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Pelican Technical Article:

Door Handle Replacement


4 hr


$20 for inner handle, $300 for outer handle




Hex key set

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1965-89)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-89)

Parts Required:

New outer or inner door handle

Hot Tip:

There are lots of things that go wrong with the doors â€

Performance Gain:

You can get into or out of your car!

Complementary Modification:

Replace window/mirror switches, upgrade to metal interior door handles, check/replace window regulator, recover/replace door panel, fix door stay, fix/replace mirrors
101 Projects for Your Porsche 911

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's book, 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911. The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Porsche 911 owner's collection. See The Official Book Website for more details.

If you are not the original owner of your 911, then chances are that there are quite a few things wrong with your car, and you wonder how they got broken. There probably isn't a place on the car with more gadgets and devices that break than on the door. Not only do you have window glass and seals that leak water, but you have door handles, mirror and window switches, window regulators, door stays, and door panels: all of which are very susceptible to damage and breakage. Even if you work on your car only moderately, there is a very high chance that you will need to dive into the door to fix something that has broken. This project specifically targets the replacement of the outer door handle, but because there are so many moving parts on the door, we'll discuss just about everything else as well.

The first step in fixing anything with the door is to disconnect the battery. There are live electrical connections in the door that can short out if you don't remove the negative ground from the battery. Next, you need to remove the door panel. There are quite a few fasteners and clips holding the panel onto the door: many of them hidden out of view. Door panels changed over the years, and yours may vary slightly from the ones in the photographs, but if you work slowly and don't pull too hard on the panel, you should be able to figure out how to remove it. This project will concentrate primarily on the 911SC door panels, however, the removal procedure for the other year door panels is somewhat similar in nature.

Start by removing the top interior trim piece that runs along the length of the door. This is held on by a few screws, and also secured by the mirror switch plastic retainer. Remove the retainer and the screws, and the top trim piece should lift off. Now would be a good time to replace the mirror switch if you have been experiencing problems with it.

The bottom pocket that runs along the door also needs to be removed. This is held on with a few screws that go through the door panel. On some models, they can be slightly hidden, so you might have to hunt for them. Once you have the bottom pocket removed, gently pry off the speaker panel, if your 911 is equipped with door mounted speakers.

Now, remove the large handle that is attached to the door. This is held on with two bolts on the top, and two on the bottom. The two on the top are clearly visible once you remove the top strip, however, the ones on the bottom are covered by the door handle on later model cars. The door latch handle is attached to the door mechanism by a small rod. Release the door latch handle from the rod in order to gain access to the bolts that hold on the larger door handle. Once you remove these bolts, the large handle should pull off of the door.

Now would be a good time to upgrade to the aftermarket inner door latch handles. The original Porsche ones are manufactured out of plastic, and have a tendency to bend and break after many years of opening the door. The aftermarket door latch handles are manufactured out of anodized or painted black aluminum, and are a lot tougher than the plastic ones. To replace the handles, simply remove the small pin that holds them to the large door handle. A small circlip keeps the pin in place, and should be removed with a pair of needlenose pliers. You may also want to spread just a small bit of white lithium grease on the points where the pin makes contact with the door handle. Be careful not to smear it anywhere near where you might grab the handle with your fingers. I also recommend that you replace the small plastic clips on the door handle rod with new ones: these have a tendency to wear and break from use.

On later models, one overlooked fastener is the door lock knob. Behind a small cap lies a hidden screw that must be removed in order to remove the door panel. Remove this screw and pull off the knob and its corresponding plastic surround. On the early cars, the screw that attaches the window crank arm needs to be removed. Simply pry back the plastic covering and underneath you will find the screw.

The door panel itself is also held onto the door with plastic clips similar to the ones used to hold on the dash pad (Pelican Technical Article: Installing a New Dash Pad). To remove the door panel, simply pry it out from the door. It's a smart idea to use a large screwdriver, and pry right near where the plastic clips are attached to the door. This will minimize the chance that the plastic clips will accidentally pull out of the door panel. It's not a huge travesty if they do pull out of the door panel: you can always glue them back on later.

After you pull the panel off of the door, be aware that the window switches are still attached to the panel. They can be removed by bending back the small little tabs that attach them to the door. Pull them out of the panel towards you, and then disconnect them from the wires. Make sure that you label the wires clearly before you remove them from the switches. Now would be an excellent time to replace the window switches if they have been giving you trouble.

Once you have the door panel off, put it in a very safe place where it won't accidentally get crushed. The inside of the door should now be easily accessible. There should also be a thin layer of plastic lightly glued in back of the door. Carefully remove this plastic and place it with the door panel.

Now, you should have full access to the door. If you are planning on replacing just about anything inside the door (window motor, regulator, door stop) then you will need to remove the door mounted speaker. Lots of 911s have had aftermarket speakers added to them over the years, so the mounting configuration of the speakers is likely to vary from car to car. In most cases though, it's easy to figure out the best method to remove the speaker simply by taking a close look at it.

If you are planning on replacing your broken doorstop, make sure that you look at Pelican Technical Article: Door Stay Replacement and Reinforcement. If you are planning on replacing your window regulator or window glass, Project 78 covers this in detail. For now, we'll assume that you're planning on replacing or rekeying your door handle.

Access to the door handle can be made through one of the large holes in the inside of the door. Make sure that you have the window rolled all the way up, or you won't be able to get at the nuts that secure the door handle to the door. Using a small socket, remove the two nuts that hold the door handle onto the outside of the door. Be careful not to let the nuts fall into the recesses of the door, and also be careful not to let the door handle fall on the ground.

