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I am not having good luck with the search function on this one, sorry for what seems like probably an often asked question.

 

My driver’s door handle is droopy. It would look so much better if it matched the horizontal body lines. Is there a standard fix for these before I try to re-invent the wheel? 

 

I haven’t even tried to remove it or anything yet. I’m imagining a square or flat peg that is rounded off or is wallering out a hole? Any advice is more than welcome!

 

Thanks!

 

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35 minutes ago, Jj1981 said:

It could be the spring or springs are worn out in the mechanism mine were bad and a member hooked me up and fixed the problem

yes it's typically a mechanism issue rather than the handle itself. I'd start with oiling everything and see if it just needs to be freed up. 

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It’s this one.

 

It could use some greasing but it has free play in it. Hopefully if I unscrew the two exterior screws it will just pull out like a house doorknob with a square male drive and I can just hold it in a vice just past the witness marks of the interlock and twist it the required # of degrees up with ox/a pursuasion or add metal and file it back down or whatever is necessary. 

 

If I can get that going a good cleaning and greasing will ensure it doesn’t need excessive torque in the future.

448ECA70-4266-4D08-8839-BDCAD3038BF7.jpeg

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It will not just pull out.  There's a set screw in a retainer that must first be loosened.  Unfortunately, it's a socket style set screw that's sits below the edge of the retainer that's usually rusty in the exposed threads.  There's a small hole in the side of the door that you work through.  Good luck with it.  That set screw has been a real trial for most of us.

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I don’t remember a set screw but mine looked just like yours and would barely catch.  You will have to take the mechanism out of the  doorand that is a job because of the glass track and all be very careful I cracked my glass not being gentle. The springs are what keep the handle horizontal 

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11 hours ago, Dave72dt said:

It will not just pull out.  There's a set screw in a retainer that must first be loosened.  Unfortunately, it's a socket style set screw that's sits below the edge of the retainer that's usually rusty in the exposed threads.  There's a small hole in the side of the door that you work through.  Good luck with it.  That set screw has been a real trial for most of us.

you are thinking of the lock

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10 hours ago, Jj1981 said:

I don’t remember a set screw but mine looked just like yours and would barely catch.  You will have to take the mechanism out of the  doorand that is a job because of the glass track and all be very careful I cracked my glass not being gentle. The springs are what keep the handle horizontal 

 

take the two screws out on the outside bezel and the handle will pull straight out.  It looks like your spring has broken.  You'll need to find a donor or have one made.

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4 hours ago, ggdad1951 said:

you are thinking of the lock

Oops, been a while since I've worked on a door.  Mine no longer has conventional handles or locks.  Be nice to get the car done so I can get back to the truck.

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   A search for spiral wound door handle springs netted, joes auto door lock springs. Go look. That same search found joesantiqueauto.com . It's a Ford sight, but a lot of parts work for us. Wiper arm grommets, headlight bucket gaskets, dimmer switch, aux. lights to name a few. 

 

Edited by 9 foot box
more information

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My 47 has the same problem. I haven’t pulled the latch assembly apart yet so I am not sure what to expect when I get in there. I did come across these pictures (I am a visual guy) that helped me understand how it works. This is 48-49, but I have to believe yours has to be similar.

 

CA2C36CC-2B5B-4238-9A60-CDA10964A091.jpeg.9548f20a947bab6b4d8315014eebd906.jpeg954ECEC3-A1AF-4A40-BF96-C88D1FF35655.jpeg.91482ea77373f7ad88d574f9b24df7db.jpeg

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Hi:

My memory is not what it used to be (if it ever was!) but, on some vehicles the handle's shank becomes worn, letting the handle sag.  If the handles can be swapped from side to side (i.e., swap driver's and passenger's handles) both will look good for no cost.  This may not apply to your exact vehicle, but may be worth checking into. 

Dennis M. in W. Tenn.

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The two springs are different sizes in each mechanism I was able to make one out of cotter pin but wasn’t perfect by no means 

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Radarsonwheels, my PT had a hanging door handle on the driver side like yours. I really didn`t like that hanging thing, so I put it on to the to do list for the winter.

But just some weeks ago the handle completely gave in and was hanging vertically down. I expected a broken spring.

I pulled out the door latch assembly saw no obvious damage.

After dismantling the latch assembly and figure out how these parts work together it was clear the reason was wear.

Enclosed some pictures, which may help to understand and fix the latch in case yours has got the same problem:

 

Blue arrows shows the edge which was worn.

The green line indicates where the edge should be.

I fixed this by welding material to the latch and grind it to correct length.

Note: It helps a lot to draw the outlines to a board before welding (picture 4). So it is easier to grind the edge to the proper length.

latch1-4.jpg.c0f0754bf40369a6116c58c01d027f94.jpg

 

Picture 5 shows the worn edge (red line) which led to a gap to the rotating piece (green line) and thus to the wobbly/hanging handle

latch5.thumb.jpg.efafb22f81b285a1316e83b10623e3fa.jpg

 

Picture 6 displays the fixed edge. No gap - no wobble, no hanging handle 😊

latch6.thumb.jpg.a21f0d57052da75327331e0b5b99f783.jpg

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PT81's repair is the correct way to properly repair the lock mechanism however its been my experience that depending on how bad the handle is hanging that using a judicious amount of heat on the square handle shaft with it held in a vice its possible to gently bend/twist the shaft enough to compensate for the wear..........its not a perfect solution however it can help to improve the hanging handle senario.........my Oz 2 cents...................andyd 

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5 hours ago, Andydodge said:

.... its been my experience that depending on how bad the handle is hanging that using a judicious amount of heat on the square handle shaft with it held in a vice its possible to gently bend/twist the shaft enough to compensate for the wear...

Good idea ! I definitely will keep that in mind should the other side or this start hanging again. At least to consider for fine tuning the handle.

In my case the wear didn`t only lead to the mentioned gap, it also let the (what I call) rotating piece slip over the slide latches edge. So it was hanging completely down and no longer possible to open the door.

Thank you, Jan

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15 hours ago, Jerry Roberts said:

See reply # 2  , i did mine without heat as it was soft steel . 

I’ll have to see what I’m working with then decide. A cherry/orange heat would anneal and soften the stressed part while a cold twist would work harden and make it brittle. I think a good cleaning and greasing would be the best thing I could do so that the latch sees less stress in yhe future .

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I have quickly bent a few handle shafts on cars and trucks in the past... no heat used.... no fear of the handle bending or breaking afterwards....definately not the correct way but a quick fix.

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Update:

I took the two exterior machine screws out  and the handle with square drive pulled right out together. I measured it needed 20° of correction so I put it in the vice and found it was bent 7° down.

 

With the part that interacts with the latch safely in the vice jaws I clamped a vice grip near the handle and the steel was soft enough to easily bend a spiral in the square profile until my angle finder said 13° up. 

 

I cleaned and oiled the latch mechanism and re-installed the handle. It now sits straight and needs much less effort to work- should be good for another 60 years of service!

 

Thanks again for the detailed responses if I ever run into more trouble I’ll know what I’m dealing with. 

 

I might have a ratty truck but it looks much much better with the door handle complimenting instead of clashing with the lines!

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I have a similar problem but I am unable to pull the latch due to the locking mechanism.

My lock is mounted below the handle and fits through the latch. 

 

1948 De Soto 

 

Thanks in advance for any advice. 

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