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How To Replace Door Latch 97-04 Ford F150

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How To Replace Door Latch 97-04 Ford F150

Created on: 2017-04-12

How to repair, install, fix, change or replace a damaged, worn out, faulty door lock mechanism on 98 Ford F150

  1. step 1 :Removing the Door Panel
    • Pry off the trim piece behind the door handle with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Loosen the 8mm bolt halfway from the handle
    • Pry off the sail panel
    • Pry off the upper trim panel
    • Remove the 8mm bolts from the top corners
    • Pry up the window switch panel with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Pry out the door panel with a door panel clip tool or putty knife
    • Lift the door panel up and off
    • Disconnect the light wiring harness
  2. step 2 :Removing the Door Latch
    • Remove the door handle rod clasp
    • Remove the door handle rod from the handle
    • Remove the retainers from the door lock rod
    • Pull the lock actuator toward you and the front of the door
    • Remove the three T30 Torx bolts from the actuator
    • Remove the door latch from the door
    • Disconnect the electrical connectors
  3. step 3 :Installing the Door Latch
    • Remove the 11mm window guide bolt
    • Insert the latch into place
    • Tighten the T30 Torx bolts to the latch
    • Reinstall the door lock actuator rod
    • Snap the lock rod retainers into place
    • Reengage the door latch rod to the handle
    • Reconnect the electrical connector
    • Snap the lock rod back into the exterior handle
  4. step 4 :Installing the Door Panel
    • Put the water shield into place
    • Connect the light
    • Lift the door panel into place
    • Push in the door panel clips
    • Connect the harnesses to the switch panel
    • Push in the switch panel
    • Push in the upper door panel trim
    • Push in the sail panel
    • Insert the door handle into the door
    • Tighten the 8mm socket and ratchet to the door handle
    • Press on the trim button behind the handle

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools



  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions


  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    7mm Socket

    10mm Socket

    11mm Socket

  • Star Drivers & Sockets

    T30 Driver

Installation Video
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Hi, I'm Mike from 1AAuto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years! We're dedicated to delivering quality auto parts, expert customer service, and fast and free shipping, all backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. So visit us at, your trusted source for quality auto parts.

In this video, we're going to be working with our 1998 Ford F150. We're going to show you how to remove and replace your vehicle's front door latch. Now this is for a door with power locks. It will be very similar on a manually locked door.

If you like this video, please click subscribe. We have a ton more information on this and many other vehicles. If you ever need parts for your truck, you can follow the link down in the description over to

Here are the items you'll need for this repair: 7 to 15mm socket, ratchet, socket extension, flat blade screwdriver, pick, T30 Torx bit, hammer

Pop off the cover tab off behind the door handle. You should be able to do this with your fingers. Then inside there is an eight millimeter screw securing the door handle to the latch. We'll get that with an eight millimeter socket ratchet and extension. Now, the trick here is do not remove this bolt all the way. Get it about halfway out until the handle is free and leave it. It will stay in there.

You don't have to worry about losing the bolt. Grab the sail panel, pop that off with your hand. The upper trim at the rear as well just pops off by hand. Now, normally, there is a seven or eight millimeter screw in both of these locations under those panels. Ours are obviously missing. Lift up and remove the window switch, and unplug all four electrical connectors. Then, remove the panel from the truck. You can then lift up, lay your door panel back, unplug the marker light, and remove the panel from your truck.

Remove the clasp on the door handle rod for the interior door. Remove it from its retainer and allow it to hang. Remove the retainers for the actual door lock. You see it has little ears you want to push together from the inside to pop it out. Pull the lock actuator rod towards you and then towards the front of the door to release it. Pop it out of its holder. Remove the three T30 Torx. Ours have been painted over, so I need to tap our bit in. Once the bolts are out, remove your latch from the truck.

Now you may need to remove the bolt for the window guide down here with a 13 millimeter to get the room, but ours has actually broken out of the door, so we don't need to remove that. Something we'll need to fix it later. Once you have the latch out of the door, you'll want to undo any electrical connectors that are still attached.

