Let's discuss door handles again...

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by janikphoto, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. janikphoto

    janikphoto Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    So, the 1999 suburban has had a tricky passenger front door latch since I bought it last year. The outside works fine, but the inside handle feels like it doesn't open without just the right pull. Now, my driver's side front door is starting to act the same way. I'm guessing this is why you see so many broken interior door handles in this era of burbs and trucks. People think the door isn't opening and/or it requires more force to open. Now, here is my question:

    Since the outside handle still seems to work fine, does this eliminate the actual latch/striker/post that holds the door closed? Is the problem coming from a worn-out piece located on the actual interior door handle assembly? I notice where on the post and the latch mechanism looks rough, but it is working just fine when I use the outside handle. I'm guessing if these were the culprit, the door would be hard to open from the inside AND outside. However, I didn't really see anything obvious that could wear out on the interior door handle when I had to change out my rear driver's side unit for unrelated problems. It looks like the type of unit that will work until something breaks and then it just stops working all together - not like a piece that will start acting finicky and harder to open, but still work.

    So, who has pinpointed the definite weak point on this common problem?
     
  2. Justice17

    Justice17 New Member

    A friend of mine has a Ford Exploder that was having a similar problem, I am not sure if this will be much help but he had a little plastic clip that was on the lever that engaged the child lock when it broke it became stuck and the door could only be opened from the outside. It's a little white clip in the linkage double pronged (or should be) if this helps you're welcome, if not good luck.
     
  3. Naptime

    Naptime Rockstar 100 Posts

    I think Justice is on the right track. Probably some plastic or nylon coupler cracked or broken.
     
  4. janikphoto

    janikphoto Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    The driver's door wouldn't have a child lock on it, but that is a good suggestion for people looking at rear doors.

    I sprayed some wd-40 on the actual striker/latching mechanism at the end of the door and the door opens easier now. wd-40 won't be a permanent solution, but at least it tells me that I've probably found the weak point. Since the back doors open well and the fronts don't, I noticed that the front strikers and posts looked very worn compared to the backs. I'll replace them and see if the problem persists. If it still happens, then I'll look at replacing the inside handles and any plastic clips between the two.
     
  5. espdp2

    espdp2 New Member

    I've replaced both front inside door handles with parts from Autozone. For the driver's side, I had to tweak the linkage connecting the inside and outside handes to stop it from popping loose. My strikers look worn as well. I suspect that we both need to replace the door hinge pins and bushings. Like all things, they start to sag with time and gravity, and this can affect how easily the doors open and close. Try lifting your door up to check for play in the hinges.
     
  6. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 3 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I would also say to check the hinges. I had issues with my door opening, I pulled the door panel, took off the plastic clip that is on the rod and gave it a couple turns to tighten the rod up. The door opens great now. If you decide to buy new handles the cheapest place I have found them is monsterautoparts.com
     
  7. janikphoto

    janikphoto Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    That's a good idea. I didn't know that turning the rod would adjust the amount of pull it had. I assumed it was clipped/clamped in, not screwed in. Thanks!
     
  8. Jessica1990

    Jessica1990 New Member

    I am here to learn.Thanks for sharing.
     
  9. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 3 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I actually removed the clip and turned it on the rod. My clip was a clamp type that clamps onto the rod but can be adjusted. I just squeezed where it mounts to the handle with a pair of needle nose pliers and pushed it out of the hole . If you move the rod itself I think that it would tighten on one end and loosed on the other. Therefor just moving the rod but keeping your issue the same.

    here is a pic of what mine looked like
    http://classicclipsandautobody.com/store/page17.html
     
  10. janikphoto

    janikphoto Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    So, I pulled my door panel, and didn't find anything that could be turned on the rod. It seems to be clipped on both ends. I did find a spot on the rod (as seen in the pic, which loaded upside down on accident. Just stand on your head while viewing it!) that had a slight bend. I increased the bends to shorten the rod some, but the inside door handle still doesn't work correctly.

    I compared it to the rear doors, and it seems like something is simply worn out. You have the pull the front door handle further out before you start to feel anything grab/engage/click... and it needs to be pulled further back for the door to actually open. I found that the trim ring around the inside handle was actually blocking the handle from completing its job, and that's why I need to give a good, hard tug on the front ones to open the doors. The back doors open just fine (not worn out yet, I guess) and the door opens before the handle hits the trim ring. I can feel something "grab" sooner and the door just "feels" right when it opens.

    For now, I just pulled off that plastic trim ring around the inside handles on the front doors. With them out of the way, the doors open fine. The handles get pulled back a bit more than the were originally designed to be pulled, but there is no "forcing" of the doors now. This tells me that either the inside handle needs to be replaced, or the actual latch on the end of the door (the part that actually latches on to the post and holds the door closed).

    I'll hit up a junkyard soon and see if they have of suburban with good door parts on it. It looks like the front and rear door parts are the same, so maybe I'll find some rear doors (second row doors, not the back barn doors) that aren't worn to scavenge from...
     

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