Exterior Door Handle Replacement - 99 Suburban

Could use some help...it's my wife's and she was skeptical that I could fix it. Gotta prove her wrong:
The exterior door handle on her '99 Suburban cracked. Bought a replacement and started tearing into the door panel. Is there a trick to getting the clips off the handle without removing the window regulator? There is no way in hell that I can do that kind of surgery trying to get my arm up through the panel. And going through the small panel beneath the latch is too tight of a squeeze as well.
Anybody know if the handle can be replaced without removing the regulator?
Thank you in advance,
Ruppert
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Document ID# 278594 1999 Chevrolet/Geo Chevy Suburban - 4WD --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trim Panel Replacement - Side Front Door Removal Procedure Tools Required J 38778 Trim Panel Remover
Caution Before servicing any electrical component, the ignition key must be in the OFF or LOCK position and all electrical loads must be OFF, unless instructed otherwise in these procedures. If a tool or equipment could easily come in contact with a live exposed electrical terminal, also disconnect the negative battery cable. Failure to follow these precautions may cause personal injury and/or damage to the vehicle or its components.
Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the door handle bezel. Refer to Door Handle Bezel Replacement . Remove the window regulator handle, as necessary. Refer to Window Regulator Handle Replacement - Door . Disconnect the power accessory switch mounting panel wiring connector, as necessary. Refer to Power Accessory Switch Panel Replacement . Remove the trim panel upper extension. Refer to Trim Panel Replacement - Upper Extension .
BEGIN SUPPLEMENTAL UPPER EXTENSION REMOVAL PROCEDURE HERE Trim Panel Replacement - Upper Extension Removal Procedure Tools Required J 38778 Trim Panel Remover
Remove the trim panel from the door by completing the following steps: Using the J 38778 , carefully pry the retainer from the door. Pull upward in order to release the extension from the trim panel. Remover the retainer from the extension. Installation Procedure Install the retainer to the extension. Install the extension to the door by completing the following steps: Insert the extension onto the trim panel. Align the retainer into the hole in the door. Push the extension until the retainer seats. END UPPER EXTENSION PROCEDURE HERE
RESUME TRIM PANEL PROCEDURE HERE
Using a flat blade tool, carefully pry off the trim panel armrest screw cover in order to access the screw. Remove the trim panel armrest screw. Using the J 38778 , carefully pry the retainer from the retainer seats. Disconnect the courtesy light connector, if necessary. Remove the trim panel from the door. Remove the courtesy lamp lens or the reflector.
Pull the retainers from the slot in the trim panel. Remove the retainers.
Installation Procedure
Align the retainer with the slot in the trim panel. Push to install the retainers to the trim panel. Install the courtesy lamp lens or the reflector.
Align the retainers with the holes in the door. Install the trim panel to the door by carefully applying pressure in order to seat the retainers. Install the window regulator handle, as necessary. Refer to Window Regulator Handle Replacement - Door . Install the power accessory switch mounting panel, as necessary. Refer to Power Accessory Switch Panel Replacement .
Notice Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.
Install the trim panel armrest screw. Tighten Tighten the trim panel armrest screw to 2 Nm (18 lb in).
Insert the screw cover. Install the trim panel upper extension. Refer to Trim Panel Replacement - Upper Extension . Install the door handle bezel. Refer to Door Handle Bezel Replacement . Connect the negative battery cable.
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Thanks, but I've already gotten that far. What I need to know is how to get the exterior door handle off without removing the window regulator.
Ruppert

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