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Fix that Loose sliding door handle on an early Vanagon
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BulliBill
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have a '87 Westy and I just noticed that my outside cargo door handle is missing about half of the plastic seal/escutcheon between the handle and the body. Now water will be able to get inside the door.

Question #1: Is this seal for an '87 handle to body still available anywhere, and if not, is there an alternative seal or fix. Or does somone out there have a decent condition used seal?

Question #2: Is there a write up on how to remove the inner door panel and outer handle to add a new seal for the "later" '87 Vanagon, or is the procedure the same as the "earlier" handle.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction towards a new (or used) seal, and directions on how to get it done!

Bill Bowman
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wbx
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW, my modification/reinforcement to the handle is still holding up after 3 years...

Just thought i'd throw down that little update. Smile
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a problem with the key or lock. For some reason or other the aft latch is not releasing. I can open the door from the outside but from inside I pull the handle and throw my body at the door and it opens real easily! Tomorrow I will slowly and carefully remove the door liner. Hopefully info in my on board Bentley.
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ragnarhairybreeks
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you will find that you probably need to adjust cable in door that goes from handle to rear latch.

alistair
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westylife
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a way to tighten the front sliding-door lock? (p.58.3) I have changed out the handle twice and replaced all the hardware to make sure its all correct and the handle is still very loose. If I move the handle and watch the screw, it looks like the lock mechanism it-self is loose. No matter how tight I tighten the screw, the inner part of the door lock seems to be moving around.

Do these wear out?

Thanks for any help.
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AKWesty
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey neighbor, I just replaced my sliding door handle because it was extremely loose. Upon replacing I inspected the worn areas of the latch assembly. The new handle is much tighter but I could see wear inside the door assembly and though better, it is still a little loose.

I took my panel off thinking I needed to adjust my cable. I PB blasted the rear locking mechanism but my cable was tight. Door opens and shuts much easier after PB blasting years of crud off the mechanism but the handle is still a little loose. I decided there was nothing more I could do besides finding a new handle mechanism off a salvage door.
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westylife
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, AKWesty.

Yeah I was afraid someone was going to say that. I don't know about in Haines, but there are not any vans in the local junk yards here. Ill have to use the classifieds. I wonder if they are the same for all vans without auto locks?
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AKWesty
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I bought my handle from BD there were only two choices for the handle. I am assuming the difference between the power locks and manual. Not exactly sure though.

No choices for this kinda stuff in Haines. We are headed south next week and I have some stops planned along the way to look for random parts. Its the Alaska penalty. You can ship it here but its gonna cost you.
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MacDude
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the thread and the info from those on it.

My problem isn't so much that the handle is loose (it is a bit), but that it's so stiff to open that my wife can't do it a lot of the time. She pushes down but she doesn't have the necessary leverage. Now she's no weakling, she's just not as strong as I am. I give it a sturdy shove downward and it pops open.

Would taking it apart and greasing it help in that situation?



PS, the Key doesn't work on that lock and the rear catch doesn't catch anymore (spring issues), but that's different and not as urgent
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cs44
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Loose sliding door handle on an early Vanagon Reply with quote

Just piling on...

Here's my destroyed sliding door handle. Good times.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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Scamper-Van
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: Fix that Loose sliding door handle on an early Vanagon Reply with quote

To anyone still reading this thread: GoWesty has a good DIY video that shows how to remove & replace a Vanagon sliding door handle.


Link


There are two different door handles: one for 1980 - early 85 vs. another for later 1985 - 91 Vanagons. Replacement parts may be out-of-stock & hard to find. These handles get a lot of wear & tear, obviously.

And yes, it looks like DRY graphite powder is recommended for the locks, not grease.
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AndyBees
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:30 am    Post subject: Re: Fix that Loose sliding door handle on an early Vanagon Reply with quote

Thanks for the GoWesty link. I purchased a handle for my 84 (long one) about two months...... just haven't got around to tackling the job.

Maybe this video will motivate me!
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Loose sliding door handle on an early Vanagon Reply with quote

Hello,

My '90 outside slider door handle broke yesterday. Sad The only one listed in the classifieds was sold long ago (https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/search.php?submit=yes&type=text&section%5B%5D=57&keywords=slid*+handle)

Van Cafe and Bus Depot list an aftermarket unit that cannot be re-keyed to the ignition key.

