Jeep Doors Won’t Come Off: Causes and How to Fix It?

Jeeps are ever so perfect for every adventure you can imagine, whether you plan on doing a bit of off-roading or cruising along the country roads. 

In particular, Jeep’s Gladiator and Wrangler are ideal SUVs for adventure-seeking drivers eager to drive off-road in a vehicle with unparalleled capabilities. 

They offer one of the most thrilling off-roading experiences thanks to their removable doors, which give you the most stimulating open-air experience when taking on the dunes or muddy forest trails. 

So imagine how frustrating it is when your Jeep’s doors won’t come off just before a much-awaited road trip. 

Luckily for you, this article covers the easiest method for fixing jammed Jeep doors and their complete disassembling process. Let’s dive in.

Why Take the Doors Off Your Jeep?

Because it’s rare to find vehicles as convertible as a Jeep, especially Wranglers and Gladiators. In addition to the ability to take the top off like most Jeep models, owners of these vehicles can remove the doors as well. 

Taking the doors off can improve your vehicle’s mileage and movability by reducing its weight, giving you a unique and immersive driving experience. 

With removable Jeep doors, you can connect with nature more closely as you exercise your off-road prowess, especially if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. It can prolong your outdoor activities and make mud-streaked trails easier to traverse.

As a massive bonus, you will notice a considerable reduction in fuel consumption with the decrease of your Jeep’s weight.

Causes of Stuck Jeep Doors

So, why’s your Jeep door stuck? Let’s look at some common causes.

  • Although deterioration is rare in modern Jeeps, rust is the foremost cause of their doors getting stuck. After all, there’s no way to predict whether water could accumulate from a car wash or rain and rust the hinge-joint bolts in your Jeep.
  • A damaged door may also be to blame for your Jeep’s stuck doors. Your Jeep doors’ hinges may have been damaged in an accident or collision, causing them to twist out of shape. It’s even possible when its main surface hasn’t undergone any significant deformation. 

If damage’s the cause of your stuck Jeep doors, it’s best to seek professional help to release the doors instead of doing it yourself.

  • The reason for your Jeep’s stuck door can also be dirt and debris other than rust or damage. When driving, you never know what shards, shreds, and splinters might get caught in those tricky areas and jam the hinges. Performing a proper cleaning can solve the stuck door issue without much hassle if that’s the case.

How to Take the Doors off Your Jeep

The following instructions explain how to remove your Jeep doors without causing any damage.

1. Precautions

Before removing your Jeep doors, check your local laws before getting behind the wheel without any. To stay in compliance, you may need to reattach the Jeep’s rearview mirrors to the Jeep’s body with an aftermarket replacement. Additionally, you should take into account the following:

  • Be sure to park your Jeep on a flat surface. When you’re trying to remove the doors, it’s awful having them swing around.
  • Ideally, you should strip the doors at home to store them in a safe place.
  • Be careful when you remove the door removal process. A fingernail can easily get caught in the door hinge if you aren’t careful. Hence, it’s best to wear gloves beforehand.
  • Make sure you don’t scrape the paint around the joints, for it’ll likely lead to rust forming frequently.
  • Before you leave without doors, check the weather report. Replacing them isn’t a quick job, especially when it’s raining.

2. Tools Needed

To remove the doors from your Jeep, you won’t need much, and you might already have it all in the car’s maintenance kit. Here are the tools you’ll need to free the stuck door and then take it off:

  • Rust removal spray
  • Torx Wrench Set
  • Rubber mallet (if required)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Gloves 

3. Prepare the Doors to Be Removed

Slackening the jammed hinges of your Jeep is the first step to removing its stuck doors, but you need to do a few other things first. You need to-

Step 1- Fold in the Side Mirrors

Jeep doors have side mirrors that you can fold flat. Adjust them by pressing them flat against the door. By folding in the mirrors, you can prevent potential damages when storing the doors. 

Step 2Lower the Windows

Pulling up and off your Jeep doors will be necessary, and reaching through the open window makes it a lot easier. Keeping the window inside the door’s body will also prevent the glass from being accidentally broken. To lower the window, turn the crank counter-clockwise. 

Step 3Remove the Door’s Safety Strap

Each door has a black safety strap that prevents opening too wide. You can disconnect it by gently unhooking it from the Jeep body. 

Step 4Disconnect the Wiring Pigtail 

You will find a bundle of wires wrapped in black cloth running from the door down to the dashboard. Remove the wire pigtail by pressing the release and pulling it backward. Be cautious not to damage the clip holding the wiring pigtail.

Step 5Find the Two Bolts Securing the Door

Each door is fastened with two bolts, which you can find near the door’s connection to the car’s body. You can adjust how open the door is kept by closing it without latching it until you can access the bolt and nuts acting as hinges.

