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Guide: How to Install Interior Door Handle 1998 Ford Explorer

by | Dec 12, 2023 | How To

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to install an interior door handle in a 1998 Ford Explorer. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, this step-by-step installation guide will walk you through the process, ensuring a successful outcome. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to upgrade your car’s interior with a new door handle and enjoy smooth operation. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Installing an interior door handle in a 1998 Ford Explorer is a relatively simple task.
  • Make sure to have the necessary tools on hand, including a hammer and punch, drill or chisel, 11mm socket and ratchet, needle-nose pliers, and Phillips and regular screwdrivers.
  • Remove the door panel carefully to avoid any damage to the clips or components.
  • When installing the new handle, ensure all connections are secure and properly aligned.
  • Take the time to test the handle before fully reassembling the door panel to ensure smooth operation.

Removing the Door Panel

how to install interior door handle 1998 ford explorer

Before installing the new interior door handle, the door panel needs to be removed. This step is crucial to access the handle and ensure a proper installation. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove the door panel in your 1998 Ford Explorer:

  1. Start by using a flat plate screwdriver to carefully pry the bezel apart and remove the two Phillips screws underneath. These screws hold the bezel in place.
  2. Next, use a rag or protective cover to prevent any damage to the paint. Then, pry the top and bottom of the panel to release the pins that hold it in place. Be gentle to avoid breaking any clips or components.
  3. Lift up on the panel and press down on the two teeth located near the door handle to release them. This will allow you to slide the panel out.
  4. Once the panel is out, you can remove the water shield. Carefully peel it off and set it aside for later reinstallation.

By following these steps, you will be able to remove the door panel and gain access to the interior door handle for further installation.

“Removing the door panel is an essential part of the interior door handle installation process. Take your time and be gentle to avoid any damage to the panel or other components.” – Car Repair Expert

Steps to Remove Door Panel in a 1998 Ford Explorer
1. Use a flat plate screwdriver to pry the bezel apart and remove the two Phillips screws underneath.
2. Pry the top and bottom of the panel to release the pins that hold it in place.
3. Lift up on the panel and press down on the two teeth near the door handle to release them.
4. Carefully peel off the water shield and set it aside for reinstallation.

Removing the Old Handle

DIY interior door handle installation 1998 Ford Explorer

Once the door panel is removed, it’s time to remove the old interior door handle from your 1998 Ford Explorer. The handle is held in place by two rivets. To remove the rivets, you can either knock out the center with a punch and hammer or use a chisel to shear them off. Start by positioning the punch or chisel on the center of the rivet and strike it with a hammer until the rivet breaks free.

Next, you’ll need to remove the 11mm bolt that secures the handle to the door. Use a socket and ratchet to easily loosen and remove the bolt. Once the bolt is removed, you can detach the window track from the handle. Gently pull the track away from the handle, taking care not to damage any surrounding components.

With the window track removed, locate the yellow clip that connects the door handle to the rod. Use needle-nose pliers to release the clip and disconnect the rod from the handle. Once the clip is removed, you can lift the old handle up and out of the door. Set it aside, as it will no longer be needed.

Table: Tools Required for Removing the Old Handle

Tool Description
Punch and Hammer Used to knock out the center of the rivets
Chisel Alternative tool for shearing off the rivets
11mm Socket and Ratchet Used to remove the bolt securing the handle
Needle-Nose Pliers Used to release the yellow clip and disconnect the rod

Now that the old handle has been successfully removed, you’re ready to move on to the next step of the installation process: installing the new handle.

Installing the New Handle

upgrading-interior-door-handle-1998-ford-explorer

Now that you have removed the old door handle, it’s time to install the new one. Follow these steps to upgrade the interior door handle of your 1998 Ford Explorer:

  1. Take the new handle and insert the rod into the driver’s side from the back.
  2. Clip the handle into place and secure it with bolts from the backside. Use a small extension or a wrench to tighten the nuts.
  3. Make sure the arm of the clip is on and push the rod in to attach it.
  4. Test the handle to ensure it functions properly by opening and closing the door.

By following these steps, you can easily install the upgraded interior door handle for your 1998 Ford Explorer. Make sure all connections are secure and aligned properly before proceeding to the next step.

“Upgrading the interior door handle of your 1998 Ford Explorer is a simple and effective way to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your vehicle.”

