How To Remove The Doors from a Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator: The Ultimate Guide
Yes, it is a Jeep thing, but we think you should understand.
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So, you bought a Jeep Wrangler or Gladiator. Congrats! If you’re not out banging it around in the mud already, you’re missing out. But even if you are far more comfortable with mall-crawling than you are out in the woods, your Jeep can give you a special driving experience not found in many other vehicles.
Depending on the year and configuration, the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator are both designed to have their tops and doors removed for a true open-air experience. Most of the tops are able to be popped right off with the flip of a few anchors in the cabin, but removing the doors takes a bit more elbow grease.
Luckily for you, The Drive’s editors have removed a few Jeep doors in their time. Whether that’s when they’re able to test one, or just helping some friends. And we think you should know how to, too. So follow along as we walk you through the basic process, step-by-step, and will have you cruising like a pro in no time.
Let’s get rolling.
Jeep Door Removal Basics
Estimated Time Needed: Half an hour to an hour, depending on skill level and Jeep model.
Skill Level: Beginner
Vehicle System: Body
Why is Removing Jeep Doors a Thing?
Because the convertible-esque driving, just on the side instead of the top, is a thing the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator are designed to do and that's awesome. Most models have removable tops, too. This process is literally as simple as unbolting the door from the body and unplugging any existing electrical connections.
Staying Safe When Removing Your Jeep Doors
Before you bust off the doors, be sure to check your local laws before taking off with no doors. One of the big things to consider is whether you still have rearview mirrors, as you may need to find an aftermarket solution to reattach the mirrors to the Jeep’s body to stay in compliance.
It’s also easy to get carried away and smash a finger when removing your Jeep’s doors. Be careful not to stick your fingers in the door hinges while you’re moving them around. And lastly, don’t just drop your doors anywhere. You can scratch the paint or break a window if you’re not careful.
Everything You’ll Need To Remove Jeep Doors
You won’t need much to remove your Jeep’s doors, and may already have everything you need in your vehicle’s maintenance kit.
- Torx Wrench Set
- Gloves (Optional)
- Rubber mallet (Optional)
Organizing your tools and gear so everything is easily reachable will save precious minutes waiting for your handy-dandy child or four-legged helper to bring you the sandpaper or blowtorch. (You won't need a blowtorch for this job. Please don’t have your kid hand you a blowtorch—Ed.)
You’ll also need a flat workspace, such as a garage floor, driveway, or street parking. Check your local laws to make sure you’re not violating any codes when using the street because we aren’t getting your ride out of the clink.
Here’s How To Remove Your Jeep's Doors
Removing your Jeep’s doors is quite easy, but you’ll want to find a safe place to store them when you’re out driving in the open air.
Let’s do this!
Fold in Side Mirrors
- Most Wrangler and Gladiator models’ mirrors are easily foldable by hand
- This will allow you to store the doors with less chance of damaging the mirrors in the process.
Roll Down the Window
- You’ll want to be able to reach inside the door to lift it up and off the vehicle, so having access through the windows is crucial.
- It’s possible to remove the doors without rolling down the windows if yours are stuck in the up position, but it’ll be a bit more difficult.
Remove the Black Safety Strap on the Jeep’s Doors
- On the inside of the door jamb, you’ll find a black strap. This is in place to prevent the doors from swinging open too far.
- You should be able to simply remove the strap without much effort
Unplug the Wiring
If you bought a “luxury” Jeep, with power windows and door locks, you’ll need to unplug the wiring harness that connects the door’s electrical components to the vehicle.
Remove the Nuts and Bolts on the Jeep Wrangler’s Doors
- Each door has a bolt that forms part of the hinge assembly. To get them out, remove the nuts that hold each bolt in place.
- Be careful not to go crazy with the wrench. It’s easy to damage the paint during this process.
Pull the Jeep’s Door Up and Off the Car
- This is where it’s helpful to have the windows rolled down, as you can reach in and grab the armrest to help pull the door up.
- Don’t grab the door where its hinges meet the Jeep’s body. Smashed fingers aren’t part of this to-do list.
Store Your Jeep’s Doors Somewhere Safe
- Keep in mind that you’re handling painted parts of your Jeep’s bodywork. Just as you wouldn’t wash the vehicle with gravel, don’t go dropping the doors on the ground just anywhere.
Repeat the Process with the Other Jeep Doors
- The same process can be repeated with the other doors, and should be the same for the rear doors for Wrangler Unlimited and Gladiator models.
- Keep in mind that you may need to either reinstall the mirrors or anchor them to the Jeep’s body to stay legal.
Disable the Door Alarm and Light
- Disconnect the battery
- Locate the fuse box, which in a Jeep should be down low by the parking brake.
- Consult either your owner’s manual or a model-specific maintenance manual to locate the fuse that is labeled Door Jamb Defeat. Yank that bad boy out with a pair of needle-nose pliers and store it somewhere safe so that you can replace it when you reinstall the doors.
Reconnect the Battery
- Make sure you fully tighten the battery cables back onto the negative battery post.
Sometimes You Need a Certified Mechanic
As much as The Drive loves to put the "you" in do-it-yourself, we know that not everyone has the proper tools, a safe workspace, the spare time, or the confidence to tackle major automotive repairs. Sometimes, you just need quality repair work performed by professionals you can trust like our partners, the certified mechanics at Goodyear Tire & Service.
Pro Tips to Remove Your Jeep’s Doors
Here a few pro-tips we’ve learned along the way.
- Park the Wrangler on a level surface. There’s nothing worse than having doors swinging around while you’re trying to remove them.
- It’s best to remove the doors at home, so you can properly store them in a safe place.
- Check the weather report before you take off with no doors. It’s not a quick job to replace them, especially in the rain on the side of the road.
- Watch your fingers during this process. It’s easy to smash a fingernail in the door hinge if you’re not careful.
FAQs About Removing Jeep Doors
You’ve got questions, The Drive has answers!
Q. Is It Legal To Remove My Jeep’s Doors?
A. Absolutely, but you might need to reinstall the side mirrors first. Depending on your Jeep model, this may require an aftermarket solution. Check your local laws to be sure you’re not getting the wrong kinds of attention.
Q. So Which Jeep Models Offer Removable Doors?
A. At the moment, only the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator offer removable doors. That’s not to say that you can’t find a way to remove the doors on another Jeep model. We’re just here to tell you that you might not be able to get them back on if you do.
Q. My Door Seems Stuck. How Can I Remove It?
A. If the door is a bit tough to lift up off the vehicle, you can use a rubber mallet to gently tap the bottom of the door to break it free. If this doesn’t work, don’t start yanking or banging on the doors, as you can damage them quite easily. It’s best to rely on a dealership or a mechanic’s help.
Q. Is My Jeep Still Safe Without The Doors?
A. It won’t be as safe as it was with the doors on, but many of the onboard safety features will still function, such as front airbags and any advanced features that are equipped.
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