Back door handle - compatible with old versions

Back door handle - compatible with old versions

Postby woodhaven22 [OP] » November 5th 2008, 12:48am

Hello

I have an 2001 Astro AWD van, which the back door handle broke today. I went to the local wrecker and found a couple but they are from older van's and not astros.

The vans range from 1993 to 1999 and include safarivans and vans with dutch doors.

Can someone tell me if these are compatible with my van type.


Also my drivers door automatic locks don't work, can I use these models to also replace this part.


Thanks
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: Back door handle - compatible with old versions

Postby Matrixx » November 5th 2008, 3:58am

Hi woodhaven22
I would stay with the New Style versions which started in 1996. Their basically the same but try to get as close to your year as possible. You didn't mention if you had Barn doors or Dutch ones. Either way, just match the latch up to the door you have, if it's Barn doors then get the handle from a Barn door vehicle, It won't fit on a Dutch door. Hope this helps. :)
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Re: Back door handle - compatible with old versions

Postby 95AstroLT » May 18th 2014, 4:12am

Bought a handle today at the junkyard for our 1997 Safari with barn doors. So many Astros and Safaris were missing handles - must be a common failure. (Ours worked, but cracked from slamming the door. It won't shut completely unless you close it quite forcefully!)
Anyway, because of scarcity I ended up getting one from a 1st generation Astro. It is constructed just a little differently from the 1997 but works fine. The only difference that might slow you down is where the unlatch rod attaches: the old style has a metal retaining clip and the newer has a plastic insert. The size of the hole the rod goes into is different, newer having the larger opening to accommodate the plastic insert, so if you get an old one be sure to save the metal clip - you will need it. (Or you could drill out the hole to the proper size for the plastic insert, but that wouldn't be my first choice.)
The one I bought came off a barn door van. However, I later found a newer Dutch door van and checked out its handle just to see if it looked similar to the one I bought. It appeared to be the same as our van has. (Didn't buy it because one mounting nuts was rusted so badly the flats were gone making it more trouble than it was worth to remove.) Also, I recall looking up parts for sale and sellers say all the rear handles are the same, Dutch or barn doors.
So while my experience at replacing the handle indicates they're all the same, you might want to double check by what you find new replacement part applications to say. Or ask the people at the yard. If they advise you incorrectly, they "should" take it back. Fortunately it's real easy to replace - 5 to 10 minutes. One of the few things that isn't a real pain on a van!
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