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Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #201949

I recently replaced the drivers side door handle on my LHD. The plastic screw bracket had broken in the usual way.
I ordered a replacement Xpart door handle from Rimmer Bros. I had it painted and then followed the How To instructions to install. I felt I did this very carefully. I was particularly concerned about not overtightening the plastic screw brackets from fear of stripping the self taping threads. The installation went very smoothly and seemed to work perfectly.

Within a few days, one of the plastic screw brackets (towards the front of the car, not the lock side) had broken (I open my door very gently and do not pull hard on the handle). I assumed that I had made an error somehow in my installation - perhaps either too tight (causing the plastic to crack), too loose (small amount of play causing the plastic to crack) , not straight enough (angled bolt causing the plastic to crack) , bad luck etc. So I ordered another LHD drivers side door handle from Rimmers, had it painted again and went through the installation procedure again (I am starting to get good at this). I was very careful when tightening the bolts to try to get it just right. I paid close attention to the tightness, not to overtighten, The installation seemed flawless - at first.

Within an hour the same bracket had broken again in the same place, It was not even cracked (like the typical manner) - it simply separated from the door handle itself (i.e. the bolt was still attached to the plastic bracket in the door but the handle had separated from the plastic bracket.

So my conclusion is that either (i) I am incapable of tightening 2 bolts into a plastic door handle, which seems to requires the skill level of a wizard; (ii) the remanufactured plastic door handles are defective. I am inclined to the latter. My feeling is that the mold looks identical to the original but they are using a different type of plastic (the original was sort of a grey, the remanufactured is black) that perhaps is weaker than the original.

Has anyone had a similar experience with the remanufactured door handles from xpart?

I think I will look for a NOS LHD door handle for now.

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Last edit: Post by Goodwood.

Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #201953

Hello.
Yes I had the same issue with a lot of the plastics - Especially the door handles. I tried a lot of different repairs and did eventually go for buying replacements but had the same issue as you. The plastic accepting the bolt cracked leaving the handle loose of falling out.Here is my solution.

1. Take the handle out completly.

2. Find a piece of rubber or plastic tube that is a little larger diamater than the original housing. If there are bits of the housing that are of dubious intergrety just break them off. Put some cuts or rough sandpaper the back of the door handle caseing and around the outside of the housing. Basically you are keying the plastic to make a strong bond for the step further down.

3. You will need to make some artistic cuts in the tube (which is going to be your external mould) to get it to fit nicely. You have a bit of leeway with the diameter but you want the mold to be the SAME HEIGHT as the original. You can use some placerticine to make a watertight seal around the outside of the tubing mould so the resin does not leak out when attempting the following process.

4. Sit it on a sturdy bench and brace it do it will not move. Also make a way of suspending the bolt in position that it should sit when installed. Make sure the bolt is suspended nice and straight. Superglueing a chopstick to the head of the bold will have two advantages. (make it easier to suspend it in place and make it more easy to see that it is straight). It is better to break away any suspicious bits of the original bolt housing or even drill out the whole a bit because thicker bits of resign are much stronger then a thin layer. "Think Dentristry".

5. Coat the thread of the bolt with vasoliene. just brush lightly with a small paintbrush. If you want to remove the outer plastic mould give the inside of it a brush as well.

6. Once everything is sitting nicely and you are about 80% sure it is waterprof. pour in the resign. You can use fiberglass resign with the catalyst mixed or you can buy one of those dual syringe resign mixes you see in the $1 shops. Mix the resign in a medicine cup)before pouring into the mold. Make sure you have done the vaso brushing of the bolt before pouring the resign in.

7. Pore the resign in and leave to harden. Wear rubber kitchen gloves as any last minute adjustments are much easier done if you do not stick to everything you touch. Be sure to have a bit of plastercine handy to fix the 20% of gaps in your waterproofing you did not expect. Use a small tool (toothpick to poke around in the mould after pouring to remove any bubbles.

-2. You can always wack on a small glob of plasterciene if you detect a leak after pouring in the resign. This is why it is good to have the assembly nicely held in place so no panicky actions do not affect the alignment of the structure.

