BROKEN OUTSIDE DOOR HANDLE | Page 2 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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Well I think it is fixed! The handle seems to be staying in the plastic brackett, I did use a little super glue to hopefully help hold it there, if that doesn't work I'll use some JB or something. And for everyone, the verticle guide that is in the way of seeing everything is held in by one bolt. Mine looked looked like brass and was on the left side of the door and the bottom bolt. Just unscrew it and the verticle guide can be moved completely out of the way.

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OK, I finally had time to take the door apart. I found the V spring in the door handle was in fact broken.

I'm going to call the dealer tomorrow to see if an OEM spring is available, but I'd guess they have to sell the whole handle assembly. If so, I'll try True Value like you did, Ron.

Ron, I'm wondering about what kind of spring was in your handle. Mine is a "V" spring with about 3 turns of coil at the bottom of the "V". You actually found something like that at True Value? Or did you adapt something else?

Also, in one of your posts it sounds like you had to break one of the connectors on the door latch rod in order to get the door handle free so it could be removed. Having been thru all that, do you think there is any way to remove the handle without having to break the connector?

Just went through the whole drivers door dont work thing and found that the plastic retainer holding the rod from the door handle had sheared off. A quick trip to the ford parts counter and $5 later (for 1 clip) and I was joyfully using my handle again. If anyone is interested the part # for the retainer is E83Z-5421952-B.

OK, talked to the parts guy at the dealer today, and you cannot buy just the spring. However, you can buy the handle assembly, painted to match your truck, for $60.

Next stop, Tru-Value for the "look-a-like" spring.

Eric, my spring is as you described. I bent it over to put one end into the small hole in the part of the handle assembly that sits within the door, not the part of the handle that you grab to open the door. Buy a couple extra, they don't like to be bent in one direction and then back. As far as the clip goes, it sounds like mathnerd found it at Ford. Believe me breaking it was not by choise.

Well, Ron, I got the springs...three of them in fact. (For anyone who is going thru replacing this spring it is a "V" spring with three turns of coil at the base of the "V". At a Tru Valu Hardware store, I found it in bin #27 of a commercial collection of springs.)

Thanks Ron, mathnerd, and Blake for all the various hints and help you've given on the issue of broken door handles/rods/springs/connectors. Surely anyone who encounters a problem like this in the future will be able to access this thread in the archives and quickly be able to go to work on the problem.

I, however, am slower than Moses. I still need to get the replacement connector so if mine breaks I can replace it during the spring replacement process. Well, one step at a time, eh? In any case, another three or four months and I may actually have this all wrapped up!!!

BTW, Ron, if you had heated the plastic retainer with a blow dryer, do you think maybe you could have gotten the thing apart without it breaking? I'm going to get the new clip/retainer anyhow, but it occured to me that since it is plastic, it might come off/open easily if it was softened a bit.

That might work Eric. Did'nt think of it, just knew that it was supposed to unsnap, just not that way!

Well, Ron, I am getting the retainer just in case. I called the dealer today and they've got one which I'll pick up in a day or two. In the meantime, I'm thinking of contacting Guiness Book Of World Records to see if I can claim the Record for Most Time Spent Repairing a Broken Door Handle on an Explorer!!!

Finally got the handle repaired. And I have a few suggestions and comments for anyone who is planning to do the same.

I had no trouble getting the handle out...removed the interior trim, took away the waterguard, marked the latch rod where it fits into the retainer so I could reinstall it at the same length, unsnapped the latch rod retainer at the latch (the retainer did not break, but having a spare one on hand is still a good idea...they only cost $2.06), rotated the latch rod around and up until I was able to disconnect it from the handle, drilled out the handle rivets, and then pulled the handle assembly out of the door. Next, I had to remove the two rivets that hold the assembly together and here's where things got lousy. The rivets were almost flush with the surface to begin with, and I was only able to remove one of the two with enough metal left on it to reinstall it properly and re-mushroom the end. More on that later. I then did a little rebending on my Tru Value spring and fitted it into place. Note...the handle actually has two on each side, and they are wrapped in reverse of each will only be able to replace one spring with the Tru Value spring. Even so, it is working fine, for now at least. Anyhow, I put the assembly back together and then reinstalled the rivets. One went in OK and I was able to mushroom its end. However the other one was now so short I finally had to drill a small hole into the end of it, install it, and then affix a small drop of solder to (I hope) hold it in place. What a pain in the ass!!! I ended up messing around with these rivets for several hours, and if that drop of solder isn't really affixed well, I'll get to do it all over again. ***IF*** you can get the rivets out cleanly, this portion of the reassembly shouldn't be a problem.

