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Solid Metal Exterior Door Handles - Too Costly!

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Solid Metal Exterior Door Handles - Too Costly!

  #1  
Old 12-11-2018, 09:45 AM
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Solid Metal Exterior Door Handles - Too Costly!

Just as others have done, I snapped off my DS rear door handle this morning trying to ****** open a frozen door - unaware that it was frozen to begin with, mind you.

I have found polished aluminum billet handles from AMI, but we're talking about almost $500 for a full set of 4, and I'm just not spending that kind of money. Given the age of the vehicle and stresses on the door handles, I'm thinking I should replace all four handles, but may be able to get away with only replacing both DS handles since the PS doors get very little use. Even with little use, though, the handle plastic all around is now embrittled with 17 years of exposure to the elements.

More context... Brand New OEM handle replacements are going to run me about $160. I'm seriously considering "reinforcing them with the chromed stainless covers from TFP for another $75. That brings my total up to about $235 for plastic with stainless cover reinforcements, but that still leaves the plastic tab on the bottom of the handle structure. To counter that, I could add JJ's for another $100, which then takes my total confabulated install up to $335. At that point, the extra $150-$175 for the billet AMI's almost starts to make sense to me.

Two questions...
1) Opinions on the real value of replacing all four handles?
2) Anyone found any other solid metal handle options for less money than being charged by AMI?

Thanks ahead of time for your input.

EDIT (12-18-2018): Installed new set of four plastic handles from 1A-Auto. Though labelled as NOT fitting doors with keyless entry, that is NOT true... they fit and function perfectly.
 
  #2  
Old 12-11-2018, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by F250_ View Post
Just as others have done, I snapped off my DS rear door handle this morning trying to ****** open a frozen door - unaware that it was frozen to begin with, mind you.

I have found polished aluminum billet handles from AMI, but we're talking about almost $500 for a full set of 4, and I'm just not spending that kind of money. Given the age of the vehicle and stresses on the door handles, I'm thinking I should replace all four handles, but may be able to get away with only replacing both DS handles since the PS doors get very little use. Even with little use, though, the handle plastic all around is now embrittled with 17 years of exposure to the elements.

More context... Brand New OEM handle replacements are going to run me about $160. I'm seriously considering "reinforcing them with the chromed stainless covers from TFP for another $75. That brings my total up to about $235 for plastic with stainless cover reinforcements, but that still leaves the plastic tab on the bottom of the handle structure. To counter that, I could add JJ's for another $100, which then takes my total confabulated install up to $335. At that point, the extra $150-$175 for the billet AMI's almost starts to make sense to me.

Two questions...
1) Opinions on the real value of replacing all four handles?
2) Anyone found any other solid metal handle options for less money than being charged by AMI?

Thanks ahead of time for your input.
At the price of ebay replacement door handles, I'm very happy with these: https://www.ebay.com/itm/232782487810
 
  #3  
Old 12-11-2018, 01:02 PM
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If it ain't broke don't fix it. Get a junkyard replacement for the one you broke and call it good. Many of these trucks last a very long time in cold climates with no door handle issues.

Also, totally subjective opinion, but shiny handles look tacky as F.
 
  #4  
Old 12-11-2018, 01:12 PM
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Spending $500 on an easily replaceable $20 part Makes no sense to me, especially if the failure rate is once every 17 years.
 
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for the input, guys.

I personally don't like shiny either... I would have to eventually powder coat them in body-matching white or matte black.

I've decided to go with one set of new handles on the DS. The PS gets little enough use such that I can;t justify replacing them. Both Rear and Front DS doors get almost an equal amount of use, though, so I'll at least have two which match each other when I look at the truck (front DS handle being an appearance splurge).
 
  #6  
Old 12-11-2018, 01:43 PM
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Changed my mind. Got an entire set of 4 handles from 1A Auto for $54. I simply feel better about having new plastic in all four positions (vs 17yo plastic).
 
  #7  
Old 12-11-2018, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by F250_ View Post
Changed my mind. Got an entire set of 4 handles from 1A Auto for $54. I simply feel better about having new plastic in all four positions (vs 17yo plastic).
Link?

Stewart
 
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:55 AM
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Here ya go, Stewart.

Complete set of 4 textured door handles. $54
https://www.1aauto.com/ford-exterior-door-handle/i/1adhs01497?f=845836&y=2002


They also have a similar deal for a complete set of "paint to match - smooth finish" handles, but at a LOWER cost of $47.
https://www.1aauto.com/ford-exterior-door-handle/i/1adhs01751?f=1148289&y=2002


I had the choice for free shipping, but because I simply do not like driving around with the rear door so susceptible, I also paid another $20 for second day air, and they will arrive by EOB tomorrow (Thursday).
 
