DeRocha's inner door handle crack repair | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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DeRocha's inner door handle crack repair

DeRocha

NEX Vice President
Elite Explorer
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City, State
Brockton, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT 4x4
My driver's door handle had developed a major crack and had partially separated from the door skin. This failure was due to my driver's door sag (Hinge pin repair thread) which required me to slam the door harder and harder to get it to close. After doing this for a period of a year several inner plastic spot welds failed causing the handle to separate from the door skin which cracked the door handle.

For this repair I used Fiber glass cloth and a tube of 2 part epoxy rated to bond plastic. I first lowered the window all the way down and removed the 2 screws near the door handle. I then used a panel/trim tool to separate the plastic push pins from the door. After all the push pins are released the door skin goes up to free it from the lip along the top of the door skin. I then removed the 2 screws securing the window switches, and disconnected all wire harness connectors.

Note: The driver's window will only operate if the switch harness to the switch controller and auto down relay are connected.

I then used some 80 grit sand paper to rough up the plastic to give the epoxy a better grip/bite on the plastic. I pulled the plastic sections apart and glued the crack line and under the spot welds. I then placed weight on the door handle to keep the crack together for 20 min as the epoxy set. I then cut the fiberglass cloth to fit over the area to strengthen the repair. I mixed up the rest of the epoxy and generously saturated the fiberglass cloth. (sorry for no pictures, but its hard to work with epoxy and take pictures at the same time). I let the epoxy cure for a few hours before putting it all back together. I didn't use the door handle for 24hrs to allow the epoxy to fully cure. The door handle is now rock solid.

Inner Door Handle
You can see the crack line which was repaired with epoxy. Before the fix this crack would open up 1-2 inches when you tried to close the door.

Cracked_driver_s_door_handle_Small_.jpg


Driver's inner door skin
Driver_s_inner_door_skin_Small_.jpg


Driver's inner door
Driver_s_inner_door_Small_.jpg


Driver's switch panel
Driver_s_switch_wiring_Small_.jpg


Failed spot welds
Fiber_glassed_handle_fix_2_Small_.jpg


Fiber glassed repair
Fiber_glassed_handle_fix_Small_.jpg
 


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atistang

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94 XLT
i never thought about using a fiberglass cloth on the back side
 




Willard

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drstein

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Justin, TX
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1994 XLT
Looks like a nice repair, I have this same problem (due to the doors sagging as well)

I'll add this link, though, for anyone too lazy like me to fix it, or anyone scared of fiberglass.

http://www.directautomotiveproducts.com/repair-and-replacement-handles-ford-explorer.html

New inner handles for $16.99.

Great write up though :thumbsup:

Oh, awesome. Thank you! I found this thread but my damage was a bit worse. One fine day, I went to close my door, and the handle came off in one fell swoop.
 




Willard

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Oh, awesome. Thank you! I found this thread but my damage was a bit worse. One fine day, I went to close my door, and the handle came off in one fell swoop.

Actually that's exactly what happened to me one day as well. I was mad and slammed the door and ripped the handle off. :rolleyes:
 




cculter

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'92 sport
Actually that's exactly what happened to me one day as well. I was mad and slammed the door and ripped the handle off. :rolleyes:

Thats funny, I also had the same thing happen.
 




boggs1227

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Flowery Branch , Georgia, 1994 sport 2wd auto
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2005 colorado 2wd 5spd
good idea ...i fixed mine with j-b weld ...so far it's held.

what about your idea on a dash ? ( not a joke )
 




