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How do you Change, Replace, or Install Broken 1998-2004 GMC Sonoma Front Door Handle (Exterior) Replacement

Fits Years: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004


Tools required:

  • 7mm socket/ratchet with extension

  • 10mm socket/ratchet with extension

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Flathead screwdriver (small, medium)

  • Door Panel Clip Tool (or putty knife)


Step 1: Open the vehicle's door.

Step 2: Pry and lift the power window control plate. Disconnect the wiring harnesses (4) from the UNDERSIDE of the panel.

Step 3: Loosen and remove the Phillips screw (1) inside the interior door handle.

Step 4: Pry and remove the interior door handle's bezel.

Step 5: Loosen and remove the 7mm bolts (2) UNDER the interior door pull handle.

Step 6: Using the door panel clip tool (or putty knife), pry and separate the interior door panel from the door frame.


A series of retaining clips secures the door panel to the frame. By working your way between the panel and the frame, you will feel each clip. When you do, pry outward to "pop" them free.

Step 7: You can now lift and remove the interior door panel.

Step 8: GENTLY peel back the water shield. Be careful not to tear it, as we'll need to reattach it later.

Step 9: Using the flathead screwdriver, pry and remove the screw cover/plug near the door handle's position.

Step 10: Loosen and remove the 10mm bolts (2) located on the LATCH side of the door frame.

Step 11: Pull down the track that lines the interior of the LATCH side of the door frame.

Step 12: Disengage the retaining clip (1) that secures the locking rod to the back of the handle assembly.

Step 13: Loosen and remove the 10mm bolts (2) that secure the door handle assembly to the door.

Step 14: You can now pull the assembly through the OUTSIDE of the door frame. Disengage the rod from the back of the assembly.

Step 15: Depress the retaining tab that secures the locking cylinder to the OLD handle. Snap this cylinder into place on the NEW handle.

Step 16: Connect the rod to the back of the handle assembly, and secure it to the door by tightening the 10mm bolts (2).

Step 17: Re-engage the track on the LATCH side of the door frame. Re-engage the retaining clip to secure the locking rod to the door.

Step 18: Reattach the screw cover/plug, and tighten the 10mm bolts (2).

Step 19: Reattach the water shield.

Step 20: To reattach the interior door panel, simply feed the wiring harnesses through the openings, and slide the panel onto the door.

Step 21: With a FIRM, but not too firm, strike near each retaining clip, you can "pop" them all back into place.

Step 22: Reconnect all wiring harnesses, snap all trim panels and bezels back into place, and tighten the 7mm bolts (2) and Phillips screw (1).



These Part Change / Installation Instructions Apply to
04 2004, 03 2003, 02 2002, 01 2001, 00 2000, 99 1999, 98 1998 GMC Sonoma Front Door Handle (Exterior) Replacement Instructions
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