Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: near Birmingham, Alabama
I finally figured out the solution. I was under the impression that the "actuator hook" hooked around the actuator plate as in this picture I lifted from another thread. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! The "hook" is not a hook at all. The outside edge of the "hook" pushes against the actuator plate. The U shape is to enable it to be bent a little bit to contact the plate and enable it to push the plate the proper distance.
I spent several days trying to get the hook around the plate and then gave up in frustration, finally just putting it back together with no attempt to put the plate inside the U, as in the picture. And voilà, it then worked perfectly.
I am sure I am correct on this. I ordered a used replacement handle and latch mechanism. The only sign of wear is on the outside of the U where it pushes on the plate. No wear within the U. Look closely at the picture. Same wear pattern.
I may be the only one who didn't know this, but perhaps someone else will benefit from my experience.