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Door handle hard to operate?

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Joined: 29 Jul 2005
Location: Sycamore, IL

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:09 am    Post subject: Door handle hard to operate? Reply with quote

My pass side door latch had been getting harder and harder to open the door with. It never was so bad you could not open it, but you could tell you had to pull the lever harder than when it was new...well I didn't have it new, but you would would expect it to be when new. Yesterday I went to the store, & when I left the door latch went clunk & I could not open the door from the outside. I could open it from the inside and the door would stay shut, which was a good thing Shocked Also the handle would not go back to the flat position. So today I had a project Confused

This photo is after the repair. If it would have been taken before, the brown latch would have been on the other side of the shiny lever (or from this perspective it would have been on top of it). The following text explains.

Once I got the door all apart, I could not see anything wrong. I couldn't see anything wrong because nothing was broken. It was just the lever jumped to the other side of the latch. This photo is looking up inside the door and the latch you see in the middle is the outside door lever from inside the door. What happened is the winter grime made the mechanism tough to move & when I pulled the door handle the mechanism didn't want to move, and the latch just flexed the lever and jumped to the wrong side of the lever. Now when I pulled the handle the lever had nothing to move, and the door handle would not go back into position because the lever was holding the latch up from where it should be when the door is closed. So I pried the lever up, the latch popped back into position, and all was good. The handle stile moved hard, so I squirted about a quarter can of heavy duty silicone on it and the hinge for the handle outside the door. Now it works like new Very Happy

So if I where you I would try opening the doors with the outside handle and really pay attention to how much force it takes to open the door. If it still feels silky smooth like what you would expect from a new car, do nothing. But if it takes some effort to open, I'd do some preventive maintenance before you have troubles. I sprayed the door latch on the inside, all the places the metal touched anything or hinged, and the handle hinge outside the door. Just an FYI!
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Greg G

Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Location: Johnson City, TN

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has been a problem on Jeep hard doors since the CJ series with the paddle type door handles. You did the best thing by lubricating the dickens out of it.
Greg G

1997 ZJ Grand Cherokee - 3" lift - BFG's
1992 XJ Cherokee - 4" lift - BFG's
1980 CJ-7 - 1 Ton way to much to list
1983 SJ Grand Cherokee
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