If you are replacing the door handle, then the installation of the new one is straightforward. Simply install it onto the door and secure it with the two nuts on the inside of the door. I recommend replacing the two door handle seals with new ones when reinstalling the door handle. If you are replacing an old door handle, then it might be possible to switch your old lock tumbler with the new one, and avoid adding a new key to your set for the car. If your old door handle didn't match the rest of your car, then it is a good time to rekey the lock. See Project 76 for more details on the lock rekeying procedure.

Reassembling the door is basically the task of reattaching all the parts that you have previously removed. Make sure that you didn't drop anything in the door or leave any tools in there (you've heard of surgeons leaving tools in patient's bodies, right?) or the door will develop an annoying rattle. When reattaching the lower door pocket, make sure that the screws line up with the holes in the door. Make sure that you don't force anything, or you might rip and damage your door panel.

Removal of the 911SC door panel requires the removal of lots of small little parts.
Figure 1

Removal of the 911SC door panel requires the removal of lots of small little parts. In the upper left corner, you will see the mirror switch and a single mounting screw for the front of the door panel. The mirror switch can be removed by unscrewing the small plastic disk around the switch. Use a small screwdriver inserted into one of the holes for this task. In the upper right, is the mount for the top of the handle. This is only visible after you remove the top inner trim piece on the inside of the door. The lower right photo shows a few bolts hidden by the door handle and the door latch. The latch is connected to a small rod that exits out of the door. The photo in the lower left shows the lock knob that hides another screw that holds the door panel on. Early model doors are much simpler and require less effort to remove the door panel.

Once you have the door panel off, it's a good time to replace some electrical switches.
Figure 2

Once you have the door panel off, it's a good time to replace some electrical switches. The mirror switch and the window switches are both very prone to failure. It's a wise idea to replace them while you have the door apart.

The inner door handle is held in with a small pin that is secured by a small circlip.
Figure 3

The inner door handle is held in with a small pin that is secured by a small circlip. Remove the circlip, and the pin should slide out. The aftermarket door handles that are made out of aluminum are a great improvement to the flimsy original plastic ones.

Inside the door, there are two nuts which fasten the door handle to the door.
Figure 4

Inside the door, there are two nuts which fasten the door handle to the door. When you remove these nuts, make sure that your door handle doesn't fall to the ground and become scratched. Access is tight so a small socket wrench is your best bet here.

Brand new door handles typically are supplied with a new tumbler and a new set of keys.
Figure 5

Brand new door handles typically are supplied with a new tumbler and a new set of keys. Before you install the door handle, it's a wise idea to rekey it to the rest of your car (See Pelican Technical Article: Rekeying Porsche Locks). Even easier, you can switch the tumbler out of your old door handle and place it in the new one.

Comments and Suggestions:
Stull69 Comments: In regards to the Porsche 912 push button door handle, the linkage on the inside of the door catches when opening with the interior handle but does not catch when pushing the button from the outside. Can you direct me to the replacement parts that I should be looking for.
February 8, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll need to remove the exterior door handle and check to see what is broken. These are pretty solid, and I think what you might find is that the lever the push button pushes is sticky and will not let the push button engage, OR an issue with the lock mechanism. Better for you to check before I offer a parts kit. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Stull69 Comments: My 1969 912 Door Push Button Door Handle will not open the drivers side door. I have removed the door panel and do not see any way to adjust it. Is there an adjustment or do the parts needs to be replaced? I am out of ideas. Any help would be appreciated.
January 31, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Usually the handle or linkage is worn out. I would inspect the parts. Watch while pushing the button, see what doesn't seem to move all the way. You will notice something come up short. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dude Comments: I'm replacing door pockets because on this car they didn't come with it...I notice no has any pictures on the way the pockets mount and the way the rob is tied...does anyone have any pictures or instructions they can offer on paper..please advise...thank you
August 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have that info.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Carm53 Comments: I did run power to the terminal on the switch and both windows worked so I found a power source inside the door made a connection just to bring power to the switch Windows went up and down fine so I thought let me drive it for a couple of days before I put the door panel back on and see what happens. After a couple of times up and down the window stopped working there was no power at the fuse and no power from the wire that I connected to so I disconnected everything and wired it back up normally change the round relay fuse and everything went back to normal funny I change that relay fuse before I put temporary power to the switch and nothing happened. Everything is working normal the door panel is back on the car keeping my fingers crossed.
July 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: May have been a bad connection at the fuse or relay, or the panel. If the problem comes back, check the fuse panel and related components. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Carm53 Comments: having trouble with my power windows on my 1978 911 fuses are good have power right to the inside of fender on drivers side no power at switches, door panel is off wires going threw door are in a blue casing can't see it braking in there. Any suggestions any hidden relays or ......
July 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know of any relays. If you add fused power to the correct terminal at the switch, so the windows work? Possible the junction connector is the issue.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Patrick Comments: I replaced my plastic interior door handles on my 911SC with aluminum and they work great! To install, you need to remove or loosen the lower door panel. The clips are really tiny and easy to lose. Have a magnet ready. Also put a towel under your door to catch the clip if you drop one. Have patience. The clips are the hardest part. Took me about 45 minutes for each side.
June 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Carl Comments: The driver door window crank on my '76 912E is a bear to wind either up or down. Something is frictionally interfering. How do I remove to interior door panel to find the problem?
April 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Mike B Comments: I have replaced the Inside door handle...but the putside door handle small lever will not open the door and in fact I cant close the door either by slamming it if you like?...Is there a connection between the inside door handle by spring or something? I would like to see a picture of th einternal parts of th ehandle in the door panel
January 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They might be able to share a parts diagram with you.
- Nick at Pelican Parts

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Page last updated: Fri 2/23/2018 02:02:01 AM