How does the door handle rod attach? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How does the door handle rod attach?


Explorer Addict
September 2, 2011
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Year, Model & Trim Level
New to me 2000 Explorer XLT.

The PO removed the passenger side rear exterior door handle and lost the rod that connects the handle to the latch. jr59 just sent me a replacement used rod, and I have the plastic clip that attaches the rod to the latch, but the other end of the rod just has a hook on it. how does that attach to the exterior door handle? if I need another plastic clip, what does it look like? is it like the one for the lift-gate handle to its rod? (I have some spare lift-gate parts).

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I believe the hook just goes into the white plastic grommet on the handle. The grommets are snug, so the rod just hangs off the hook. Put the rod hook on first then feed handle through from outside. Then engage your yellow clip when done attaching the handle. I just did some with pop rivets

my new exterior door handle has no bushing/grommet and there was no old handle. the new handle just a slot where I imagine the hooked end of the rod goes through. there are slotted ends on both sides on the new handle, as I imagine this allows it to use on either the right or left doors interchangeably. so I should just put the hooked end in the slot? that doesn't seem right to me. I can't tell if there's supposed to be another piece to the handle from looking at the supplied drawings.

I changed a front exterior handle one of my other trucks this past spring and I recall that the rod came out with the old handle, so I must have attached the rod to the new handle, but I don't recall how. I don't remember transferring over any grommet. it was just a cheap Dorman replacement handle from RA.

I did some checking the handle changed in 98, sorry I believe I am mistaken about the grommet.

I did some checking the handle changed in 98, sorry I believe I am mistaken about the grommet.

yep, no grommet or bushing according to the thread pic supplied by swshawaii. I got the job done and it works great. the hardest part was trying to put the star washers and nuts for the new handle inside the door. it was easy on the front door I did, but the back doors are a lot more cramped. now I see why Ford used rivets.

jr59, you'll appreciate this... I wire brushed the rod you sent me and painted it silver before installing it.

I also got my new/used fog light installed. that 3rd top screw is a muther, but i'm nothing if not persistent.

tomorrow - the Dorman radio power board install, then the only fixes left are dash cluster illumination light bulbs, the console armrest cover and to replace the cracked cruise control switches. I fixed the broken cig lighter hole in the radio bezel well enough to run my phone charger, so I'll just wait until I see a good used bezel cheap (like the one I sold to another forum member last year.. lol).

does anybody have an extra under the radiator black plastic box? mine's broken.

all in all it's been a good day. no band aids or swearing necessary.