'97 C1500 Interior Door Handle Stopped Working

Discussion in 'OEM and Custom Interiors' started by df2x4, May 22, 2019.

  1. df2x4

    df2x4 Domestics only.

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    So when I went to get out of my red '97 after parking in the garage today, the driver's side interior door handle wouldn't open the door. It still moves and has spring tension, but nothing happens when I pull it. Over the past few days I've noticed it getting a little harder to open, but not enough to make me worry about it. Suddenly it just became completely ineffective. Everything looks intact from the outside. Just curious, is this more likely to be a rod/clip issue inside the panel or a crack in the handle mechanism itself that I can't see? Like I say, everything looks fine from the outside, but I guess it's possible that there's a crack in the handle that's out of my line of sight.

    I switched the trucks out and will probably just let my mechanic look at it in a couple of weeks, but I was curious to see if anyone here has had a similar experience and what the issue turned out to be.
     
  2. Z71Hobbs

    Z71Hobbs I'm Awesome

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    I had that happen. Seemed like a clip had gotten loose on the door latch.
     
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  3. df2x4

    df2x4 Domestics only.

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    Cool. I may hold off ordering another handle until it gets looked at then considering they're $60 each for genuine GM. Then again, I may not. :lol: The truck and the Suburban both use the grey version, so it might be a good spare part to have on the pile even if I don't need it right now.
     
  4. someotherguy

    someotherguy I'm Awesome

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    As the door gets harder to open over the years, the linkage rod straightens out (gets longer) so it doesn't pull enough to unlatch. Also the handles crack just out of sight inside the assembly which has the same effect. If the handle no longer sits flush and straight when retracted, it's probably cracked. You can shorten the rod by popping the door panel, gently pop the rod out of its slider clip, and re-kink the angled bend in it with vise grips.

    Richard
     
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  5. df2x4

    df2x4 Domestics only.

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    Thanks for the info, Richard. The truck is already across town in storage, but if I remember correctly the driver's side handle (the messed up one) did look like it sat out about a quarter inch farther from the bezel than the one on the passenger side. I'm thinking my suspicion about the handle cracking internally may be what's going on.
     
  6. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder B31-3 (6-G) certified

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    I had to replace mine some time back, both of them but at different times. The handle has a tab where the rod that pulls the latch open, connects. Well on mine, that tab pulled until it broke loose from its mount. Once you pull off the door panel, you will be able to see what it is for sure. I can still get a new handle @ Autozone, Orileys, ECT in my area. It is an easy swap to replace the old latch. Here they are on line.
    https://www.carparts.com/results/?Ntt=door+handle&searchType=global&N=&valVN=4294955240+4294966762+4294960899+4294961776+429496647
     
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  7. df2x4

    df2x4 Domestics only.

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    Thanks for the info Kenny. The more I read the more it sounds like that tab is probably my issue. And yeah I saw the cheaper handles while I was looking up parts earlier. I don't trust them, though. Years ago I replaced the front two exterior handles on my Suburban with some cheap aftermarket units and they broke again a few months later. I'd rather pay the premium for genuine GM handles.

    Just ordered one from Amazon, part number 15708043, '95+ driver's side, grey color.
     
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  8. someotherguy

    someotherguy I'm Awesome

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    BTW: all above possible issues have one origin: door is sagging due to worn hinge bushings/pins, causing it to be harder to open/close.

    Richard
     
  9. df2x4

    df2x4 Domestics only.

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    Good info, although in my case I think I'm good to go. The hinge pins and bushings have been replaced fairly recently. I can open and close my driver's door with one finger. Well, when the handle works anyway. :lol:

    I probably did damage it before I replaced that stuff, but I'd say 22 years is a pretty decent lifespan.
     
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  10. Darrin De May

    Darrin De May OBS Enthusiast

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    The passenger side interior door handle on my 2000 C3500 was broken when I bought the truck used. I replaced it with an aftermarket handle that I got on eBay, and even though that door doesn't get much use, it broke again a few years later, so I got another aftermarket handle. Shortly thereafter the driver side handle snapped off, this time I got a chrome aftermarket handle, which actually seems way sturdier than the grey ones. Now the exterior handle on the passenger side door is cracked, but still works. I've got an OEM handle brand new in an unopened box waiting for me to get around to installing it. Before I do, I'm thinking about getting a chrome passenger side interior handle to match the driver side one, since I'll have to pull the door panel off anyway. As for where these door handles fail, in my case the crack always seems to be far enough inside the door panel that you can't see it. Before the driver side handle snapped, I could feel it flexing, so I wasn't surprised when it eventually gave up. I'd already bought the chrome handle, so, as my wife said, it was time for me to finally get off of my butt and install the damned thing...
     
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