8. Leave to dry and try and avoid the temptation to give it a wriggle just to check. Keep the medicine cup you used to mix the resign so you can judge the resign cureing. The stuff in the medecine cup will harden faster than other because it is more exposed to the air. If can leave it long enough you should be able to unscrew the bolt. If will give a slight resistance. If you need to remove the outside tube you can slit down the side with a stanley knife and rip it off.

Hope this helps.

I have made a lot of parts using these moulding tecquniques. Youtube has a lot of videos on moulding. There are a few agents that can be used to prevent the resigns from bonding to the captive. Wax - Vasso. Also some more funky things besides resign to use to make moulds. Latex is great expecially when brushed on in several layers. I have made new side mirror handles using latex to make the mould and retain the intricate anti slip dots in the profile while replacing the weak plastic fixing with resign filled steel tube and grubscrew. I used a wax coated carved bit of balsa wood to mimic the 6mm - 7mm tapered spike the handles fixes to. I also found making a small spring compressor to make the mirror movement a little freeer as silicon on the surfaces did not make that much difference.

Once you find the moulding method you are comfortable with you can make lots of the oneoff clips and stuff. I fould a bit of black spray paint in the resign mix does not hurt and saves painting afterwards.

Methods used so far - Clay moulds crack and usually can only be used once. The hot glue method in hot water does not provide the intricate detail and hardens a bit fast if you want to try it. Slip off one of the aluminimup cups of a tealight candle fill it with chopped up bits of hotglue and sit on the oil burner for 15 minutes bit easier than juggleing in in a pot of boiling water and making sure it does not touch anyting. (does not pour well).

Latex wins hands down. Expensive though. If you have to buy a 1l container usually about $30. Find a spare container of the same size and some smaller ones. Line the empty containers with the plastic bags from the groxery store. Pour the latex into the bag lined container and twist and put a rubberband on (Ha Ha what irony) and fill some of the very small containers. It sets when exposed to air so the more air in the container the more that gets wasted and at $30 a litre it is almost as expensive as petrol!

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Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #201959

Thanks. Sounds like a great solution but outside of my comfort zone. I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who experienced this.

I am of the feeling that the original 'grey' plastic is better than the reproduction. I think I will try that for now. If that does not work, I will need to learn how to fabricate / strengthen bracket out of fiberglass / resin.

It is small things like this that test your patience with owning these cars. It is just not acceptable.

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Last edit: Post by Goodwood.

Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #201965

Ahhhh…..more worthless tat made in China……That’s all the world needs! :nonod:
Instant land fill….they keep making it as quick as we can throw it away.

We really need to come up with better strategies for dealing with this disposable shit, perhaps something like high tariffs on imported goods that don’t have a ten year unconditional guarantee,
Or make the country of manufacture responsible for the disposal of the stuff , a total life cycle responsibility for the crap they export, of course this won’t work for things like food and other things like fuel etc. that are by their very nature consumed up in their use, so exemptions would need to be made to allow for this, but they could be held accountable for the packaging.
"Keep calm, relax, focus on the problem & PULL THE BLOODY TRIGGER"

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Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #201966

I like the moulding idea and will use that for some other bits of fabrication. For door handles though i must confess I just bought a good 2nd hand one, no issues since.

Until i realised that 2nd hand ones were available though my planned workaround was to dispense with the reliance on the fragile plastic screw turret by drilling through the assembly and using a stainless steel blind headed bolt of the correct thread. It would be visible but not look too out of place if neatly executed
2003 TF 135 sunstorm

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Last edit: Post by Notanumber. Reason: spelling on phone

Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #201968

Notanumber - I had similar thought about drilling through the handle (and even painting the bolt), but then I figured that part of the handle might crack as well...

It seems that for anyone using the reproduction handle, it is a must to reinforce the plastic mounts with fiberglass resin. It is however very annoying to have to repair a brand new part.

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Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #201969

Well it's not only poor aftermarket door handles I'm afraid . Last year I bought a " new " accelerator cable from Rimmers and the black plastic outer locking clip that anchors the outer cable to the pedal was so brittle , it broke off as I pushed it into the pedal support ! When Inspected it there was evidence of very poor moulding at the base of the outer cable. Not good and not cheap to buy . Imagine if it had failed on the road and not while I was fitting it !!!

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Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #201971

I've had a lot of luck with the two pack epoxy, so far its stuck everything I've used it on, 2 years ago I stuck new metal mounts on the binnacle and it's still solid.

