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Wednesday - April 24, 2024

Dodge Dakota Door Handle Painting

Page 3


Remove Front Door Panel

20. The front doors use a similar procedure, with the following steps being unique to the front. First there is an additional screw at the top of the panel above the tweeter.

21. If so equipped the tweeter wiring harness must be disconnected (green and black wires leading to the white connector)

22. If equipped with power door locks and power windows, there will be two connectors on the driver's door panel to disconnect

23. It is not necessary to remove the latch mechanism on the front doors. Pop out the access hole cover to reach the 8mm nuts securing the handle (but don't remove the nuts yet).

24. Now, with Zen-like determination, use the hook tool to remove the rods connecting the latch and locks. Then, using the 8mm socket and ratchet, remove the two nuts securing the handle.

25. Wiggle the latch out from the outside of the door and this is what you get.

26. Disassemble the handle similarly to the rears. Remove the retaining clip for the lock cylinder.

27. Then remove the lock cylinder itself by pulling it out of the back of the handle.

28. Next remove the hinge pin by tapping it out with a hammer. Be sure to catch the spring as the pin slides out. I found that getting the pin past the bracket required some extra persuasion.

29. At this point you should now have all the handles removed and the pull handles separated from the bezels. I recommend marking each piece on the back to indicate which door it came out of. Now you are ready to begin the preparation for paint. Each step in the preparation is critical to insure lasting adhesion of the paint to the plastic. First, wash everything with a special purpose plastic parts cleaner, such as Bulldog Abrasive Bumper Cleaner. Use a scrub brush or a white 3M scuff pad to thoroughly clean the textured surface.

30. After completely rinsing and drying each part, wipe everything with a quality automotive wax and grease remover used for paint preparation. Check your local automotive paint supply house for recommendations. Be sure to get in all the crevices and corners in the bezel, and wipe around the outside edge. This step is critical to remove wax and other contaminants that could interfere with paint bonding. This cleaning and degreasing must be done before the sanding and priming steps which follow, otherwise the sanding step will grind the contaminants into the surface of the part and inhibit the paint bond.


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