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I fixed my door handle that was not retracting

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Old 3/1/06, 05:28 PM   #1
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Well I finally got tired of waiting for my dealer to call me back about fixing my driver’s side door handle. I really didn’t want them touching my car anyway fearing that they would dent/scratch/break something else while fixing my door. So I decided to remove the door panel and see what was going on in there.

I’ve read about two different door handle problems. The first was the broken handle that had to be replaced by a new one from the factory. The second was a problem with a rod that simply needed to be re-adjusted.

When I finally got into the door I found that the rod (red arrow in photo) that connects the handle to the latch mechanism (green and blue arrows in photo) had simply slipped, keeping the handle from retracting fully. I opened the rod retainer (yellow arrow in photo), pushed the rod back up and closed the retainer. This worked just fine, but I realized that if it slipped once, it would most likely slip again.

To prevent the rod from slipping again I opened retainer again, threaded a nut (pink arrow in photo) all the way up on the rod, closed the retainer, and threaded the nut back down the rod until it rested firmly on top of the retainer. The nut should keep the rod from slipping again.

It works perfectly now and I’m pretty confident that it will not slip again.
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Old 3/2/06, 09:50 AM   #2
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Very creative fix and a great writeup! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumb.gif[/img]
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Old 3/2/06, 08:36 PM   #3
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I was going to poke fun at the pink arrow, but this is too informative to make a joke at.
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Old 3/4/06, 06:21 AM   #4
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GREAT fix [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumb.gif[/img] I’m going to have to try that on my drivers’ door. I haven't even looked at my door panel yet, is it hard to remove? Thanks and good info. Joe
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Old 3/4/06, 04:14 PM   #5
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As soon as the weather gets a bit warmer around here I'll be giving that a try. Hopefully we won't have to do it on the passenger sides as well. Thanks for the tip! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumb.gif[/img]
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Old 3/7/06, 04:14 PM   #6
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(IE8Z28 @ March 4, 2006, 8:24 AM) Quoted post</div><div class='quotemain'>
GREAT fix [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumb.gif[/img] I’m going to have to try that on my drivers’ door. I haven't even looked at my door panel yet, is it hard to remove? Thanks and good info. Joe
[/b][/quote]

It's not too difficult to remove the door panel. There is a decent how-to sticky called "work instructions" in this section (issues). Look for door panel removal under the interior heading. I didn't realize those instructions were there until after I had removed the panel, so I will tell you about a few things that I encountered that are probably not detailed in the sticky.

The sail panel including the mirror adjusting **** pulls straight away from the door.

The little cover under the inside door latch was the most difficult to remove because until you see how it is made, you try very hard not to break it. I grabbed it at the back end with a little hooked nail and pulled until it came out. There is a TORX screw under the cover that holds the door panel, so the cover must be removed.

There is another TORX screw behind the panel near the door handle, the part you grab to close the door. That panel comes away from the main panel at the top and is hinged (sort of) at the bottom.

There is a Philip's screw behind the power window button housing. The PW buttons are part of one assembly which is connected to another assembly. Pull both away from the main panel together. It is much more difficult to remove and replace them separately. (I know from experience.)

Once all of the screws are removed, you must lift up on the panel and over the lock button. Disconnect the door lock switch, speakers, etc.

I did not disconnect the inside door latch from the panel. I put a piece of carpet on the driveway and simply let the panel rest there.

I pulled the clear plastic water barrier away from the door just enough to see/reach up inside the door to effect the repair.

I wish I remembered the thread size of the nut, but I don't. If I had to guess, metric 12-24 maybe.

And this is the short version?

Hope this helps and good luck! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumb.gif[/img]
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Old 3/9/06, 08:39 PM   #7
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Great write-up, I saved this page for future reference. I currently don't have this problem, but I only have 4900km's on my car.. So the door handle hasn't really been used [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 4/25/06, 11:02 AM   #8
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Hello Phil,

was this your problem ?




thanks for answer
Ray
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Old 4/26/06, 06:09 PM   #9
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That was my problem exactly, only on my driver's side door. Still no problems since I fixed it. Good luck Ray! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumb.gif[/img]
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Old 5/1/06, 06:57 PM   #10
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(LimeGT @ April 27, 2006, 2:12 AM) Quoted post</div><div class='quotemain'>
That was my problem exactly, only on my driver's side door. Still no problems since I fixed it. Good luck Ray! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumb.gif[/img]
[/b][/quote]

Thank you again for your great statement [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumb.gif[/img] . I will report, when the repair has finished. Meanwhile I have the problem on both sides [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif[/img]
Ray
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Old 5/2/06, 09:46 PM   #11
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My Ford Mechanic tells me that my 1/8" of looseness on my outside passenger door handle is a fault in the handle, and that performing this procedure, while fixing it, wouldn't be as good as replacing the door handle with a new one that has no slop in its spring action. Does this make sense?
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Old 5/3/06, 06:08 AM   #12
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So i'm not the only one with this problem. Seen it since two days.
Thanks.
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Old 5/3/06, 05:22 PM   #13
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Gearhead @ May 2, 2006, 11:49 PM) Quoted post</div><div class='quotemain'>
My Ford Mechanic tells me that my 1/8" of looseness on my outside passenger door handle is a fault in the handle, and that performing this procedure, while fixing it, wouldn't be as good as replacing the door handle with a new one that has no slop in its spring action. Does this make sense?
[/b][/quote]