Anyhow, I finally got the rivet problem more or less solved, refitted the handle to the door, affixed it with 1/4" X 1/2" bolts to replace the drilled out rivets, refitted the latch rod to the handle connector, snapped the latch rod into the latch end retainer, and buttoned the door trim back up.

The whole job would have been over in about one hour if I had been installing a whole new handle assembly. I hate to admit it, but this job took me almost four hours because of the damn rivets. (BTW, these rivets are not easily duplicated with a bolt or some generic rivet. If you tear apart a handle you'll notice the rivet has two different diameters, and if you were to try substituting a long thin bolt, the handle will be sloppy on it. If you have a machine shop to turn a new rivet, that'd be a whole different matter.) Soooo...if you are planning to fix a broken door handle spring, you might want to consider replacing the whole assembly. They cost about $60 and come prepainted.

My door handle just broke on me this morning. I pulled the handle up and heard the spring go flying inside my door panel. Looks like I have something to do this weekend.

So, which method are you gonna try?

I'm going to try to replace the spring.

for those of you who have replaced your spring/door handle, which route would you go if you had to do this again?

replace the handle assembly or replace the spring?

i think i'd be willing to spend the $60 for the handle assembly, then to play around for 1 hr looking for parts + 4 hrs for messing with the door to get things to work.

Newbe post and not familiar with message boards. Please cut me some slack. I just replaced my lock mechanisim (clamps on to the post on the frame to hold the door closed)on my 98 XLT drivers side door. I think it went bad because the springs that cause the door handle to pull back aginst the door are both broken. One went about a year ago the other went early this spring. Since then the door got harder and harder to open and finally stopped opening. I replaced the defective door lock and it works again. The handle still works but is "floppy" for lack of a better word. This has now happened to one of the springs on the passenger side door. I have not replaced either door handle yet but plan on it. It is a $30+/- part from the dealer and I have a rivet gun. The lock mechanisim was $25 and simple to replace once I removed the door trim pannel and the window track.(HAVE TO REMOVE THE WINDOW TRACK.) It takes a while but the lock comes with all new plastic retainers for the metal connecting rods to the door handle, power lock actuator, key hole, and interior door handle. I am curious to find out how bad the exterior handle replacement is before I invest the 60 on parts and half day labor! HAR!

Originally posted by 98blkx
I am curious to find out how bad the exterior handle replacement is before I invest the 60 on parts and half day labor! HAR!

If you've already been inside the door, removed the window track, replaced the door locking mechanism, etc, the door handle should be a snap. Drill out the rivets, disconnect the assembly from the retainer, reverse process for new assembly, go watch football game on TV.


Thanks for the info Eric! Booked up for Sep. Probably try the 2nd weekend in Oct. Ill update if anything cool/notcool happens.

spring broke

The door handle spring broke on my 96 XLT this week. I am going to try to repair it this weekend. The local Ford dealer wants $106 + tax for a replacement handle. I am going to try replacing the springs with ones from the harware store.
What a mess.....

Can anyone post pictures or a repair manual sketch of how this spring looks or how they modified the ones from True Value Hardware? The springs being broken are my problem otherwise the door opens fine but with no tension on the handle.

I have the whole door handle on my 94 waiting to go in. How do you do it? I drilled out the rivits, how do you unhook the latch rod? Where's this bolt for the window track? If I removed it will I have power window problems once it's re-attached?

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My driver's door springs broke a few weeks ago, and today I installed a replacement handle. I took some photos, and will post them here this evening.

I was able to get a complete handle assembly, in the correct color, from my local junkyard for $10.