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How I fixed the coupe door handle problem


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This started when I'd recently had the problem of my driver's side door not opening again.  Been through this so many times I've lost count, but it had started lasting less and less.  I ordered a Dorman replacement from Amazon, hopefully thinking it would be the  best of the worst.

It lasted less than a month.  I'd had to set it at the limit of the adjustment right from the start, which wasn't a good sign.

Sure, it worked at first.  But it started getting harder and harder to open with seemingly every pull.  Within a few weeks it didn't open the door anymore either.

Looking more closely at the mechanism, the black aluminum arm that is part of the handle and extends all the way down gets gouged by the gold pivot bracket almost immediately.  I realized all it needed was a shim in that bracket.  But how to make it?

I headed to my nearby Ace hardware and found a 4x package of 2 1/2" x 1/2" metal strips.  They have holes in either end and "ACE" stamped into them, but I wasn't going to need that much.  The actual measurement of the shim you need to make is 9/16" x 11/32".  I ended up cutting it so that I had an 11/32" piece in the 1/2" width of the strip.  Then, I just mixed up some JB Kwik and epoxied it into place.

Hope this helps someone else with this never-ending problem with the old Gen-1 coupes.

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