How to: - How To: Drivers Exterior Door Handle Replacement | Page 11 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to: How To: Drivers Exterior Door Handle Replacement

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Ill be joining the group to have to figure out my driver door problems.

I have two right now.

The key doesnt open the door from the outside and the button pressing wont unlock the door.

I noticed the small spring in my lock assembly and I bet either the spring is broken inside the door area or the actuator came off its rivet.

Ill tear it all apart and figure it out when i get home.
 



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Ill be joining the group to have to figure out my driver door problems.

I have two right now.

The key doesnt open the door from the outside and the button pressing wont unlock the door.

I noticed the small spring in my lock assembly and I bet either the spring is broken inside the door area or the actuator came off its rivet.

Ill tear it all apart and figure it out when i get home.

Yeah, I had the same problem. There's a small spring that breaks inside the latch. Pretty common problem. I pulled the broken spring out of my '97's driver's door latch and it's worked fine for well over a year now. You might be lucky and be able to do the same, or you may need a new latch (they ain't cheap, or easy to change). The loose spring gets in the way of the moving parts of the latch. Sometimes mine would open (with the key or remote) and some times it would not.
 






Fixed it with a couple rubber bands instead of a spring.

The spring in the locking mechanism came loose from its original spot but doesnt seem to be affecting anything. I guess it got hung up in there but still has tension.
 






Fixed it with a couple rubber bands instead of a spring.

The spring in the locking mechanism came loose from its original spot but doesnt seem to be affecting anything. I guess it got hung up in there but still has tension.

rubber bands will not last very long. did you get the spring out? if not it will tend to keep getting in the way.
 






[MENTION=186147]koda2000[/MENTION]

Wife had to borrow the explorer and Im driving the project stang because her car is in the shop with a broken AC. So i just did a temporary fix.

I will pull it all apart again and remove the lock mechanism when I can keep the explorer in the garage for more than just an evening.

I used two big rubber bands I got from work that bind tons of documents together not the cheap ones at HEB. So i hope it will last for a few days at least. Its just holding up the yellow tab portion so it shouldnt put too much strain on those thick rubber bands.

Everything is working perfectly again even though I know the spring in the locking mechanism is not connected properly.

What exactly does that spring do?
 






[MENTION=186147]koda2000[/MENTION]

Wife had to borrow the explorer and Im driving the project stang because her car is in the shop with a broken AC. So i just did a temporary fix.

I will pull it all apart again and remove the lock mechanism when I can keep the explorer in the garage for more than just an evening.

I used two big rubber bands I got from work that bind tons of documents together not the cheap ones at HEB. So i hope it will last for a few days at least. Its just holding up the yellow tab portion so it shouldnt put too much strain on those thick rubber bands.

Everything is working perfectly again even though I know the spring in the locking mechanism is not connected properly.

What exactly does that spring do?

I have no idea, as my '97's latch seems to work fine w/o it. I suppose its purpose is to return something inside the latch to a certain position. Resetting it if you will. I've read that the spring on the lock rod fix serves two purpose. I've used it to repair the "floppy door handle" issue on my '01 EB, but it's also supposed to help with the broken spring in the latch issue.
 






well since neither of us know what that little spring in the lock system does. I am going to see how long the rubberbands last just for grins. I can refer back to this post whenever they fail again and I have to replace them.
 






I attempted this technique today. Picked up a spring from a Menards home improvement store, and picked up another one from a small local hardware store. Both gold in color. BOTH broke when trying 90° bend. Going to look for some other spring options, or a replacement handle.

On another note, I was stoked to find new correct sized bolts, rubber backed washers, and nylock nuts for a temporary re-install :D

Yesterday I finally got around to repairing my passenger side front floppy door handle problem. This photo shows (from the top) the remains of the original handle spring, and the spring from the Tru Value hardware commercial spring bin (evidently 'bin 27'):

attachment.php


I bent the Tru Value spring like this:

attachment.php


And reinstalled it in the old handle like this:

The technique that worked for me was to install the rivet into the untensioned spring, then grab the longer right angle bend of the spring with pliers and brute force it into place.

The Tru Value spring is stronger than the original handle spring, so I just used one spring (rather than one at each end) and got a good feel.

'Hope this helps.
 






My key won't unlock the front doors so... I just hope to have battery all the time to unlock my car.

As for bending a spring - try heating it up (red) at that end with a lighter, then bend it.
 






I attempted this technique today. Picked up a spring from a Menards home improvement store, and picked up another one from a small local hardware store. Both gold in color. BOTH broke when trying 90° bend. Going to look for some other spring options, or a replacement handle.

On another note, I was stoked to find new correct sized bolts, rubber backed washers, and nylock nuts for a temporary re-install :D

Not worth the effort to fool with replacing broken springs. Replacement door handles are under $8 on ebay. I've installed 3 of them (on different explorers) over the past few years. None of them has broken to-date.
 