Remember to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific details and consult a professional if you encounter any difficulties during the installation process. Safety should always be a priority, so wear protective gloves and goggles when working with tools and follow all necessary precautions.

Reinstalling the Door Panel

interior door handle installation tips

After successfully installing the new interior door handle, it is time to reinstall the door panel. This step is crucial to ensure that all components are properly aligned and securely attached. Follow these steps to complete the reinstallation process:

  1. Start by sliding the pins on the door panel into their respective holes on the door frame. Press down firmly to secure them in place.
  2. Next, carefully put the mirror switch back in its designated spot and secure the grommet around the door handle.
  3. Replace the screws located above the door handle and tighten them firmly to ensure stability.
  4. Double-check that all components, including the window track, are correctly aligned and attached before proceeding.

By following these steps, you can ensure that the door panel is securely in place, providing a professional and finished look.

Completing this step successfully will contribute to the overall functionality and aesthetic appeal of your 1998 Ford Explorer’s interior. Take your time to ensure that each component is properly installed and securely fastened.

Table: Door Panel Reinstallation Checklist

Checklist Item Status
All pins on the door panel securely inserted into the door frame
Mirror switch properly positioned and secured
Grommet correctly installed around the door handle
Screws above the door handle tightened firmly
All components, including the window track, properly aligned and attached

Once you have completed the door panel reinstallation process, you can move on to the final steps of the interior door handle installation.

Completing the Installation

Once you have successfully installed the new interior door handle in your 1998 Ford Explorer and reattached the door panel, there are a few final steps to complete the installation process. These steps will ensure that the handle functions properly and that all components are securely in place.

First, check that the window track is correctly aligned with the handle. If it is not aligned, adjust it as needed and secure it with the clip. Reinstall the window track bolt and tighten it to ensure it is secure.

Next, double-check that the rod is properly connected to the handle. Push the rod in to attach it securely. Test the handle to ensure smooth operation. It should open and close the door without any issues.

Finally, put the remaining bolts on the window track and reassemble the door panel. Make sure all components are properly aligned and attached. Take your time to ensure everything is securely in place.

With the completion of these steps, you have successfully installed the interior door handle in your 1998 Ford Explorer. The handle should function smoothly and provide convenient access to your vehicle’s interior. Congratulations on a job well done!

Step Description
1 Check the alignment of the window track with the handle.
2 Secure the window track with the clip and reinstall the window track bolt.
3 Ensure the rod is properly connected to the handle.
4 Test the handle to ensure smooth operation.
5 Put the remaining bolts on the window track and reassemble the door panel.

Compatibility and Alternate Options

When it comes to installing an interior door handle in a 1998 Ford Explorer, it’s important to note that the process described in this guide can also be applied to other years and models. If you own a Mercury Mountaineer or a Ford Explorer Sport Trac, you can follow the same steps outlined here to successfully install a new interior door handle.

Additionally, if you’re looking to upgrade your interior door handle, you have several options. There are aftermarket door handles available that offer different designs, finishes, and materials, allowing you to customize the look and feel of your car’s interior. You can also consider getting a color-matched handle by taking your new handle to an automotive parts store with a paint department and requesting a color match.

Keep in mind that regardless of the year or model of your vehicle, the installation process may vary slightly. Always consult the appropriate vehicle manual or seek professional assistance if you have any specific questions or concerns.


Table: Compatible Models for Interior Door Handle Installation

Vehicle Make Vehicle Model
Ford Explorer
Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Mercury Mountaineer

As seen in the compatibility table above, the interior door handle installation guide provided in this article is applicable to a range of vehicles, including the Ford Explorer, Ford Explorer Sport Trac, and Mercury Mountaineer. This ensures that you can confidently follow the step-by-step instructions provided here to install a new door handle in your vehicle, regardless of the specific make and model.

If you’re considering upgrading your interior door handle, you have the flexibility to explore aftermarket options that offer different styles and finishes. Whether you want a sleek and modern design or a more classic and elegant look, there are aftermarket door handles available to suit your preferences.

Remember, the key to a successful installation is to carefully follow the instructions provided and ensure all connections are secure. If you have any concerns or questions during the installation process, it’s always recommended to seek professional assistance or refer to the vehicle manual for guidance specific to your car.

