you own a 79-93 Fox Body Mustang long enough eventually you will have
to deal with a broken door handle. The factory plastic handles simply
do not hold up well to continued use, especially up north where frozen
door handles in the winter are very common. We are going to show you
how to replace the door handle with our solid metal aftermarket piece
(Part number for a pair of handles). Follow along as we repair the door handle on
our 86 LX convertible. Although the door panel removal on 87-93 cars
is slightly different, the principles are the same and the actual handle
install is identical.
Here is a picture of a typical broken handle. Ours snapped at the front and soon enough will break all the way off. The first thing you need to do is use a punch to remove the factory rivets. A small Phillips head screwdriver will work as well. Place the tip in the center of the original rivet and hit it with a hammer until the old rivet gives out.
Once the rivets are out, the door handle will be hanging freely but still attached to the door lock rod inside the door.
Now we have to remove the door panel to access the rod and remove the handle. Begin by removing the small Phillips head screw that holds the door cup on.
Then remove the Phillips head screw at the front of the arm rest followed by the bolts that hold the armrest to the door panel.
At that point you will want to remove the small Phillips head screw that holds the black triangle trim behind the side view mirror. Then you will want to gently pry your way around the bottom edges of the door panel and remove the panel from the door.
Remove the paper from the back part of the door and you will be able to see the inside of the door handle and the rod it is attached to. Gently pry the door lock rod down and remove the old handle. Put the new handle in its place and slide the rod back through the opening in the handle. The rod has a 90-degree bend to it that you want resting on the bottom of your new door handle.
Now you will want to install the hardware on your new door handle. You can either use large rivets like the factory handle or you can use small bolts, lock washers and nuts. We had access to a large rivet gun so we chose to use the rivets. Place the rivet in the gun and insert into the door handle and door. Begin cranking the rivet gun to seat the rivet.
When you are done, the rivet head will snap and your door handle will be securely fastened to the door.
At this point, try your new door handle to make sure it was installed properly. Reverse the above steps to re-install your door panels and you are finished. No more broken door handles to deal with!
* Please be advised that this information is for suggestion only and is based on prior experience. We at CJ Pony Parts can not be held responsible or liable for any mistakes or injuries connected with the topics covered.