I’m not a Ford mechanic, and I can only speak to my specific problem, but I have to disagree regarding which fix would be better. Unless the door handle has been redesigned, a replacement part would be just as prone to failure as the original. In fact, at least in my case the handle assembly itself was not the problem. And the gap you refer to is adjustable depending on the placement of the rod in the plastic/nylon retainer.

If you look closely at the photo in my original post you will see the retainer (yellow arrow) with the threaded rod (red arrow) inside it. The problem occurs when force is applied to the outside handle and the rod actually ‘slips’ down through the retainer. Once it slips the door handle will not retract fully by itself. The retainer must be opened and the rod returned to its correct position. The nut on the top end of the rod prevents the rod from slipping down again. And where the rod is placed in the retainer is how the adjustment is made. I placed mine so that there is no gap on the outside handle. In fact, I’m planning to do my passenger side before it fails and to eliminate the gap on that side.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumb.gif[/img]
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Old 5/27/06, 12:08 AM   #14
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Thanks for the fix Phil, mine developed the same problem today! I'll pull the panel tomorrow and fix it.
Paul
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Old 3/10/07, 08:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LimeGT View Post
Well I finally got tired of waiting for my dealer to call me back about fixing my driver’s side door handle. I really didn’t want them touching my car anyway fearing that they would dent/scratch/break something else while fixing my door. So I decided to remove the door panel and see what was going on in there.

I’ve read about two different door handle problems. The first was the broken handle that had to be replaced by a new one from the factory. The second was a problem with a rod that simply needed to be re-adjusted.

When I finally got into the door I found that the rod (red arrow in photo) that connects the handle to the latch mechanism (green and blue arrows in photo) had simply slipped, keeping the handle from retracting fully. I opened the rod retainer (yellow arrow in photo), pushed the rod back up and closed the retainer. This worked just fine, but I realized that if it slipped once, it would most likely slip again.

To prevent the rod from slipping again I opened retainer again, threaded a nut (pink arrow in photo) all the way up on the rod, closed the retainer, and threaded the nut back down the rod until it rested firmly on top of the retainer. The nut should keep the rod from slipping again.

It works perfectly now and I’m pretty confident that it will not slip again.
Thanks a lot for the writeup. Just fixed my driversside doorhandle just the way described. Worked great!!!
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Old 3/10/07, 10:43 AM   #16
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Had my passenger one replaced already.They came pre painted
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Old 3/10/07, 04:10 PM   #17
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Great job Phil, this is such a common problem you should make this a sticky.
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Old 3/10/07, 04:29 PM   #18
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This is too strange, mine just did this yesterday. I have an appointment to take it to Ford on Tuesday. I trust my dealer, they have done good work for me so far.

Is there a TSB on this? If so, I would like to print it off for them.
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Old 3/14/07, 08:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbieg View Post
Great job Phil, this is such a common problem you should make this a sticky.
Thanks, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. I don’t how many people have actually fixed their handles this way, but I have not had any more problems in over a year. Maybe someone could add it to one of the existing ‘work instructions’ type threads.

Off the subject, are you going to the show at Fantasy of Flight in April? We can talk Mustangs and V-Stars! Here’s a link:

http://forums.bradbarnett.net/showthread.php?t=61641
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Old 3/14/07, 09:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LimeGT View Post
Well I finally got tired of waiting for my dealer to call me back about fixing my driver’s side door handle. I really didn’t want them touching my car anyway fearing that they would dent/scratch/break something else while fixing my door. So I decided to remove the door panel and see what was going on in there.

I’ve read about two different door handle problems. The first was the broken handle that had to be replaced by a new one from the factory. The second was a problem with a rod that simply needed to be re-adjusted.

When I finally got into the door I found that the rod (red arrow in photo) that connects the handle to the latch mechanism (green and blue arrows in photo) had simply slipped, keeping the handle from retracting fully. I opened the rod retainer (yellow arrow in photo), pushed the rod back up and closed the retainer. This worked just fine, but I realized that if it slipped once, it would most likely slip again.

To prevent the rod from slipping again I opened retainer again, threaded a nut (pink arrow in photo) all the way up on the rod, closed the retainer, and threaded the nut back down the rod until it rested firmly on top of the retainer. The nut should keep the rod from slipping again.

It works perfectly now and I’m pretty confident that it will not slip again.
Great info Phil..... please keep us informed if this stays fixed over the weeks, months or more, and if it does indeed prove permanent, then I will get inside my door panel and do the same. Thanks again....
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