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Door handle repair

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:41 pm
by Skyler Kimball
Could this door handle be repaired? It is from my 1916 Model T touring. The two pieces appear to be soldered together. Although the handle itself is good the spring mechanism has gone bad, and every time I get a few feet down the road the door swings open. What can be done?

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:33 pm
by Jerry VanOoteghem
I'm pretty sure nothing has been soldered together, at least not originally. The back cover should have small tabs that fit into small slots on the mounting plate. Those tabs would have extended through the mounting plate just a bit when first assembled. Then the tabs got peened over. You can try grinding off the peened part of the tabs, tapping or prying the cover off, installing a new spring, then brazing the assembly together.

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:15 am
by RajoRacer
Recently did this on the right front door of our '14 Touring - follow Jerry's advice but the trick is finding a replacement spring !

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:31 pm
by Rich Bingham
What to do depends on the details of the original piece. Repairing my door latch, I was able to file off the upset which left tabs proud of the back plate and enough material left to upset and hold on re-assembly. If you have to grind the tabs flush with the back plate to disassemble it will require to build up the tabs so they can be peened over on re-assembly.

Springs are not hard to make. Spring steel stock is available from McMaster-Carr. Anneal the stock to form your spring, polish it bright, then heat to blue/purple and quench. Small springs can be heated easily on an electric hot-plate like your kitchen range.

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:37 pm
by George Andreasen
Everyone is suggesting to grind off the tabs.........if they're exposed, why not heat them with a small ox-acetylne torch tip until they're red hot (not white) and bend them straight with a screw driver? The two pieces can then be disassembled and repairs made. Since the heating will anneal (soften) the tabs, they should bend right back into place. Voila!

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:45 pm
by Rich Eagle
Narrow the tabs with a chisel or punch until they will pull through the slots. If you grind them off they will not be long enough to peen back over.

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:13 pm
by Rich Bingham
What Rich E. said.
George, I have not seen any latches with "fold-over" tabs. If a latch is made that way your suggestion is a good one.

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:22 pm
by RajoRacer
I've also never seen "fold-over" tabs on early latches - mine were somewhat swedged so I took my Dremel cut-off wheel and "trimmed" the excess and had meat left to expand again.

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:11 pm
by George Andreasen
My mistake guys.......I'm not all that familiar with the door latches and inferred from the comments that tabs were involved.

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:33 pm
by Skyler Kimball
Thank you so much advice! I do not own any metal melting equipment such as a soldering iron or acetylene torch, so I will try and use a the chisel method and hope enough of the tabs are left.

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:15 pm
by HornsRus
i have been fixing these for years. this is how i do it.grind a punch 1/6 x 3/16.then support the body as close to the tab as you can then take the punch and drive it thought. then flatten the tab & body then file the tab to fit to fit the slot. then brad it back over.it works. charley

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:23 pm
by Jerry VanOoteghem
HornsRus wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:15 pm
i have been fixing these for years. this is how i do it.grind a punch 1/6 x 3/16.then support the body as close to the tab as you can then take the punch and drive it thought. then flatten the tab & body then file the tab to fit to fit the slot. then brad it back over.it works. charley
Even better!

Re: Door handle repair

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:47 pm
by Rich Eagle
This is a later one to give an idea what it looks like to any who haven't seen one. I'm sure Charlie's is a good method and I will try it. I'll still narrow them a little with a chisel first. Grinding the tabs would leave less metal to peen over so consider not doing that.
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