Robrt32

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Sledge Mississippi
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94 Explorer XLT
on almost all my doors the the hole is broke out where the 2 screws hold the door handle.... I had to use longer screw and washers to secure them
 




black91EB

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'92 XLT 5spd 4wd
ok this might sound like a stupid question but is there a bracket that holds the Auto-Down relay in place? mine just kinda hangs out and makes getting the door panel back on a major PITA. (But then, I bought my truck from an illegal that was a bricklayer, and when I got it, I noticed at some point the driver's window motor had been disconected, a hole cut in the door panel, and the window propped up with a stick, bark and all, so it was a little bit messed up)
 




boggs1227

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yes there is and it's there for a reason ...to keep it high and dry .back in janurary i was messing with my drivers door replaceing speakers and i to thought about the auto down relay ...i thought it sure would be nice to leave that relay off that stupid bracket ,so i just placed it in the door cavity and thought all was well ...bad idea..... the reason they out it on a bracket was to keep rain water that collects inside the door off the unit . 3 weeks later i was in town driveing around and all of a sudden my driver's window goes down all by it's self ...thought maybe i hit the button so i roll it up ...goes down again and keeps doing this till i get home .took the door panle off got the relay out and unplugged it and it was full of water .i dried it off and sprayed silicone on it ....still works but every now and then the auto down feature won't work but the window still does ...little bit of corrosion on the pc board i guess is the cullprit.
 




TedJ

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black91EB

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City, State
Millington, TN
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'92 XLT 5spd 4wd
yes there is and it's there for a reason ...to keep it high and dry .back in janurary i was messing with my drivers door replaceing speakers and i to thought about the auto down relay ...i thought it sure would be nice to leave that relay off that stupid bracket ,so i just placed it in the door cavity and thought all was well ...bad idea..... the reason they out it on a bracket was to keep rain water that collects inside the door off the unit . 3 weeks later i was in town driveing around and all of a sudden my driver's window goes down all by it's self ...thought maybe i hit the button so i roll it up ...goes down again and keeps doing this till i get home .took the door panle off got the relay out and unplugged it and it was full of water .i dried it off and sprayed silicone on it ....still works but every now and then the auto down feature won't work but the window still does ...little bit of corrosion on the pc board i guess is the cullprit.

Thanks, I'll have to look for the bracket next time I go junkyarding. There is a U-Pull-It yard 10 minutes from my house that has a bunch of 1st gens.
 




XxxMonoxideChild

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92 pile
when i got my 92. the door handle had been ripped off previousely, and it looked like someone has bondo'd the handle back on. lol.

it took awhile, but i just found another clean, uncracked door panel at my local junker's. i think ive replaced about 1/3rd of my interior now with cleaner nicer parts so far. lol. still hunting for a set of clean leathers. only ones i ever find are tan damn it!
 




black91EB

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'92 XLT 5spd 4wd
when i got my 92. the door handle had been ripped off previousely, and it looked like someone has bondo'd the handle back on. lol.

it took awhile, but i just found another clean, uncracked door panel at my local junker's. i think ive replaced about 1/3rd of my interior now with cleaner nicer parts so far. lol. still hunting for a set of clean leathers. only ones i ever find are tan damn it!

Well, I dont know what to do about your rear seats, but the seats from an sn-95/new edge mustang (94-04) are a bolt in fit for 1st gen explorers, mine has the front seats from a 96 Mustang GT in it. You might find some nice leather seats that would look good looking for mustang seats. (I did have to cut a small hole in the cloth to get to the hole for the sliding seatbelt holder the ex's have, but the frame is D&T for it already.)
 




XxxMonoxideChild

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92 pile
thats intresting info. but isnt the 91 EX's seat bolt pattern different then the 92+'s? i thought i read that awhile back. something to do with the 91's using leftover bronco2 parts.
 




black91EB

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thats intresting info. but isnt the 91 EX's seat bolt pattern different then the 92+'s? i thought i read that awhile back. something to do with the 91's using leftover bronco2 parts.

I've not heard that, but it could be. I used the seat tracks from the explorer and bolted them on to the mustang seat, but you could be right. If that's the case, perhaps you could use mustang seats with 91 brackets in a 92+?
 




black91EB

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been meaning to take a pic of this for a while, but here is another interesting way to fix a broken inner handle. This is on my 91, was like this when I bought it, and since I don't have the other parts, I have just left it. Works fine.
DSCN0722.jpg
 




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