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Exterior Door Handles Installation
Quick Tips For Installing A New Reproduction Door Handle On Your Mustang
Step By StepView Photo Gallery
With 30 years of use, Mustang exterior door handles--particularly the driver’s door--start looking dull and operating poorly. When your thumb pushes against the button on the handle, the button no longer has that crisp, new car feel. Even if your Mustang isn’t restored, new outside door handles are easy to install and will improve the quality operation of the latch.
When you press the handle release button, a plunger pushes against a bell crank, which lifts and pulls on the actuator rod to operate the door latch. As you can imagine, after tens of thousands of openings, combined with a total lack of maintenance and lubrication, the plunger wears and the door handle mechanism begins to feel pretty flabby.
Happily, on ´64-1/2-´70 Mustangs, reproduction outside door handles are available and easy to replace. We’re only covering the first generation handles, since in ´71, Mustangs came fitted with a flush, lift-style door handle.
California Mustang carries new door handle kits, and was happy to demonstrate an installation. The company offers outside handle kits for ´65-´66 and ´69-´70 (PN 22404R, $43.95) and for ´67-´68 (PN 22404R1, $43.95). Basically, the kits all install the same way as the one shown here on a ´67 coupe.
To get inside the door, you need to remove the interior door handle, armrest and door panel. Removing the panel means carefully popping the panel retaining clips free from the door itself. Raise the window so the glass and window mechanism are out of the way. To help the job go more smoothly, spend a few minutes finding the attaching screws by hand, since you’ll be working blind. Follow along as the photos illustrate installation details to note.
Remove the old handles and bolt on the new ones. Now they’ll look good and feel solid when you open the door to hop in and go for a cruise.