1970-74 75? Outside door handle disassembly-restore

Discussion in 'Body Restoration' started by 70lt1z28, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. 70lt1z28

    70lt1z28 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Thought I would start another thread on restoring the outside door handles on a 1970-74. These are the long ones which are ~6.25 inches long. Please note: in order to do this they need to be disassembled which requires grinding (or filing) the peened over pivot pin ends and then drilling and tapping them for a special fastener purchased from Mcmaster-Carr. If this sounds like too much trouble, try buying the repops but I've heard they aren't any good, but I don't know from first hand experience. I've always tried to restore the original parts whenever possible.

    The first step is to remove the springs and then with a file (or grinder like a Dremel) file off the peened end of the pivots. Once the end is filed flush with the door handle, you should be able to CAREFULLY with a small punch such as a nail set tap out the pin. Support the area around the pivot pin with a small socket clamped in a vice. Once the pins are out the stamped inner part can be separated from the zinc die cast (pot metal) chrome outer part. Send the outer part to your favorite chromer and pay about 50-125 to have them chromed, depending on how badly pitted they are and how much plating costs in your area. You may also want to have the stamped steel inner bracket zinc plated and yellow chromated. It doesn't show so that may be optional. I do my own zinc plating and chromating so I did it.

    Step 2 is to modify the pivot pins to be able to reuse them. When you filed off the peened ends, it obviously rendered them un-peenable to reassemble. What I ended up doing was to put them in a lathe and drill and tap a 4-40 hole so that I can use some special truss head screws available on McMaster-Carr here:
    https://www.mcmaster.com/#90015a245/=1dtcx42
    The low profile truss head screw is low enough to allow assembly into the stock opening in the door.
    When done, they will look like this:
    outer door handle rebuild hinge pivots modified with screws compressed.jpg

    outer door handle rebuild hinge pivots modified with screws compressed2.jpg

    When you get the parts back from the plater, you may need to file the pivot holes open to allow the pins to fit back in. Depends on how much copper-nickle-chrome the plate shop used.

    You should have the following parts at this stage:

    outer door handle rebuild exploded with pivots modded with screws compressed.jpg

    Reassemble by lubing the pivots with a good grade grease and putting a drop of blue loctite on the threads:

    outer door handle rebuild hinge pivot 1 compressed.jpg
    Carefully put the spring back on. I soaked mine in some Evapo-Rust and soaked in oil. That seemed to bring them back.

    New nuts can be found at AMK part number B-13436 for $3.00 each.

    New plastic gaskets can be found at most of the normal places. I got mine from Southern Camaros. Part number 9827572

    A bit of work, but well worth it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  2. l16pilot

    l16pilot Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Nice work Dave...very nice work and thanks for the write up.
     
  3. 70 SS/L78

    70 SS/L78 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Nice detailed info Dave. Honestly I don't remember what I did when I restored my door handles.

    For some reason I was thinking the longer outer door handles are a 1970 only thing??
     
  4. l16pilot

    l16pilot Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Scott - I think the long door handles were through the '74 model year...not 100% sure on '75. I've used the Hugger Performance brand (D&R Classic) long handles before but had to do some trimming of the pivots to fit through the door skin opening...otherwise they worked and looked fine. I do prefer to use OEM whenever possible, so I'm planning to follow Dave's lead above.
     
  5. 70RSZ28hugger

    70RSZ28hugger Member

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    I like the 70 ss L78 I would trade you my 70 Z 28 for your car.
     
  6. Ricks72Z28

    Ricks72Z28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    When I redid my handles on my 73 restoration the only part I removed was the spring....The plater had no issues with the process and that was 17 years ago. Dave great job and write up on your process and a lot guys will appreciate your efforts.
     
  7. 70RSZ28hugger

    70RSZ28hugger Member

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    Hey Rick
    How did you remove the spring >? what about the gaskets ?when re chromed your handles
     

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