind occasionally and keep the door from unlocking. I ended up having to pull the passenger door panel off with the door closed, which broke some of the little mounts for the push clips, and pull the rod out and tweak it a bit at a time until I felt like it wasn't going to bind again. Kind of a pain in the ass, so I'm not sure I'll do it again.