Fixing the interior door handles


Warning: Image Heavy!

Like many VX owners, the inside door handles have cracked on the inside seam where the plastic thins out from constantly grabbing it and pulling the door shut. Mine have been like this for years and even recently completely broke off a large piece from the drivers side. I finally took the jump to fix these things.

First I picked up 2oz of PC Products PC-7aff. Then I cleaned up the edges of the crack and degreased/dewaxed the area as best I can. Mixed up a batch of PC-7 and pressed it in from the bottom then spread some from the top. I went ahead and wrapped the handle with some painters tape to hold everything in place and let dry overnight. I then sanded everything down and re-applied a bit more PC-7 on the underside and another thin layer to the top side. I sanded down all the high spots and then decided to sand down the entire handle. Filler primed, sanded, primed again, paint x3 layers, final wet sand and one more layer of paint for texture.

Unfortunately I didn’t get many photos of the beginning stages of the process as I went all gung-ho on these things, but here are a few:

June 2015

These are after I used PC-7 to fix the cracks. I had also used it as a filler and wet sanded everything down.

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Now its time to fix the cracked/missing screw postsvx_door_handle_fix-14

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… and missing tab
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For the screw posts, I had originally used PC-7, but it didn’t look like it would hold up. So I ended up using a pen barrel which was the perfect size!vx_door_handle_fix-19

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Cut down the pen to length.vx_door_handle_fix-21

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I then poked holes for the epoxy to grab on to.
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For the posts that were broken in half, I filled the pen tube with the epoxy and spread more around it.vx_door_handle_fix-27

as for the broken tab, i used a piece of scrap aluminum and cut it out to my template.vx_door_handle_fix-28

Bent it into shapevx_door_handle_fix-29

I drilled some holes for the epoxy.
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Now I need to figure out how to fix this “ledge” on the door for the spring clips to grab onto. Don’t know what would work for the long run.vx_door_handle_fix-35

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Test fit after everything was completed. I also ended up leaving them installed to test the durability of the epoxy and the PS-7.vx_door_handle_fix-37

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Jump forward to March 2016: The PS-7 held up pretty well. no new cracks!vx_door_handle_fix-39

but the underside didn’t hold up to well. Untouched screw posts ended up cracking and one post completely came off.vx_door_handle_fix-40

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I sleeved the broken posts and epoxied them back down.vx_door_handle_fix-44

The tab held up with no problems!vx_door_handle_fix-46

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Painted and wet sanded.vx_door_handle_fix-49

Extra epoxy to hold the posts down.
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Final layer of paint.vx_door_handle_fix-52

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And installed!
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I still have to figure out how to fix that “ledge” on the door panel for the spring clips. But overall, not bad for a year long project!

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