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qz16

protect door from exterior handle

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I am in the midst of re-assembly of the bucket a 1973 240z.  I just mounted a door and started cleaning up parts to be installed on/in it.  Here is a picture of the backside of the exterior door handle.   There are 2 square rubber seals that are mounted to the handle to prevent water from entering the interior of the door.  I would rate mine at about a 6 out of 10.  I think I may have found a place to get some but I am not sure that I want to go to the effort of taking the handle mechanism apart to install them.  Any tip/experience would be appreciated.

ext door handle.jpg


Also, as you are aware there is a metal bracket that spans the two square holes in the door.  This bracket has two studs which go through the door and provide a means to mount the handle.  I spent an unreasonable amount of time on bodywork and painting this car and I must admit I am not excited about butting that bracket up against my fresh paint.  There were no signs of a gasket when I removed the handle.  I checked with the usual suspects and they don’t list a gasket.  Has anyone cut a thin piece of rubber and glued it to the handle before attaching  the handle to their door.  Again, I would really appreciate any advice that would protect the door.

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8 minutes ago, qz16 said:

Has anyone cut a thin piece of rubber and glued it to the handle before attaching  the handle to their door.  Again, I would really appreciate any advice that would protect the door.

I just used a strip of black electrical tape trimmed so it wasn't visible, could not stand the thought of putting bare metal on the paint I worked so hard on.

The rubber seals are pinched against the door handle 99% of the time so I just snipped the thinnest part of it, removed it and cleaned them and put them back on, it's 4-5 yrs and they are still on there.

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You can use nylon, rubber, fiber flat washers on the studs, available in different thicknesses from McMaster.

Edited by ETI4K
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nice to know that I am not the only over-protective wrench in the group.  When I removed the door handles I noticed that the bracket had rust on it.  There's nothing to prevent it and if it lays on the paint and scratches or chips it could be the perfect opportunity to create a real nightmare.  I like putting the rubber over the entire surface of the bracket, drilling holes in the rubber for the studs as that well fill the holes as well.  Once again, thanks for responding.

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Okay, I understand your concern but I'm not convinced thin rubber is what you're looking for. Might be better to cut a thin strip of a more rigid plastic to interface between the handle mount and the door surface. Use rubber to seal the hole. There is a good amount of force exerted on that handle every time the door is opened, I don't think you want that bracket rocking on a piece of rubber...

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2 hours ago, cgsheen1 said:

There is a good amount of force exerted on that handle every time the door is opened, I don't think you want that bracket rocking on a piece of rubber...

Exactly what I thought, that's why I used electrical tape but thinking about it now I like @ETI4K suggestion of hard nylon washers, by using that method there is an air gap so water can't get trapped behind layers.

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Those rubber seals ('6 out of 10') respond very nicely to Krazy Glue, provided that they're just torn and all of the rubber is still there.  You can even graft in filler pieces cut from a thin sheet of rubber (arts-and-crafts store item). That said, you really have to take the handle apart to do a good repair (it's not that difficult).  I'm not aware of anyone selling replacements for these seals.

As for a gasket material, I like the idea of cutting one from a thin sheet of clear acrylic plastic.  About the same thickness and hardness as that used in a lot of retail goods packaging.  The packaging from a windshield wiper refill might give you what you need.  If not, just cruise the aisles of a WalMart until you spot something suitable.

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So, I really do not have a horse in this race, and I am on thin ice because I am not trained as a mechanical engineer.  To re-state the original issue I was concerned about the bare metal lying between the mounting holes pressing into the painted surface and damaging it, thus potentially allowing water to create an issue. 

It seems to me that this mini system (the handle, bracket, backing plate, pivots and springs ... etc) is strengthened because the bracket, AND its backing plate behind the door skin sandwich the door skin.  My backyard logic would suggest that all the forces involved with lifting the handle are distributed because of the bracket and the backing plate.  Again, backyard logic, if you separate the bracket from the skin it seems to me you change the mechanical system and the skin no longer supports the bracket and backing plate in the same manner, and I don't think it improves the distribution of the force involved.  So, to me anything that puts air between the skin and the bracket (a washer of any type) may not be favorable.  A strip of hard plastic between the door skin and the bracket sounds better than bare metal but will probably injure the softer paint surface.  Again, backyard logic, the thin rubber was meant to be sacrificed to protect the paint, and allow the forces at play to remain relatively unchanged, at least in  my own mind.  The entire bracket surface is still in contact with the door skin.   A thin piece of soft plastic might be better than rubber, because it might be more resilient against the elements, but I am not sure that it would fail before the paint.  This is a fun topic because it is more complicated than it appears at first glance.  If there is an ME or structural engineer out there this would be a good time to explain what is really going on. 

My final thought, at least for this reply, is that the bucket is 43+ years old.  When we acquired it a number of systems had failed, including seals, rusted metal, ... etc.  The metal under the door handle was not a problem.  I also do not remember anything remarkable about the paint on either door in this area.  My point is that without realizing it I may have started a red herring.  The Datsun engineers must have done a pretty good job - it lasted this long. 

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Never seen a rusty door handle area. Paint damage there from mounting contact is always permanently hidden, if it exists.  Worst problem I’ve seen is door handles not fitting in the pocket well, causing the handle to touch and chip paint when actuated. Not sure what the issue was, possibly The rubber pads were missing or damaged causing the handle to sit too close to the body or something. 

 

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I was just going to ask what that area looked like when you took the car apart.  In my experience I've not seen that area damaged either so I'm not sure there is a need to re-engineer it.

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