|Joined: ||Fri Oct 20th, 2006|
|Location: || |
|My experience was slightly different from the posts here. My handle broke after 3 years of use. I replaced my handle this morning 10/21/06 and here is what I believe everyone should know from beginning to end:
- TURN OFF POWER AT THE BREAKER
- Remove the torx screws (many of them) around the door liner. Get the correct size torx head.
- You can now easily lift the door liner from the door, but there are wires connected to a component attached to the liner so you can't just easily lift it off and place it to the side. I could not remove the connector from the component so I held the door liner up away from the door with a long screwdriver used as a wedge so that I can easily get to the door latch assembly. Besides, the door is spring loaded and is held down by the weight of the liner. I found that doing it my way kept the door down so that I can work on the latch assembly.
- Now I wanted to remove the two connectors attached to the latch assembly. They wouldn't come off easily. I'm used to working with electrical components and connectors and I couldn't easily find a way to get these off without considerable force, so I left them on.
- With the wires still attached, just lift and rotate the whole latch assembly out of the door to work on it. When you removed the top two center torx screws, this freed the latch assembly from the door so that you can move it.
- Remove the old handle. My handle had one large tab broken off and the handle had a crack 3/4 of the way through.
- IMPORTANT: The new handle won't go on unless you simulate a latch closure. Like one poster said, just use a pair of scissors and push it into the latch to simulate you are closing the door. It takes some pushing. You may think you don't have to do this step, but you do to get the handle on easier.
- I tried a couple of different techniques, but I found that pushing the handle's small tabs into the assembly first before the large tabs worked best. It will take some force to do this but you don't need pliers. (I can't figure how you can use pliers for this anyhow).
- Now wiggle the handle to one side to catch one of the big tabs in it's slot. It won't feel that the tab went in all the way, that's because it didn't. The other tab is still out of it's slot and on an angle. Apply a lot of force to the handle directed at this other tab. You are actually bending the plastic tab to seat it into it's slot. When the handle reaches a certain angle due to the force you are applying, the first big tab will slip all the way into it's slot thereby providing enough room for the other tab to slip around the hinge and into it's slot. This happens quickly, amazes you, and makes you feel real good. The key thing here is that you will think that there is no way it's going to fit, but it does.
- Since the latch assembly is simulated shut, you can pull up on the handle now to "open" it. Rotate the assembly back into position.
- Look for any broken parts and remove.
- Re-assemble the door liner but don't overtighten. Just snug. They strip easily or break their stays. One of my stays were broken probably do to overtightening at the factory.
- Test door close/open.
- Turn on power.