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How to Replace Door Latch 94-02 Dodge Ram 1500

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How to Replace Door Latch 94-02 Dodge Ram 1500

Created on: 2019-09-24

Check out this video to learn how to replace the door latch assembly on your 94-02 Dodge Ram. 1A Auto shows you how to do it yourself

Tools needed for replacement

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    10mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

    Plastic Fastener Remover

    Trim Tool Set

  • Star Drivers & Sockets

    T30 Socket

Installation Video
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Hey friends, it's Len here at 1A auto. Today we're going to be working on our 1996 Dodge Ram 1500. I want to show you something fairly simple, replacing a left front door latch. It'll be super easy. I can do it and you can do it too. As always, if you need this part or any other part, you can check us out at

Okay, so we've got a couple of Phillips head screws, one here and one here. We'll take those out. We've got our two screws. They're both the same. This right here can move around now. That's nice. Cool. All right, we've got another screw up here.

That out of there. It looks the same as the other two. Nothing special. Set all three of those aside. Now this door panel, we're just going to feel around, make sure that there's no more screws. Sometimes you'll feel a couple coming along the bottom there. This does not feel like it has any, so we're doing all right.

We have a couple of plastic trim tools. The reason why we're using plastic is because we are going to be going up against the paint, and if you're worried about your paint, then of course you don't want to scratch it up with metal. Just come right in here like this. Just going to go right along.

Okay. Lift this up. As you go, you're going to just kind of jam it towards the forward position, or I guess towards the front of the vehicle. There we are. And that's just because on the backside of this, you've got all these little clips, and they go inside these hooky-dos. These things, I don't know why Dodge did it, but they've got some so you need to slide straight up and down, you got some that you need to slide forward and back, whatever. I'm sure they had their reasons.

But anyway, we've got this almost off now. So now what we're going to do is we're going to get the wiring off of the back here. So the next thing we're going to want to do is disconnect this right here. There's a little tab. You can usually grab it with your thumb. If you can't, small pocket screwdriver. Just grab it, pull it away, give this top area a little wiggle. Should want to slide right out. Awesome.

So right here there's a little tab. Can use your thumb if you want. Try to push it. Just be careful for a pinch. I'm going to use this. I'm just going to push right here. That lets this come up. Now if we come this side, can lift right up on this. Awesome. I'm just going to go right like this, see if I can get it to go down and through. This is great. Now we can get our door panel right out of the way. Keep on plugging away.

All right, so one of the first things we're going to do now that we have the door panel off, right back here is where the latch is. We're just going to make sure that the window's in the fully up position, so I'll put your key in the ignition, bring your window up. Awesome. Take the key back out of the ignition, so nothing bad can happen while our hands are inside the door. Now, perfect. The window's all the way up here.

What we're going to have to do is we're going to have to remove this screw right here. Don't pay attention to the door. I don't know. That's wasn't me. And then this right here. All right, so to do that you can use a Torx bit. This one is a T30. It looks like a star and it's going to fit right inside there. This just holds your window channel to the door. At least it should. Come on, baby. Here we go.

It's got a little screw. This one has a washer. Yours may or may not, might just been from whoever was trying to make sure that that stays on there. Awesome. I'm just going to take a look real quick in here, see what we're dealing with. We're going to remove this right here. That's going to make it so we can move this window channel around.

All right, so one of the first things I'm going to do is start taking these rods off. Okay? And I'll show you what it is I'm going to do. I'm going to just take this one off for now. Should pop off. Here it is. I'll pull this out and I'll show you what's going on inside the door. Yep. So this lock goes down into here, squishes right in there, and then you have these little clips and they just lock in over that. Okay. So it's going to look just like this inside your door.

All you would do, just take this, and then slide your rod out of the hole. All right? Easy peasy. We're going to do the same thing. One, two, three, and then of course the one that we already did. But anyway, all four, disconnect those. Once they're disconnected, we're going to take out these, right? The mounting bolts, there's three of them. We're still going to have it wired in. Once we have it out, we'll be able to grab this tab and slide that out.

Now that I have all those rods off, we're just going to remove these mounting bolts. For this, we're using a T30, looks like a star. There's one. You can start with whichever one you want. You do you, booboo. That one in this ditch. I've got my hand inside the door panel right now and I'm just kind of holding the latch. This is going to be the last mounting bolt. Something to pay attention to is that we do still have the wiring connected to it, and you do not want to put any tugs on wiring. Both those look the same. Awesome. We'll set those aside. Our latch is free. We'll bring it down past that window channel. Here we go. So we're just going to lift up on this little tab, slide that out. Oh, that was easy. Let's do a product comparison and we can move along.

So here we are, friends. A quick product comparison for you. Right here we have our left front door latch out of our 1996 Dodge Ram 1500, and right here we have our brand new quality 1A auto part. As you can tell, these two parts are created equal. You have your same rods or same rod mounting areas, right? The little locks on them. Super important to make sure they have the locks. You need them. You've got the wiring area right here, same exact thing. Two wires. Easy peasy. We'll roll it. Got the latch area. Then of course you've got your three mounting areas, right? One, two, three. As you can tell, this is a quality part. I don't see any reason why I wouldn't want to install into the vehicle, so I'm going to go ahead and do it. As always, if you need this or any other part, you could check us out at Thanks.

