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Petroworks has been kind enough to give iZook permission to reprint this "Quick Fix" article. This is an article from a series that you can find at the Petroworks web site.  Look for down loadable video files in the future that will be provided by the great crew of Petroworks. Please visit their newly designed web site at Http:// 

Interior Door Handle Replacement

The finished installation in a sample Zuk door at Petroworks

Typical Samurai interior door handlesThis time I was in search of replacement interior door handles, 'cause mine are trashed. While talking to Gary he tells me that they just got in these new Interior Door Handle Replacements made out of aluminum to replace the often-broken handle. Being a little hesitant of new products I asked Gary to show me. He said, "Better yet I will let you install a set on one of the many Zuks in the lot to see how well they look and how easy it can be to do it." Well, the thought of getting the privilege to work on one of the Zuk god's cars took over and away I went.

Tools Required

  • #2 Phillips Screwdriver 
  • #3 Phillips Screwdriver 
  • Impact Screwdriver w/Phillips head 
  • 1/8 punch 
  • Hammer 
  • File/Grinder 
  • Needle nose pliers 
  • Window crank retaining clip remover or just a bent piece of wire


Interior aluminum door handle replacements and instructionsInstead of standing over my shoulder, Gary just told me to follow the directions and ask for any tools I thought necessary. The kit comes with a fairly straightforward set of instructions that any shade tree mechanic or aspiring shade tree mechanic can follow.

You start by using your #2 Phillips screwdriver to remove all the interior door components; like the door pull handle, door restraining strap, door latch cover plate and window crank. The hardest being the window crank, I couldnt find a clip removal tool so Gary gave me a piece of wire with a little hook at the end that I fished in to remove the clip.

Handle assembly shown after interior hardware and trim panels are removedNext you remove the interior door panel which is just snapped into plastic clips. Once the door panel is removed you will have to peel back the plastic liner to get access to the door handle rods and screws that hold the latch in place. So far I have not done anything that is not required when replacing the door latches. The two bolts that hold the latch in place are typical Samurai (read cheap metal) so be very careful in removing them so as to not strip the heads. I used an impact screwdriver to loosen the bolts, then a #3 Phillips screwdriver to remove them completely.

Actuating rods after handle assembly is removed.Once the handle is off the door, you will have to remove the lock control rod. This can be done with needle nose pliers. The latch mechanism is a little more tricky. The easiest way to remove it is by compressing the spring to remove it from its retaining bracket then flex the door handle a little to slip it out of the hole.

Handle assembly with the pin removedNow comes the real fun part. The handle is retained by a pin that is not really made to come out once it is in. However with a file or grinder you can grind it down until it is flush with the handle bracket. This is explained pretty well in the included directions. Just be careful not to remove too much metal--only to the point that you will see a fine circle where the pin goes through the bracket. The instructions say to use a socket and 1/8 punch to punch the pin out. However if you have a vise I recommend using that to hold the handle instead. A couple hits on the punch and the pin should drop right out.

At this point you can install the new handle. Caution should be taken when reinserting the pin; it may have a mind of its own and not want to line up with the hole in the bracket. With a little tap on the head of the pin or using the pliers you can get the pin to go back into place. I think when I do mine I will replace the pin with a small screw and nyloc nut just to ease my worries about the pin ever popping back out.

Reinstall everything in reverse order. Be sure you function test everything before putting the door panel back on to avoid having to take everything apart again.


I am very impressed. (Not that that means a whole lot to the rest of you.) It really is a nice addition to the interior of the ZUK and it is durable. For about the price of one OEM replacement door handle, you can fix up both of your handles and not have to worry about it again. Rumor has it that the handles will be available in polished aluminum and powder coated black.

--Jason K. Martin

07/24/2010 08:20

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