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:04 PM
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It says they don't fit models with keyless entry, that seems pretty odd.
 
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by '88 E-350 View Post
It says they don't fit models with keyless entry, that seems pretty odd.

WHAAAAT??? I'm calling them right now.

I am currently on hold with 1A Auto, and there does in fact seem to be some confusion over this issue. The door handles without the keyhole do not have the above referenced "does not fit" qualifier for keyless entry doors. However, my existing doors have the key hole AND are keyless entry... I can do either. The question is now whether or not the key hole molded door handles actually does or does not fit if the the keyless entry is also part of the door lock configuration. I suspect that they will fit, but am still waiting for confirmation.

UPDATE... still on hold, but all these guys can do is read from a script and 1A Auto seems to have no one who really knows how these door handles are installed or what the exact interchangeability REALLY is.
 
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by '88 E-350 View Post
It says they don't fit models with keyless entry, that seems pretty odd.
So, if I have the doors locked and the battery goes dead....then how do I get in?
 
  #12  
Old 12-12-2018, 01:35 PM
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Here's what I suspect is really going on here...

The set of 4 handles I purchased includes the two rear door handles with no keyhole (for obvious reasons). Since I have a key cylinder hole in both of my front doors, that matches the configuration "appearance" of what I ordered. They also have door handles for the front doors with NO key holes in the molded plastic, and I believe that those are the ones which are being classified as being applicable for keyless entry doors. I can find front and rear door handles on their site which are for keyless entry, and they ALL have NO keyholes. At teh same time, EVERY ONE of the door handles with a key hole in the molded plastic is identified as "does not fit doors with keyless entry".

Since 1A Auto could not provide a knowledgeable and factual assessment, I have the door handles still coming and they will be here tomorrow night. I'll open them up and see if they fit (both front and rear. If they fit, I'll update everyone here. If they DON'T fit, I'll update everyone here and get me a set which DOES fit from somewhere else.

In the meantime, I'm going to do a little more research on OEM part numbers and fitment compatibility.

To answer your question, Dan, the guys I've seen talking about getting rid of the keyhole on the handle's face plate address the issue the same way as if they "shaved" the doors (eliminating the handles altogether), but it would be simpler for us. The solution is to install a set of electrical connector cables where you could "charge" the door circuit in the event of a battery failure. That is what I've seen discussed by others, but have never done it myself.

UPDATE: MORE digging still reveals nothing conclusive. I did find that some of the OEM door handles are noted with "includes mounting rivet", while others do not. I cannot find any other unique identifying option for "keyless entry" or "NOT for keyless entry" in the item selection lists from any Ford dealer (aside from the handle color).
 
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:47 PM
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Pete, I think your only concern should be how the lock cylinder from your OEM handle to the 1A Auto handle. Other than that, I think they will work just fine.
 
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:05 PM
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I agree with you, Sous.

I've looked and looked at both the non-keyless entry and keyless entry handle sets from both Ford and 1A Auto. The lock cylinder molding appears identical on both manufacturer's units. The ONLY difference I can find is that the 1A Auto keyless entry handle has a small tab protruding down from the bottom opposite the mounting bolt while their NON-keyless entry unit does not have that tab. Comparatively, all of the Ford handles I can find have the same tab except it is part of the molded plastic face plate instead of being a metal tab attached with 2 small screws (1A Auto version). Otherwise, the pictures indicate that they are identical. I'm still betting that the 1AA non-keyless handles will fit perfectly, but just will not have the tab extending downwards.

Now, I like the tab extension because it offers a third point of restraint for the four-cornered handle face plate, and I may just decide to return the 1AA handles for genuine Ford handles, but to do so will take my out of pocket cost up by another $100, and hat gives me some degree of caution because I may just be able to epoxy on a set of my own hand crafted tabs from my supply of UHMW I have in the garage. I'll know more tomorrow night.
 
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:39 PM
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Man, if $50-100 is a concern; just go to a junkyard. You'll get OEM quality for less than new aftermarket Chinese junk. I've tried to use aftermarket plastic trim pieces before and they never seem to fit right.

Also I suggest getting some Jimmy Jammers while you are in there. They help prevent the "screwdriver door opener" modification & give a little more peace of mind.
 

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