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Make your own replacement 3rd door handle

38449 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  rimara
Hi! I don't post here much I usually just browse, but I thought this might be useful to some of you guys over here. So I thought I would copy my post from s-seriesforum.

Mine recently broke so I got some initiative. I've seen the ones that are one ebay for about $30 so I modeled mine off of that one. It was pretty simple to make using 5/16" aluminum rod. First off your going to want to remove yours by taking out the two T30 torx bolts holding the assembly in the door, the gasket behind it is really sticky so you need to pry it loose. Once that is done you can pull the assembly out just far enough to take an automatic center punch and tap the pin holding the handle in place up from the bottom. After it is up about 1/4" you should be able to pull it out the rest of the way with your fingers. I used the broken pieces of the handle to take measurements for bending the new one. If you use this pic as your blue print you should be all set, you need to copy and paste the link, http://www.geocities.com/inthebatcave/handle.jpg. Before you start bending the rod you are going to want to pound some flats into the ends of the rod, to make drilling the holes for the pin easier and to make the handle fit better.
Once you have it bent to shape you need to drill 13/64" holes in the handle 1" from the outer edge. Now if you bent it correctly you should have one leg of the handle slightly longer than the other, that is the top of the handle. On the top leg of the handle you need to file a 3/8" flat into it. This is were it engages the mechanism inside the door. You should file it deep enough to where it will be just below the hole you drilled for the pin. (again copy and paste the link)http://www.geocities.com/inthebatcave/handle2.jpg
Here is another pic comparing the original with the new http://www.geocities.com/inthebatcave/handle1.jpg
I didn't bother polishing mine but I am sure it would be easy enough if you wanted to.

Now if you compare the remains of the original while you are making yours it is really easy. I made mine in about half and hour, and installing the new handle took all of two minutes using the center punch to drive the pin back in. If your center punch has a replacable tip you should unscrew it and use it as a drift punch so your not deforming the end of the pin. Thats about all I can think of, any questions
Tools needed for removal installation and fab
:T30 torx bit
:Flat head screwdriver to pry loose the assembly from the door. Be careful not to scratch the paint!
: Drill with 13/64" bit
:Vise to assist in bending the rod and aluminum jaws if you have them
:small file
:automatic center punch
:Small ruler

Supplies needed
:5/16" aluminum rod

Cost of project
:free, I just happened to get my hands on some scrap 5/16" rod

Sorry for the crappy pics all I had is a webcam.


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Re: Need help posting to thread

Fellow broken 3rd door handle victims,

A tip for making the bends in the 5/16 rod. I went to the hardware store and unfortunately, they only had steel rod instead of aluminum in 5/16. My tools are a little limited - handtools and a vice.

Take a look at InTheBatCave's handle pic:


When I tried to bend the steel rod, it was very stiff and resulted in a large radius bend and the 2 bends were distorted and did not give me a clean "U" shape. Also, I found it hard to get the spacing right.

What worked for me was to clamp the rod in the vice. Using a standard file, I put 2 "V" grooves in the rod. The Vs are to help you make a clean 90 degree bend in the rod and to better control the bend spacing. Looking at the pic you will see the 1 13/16 dimension that you need to hold. If you file the "V" grooves spaced at 1 13/16 + 5/16 = 2 1/4 you should get the right space between the legs of the U. For these dimensions to work, and to make it easy to bend, you need to file the grooves so that the "V" point is approximately halfway thru the rod. You might need to do some experimentation and make an adjustment to get the spacing right for you - I got mine right on my second try.

Gave it a gloss black paint job and it looks better than OEM. One thing is for sure, it isn't going to break!

Thanks InTheBatCave!

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