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GMT400 Inside Door Handle Woes

dbrannon79

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Hey guys. I recently had to replace my inside door handle and latch due to what seemed to be a late release problem where the door latch wouldn’t release until I pulled on the handle to its full extent then with a tiny bit more effort (forcing it) it would release. Well here I am again with the same issue. I actually saved my old handle not sure why when it’s junk, but I dug it out and dissembled it to have a good look jut to see what and how it broke!

Well after examining it and searching on the web, I think I have figured out something…

Two things are happening here.

One, the handles are cheap pot metal junk but there is a stop on them that prevents you from going but just so far pulling on it.

Two, the rod that connects the two together has bends and kinks in it by design and my theory is that over the years of use the bends are straightening out making the rod slightly longer.

Well I came up with two possible remedies That might help this issue.

One, the handle can easily be taken apart separating the pot metal handle from the plastic. Taking a grinder or cut off wheel and removing some of the metal from the area where it meets the plastic creating the stop so that it moves further and not binding. This isn’t to get more travel but to stop the handle from breaking and lasting longer when the rod has stretched.

Two, remove the rod and carefully add slightly more to the existing bends effectively shortening the rod back to fresh factory length.

I’m thinking about trying this approach now that I need to order another new handle not to mention that all four of the doors on my crew cab seem to all be the same. Pull handle to their stops and then force it a tad further so they’ll release the latch.

Here’s some pics on my old handle to show what I’m talking about. You can see where it’s cracked but I stuck it in a vice straightening it out back the it’s original shape and bend

5735D286-1E2B-463B-B7B2-93F9DA224704.jpegE5BA5BAD-7A34-4D22-B359-DF551C98DE58.jpeg6234F52F-D64D-4BFE-98FE-96FB2DFC263C.jpeg6ABD8C4D-CF2B-4A61-A167-29539682744C.jpeg7BA38B34-4C5A-4D2B-82C0-9209825E4608.jpeg
 

Will L.

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Its all because of the handle. Wait too long and force it- then you will damage rods and break the plastic rod clips. In the fleet of gmt400 trucks- this was one of the items we just replaced on a schedule of 100,000 miles.
 

dbrannon79

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Well I started working on the driver’s door today. Pulled the old handle off and removed the rod to the latch. I noticed that there is a very slight “S” bend in the rod beneath the door lock motor, other than that it’s mostly straight. Took it to my bench vice and made that slight bend more pronounced. Didn’t take a pic of the rod before bending but I remembered to take one after I was done. Ooh boy that made a huge difference!! I didn’t need to modify the new handle at all. I barely have to pull maybe half as much now to open up the door and almost effortlessly 😀

Here’s some pics of the old and new handle plus what I did to the rod!

3BC1BC57-684D-4AAB-A2FF-52B0770A94F6.jpeg9055AE52-67EF-475F-8679-F14EF8C6E609.jpegFB117F2B-4A55-4C5B-A483-85A463A48B21.jpeg541778D9-4A4E-4993-A6AD-9CE31268D233.jpeg
 

dbrannon79

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I’ve got three more doors to do sometime soon, so if someone wants pictures in more detail let me know.

Also planning an adventure gutting the interior to install sound deadening panels and insulation in the cab plus replacing the dash and recovering the headliner
 

MrMarty51

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I’ve got three more doors to do sometime soon, so if someone wants pictures in more detail let me know.

Also planning an adventure gutting the interior to install sound deadening panels and insulation in the cab plus replacing the dash and recovering the headliner
Front passenger door on My 2000 is screwing up. Sometimes I have to get out and open that door to let out a passenger.
Pics would be nice.
Also, if You do the overhead, let Me know if the ceiling over the fabric stuff is a double layer steel, like ceiling and roof.
I have one of them double whammy rifle racks I would like to mount on the ceiling but I dont wanna drill holes through the roofing. 😹😹😹
 

NVW

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Front passenger door on My 2000 is screwing up. Sometimes I have to get out and open that door to let out a passenger.
Pics would be nice.
Also, if You do the overhead, let Me know if the ceiling over the fabric stuff is a double layer steel, like ceiling and roof.
I have one of them double whammy rifle racks I would like to mount on the ceiling but I dont wanna drill holes through the roofing. 😹😹😹
The roof is two layers, maybe 1/2 inch apart or a bit more.
 

dbrannon79

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iirc there are braces that run across the roof above the headliner. they are spaced out like studs in a wall. unless you know where they are, drilling through the headliner could result in a hit or miss situation. try pulling the dome light out and peaking in there, or pull the rear brake light out of the back to look inside. not sure if a stud finder would work in that situation.
 

jrsavoie

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iirc there are braces that run across the roof above the headliner. they are spaced out like studs in a wall. unless you know where they are, drilling through the headliner could result in a hit or miss situation. try pulling the dome light out and peaking in there, or pull the rear brake light out of the back to look inside. not sure if a stud finder would work in that situation.
Maybe find a cab at a junk yard or pictures online
 

dbrannon79

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I think I had seen a couple of youtube videos on replacing the headliner on these crew cabs. I'll have to look for them and see if they show shots of the roof without the headliner.
 
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