Home > Uncategorized > Car door handle: the ice storm edition

Car door handle: the ice storm edition

December 31, 2009

There I fixed it:

From my photo album; Design

I have written about the flipper-type car door handle problem before.  In a nutshell the trouble is that when a car door is frozen shut, you can’t put any serious pull on those crappy little door handles without risk of breaking them.  And they are difficult to replace.  Since Illinois is prone to ice storms, this problem crops up fairly often.

The mounting surface of the handle was hollow, so I filled it with J-B Weld epoxy, then sanded it to match the curvature of the car door at the intended attachment point.  Then I attached the handle to the door using four 3/16” steel rivets, with adhesive between the handle and the door for good measure.  It ain’t comin’ off.

The black stuff is POR15 Patch, which may be considered a one-way adhesive.  (I used some of it to fix my radiator)  At this temperature, it’ll take a week to set, though.

Recently I did this on my son’s old Toyota and he liked it, so I put one on the passenger side of MrsDoF’s Mitsubishi.  I will probably put one on my Honda too.  Because of the curvature of the door, the handle does not protrude beyond the vertical plane of the door’s edge, so normal care in opening the door in parking lots will suffice.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 31, 2009 at 14:45 | #1

    I might try this on my truck for practice… What kind of handle did you use? Should I just search the tubes for metal handles?

  2. December 31, 2009 at 14:56 | #2

    We stood in the “handle” aisle at the hardware store and I chose something which would feel alright in my hand on a cold morning.  There are bins full, much discussion for something price $3.
    It has a different curve than the handle on son’s car door.

    I believe either one was built to be a handle to close a gate of the garden or pull open a drawer.

  3. December 31, 2009 at 17:01 | #3

    It’s basically a barn-door handle, from a lumberyard.
    A standard rivet tool is very hard to use with 3/16” steel rivets.  I got a rivet tool that looks like a mini bolt cutter (compound leverage) and it handles them very easily.

  4. gruntled atheist
    January 4, 2010 at 10:45 | #4

    I really like this and similar articles about very practical things.  That is a beautiful door handle.

  5. gruntled atheist
    January 4, 2010 at 10:50 | #5

    Oh, there is a website ‘thereifixedit’ dot com.

  6. January 17, 2010 at 16:25 | #6

    Made use of this handle this morning when giving a ride to a pal.  She says it really helped with opening the door on an icy/foggy morning.

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