Getting a Handle On Things

A scorching hot week at work and I’m glad to say that he weather was gorgeous at Mustang Maniac. I arrived to find that the guys were shunting cars to a local school where they displayed old in the shape of the Shelby GT500KR and new being the UBB Mustangs, their F350 truck and the Falcon pick up were also on the list so the kids could take pics of them sitting inside the trucks. When Adam had a chance to breathe we discussed the plan of action for my car. A bit of a no brainer really as we wanted to get the glass in. First of we needed to connect the remaining door bars up, all of which you can’t see and are inside the door. So I’m afraid it’s another short post from me, but all you can see is two handles fitted and it took all day! Some days things go well, yesterday was a slow day.

The door locks were back in place previously and we opened the doors by pulling the latch inside the door. So now we wanted the door handle connected to the bar. The mechanism on the driver’s door had to be replaced as the spring had broken. Not a major problem as it didn’t take long. Previously the fittings had worn so the prior owner had bent rods in order to make things work. The down side is non of it was now working. Adam was helping with the adjustments and we locked the door only to find we couldn’t open it again on the driver’s side. It turns out that in straightening the bars out now showed the issues on the door catch itself. We had to dismantle the bars inside the car and manual move the levers around to unlock and open the door. We took the inside of the door mechanism apart again and had close look.

It turns out that the spring had been bent out-of-the-way for some weird reason on the locking side of the catch, then the cams were all bent out of shape too. This all meant – new door catch. Epic! We fitted the door catch and could see just how much things had been butchered inside the door with regards to the operating bars. The new lock was an incredibly tight fit for the new door lock to be fitted, with some “enthusiastic” persuasion it eventually fitted into place. We straightened the bars out, then put the correct curves back in them and refitted the lot back together. Perfect. The bends to the cams on the old catch were hardly noticeable, but it was enough to jam up enough to stop the tumbler turning as the bar had not returned to the correct position.

The next job was the door handle itself. One screw and a stud with a nut in place to hold it to the door. We fitted the handle and started to do it up only to find out that the metal on the new moulding was catching on the inside of the door. So when it was tightened up it was being pulled upwards of the door instead of backwards into the door for a tight fit. The gap was a bout 2mm that needed to be sorted out, we moved the door housing over a fraction on the screw and it still wasn’t enough. So out came the handle again. This time we had to get ingenious, we re-aligned (OK, bent)  the housing inwards a fraction and the button hinge mechanism by a corresponding amount. This actually sounds worse than it was, the clearance was greater on the drivers handle than the passenger one when we compared them side by side. So once the gaps were made the same all worked perfectly with the rods connect back up.


The passenger door had its own issues. There was a bar missing for the door handle button release, so Adam let me go and rob a bar from the inside of a one the cars in the Graveyard. This was no easy take as the years of weather had rusted the clips to the bar and took some patience to tease the clips off. The door catch itself was missing the spring grommet so Adam got a new one of those and we had to take the door catch out to fit that again. Once all the parts were back in place the handle screwed on no problem and took only a quarter of the time from the driver’s door.

So now I have a car that can be opened by handles and can be locked. All slightly irrelevant as there is no glass so you can climb in any way.

That’s it for this post, so much work that took ages and nothing to show for it except a couple of handles. Next week we should be able to get the glass in as everything else in now in place. Hopefully there will be more visual updates, but the adjusting of the doors and glass can be painfully slow as well.

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5 thoughts on “Getting a Handle On Things

  1. Sorry for the late commenting. Nothing that happens to this cars is too small to report. I loved the reflections in the paint and the fact that it’s up on a lift. You’re getting closer, and I could not more proud to be privy to the reports and updates of this awesome vehicle.

  2. No handles barred. It’s a lot of work that doesn’t show, but ya gotta be able to git in an out of the car! If you know what I mean!

    1. Hi Timothy, yep your right I gotta get in and get out. All the adjustments will take time and u fortunately it’s not very exciting. Just a good sense of satisfaction when it works.

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