Tips and Considerations

When installing an interior door handle in your 1998 Ford Explorer, there are a few tips and considerations to keep in mind. These will help ensure a smooth and successful installation process.

1. Handle Removal

Before installing the new door handle, it’s important to remove the old one properly. Take your time and use the necessary tools to carefully detach the old handle. Be cautious when removing any clips or components to avoid breaking them. If a clip does break, don’t worry – it can usually be put back together so that it is not noticeable.

2. Secure Connections

During the installation process, it’s crucial to ensure all connections are secure and properly aligned. Take the time to test the handle before fully reassembling the door panel to avoid any issues. If the handle feels loose or floppy after installation, double-check that all connections are tight and check for any broken or damaged parts.

3. Assistant’s Help

Having an assistant can be helpful during the installation process. They can hold parts in place while you secure them, making the process smoother and more efficient. If possible, enlist the help of a friend or family member to make the installation easier.

By following these tips and considerations, you can ensure a successful interior door handle installation in your 1998 Ford Explorer. Take your time, follow the step-by-step instructions, and reach out to professional assistance if needed. With the new handle in place, your vehicle will be ready for smooth operation.

Troubleshooting

DIY Interior Door Handle Installation

If you encounter any difficulties during the DIY installation of the interior door handle in your 1998 Ford Explorer, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try to overcome them. Follow these tips to resolve common issues that may arise:

  • If drilling out the rivets doesn’t work, use a chisel and hammer to shear them off. Sometimes, the rivets can be stubborn, but with a little extra force, they can be removed successfully.
  • If the newly installed door handle feels loose or floppy, ensure that all connections are secure and properly aligned. Double-check that all bolts and nuts are tightened to provide a firm and stable handle.
  • Inspect all parts and components for any signs of damage or breakage. A broken or damaged part can affect the proper functioning of the door handle. If needed, replace any faulty components before reassembling the door panel.
  • If you are unable to troubleshoot or fix any issues on your own, it is recommended to seek professional assistance. An experienced technician can provide expert guidance and ensure the installation is completed correctly.

Remember that patience and attention to detail are key during the installation process. Take your time to carefully follow the instructions and troubleshoot any problems that may arise. With perseverance, you will be able to successfully install the interior door handle in your 1998 Ford Explorer and enjoy the convenience it brings.

“Patience is the key to resolving any troubleshooting issues. Take your time, double-check your work, and don’t be afraid to seek help if needed.” – DIY Enthusiast

By troubleshooting any problems that may arise during the installation process, you can ensure a successful DIY installation of the interior door handle in your 1998 Ford Explorer. With a little perseverance and attention to detail, you’ll be able to enjoy the functionality and convenience of your newly installed door handle.

Common Troubleshooting Problems and Solutions:

Problem Solution
The rivets cannot be drilled out. Use a chisel and hammer to shear off the rivets.
The newly installed handle feels loose or floppy. Ensure all connections are secure and properly aligned. Tighten all bolts and nuts.
Broken or damaged parts. Inspect and replace any faulty components before reassembling the door panel.
Unable to troubleshoot or fix issues. Seek professional assistance for expert guidance and support.

Safety Precautions

When it comes to installing an interior door handle in your 1998 Ford Explorer, safety should always be your top priority. Here are some essential safety precautions to keep in mind throughout the installation process:

Wear Protective Gear

Before starting any work, make sure to wear protective gloves and goggles to prevent any potential injuries. These items will help safeguard your hands and eyes from harm while handling tools and components.

Take Caution with Tools

When using tools such as hammers and drills, exercise caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Mishandling these tools can lead to accidents and injuries. Always use them in a controlled manner and be aware of your surroundings.

Disconnect the Battery

If you need to perform any electrical work during the installation process, it is crucial to disconnect the car’s battery beforehand. This will help prevent any electric shocks or other electrical mishaps. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the proper procedure for disconnecting and reconnecting the battery to ensure your safety.

Consult a Professional if Unsure

If you encounter any challenges or are unsure about any step of the installation process, it’s best to seek professional assistance. A qualified technician can provide the expertise and guidance needed to complete the installation correctly and safely.

By following these safety precautions, you can ensure a smooth and secure installation process for your interior door handle. Remember, your safety is paramount, so take the necessary precautions and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.