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Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #201972

I’m reluctant to buy replacement parts for much these days & unless you can find new old stock & inspect it closely for age related defects, I much prefer to buy used, preferably from my pet scrappy & remake the stuff myself. I know this route isn’t available to everyone but it’s the way I avoid repeatedly stripping the car down again to replace a part replaced before the one before that was out of warranty.
It’s not just cars Cobber noted only the other day about the quality of some products from the Orient, if he didn’t call it Chinese Junk I would be surprised. Bosch has a fine reputation across the manufacturing board, my sister-in-law asked me to repair her Bosch vacuum & as I stripped it down my eyes fell on the made in China label; my heart sank & with good reason as it turned out. Poorly marked components under potting compound.

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Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #202041

To follow up with this post, I have attached a few photos of the first failed door handle (the second is on the car). One post broke and the other was cracked. This occurred after about week or so. What I find unusual is the manner how it cracked - notice the rough break in the plastic. This was different than my original grey handle, which seemed to have a smooth crack. I am not a plastic expert but I wonder if this has some this to do with the quality of the plastic.

As a further update, I have been in touch with both RimmerBros and Xpart concerning these part failures. They affirmed that I am the first customer to complain about this. They stated they sell many of these handles and never have a problem. As a measure of goodwill, they offered to send a new handle. I recommended to them that they make this part with a thicker post to improve on the original flawed design. I doubt Xpart will but both companies were nonetheless responsive and polite.

In the meantime I also managed to source a NOS handle.

The problem is that now I am not sure what do. I do not have the patience to go back to the painter again, spend 1-2 hours installing it again and for it to break a third time. I would just like to fix this.

1. I was thinking that the bolt / screw should be a bit longer. If you look at where the post breaks, it is always in the middle. The screw / bolt does not go the the end / bottom, it seems to only go about halfway down. Do you think it would hold better / be less likely to break with a longer screw / bolt? I also note that the mount has some additional 'support' towards the bottom. Maybe there would be less flex / movement in the mount with a slightly longer screw that goes to the base of the post. Does anyone know the dimensions of the standard screws / bolts?

2. Would it make a difference to use some epoxy resin with fiberglass material to give more support to the base or would this not hold to the ABS? I am wondering if the fiberglass would just become unstuck from the plastic after a short while (when it flexes from use) or if it would help support the bracket. For additional clarity, I would do this with a new part, not to repair a broken part. I would be doing it only to provide additional support to post that is not broken.

3. I have given some though to putting a stainless bolt through to the outside (using the broken part, which I do not have to paint again) , but my feeling is that with a broken post (see photo) the stress would be around the bolt head and it would eventually crack in that area (particularly if the bolt head is not wide). I am also not sure how well this would hold on the outer door handle surface, which is a bit curved. Any thoughts?

4. For those that have done this before, is there any secret to tightening the bolt to avoid overtightening? Do you do this by feel or do you use a torque wrench (set to something like 1 or 2)? I certainly feel that I did not overtighten the screws but am I missing some trick here?

Any suggestions / advice?
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Last edit: Post by David Aiketgate. Reason: Inserted pic

Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #202046

Self tapping screws are really a one shot fixing, if you intend to remove a screw during the equipments working life or in maintaining, machine screw should be used.
As a self tapper creates its own thread it weakens the structure by displacing material, if you remove the screw, then replace it, another tread is cut, weakening the structure further. When you find a self tapping screw used in a situation of regular removal & replacement you will see a “spire” nut used. Think Land Rover foot boards.
If you are in a position where you have to use a self tapper in an already cut hole, firstly put a SMALL amount of silicone lubricant on the tread & having dropped the screw back into the hole, spin the screw back until you hear & feel a click, the screw has found its original thread form & the chances of damage are greatly reduced. If you don’t have silicone lubricant a spot of detergent will work or use the old cabinet makers trick; when struggling to screw into seasoned oak a cabinet maker would stick the screw in his ear to pick up a spot of wax & that works. Do not use WD40, engine oil or anything like it, it will permeate the plastic structure, which will then disintegrate.

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Issue concerning reproduction exterior door handle 9 months 3 weeks ago #202048

You must have kept your ear to the ground to pick up that trick
2003 TF 135 sunstorm

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