4. Remove the Doors

Now that you’ve gotten everything ready, it’s time to remove the doors. Here are the steps to take.

Step 1Release the Jammed Bolts and Hinges

Here’s where the fix for your stuck Jeep doors begins. Apply the rust removal spray directly to the rusted bolts and nuts connecting the door hinges. After a couple of shots, move the door side to side so the hinged joints loosen up further. 

Next, use the accurate Torx wrench (ideally 13mm) to release the nuts; keep spraying while doing so. Avoid scratching the paint while moving the wrench; using a six-point socket will make it easier to handle the bolts.

Alternatively, if you have tough debris jammed between the hinges, you can use a rubber mallet to tap the door from below gently and break it free.

Step 2Disconnect the Door by Raising It Straight up 

Once you have undone the nuts, reach through the window’s opening to grasp the door’s inside and outside handles. Then remove the bolts from the brackets that secure the door by pulling the door straight up.

You can also pull up the door by grasping the sides of the outside edges if you cannot roll the window down. Be careful to avoid pinching your fingers in the gap.

Step 3Spread a Blanket on the Floor 

You should store the doors in a safe place. For now, spread a blanket or a soft cloth on the floor. You can wrap the blanket around the doors of your Jeep if you intend to leave them off for an extended period to provide added protection. This blanket, for the moment, will keep abrasions off the doors’ surface.

Step 4Put the Door on Its Interior Side 

The painted outer surface of each door should face up when you place them on the blanket. If you’re leaning the door against a wall, cover the edges with the blanket to avoid scraping the paint. Put the doors somewhere that will not be disturbed or tipped over.

5. Disable the Door Alarm and Light

After removing the doors, make sure to disable the door alarm and light to prevent power loss and other potential inconveniences. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1- Disconnect the Battery

Before beginning any electrical project, it’s always wise to disconnect the battery regardless of its size. Remove the nut that secures the black cable on the battery’s negative terminal with the right-sized wrench. Keep the cable away from the negative terminal by tucking it around the battery. Leave the positive one as it is.

Step 2- Locate the Internal Fuse Box 

On the inside of a Jeep Wrangler, you’ll find the fuse box near the emergency brake. Pull the fuse box cover back toward yourself once you locate it. Afterward, locate the fuse marked “Door Jam Defeat.” Then using needle-nose pliers, remove it from the box. 

When you remove this fuse, your Jeep’s dome light and the door alarm will remain off when the battery is reconnected. If you encounter any difficulties, refer to the instruction manual. 

Step 3- Reconnect the Battery

Removing the fuse, rejoin the black cable to the battery’s negative terminal, and tighten the holding nut with the same wrench. Close the hood only after the cable is securely connected metal-to-metal. After reconnecting the battery, start your Jeep, ensuring it does not ring when the door is ajar, with the dome light off.

And that’s it! Your Jeep is ready for a stress-free doorless ride! Now you also have the opportunity to lubricate your door hinges so they’ll be easier to remove the next time you remove them from your Jeep.

How to Put Your Jeep Doors Back on

The removal process of Jeep doors requires only a single person to complete within a few minutes. However, getting an extra pair of hands might be necessary to help line up the bolts with the hinges when putting the Jeep doors back on.

While it’s simply a matter of aligning the bolt base with the top of the hinged bottom, getting the door hinge bolts to line up simultaneously can be a bit tricky since you have to align them perfectly in both directions. 

Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be as difficult as it seems–it just takes a little time and effort. Just ask your friend to hold the door while you make the alignments. You can use the same wrench to fasten it again when everything is in place.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Which Jeep models feature removable doors?

Ans: Currently, Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator are the only vehicles with removable doors. It doesn’t mean that door removal is impossible on other Jeep models. With professional help, you can remove any Jeep doors you want.

2. Is it legal to remove the doors from Jeep?

Ans: In most cases, yes, but laws can differ by region. You may have to reinstall the side mirrors to be legally compliant in some areas.

3. Can you remove Jeep doors with power windows?

Ans: Yes. If your Jeep has power locks and windows, you will need to unplug the wire harness first. 

4. Can you use WD40 on Jeep doors?

Ans: Sure. WD40 or any spray silicone lubricant on the hinges should work fine on any Jeep door.

5. How safe is my Jeep without its doors?

Ans: There won’t be as much safety as when the doors were on, but there will still be many onboard safety features operable—for example, the front airbags.

Thoughts

So there you have it. Since you now have the complete solution to deal with Jeep doors that won’t come off, you’ll no longer have to worry about stuck doors. 

Then again, not everyone has the right tools, a secure workplace, flexibility in time, or the courage to tackle every automotive issue. After all, DIYing isn’t always the wisest choice for every job. Therefore, if you feel you can’t get the stuck doors off without damaging them, it would always be best to get professional help.

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