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Simple Corvette Door-Handle Replacement

Locked Out!

Tom Rounds Apr 11, 2000

Step By Step

Replacing the old, worn exterior door handles was a must on this 󈨑. Here you can see that they no longer worked properly. The driver-side door wouldn’t open, and the passenger door would get stuck in the open position.

In order to gain access to the door-handle mounting bolts and the linkage, the interior door panel had to be removed. First, Hope from Corvette Clinic removed the door pull and lock knob.

After removing the screws, Hope removed the door panel. There should be a moisture barrier between the door and the panel, but it was missing on this car.

The lock water shield was removed to create more room to get at the mounting bolts. Here, Hope removes the screws holding the shield and slides it down into the lower part of the door. Even with limited room, this makes it easy to reinstall the shield.

Hope loosened and removed the mounting bolts. You can see that the space is very tight, so lots of patience is a must.

The linkage has a clip holding the rod coming down from the handle in place. Slide the clip halfway off, and the rod will slide out. After removing the rod, slide the clip back into place. When the rod is reinstalled, all you need to do is push it on.

Here the door handle is removed.

When installing the pushrod onto the new handle, note that the spring clip is not designed to hold the rod on, but to stop binding and rattling. Mount the clip as shown here.

Here you can see the retaining clip and how it works.

The tube-like end slides over the latch lever, and then the rod is pushed through the clip and lever until it snaps into place.

Hope slides the push rod into its proper position while lowering the new door handle into place. We also put a new rubber gasket around the door handle’s perimeter.

The two retaining bolts on the door handle are tightened back up.

In order to get the clip back onto the latch lever and the pushrod back into place, we had to remove the latch. This gave us room to work and the ability to move pieces around. Here the three screws are removed.

A new retaining clip was snapped onto the lock knob before we put it back on the door.

The lock knob and the splined stud fit together only one way. They both have a flat spot, seen here where the screwdriver is pointing.

The finished door handle.

Corvette Clinic’s Chris Petris gave us a tip on keeping the door handle working like new. While holding the handle in the open position, spray penetrating oil onto the springs. Use plenty, as it will also seep through the drain holes on the bottom of the door-handle housing. This will help oil the linkage inside the door. The mechanism must be lubricated frequently because the handle is located on the top of the door, where water can easily wash off the oil.

I closed the door. As it clicked shut, I remembered that the driver-side door handle no longer worked--and the windows were closed. The passenger-side door handle wasn't much better but, luckily for me, it opened with a little persuading. This was a need-to-fix-in-a-hurry situation, or someone would get locked out without actually locking the doors!

A call to Trim Parts for new chrome handles, and another to Corvette Clinic for installation, and these doors would be working like they just came off the assembly line.


Trim Parts
Corvette Clinic
Sanford, FL

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