I was the victim of the parking brake handle assembling failing on me. Basically I set it and received a loud "bang" and the brake went slack. Pulling the handle had no resistance and did nothing. Kind of a big problem with a manual shift!
Anyway, i ordered the new part ($42 from the local dealer with the local JK discount).
This is what failed
This is what it should look like
Now you need to note this installation tool that comes on the new handle assembly. This will come into play for step #9. DO NOT REMOVE IT UNTIL THE NEW HANDLE IS INSTALLED!
Tools I Used
13mm socket, one wobbly 13mm for one nut
3/8" drive cordless impact, ratchet will do just fine for the slow-pokes
Short pry bar (screwdriver would probably do)
Took me 15 minutes to swap it out, without reading a how-to, and taking pictures of everything. So whatever that is worth!
(1) Anyway, so first off you should probably knock off the shift knobs. I've read about people about putting both feet on the seats and pulling like they hate it to remove it. That's a pretty poor method for doing it, work smarter...not harder folks!
Take a crescent wrench and wrap the flats with something to protect the shifter shaft, rag or something. Put it under the knob and just tight enough that you can move it on the shaft. Now before you do the next part of this step, the shifter knob will go somewhere. Either have someone just rest their hand on it, big towel, something.. Take your trusty hammer, 4pounder makes it easy, and rack the wrench a couple times. The shifter will pop off.
Now wasn't that easier then pulling like hell and popping yourself in the mouth when it lets go?! Thought so.
(2) Remove the manual shifter boot. The clips are toward the rear of the Jeep, see picture. The front just has a hook on it. Do NOT pull up on the front of the shifter boot. Pop the two clips out of the back (I just used my paws and pulled up), and remove the boot so it's out of the way.
Left = Front
(3) Not sure this was necessary, but I popped it out because it was easy enough. The little pocket, or whatever you have down there has two clips at the top you pull straight out towards you. The bottom has tabs that slide into the dash. So pop out the top two clips and remove it.