outside door handle intallation - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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outside door handle intallation

I recently purchased a 1985 spider. Driver's side door latch works fine. The passenger side unlatched ok from the inside but from the outside there was no connection between outside handle and door latch mechanism. I took off the door panel and saw that the door actuator was unhooked from the latch mechanism. The first picture shows where they are to connect. (I took this picture from another thread. I couldn't get a picture of mine inside the door). When I assemble the mechanism and get the hook over the plate then the outside handle stays open as in the second picture. I have to hold the outside handle open to be able to get the actuator hook onto the plate. Then the outside handle stays open and won't return to its rest position. Without the handle installed pushing on the plate opens the door properly. Any ideas?

Also, what region of the actuator actually pushes on the plate to unlatch the door?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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I don't see the pictures that I attached to the message. Maybe the text alone is sufficient to describe my problem.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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After two days of bending and repositioning the parts I could not get them to work. I ordered an outside door handle and the latch mechanism on eBay. (used but they both look to be in excellent condition)

Two bits of good news from this ordeal.
* I now know how the system works after studying it for two days.
* Not a trace of rust inside the door.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 10:26 AM
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I also have this problem on my passenger side door for my S3

- Sporting
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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My parts should arrive next week. I will post my results after I install them. (IF I an able to install them!)
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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After disassembling my door for the last time I just threw it back together with no care so it would look OK when my kids came to visit today. I told my son to get in the driver's seat and I would ride in the passenger seat while we went on a demo drive. And the door worked!! I've closed and opened it a dozen times and it works just as it should. I absolutely do not understand but I'm not going to take it apart again.

Meanwhile I have a new uninstalled outside door handle and latch mechanism that I guess I'll just hold onto in case it acts up again.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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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.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 07:42 PM
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Always good to share our experiences, that way we all learn just a little bit more
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"No chance, no destiny, no fate can circumvent, change or control the firm resolve of a determined soul"

73 Spider
80 BMW e21(Sold, gone to Houston)
79 Spider (sold)
78 Spider (sold, gone to U K)
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