Van Cafe
Aftermarket sliding door handle. Fits 85 thru 91. About the only thing that we can find wrong with these handles is that they use the Volkswagen Jetta/Golf Mk II/Mk III (AH code) key stock and therefore it cannot be re-keyed to your existing (N code) Vanagon key stock. https://www.vancafe.com/251843704EAFT-p/251843704eaft.htm?CartID=4

Bus Depot
Note, this is new production and it uses an "AH" profile (Golf/Jetta) key rather than the "N" profile key that Vanagons originally used. Therefore it cannot be rekeyed to use your existing key; however it may be possible to swap the whole lock cylinder from your old sliding door handle and thereby use the original key. https://www.busdepot.com/251843704e

Bus Depot says it "may be possible to swap out the lock core."

Does anyone know if the Vanagon lock core can indeed be swapped into the aftermarket handle? I'd like to have a handle that can be locked with the ignition key.(Attaching the two broken handle parts with screws and a plate is possible but I'd prefer a one-piece solution).

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Thanks for any answers or suggestions.

(Yes, I called Bus Depot. They didn't have an answer.)
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erdonline
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Fix that Loose sliding door handle on an early Vanagon Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:

Bus Depot says it "may be possible to swap out the lock core."

Does anyone know if the Vanagon lock core can indeed be swapped into the aftermarket handle? I'd like to have a handle that can be locked with the ignition key.(Attaching the two broken handle parts with screws and a plate is possible but I'd prefer a one-piece solution).

(Yes, I called Bus Depot. They didn't have an answer.)


(Just as a quick preface, I see that the thread title references "early Vanagon" which for slider doors is up to 1984. I see that there are other questions in this thread about later sliders, but I think it's best if anyone has an '85 or later slider question, to avoid this thread as the title will make it harder for those in the future to find their answers.)

Now to try to answer your question: I know someone who bought the later sliding door handle from Bus Depot and said he was able to make it work in swapping out the lock cylinder. I don't know exactly what he did, but he said that he had to file down something and it fit. I can try to ask or ask him to post here.

Edit- I looked back at an old message with the guy who swapped the old cylinder into the aftermarked "AH key" handle and he says he did it without mods. I do remember someone who had to make a minor mod, though. Maybe it depends on the manufacturer. If it were me, I'd buy the Bus Depot one and try to make it work. A few years ago I bought one from Van Cafe for my '84. it was the original style with the Vanagon "N" key profile. I paid a bit more to get that one. It seems the original style is harder to find, if anyone has it at all.

Ed
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buspor63
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacDude wrote:

My problem isn't so much that the handle is loose (it is a bit), but that it's so stiff to open that my wife can't do it a lot of the time. She pushes down but she doesn't have the necessary leverage. Now she's no weakling, she's just not as strong as I am. I give it a sturdy shove downward and it pops open.


Does anyone have any further opinions about this? My '84 is really hard to open. I took apart the front mechanism and cleaned and greased it. I dribbled some lubricant down into the front to rear rod housing. All those parts seem to work really well now. I haven't removed and cleaned the rear catch, just sprayed lubricant all around there. It does open slightly easier, just not as nice as my '86.

My opinion is that it's the rear spring. It takes a lot of force to close it, therefore a lot of force to overcome latching friction. My '86 is easier to close too. Is this the reason VW did the door redesign?
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buspor63 wrote:
MacDude wrote:

My problem isn't so much that the handle is loose (it is a bit), but that it's so stiff to open that my wife can't do it a lot of the time. She pushes down but she doesn't have the necessary leverage. Now she's no weakling, she's just not as strong as I am. I give it a sturdy shove downward and it pops open.


Does anyone have any further opinions about this? My '84 is really hard to open. I took apart the front mechanism and cleaned and greased it. I dribbled some lubricant down into the front to rear rod housing. All those parts seem to work really well now. I haven't removed and cleaned the rear catch, just sprayed lubricant all around there. It does open slightly easier, just not as nice as my '86.

My opinion is that it's the rear spring. It takes a lot of force to close it, therefore a lot of force to overcome latching friction. My '86 is easier to close too. Is this the reason VW did the door redesign?
. Make sure the U shaped pivot/hinge in the back of the sliding door moves very well in that pivot or flipping action as the door needs to close near the end of its travel.
When ever I notice the closing effort going up on my 84, I start there with a spray lube like.... Wurth HHS 2000, Winzer Polylube, or Superlube. All are liquid spray that set into a tacky grease.
Decent Water Resistance, slippery too.

Same spray for the rear catch and that spring on it.
The cable on the inside of the sliding door needs lube too, helps lower the effort on your outside handle to move it for opening.
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