Replacing the door handles

Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby astroid » May 20th 2009, 10:57pm

I finally replaced the drivers handle on my "99 last week...what a pain in the arse!!!!!

I put it all back together and found out the key linkage was not hooked up.

In the process, the latch closed and I have been driving it that way ever since. I thought that the key should open the latch put it does not.

Any ideas?
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby astroid » May 20th 2009, 11:01pm

I failed to mention that I took the door panel back off and hooked up the key linkage and in the process the latch closed and is stuck. I cannot fully close the door.

Needless to say, the van is not secure and I am growing tired of holding the door closed during right hand turns.
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby Big_kid » May 22nd 2009, 2:46am

So, the door won't close at all? Is the interior handle still hooked up? Is the door open or closed, or closed but not fully? I'm confused. :confused:
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby rev_les » May 22nd 2009, 3:15am

make sure the lever where the lock rod attaches is in the "unlock" position. then use your hand to actuate the "open" lever where the door handle attaches. Mine did it too, but I played with it a few minutes and it opened. you may need to simulate the striker being pulled through the mechanism to get it to the fully open position. I'm 250 miles from my still doorpanel-less '95, but if you or the other person with this problem hasn't got it,this weekend I'll remove my latch and be more specific :)
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby toddb » May 29th 2009, 11:49pm

toddb wrote:I've replaced these stupid door handles numerous times. One of the few complaints I have with these vans. This time I tried something different. A true farmers fix. What has happened to me every time they break is first the handle cracks. next the lever that does the actual opening breaks off.

So, my handle cracked - I got some wide and thin screws #8 and screwed them into the door holding the cracked handle firmly in place, then I had to grind them even thinner as the handle was bottoming out on the screws. problem solved and took 5 minutes of my time and cost nothing. Repair has lasted for 4 months now.



Ok here Is a pic of this. YES yes I know I should have painted the screws but as I did it it the winter and it is a work van I sometimes just don't care.
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby Mr_Bowtie » May 30th 2009, 1:55am

^Quick thinking if you ask me! 8-)
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby astro355 » May 30th 2009, 9:13pm

rev_les wrote:make sure the lever where the lock rod attaches is in the "unlock" position. then use your hand to actuate the "open" lever where the door handle attaches. Mine did it too, but I played with it a few minutes and it opened. you may need to simulate the striker being pulled through the mechanism to get it to the fully open position. I'm 250 miles from my still doorpanel-less '95, but if you or the other person with this problem hasn't got it,this weekend I'll remove my latch and be more specific :)

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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby astroid » December 13th 2009, 6:12pm

My drivers door handle broke again! I just replaced it early last summer with a NEW handle that I purchased from the local salvage yard for $20.

It broke at the tiny, lower attachment point and the next day the whole handle came off. Apparently, the pin fell out?

Is there a better quality handle available?

I would like to do some type of modification to the latch/handle but I have no ideas. Maybe I can just attach a screwdriver to my key-chain and use it to push on the latch to gain access to the interior. Or I could just leave the window down but winter is fast approaching and that option would also increase the chance of theft.

How exactly does the two screw fix work???????

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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby toddb » December 13th 2009, 6:53pm

Hi astroid, I'm assuming you are referring to my repair. It works really well,(1 year and still going strong) But you have to install the screws prior to the handle completely breaking. What I've noticed in the past is that the handle cracks, but still works as it sloops around, complete failure is imminent unless the handle is secured.
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby Mr_Bowtie » December 16th 2009, 4:18pm

Mr_Bowtie wrote:I got this friend who knows a guy that just replaced his driver's door handle, but left the top nut off cause he gave up on it. The handle is working just fine and doesn't move or anything(I've been told :lol: ). You guys see a problem with using just the one bottom nut to hold the door handle in place? :banana:


Update on my friend.........his new door handle broke last week & now he is going to get another one and use both nuts. :whistle:
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby jaywoo » March 9th 2010, 10:38pm

Bump. :D I just replaced the driver's side handle. Kind-of a pain in the butt! Well, until I did this (I should have went about a 1/4" lower really). It's a 7/8" hole. I took out the bolts for the latch so I wouldn't drill into that. Now I just need to go find a 7/8" plug to seal it. Chevy did this for the bottom bolt, they could have done it for the top.

Lookie, you can see the top bolt now. Yay!!
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby astro355 » March 10th 2010, 10:33am

jaywoo wrote:Bump. :D I just replaced the driver's side handle. Kind-of a pain in the butt! Well, until I did this (I should have went about a 1/4" lower really). It's a 7/8" hole. I took out the bolts for the latch so I wouldn't drill into that. Now I just need to go find a 7/8" plug to seal it. Chevy did this for the bottom bolt, they could have done it for the top.

Lookie, you can see the top bolt now. Yay!!
[ http://www.fototime.com/33282B4BE548B03/standard.jpg ]


Yes, that's a great idea. I guess GM didn't do that because they thought the door handles would outlast the rest of the van. :rofl:
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby Mr_Bowtie » March 10th 2010, 9:57pm

Nice hole you made! It took me two door handles to get that stupid top nut on........maybe next time I will make a hole. :D
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby jaywoo » March 11th 2010, 5:01am

I did the hole after staring at it for 20 minutes trying to figure out how I was going to get the top nut on. Came to the conclusion that "what this really needs is a hole so I can get to the damn thing". :lol:
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby Jasen » March 11th 2010, 5:19am

Nice Jay.

I've still got my new handle in the door pocket. I've got a bunch of GM body plugs around here that I've saved over the years.
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby 95-1ton » March 12th 2010, 2:42am

i replaced mine today and after reading this thread, i too drilled a hole to get to the top nut... it went great util i dropped the nut into the door upon reinstallation... oh well, a trip to home depot with the old handle got me a new nut...

i replaced my non-working power window motor too...

it was great in Buffalo today... sunny, no wind, and 60 degrees...!
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby mclaugh » March 18th 2010, 2:00am

I have another question about door handle replacement: the new one doesn't seem to fit. The window channel is about 1 inch behind the panel, and the lever on the new handle extends back about 1.5 inch. It just won't go into the available space without serious hammering. The new one looks very similar to the old one. The driver's side door on my 98 Astro looks like it was replaced at one time; do the handles differ for different years? If not, what do you do? Hammer away?

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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby mclaugh » March 18th 2010, 2:18am

I have another question about door handle replacement: the new one doesn't seem to fit. The window channel is about 1 inch behind the panel, and the lever on the new handle extends back about 1.5 inch. It just won't go into the available space without serious hammering. The new one looks very similar to the old one. The driver's side door on my 98 Astro looks like it was replaced at one time; do the handles differ for different years? If not, what do you do? Hammer away?

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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby rev_les » March 18th 2010, 4:07am

No, no hammering!! Are you sure you have the correct side? ( left side is driver's side) just asking..... it should go in, yeah they're snug, the track is close, but it shouldn't interfere with the handle, just your hands getting to it inside :mrgreen:
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Re: Replacing the door handles

Postby mclaugh » March 18th 2010, 5:23pm

The track in my door definitely interferes with the handle. The track doesn't look bent, but it's the first one I've seen, so I don't really have a reference. Maybe I'll take the other door apart and see what that looks like.
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