Now it's very common on these F150s for the door to break right where the window track or window guide, which is what allows the window to stay in place as it drops into the door. That bolt tears through the inner skin of the door and can create that kind of tapping or rattling sound when you drive your truck as well as not having your window be secure in there. Fortunately, this is such a common issue. There's a very easy repair for it. We're going to remove this 11 millimeter bolt and get the old chunk of sheet metal off of there. You can see here that this piece of sheet metal is right where that hole is, and if you had a welder, you could just tack that in there. Fortunately, we have an easy solution even if you don't weld.

Now I have this old piece of sheet metal lying around from another project. It's not incredibly thick, which is actually going to make it easy to work with. Since we're not covering a very big hole here, it doesn't have to be super sturdy. I'm just going to take with a Sharpie, and you could measure this out. I'm going to just take a marker here and just measure out approximately the size and shape here. I'm sure I'm going to have to trim this a little, but that's okay. This is just an average pair of tin snips or metal shears. You could use some cutting tools, if you have them like a cut off wheel or a grinder, but again, it's very thin stuff, very easy to work with. I'll cut my shape out. Actually, I didn't do too bad there.

We'll take our marker. We'll set this corner in, and I want to round this one off a little and round this one off a little. We need to go to there with that, so we'll just keep trimming until it fits inside of that hole. We're going to put some grease on the old broken piece of metal. You want to go pretty thick here. Now I'm going to hold it roughly where it was on the door, put our panel in and press them together. That was actually the grease on my finger made that center mark.

Now I know right where we want to drill our hole. Now we'll drill that hole out. I use the 5/16th drill bit, which is actually a little bit oversized, but that's fine. We have that huge washer on there from the factory.

Let's go make sure this lines up. That's right in the middle of our blowout there and our bolt hole lines up perfect. Now we'll hold it in place, install our bolt, tighten it down to hold the sheet metal in place. There is some small adjustment here if you want. Really just want to keep that window guide in the back pretty straight, so tweak it is necessary. That about there looks good. We'll bring that down, tighten it up with an 11 millimeter socket. You don't want to go too tight just yet because we don't want to suck in that sheet metal and create gaps.

Now, yes, you could just leave it tight like this and everything would probably be fine, but we already had one failure. We're going to go ahead and overdo it a little bit. We're going to drill out the corner. We're going to rivet it into place. This is all going to depend on exactly what rivets you use. We'll now install a rivet. Nice and secure.

Now we'll go ahead and just throw them in a few more places. Depending on how bad yours blew out, you may want to add more or less and the locations are going to vary as well. I'm going to go ahead and probably throw five or six in here just to make sure everything stays put. Now that everything is in place, we'll finish tightening down our 11 millimeter, and now our window guide is right where we want it. Now this metal already has rust coating on it that we used. If yours doesn't, you'll want to just put any kind of paint on there. This is inside the door, so it doesn't matter, but it is going to help prevent that from rusting out.

Remove your 11 millimeter window guide bolt so we can move the rear window guide out of our way. Now we have some room to manipulate this. Reinstall your door latch and line up the three bolt holes to reinstall your T30 Torx screws and tighten the bolts back down with your T30 Torx driver. Reinstall your door lock actuator rod for vehicles with power door locks. Snap the lock rod retainers back into place, reengage door latch rod.

Don't forget to reconnect your electrical connector or connectors. There are two on the actuator. It's going to vary based on which truck you have. We only have one at the bottom. Snap the lock rod back into your door handle and set the door handle rod back into its clasp and close it. You're ready to reinstall your window guide. Reinstall the 11 millimeter bolt.

Normally, there's this series of clips that will retain your harness against the door. Ours have been broken or are missing, so we'll just feed the wiring for the switch up through the panel and reconnect our courtesy light into its socket. Line up the door lock into the pins in the door and slide it back into place. There are also your two screws or pins in the corner here that you'll need to reinstall. Ours are missing.

Reinstall the top panels by lining them up and snapping them into place. Switches in your panel. Line up the tabs and snap it back into place.

Reinstall your door handle and line up the bolt with the hole, and reinstall it with your eight millimeter socket and ratchet. Reinstall the little plastic cover, and you're good to go.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Hammer
  • Pick

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 7mm Socket
  • 10mm Socket
  • 11mm Socket

  • Star Drivers & Sockets

  • T30 Driver

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