My key won't unlock the front doors so... I just hope to have battery all the time to unlock my door

If the fob (and/or keypad) opens the door every time, then the lock is problem, not the latch. Have you tried spraying some WD40 into the lock and exercising it with your key? This method has worked for me at least a dozen times to free up dirty/stuck lock cylinders. If your key is worn down, try your spare.

When I got my '01 ST, back in June, not one of the locks (all 5 on them) would turn. A squirt of WD40 in each lock got them all working again in under 5 mins.
 






Thanks, I forgot about that trick (used on my Sable years ago)! I used now silicone spray and it worked for my front two doors. The rear door it is still not working, but at least I won't be locked outside!

But... you said 5 locks? My rear doors don't have any locks.
 






Thanks, I forgot about that trick (used on my Sable years ago)! I used now silicone spray and it worked for my front two doors. The rear door it is still not working, but at least I won't be locked outside!

But... you said 5 locks? My rear doors don't have any locks.

The Sport Trac has 3 locks (2 for the front doors and 1 for the tailgate + 2 more on the OE hard tonneau cover = 5.
 






Not worth the effort to fool with replacing broken springs. Replacement door handles are under $8 on ebay. I've installed 3 of them (on different explorers) over the past few years. None of them has broken to-date.

I would have to paint the replacement door handle. Paint pry would not match, and would bother me every time I opened the door :shifty_ey

I might consider getting an aftermarket one, and swapping the springs out, just to make things more difficult overall :D
 






I would have to paint the replacement door handle. Paint pry would not match, and would bother me every time I opened the door :shifty_ey

I might consider getting an aftermarket one, and swapping the springs out, just to make things more difficult overall :D

I've painted mine with Duplicolor paint and clear coat and got a perfect match. On my red XLT I found using a silver undercoat before spraying the Toreador red worked so well I even painted the gray plastic lift-gate handle. It looks like it came from the factory painted. If I think of it I'll post a picture later today.

Here's the pics. Granted, I'm probably better with a spray can than your average bear, but it's not that hard to do.

Door handle:


Lift-gate handle:
 






I wanted to reply to this topic, and help contribute since these last 8 pages made it relatively easy to fix my handle. I have a 96 Exp Sport, V6. I probably spent $3.00 total to fix this problem. A spring, a new screw, a washer, a bolt, that's about it.

When drilling out the rivets that hold the handle, I did as recommended- used a punch to take out the centers, it took two hits each and they were gone. I didn't use the 5 1/6 drill bit the drill out the rest of the rivet, I used a bit that was smaller and worked great.

I went to two True Value hardware stores in my area, both had no idea where "bin 27" was. Frustrating. At the second store they recommended a larger True Value a couple of miles away that carries more. As I looked through the screw aisle at the larger store I finally found what they were talking about here. I've attached two photos showing the display, and the spring location.





I bought 6 springs, and could part with 4 of them if anyone here can't find them. Drop me a note, They were only $1.19 each.

You'll need to drill out the shaft in the handle itself that the spring runs on, and replace it with a screw and nut.

It took me about 1 1/2 hours to do this at an easy pace. It doesn't take any special tools either. I'm pretty handy, and don't know a lot about engines, but this type of repair is easy if you're mechanically inclined.

Here's a good YouTube video showing the process:



Thanks everyone for your help here, it's a great forum!



Where are you pics and youtube video??
 






I've painted mine with Duplicolor paint and clear coat and got a perfect match. On my red XLT I found using a silver undercoat before spraying the Toreador red worked so well I even painted the gray plastic lift-gate handle. It looks like it came from the factory painted. If I think of it I'll post a picture later today.

Here's the pics. Granted, I'm probably better with a spray can than your average bear, but it's not that hard to do.

Nice job :thumbsup:
 






Not worth the effort to fool with replacing broken springs. Replacement door handles are under $8 on ebay. I've installed 3 of them (on different explorers) over the past few years. None of them has broken to-date.

I just dug online for handles, and figured out that all side door handles for the 95-97 are all the same. Might have to hit the junkyards and pluck the rear ones from one with the same exterior color. I know there was at least one the last time I went.

[MENTION=186147]koda2000[/MENTION], any idea on how difficult removal is on the rear doors?
 






I just dug online for handles, and figured out that all side door handles for the 95-97 are all the same. Might have to hit the junkyards and pluck the rear ones from one with the same exterior color. I know there was at least one the last time I went.

[MENTION=186147]koda2000[/MENTION], any idea on how difficult removal is on the rear doors?

The rear handle removal is pretty much the same as the front (punch & drill rivets, open yellow rod clip and unhook rod from the slot in plastic handle). Installing a rear one with screws, washers and nuts is slightly more difficult because the rearmost screw is harder to get at, but it's doable with a bit more cursing.
 



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I can confirm the spring trick does work on the rear doors.

You need this type of spring (Worked best in my case)
20160103_161858.jpg


I had to cut this one to size. I used a little over half of this spring.
I added the clip on one end as pictured to clip onto the hole for the latch clearing (latch hinge still clears) and I used a keyring on the other end to loop around the rod and clip.

Here is the finished product:
20160103_164702.jpg
 






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