Is your door handle sticking? Does it take an unusual amount of force on your exterior handle to get your door to open? Before you start replacing components, you may be able to restore your door handle and latch mechanism to like new condition with a thorough cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment. Optionally, you can take active steps to quiet the interior of your car as well. Though this article was written with a 944 in mind, the procedures should carry over to other models.
- Phillips screwdriver
- Wide, Flathead screwdriver
- 2 or 3 cans of WD-40
- Can of white lithium grease
- Graphite lubricant
- Locktite - "Blue"
- Crazy Glue
- Trim Adhesive
- Small thin washers
- Thin piece of foam rubber
- Sound deadening spray - The spray on undercoating works well here
1. Remove your door panel - make sure your window is UP for this procedure
2. Disconnect and remove the outer door handle - Spend a couple of bucks and replace the door handle seals, you can get a complete set from Pelican for less than $10.
3. Spray door handle and lock assembly liberally with WD-40.
4. Spray the inner and outer latch assembly with WD-40.
5. Spray hinges and door stop assembly with WD-40
6. Lube latch assembly on door, hinges, and doorstop with white lithium grease, lubricate locks with graphite.
7. WD-40 and Lithium grease on window actuator arms (the scissor arm assembly that the glass mounts to) or crank assembly (non-power windows).
8. NOTE: This part is OPTIONAL.
A. Remove the plastic sheeting from the inner door - try to keep it intact.
B. Spray the undercoating/sound deadening to the inner side of the outer door skin - you can't get it all, but working through the various openings and some minor contortionist work, you can get the majority of the surface. Make sure you don't clog the drain holes on the bottom of the door or spray the moving parts of the window assembly, latching mechanism, or wiring. - Allow to dry.
C. Spray a thin coat of the undercoating/sound deadening material to the inner surface of the door panel, allow to dry.
D. Cut a thin layer of foam to fit between your speaker and your door.
E. Replace the plastic sheeting on the inner door, using contact cement or a spray adhesive.
9. Reinstall/reconnect outer door handle to latch mechanism, use Locktite on screws. The little plastic tip on the metal rod that connects the door handle and latch is adjustable - play around with it until the door latches and unlatches to your satisfaction.
10. Reinstall door panel, using blue Locktite on screws. If your car is like mine, you probably have a bit of a gap between the inner window squeegee and the window, you can correct this by GENTLY bending the door panel mounts towards the window. Also, Many times, the plastic on the door pocket is cracked around the screw holes, crazy gluing a thin washer to the back side of the holes helps hold it together and keeping it from splitting further. You can also use trim adhesive to tuck and re-secure any carpet and trim that may be working loose.
11. Repeat for other side.
If all goes well, you should be able to knock out each door in about 30 - 45 minutes. I took it all apart, cleaned the mechanism on one door, sprayed everything, and then did the same to the other door while I was waiting for the first to dry. If you do the sound deadening procedure, you will notice a significantly quieter ride, and a little better sound quality from the speakers.
Michael Van Bibber (AFJuvat