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Old 10-31-2008, 03:42 PM   #1
lks dcvn
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HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Ok - I have dealt with problems of my door long enough.

My driver side exterior door handle was cracked and my driver side interior door handle was becoming increasingly harder to open (I would have to shove it to get out) due to a failing indoor handle (not the hinges).

I went to www.rockauto.com and bought the appropriate parts:

DORMAN 77096 Outside Door Handle $ 23.79
DORMAN 77187 Inside Door Handle $ 8.83
Shipping Ground $ 8.64
Order Total $ 41.26

Pix of these items are below.

There will be several posts with instructions and pictures so please do not post until I am done - Thanks!
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:51 PM   #2
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Here are the steps with instructions and pix:

The first two pictures are the before to show what I was working with...

Step 1. Remove the triangle at the front of the window

Step 2. Remove the trim around the inside door handle (pix 4 and 5 show the tab locations)
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:55 PM   #3
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Step 3. With the surround removed - pry the switch in the door up - it is connect with pressure seals - if you get a screwdriver under it and push up - they will pop out as you go around the edge of it. Leave the switches connected to the wiring - since you will have to put the window down in a little bit.

Step 4. Remove the two screws in the door handle - here they are starting to come out.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:01 PM   #4
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Step 5. Put the windows down about a half inch or so...this will make it easier to get to the door handle bolts.

Step 6. Using a door panel tool (or a screwdriver like I did) disconnect the panel from the door. You may/will break some of the panel connectors so you may want to have a few replacement on hand for this.

Step 7. When the door panel is loose enough to take off (don't remove it yet) - disconnect the wiring from the window/lock switches at this point.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:07 PM   #5
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Step 8. Disconnect the courtesy light from the door panel (pic 1 is connected still and pic 2 it is out)

Step 9. Remove the plastic door panel from the door and set it aside

Step 10. Now there is a metal insert on the door that will need to be worked with to get to the inner door parts (this holds the window regulators/door glass among other things). On the edge of the metal insert there are several 7mm bolts that will need to be removed. Note that there are two tabs on the inner door panel that hold it onto the door. These support the door glass so be sure that they are still in the correct position before removing the last bolt.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:12 PM   #6
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Step 11. There is one 10mm bolt that is on the metal insert - remove that as well.

Step 12. Place a milk carton/box under the door for it to support the metal door insert while you work on the door.

Step 13. Lower the door insert down to rest on the milk carton - this eliminates dismantling the rest of the door to perform the swap

Step 14. Remove the 10mm bolt that holds the exterior door handle from inside the door - the metal insert/door glass might need to be moved to get to it. I was able to do this by myself.

Step 15. Remove the 10mm bolt from the door jam area of the door. The exterior door is now loose and held on by the door lock and pivot rod.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:16 PM   #7
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Step 16. You will need to drill out the rivet on the OEM inside door handle to remove it - you will be replacing it with a sheet metal screw. The first pic show the rivet and the 2nd shows it drilled out.

Step 17. You will need to remove the two rods that connect the inside door handle - 1 for the lock, 1 for the handle. I did this with a set of pliers to push it out of the plastic handle. These are pictured although the pix aren't too clear.

The last pic shows the Dorman part (top) and the old OEM piece (bottom)
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:21 PM   #8
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Step 18. Place the replacement inner handle in the door.

Step 19. Connect the door lock and actuator rods to the replacement door handle. You won't be able to test them just yet - since the door insert is down.

Step 20. With the exterior door loose - pull it out just enough to find the door lock release tab and depress it - using a screwdriver - push on the rear of the lock to release it from the exterior handle.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:29 PM   #9
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Step 21. Your old handle will now be held in by the door opening rod. The first two pictures show the handle and the rod - the second shows the connection a bit closer. You will also notice in the 2nd picture that you will need to pry the metal tab on the old handle a bit to release the rod from the handle.

Step 22. The next picture shows the old part (top) and the replacement Dorman part (bottom).

Step 23. You will need to get the door opening rod into the new handle first (it makes this easier) - hold the new handle and test fit the rod into the new handle first - mine needed to be pressed it a bit. Once you get the opening rod and the top of the new handle in the door - you will need to get the door lock back into the door handle - this part can be a PITA. Try to get it started in the handle prior to pushing it in from the inside.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:35 PM   #10
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Step 24. Prior to buttoning it up - be sure to spray the moving parts with white lithium grease.

Step 25. Raise the metal insert back into place making sure that it rests back on the metal tabs (2nd pic).

Step 26. Put the top of the plastic inner door panel on the window sill first and then line up the panel connectors prior to pushing it on all the way.

Step 27. Reconnect the wiring to the door switches and speaker and press it back into place.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:40 PM   #11
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Step 28. Replace the plastic surround for the door handle.

Step 29. Put the plastic triangle back on the door

Step 30. Screw in the door handles screws - I hit mine with a light coat of rustoleum paint when I took them out - so they don't surface rust any more.

When done - test the door for smooth operation when opening and closing, door locking and the window up and down.

Mine seemed to work better than before.

Total time: 3.5 hours including time to take pix. Knowing what I know now - it would likely take me less than that.

Good luck.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:01 PM   #12
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Great job on the how to. The text and pix are excellent. I also need to replace my drivers side outside door handle ass'y. Seeing your post and pix will be of great assistance. Did you have any issues when removing the lock cylinder ass'y from the old handle and installing it in the new one?
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:40 AM   #13
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Problems no, but the PITA factor for getting it put in the new handle 8.5-9.

Leave the old lock cylinder on the rod and just leave it dangle in the door when you do the swap - it makes it a whole lot easier.

Getting the cylinder back into the new handle - the hardest part is lining it up to push it in - if I had a helper for 5 mins (one person on the outside of the door and one on the inside lining it up) - it would have been a heck of a lot easier.

Once it was lined up - it just pushed right in and then locked into the new handle.

The hardest part may have been getting the rods in/out of the external door handle - but once I had it apart it made a lot more sense.

I could have shaved 20 mins off my time if I had a helper to line up the cylinder.
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Old 11-01-2008, 02:13 PM   #14
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

Your directions are MUCH better than what I went by when I did my 96. Like you said not bad, but the Pain factor....sheesh. The lock was my main issue, mine just didn't want to snap into place until it and I had a serious discussion and it saw the BFH nearby.
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:34 PM   #15
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

How do you disconnect the wires to the driver side window & Lock switches? Specifically the really long thin one, is it just friction, or is there some kind of clip? I got all the rest of the wires though. Thanks
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:49 PM   #16
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Re: HOW TO: Replace Interior and Exterior Door Handles (1997 Yukon GT) - with pix

I just poped the switch unit off from the pannel without disconnecting the wires. You can just use a screw driver on the end the faces the latch. You will see where it clips in. You just get a smaller flat blade and push in a up a bit and it will come loose.

I think the connectors have a clip, but can't recall.
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