References

In preparing this interior door handle installation guide, we have consulted various reputable sources, including 1AAuto.com. These sources have provided valuable insights and step-by-step instructions to ensure a successful DIY installation. For additional support and visual demonstrations, you can refer to the videos available on 1AAuto.com’s website. It is always advisable to consult the appropriate vehicle manual or seek professional assistance for specific vehicle-related questions or concerns.

“1AAuto.com provided clear and concise instructions that made the interior door handle installation process a breeze. Their videos were especially helpful in guiding me through each step.” – DIY enthusiast

By following the instructions and tips provided in this guide, you can confidently tackle the installation of an interior door handle for your 1998 Ford Explorer. With the right tools and a little patience, you can save time and money by completing the installation yourself. Remember to prioritize safety and seek professional help if you encounter any difficulties or are unsure about any aspect of the installation.

Table: Recommended Tools for Interior Door Handle Installation

Tool Description
Hammer and Punch Used to remove rivets
Drill or Chisel Alternative method to remove rivets
11mm Socket and Ratchet For removing bolts
Needle-Nose Pliers For removing clips
Phillips and Regular Screwdrivers For various screws

With the information provided in this guide, installing an interior door handle in your 1998 Ford Explorer can be a rewarding DIY project. Take your time, follow the step-by-step instructions, and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.

Conclusion

In conclusion, installing an interior door handle in a 1998 Ford Explorer is a straightforward DIY task that can be easily accomplished with the right tools and instructions. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can save both time and money on professional installation.

Remember to prioritize safety by wearing protective gear and carefully handling tools. It’s also important to consult professional assistance if you encounter any difficulties or are unsure about any step of the installation process.

With the new interior door handle properly installed, your 1998 Ford Explorer will be equipped for smooth and convenient operation. Enjoy the satisfaction of completing this project on your own and the improved functionality it brings to your vehicle!

FAQ

Can this guide be used for other years and models of Ford vehicles?

Yes, this guide is applicable to other years and models of Ford vehicles, such as the Mercury Mountaineer and Ford Explorer Sport Trac.

What tools are needed for this installation?

The necessary tools for this installation include a hammer and punch, drill or chisel, 11mm socket and ratchet, needle-nose pliers, and Phillips and regular screwdrivers.

What steps should I follow to remove the door panel?

Start by using a flat plate screwdriver to carefully pry the bezel apart and remove the two Phillips screws underneath. Use a rag to protect the paint and pry the top and bottom of the panel to release the pins that hold it in place. Lift up on the panel and press down on the two teeth to release them. Slide the panel out and remove the water shield.

How do I remove the old door handle?

The old door handle is held in place by two rivets, which can be removed by knocking out the center with a punch and hammer. If drilling doesn’t work, a chisel can be used to shear off the rivets. Remove the 11mm bolt and the window track, and then use needle-nose pliers to remove the yellow clip. Pull out the rod and lift the handle up and out.

How do I install the new door handle?

Take the new handle and insert the rod into the driver’s side from the back. Install the handle by clipping it into place and secure it with bolts from the backside. Use a small extension or a wrench to tighten the nuts. Make sure the arm of the clip is on and push the rod in to attach it. Test the handle to ensure it functions properly.

How do I reattach the door panel?

Put the water shield back on and reattach the door panel. Start by sliding the pins into their respective holes and press the panel down to secure them. Put the mirror switch back in place and secure the grommet around the door handle. Replace the screws above the door handle and make sure they are firm. Double-check that all components are properly aligned and attached.

What should I do if the handle feels loose after installation?

If the handle feels loose or floppy after installation, ensure that all connections are secure and check for any broken or damaged parts. Contact a professional if you are unable to resolve the issue on your own.

What safety precautions should I take during the installation?

When working on any vehicle, it is important to prioritize safety. Wear protective gloves and goggles to avoid injury. Be cautious when using tools like hammers and drills, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Disconnect the car’s battery before starting any electrical work to prevent electric shocks. If you are unsure about any step of the installation process, consult a professional for assistance.

Where can I find additional guidance and demonstrations?

For additional guidance and visual demonstrations, refer to the videos available on 1AAuto.com’s website. Always consult the appropriate vehicle manual or seek professional assistance for specific vehicle-related questions or concerns.