All right, so one of the first things we're going to do is take our electrical connector. Just take a peek. That looks great. If you see any funny colors in there, you can get a little terminal cleaning brush from us,, or if you had to, you can go ahead and replace this. It'll be super simple. It's just two wires, so I'm sure you can do it. We're going to connect it into our latch. Listen for a little click. There it is. I always give them a little tug just to make sure that the clip's in and it can't come loose. Last thing you want to do is have this come loose on you, and then your door lock isn't working the way you want it to. That looks really great. I'd say we're clear to install this into the door.

This up here. Got to get it around. Awesome. This is looking good. I just want to line up these holes, of course.

We're going to snug these up. You never want to tighten any of them down completely until you have all three of them started. Okay, now that I know they're all bottomed out, I'm just going to give them a little extra snug, just one finger on it. And there it is.

If you felt the need to use some thread locker on those, that would be your prerogative. I would definitely not use red. If you're going to, you can use green or blue. For the purpose of this video. I'm not going to worry about that. Let's move along.

So now we're just going to connect in our rods. This is probably going to be the most difficult part of the job because you have to try to get your head to a point where you can see, and then of course also get the rods in there with your arm in the door. That looks pretty great. There's one. So we've got a little lock rod here. Just going to go right down with this. I put a little slice right here. I'll tape it back up, but that's just so I can see what's going on. Just going to put that rod into its corresponding hole and then lock it in. Awesome. Let's get our window channel back bolted in. We're going to tighten this one up. This one.

All right. Now let's test this all out. Let's try the window first just to make sure. That works great. Door locks. It's definitely working. If this was in its door panel, it would be more visible, but it's definitely working. Awesome. I'm just going to hop in. The window down in case I need to use the outside door handle. Oh, nice. Awesome. Let's move along.

All right, so it's going to be time to get the door panel on here. Before we go out and do that, we're going to take out all these push pins. All right, and we're going to put them right into the door panel and then we'll put the door panel in and the push pins will hold it to the door. To do that, you're going to use something as simple as this. It's a little forky tool, just like that. Give it a little twist, whenever you got to do to get these puppies to pull out and make them nice and long for you.

See what they look like, they got like a little ear there, and that's where it's going to slide over the door panel, and then these little ears right here, our hold into this hole. We'll take all these out and we can continue. So these little tabs, the push pins, get that area right there that I showed you before, it just slides right in. Okay? Pop, here we are. Do the same for all of them and then we can continue.

Okay friends, let's get this door panel on. I'm going to take the electrical connector or the electrical harness here. Try to bring it up and through this. Can be a little tricky sometimes. Try to get out of the way. Just give it a, you know. There it is. Just have to be a little forceful with it sometimes. That's okay. We've got our electrical connector right here for our mirror switch. We're going to plug that in. You can tell which way it goes cause it has this little nub right here and that lines up with the nub in there. Slide it in, give it a tug. Don't pull the whole thing right off the door though. Put that back on there. Cool.

All right, let's bring this up. What we're going to pay attention to now is the door handle. I'm just going to try to pull the door handle through its hole, slide this over. Awesome. We've got our lock. Just take the lock, just bring it right through the hole. Awesome. Bring the door panel down, get it so all of our little push pins slash pitons are going to be lined up with our holes. Once you get a couple of them started in, generally speaking, all the rest will be lined up. The hardest ones for me to see are the top ones, but it is important to get them lined up. Awesome.

Down along our side here. Same thing along this side. Just line up as many of them as you can before you start bonking them in. One in the center here is lined up but not going in. There it is, ah yeah. Awesome. I just want to make sure that your door lock can flow up and down easily. If it can't, this could be wedged a little bit. Maybe the bar got bent in some of the process that you were doing. If that's the case, well, you're just going to have to pop this back out of the way and see what you can do about bending it, because you want this to make sure that it can go up and down. That looks really great. I would say we can continue.

So now we're going to take our long screw and we're going to go right up in here. Just try to find the hole real quick and then we'll get out of the way. There it is. Okay. We don't need it to be too tight. We don't want to break the plastic or anything. We just needed to pull this right up against. That looks pretty great. We can move along. Grab our switch here. It's just going to slide in. Let's take a look at it. It goes in the backside first and then the front side. Bonk bonk. Very nice.

We're going to grab our little cup with our two mounting screws, put it facing the right way. You got your holes, you can see where it goes right down into the door. Phillips head. Start that one in. Start this one in. Okay. We're just going to bring it all the way down and snug. Awesome.

Thanks for watching. Visit, your place for DIY auto repairs, for great parts, great service, and more content.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Screwdrivers & Related

  • Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 10mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Plastic Fastener Remover
  • Trim Tool Set

  • Star Drivers & Sockets

  • T30 Socket

1994 - 2002  Dodge  Ram 3500 Truck
1994 - 2002  Dodge  Ram 2500 Truck
1994 - 2001  Dodge  Ram 1500 Truck

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