Re: ned to install right outside door handle to a 1997
Rule of thumb remove all visible screw icluding in around arm rests and bottom of door panel. two types of nylon fasterns on the inside of panel one is where the snap goes directly into the metal wall the other style that hook in -Note never pull out toward you on a hook style you must lift and pull at the same time with slight pressure. when pulling panel it better to also you a small wedge to help assist looks similar to a door wedge -locksmiths use this.also on many fords you can remove the panel still keeping the electrical connected as well just easy at a angel threw the hole it sits in.
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You will have to remove the door panel. To do this use a phillips screwdriver and remove the two screws under the inside door handle. Then lift and remove the section. Remove another screw from the interior lower left corner. Pry the window crank apart "if exists" then use a T20 torq bit to remove the screw in handle. Remove the panel by lifting and pulling at same time. With window in up position you can see inside the hole a rod going from the door handle to a bracket with a Yellow clip. Slide the clip to the open position and pull the rod out of the clip. From the outside of door under the handle there are two rivets. Use a punch and knock out the center of each rivet. Then use a 1/4" drill bit and drill out the rivet. A flat tip screwdriver will be used to knock off the rest of the rivet. You will need two flat head screws and lock nuts or to reinstall the handle. Lift out old handle with attached rod. Twist rod as you pull to remove it and install it into the new handle. Place the rod through the hole and look inside to be sure is will move to the location of the yellow clip.Install the screws from the outside and the nuts from the inside and tighten. From inside connect the rod to the yellow clip. Lift on the rod while closing the clip. Then test door handle. If it doesn't work properly the rod was not lifted or pulled outward enough. Redo that step until you get it right. Reinstall inner panel as removed.
Most door panels are just held on with push in studs. You need something to pry them out, like a screw driver. There may be fittings on it might have to come off, usually just screwed on.
The outside door handle fitting wil be seen when the panel is off.
Make sure window is up. Remove inner door panel. Disconnect latch mechanism. Should be a few nuts holding handle on. Unscrew them. Install front door outside handle frame sub-assembly. Using a torx wrench (Usually T30) install the outside handle.
check the door handle in side door panel there is a rod that goes into the door handle that might have fallen out of it or more likely broken the door handles at a junk yard are about 5 dollars if you take off make sure it function that none of the teeth of the handle are broken and and make sure you have the right or left door handle it will be marked on inside of interior door handle . this handle slides forward towards the front of vehicle for removal then turn to remove rod from handle.
There is two bolts that hold the window slider thing in place. One just below one of the door handle nuts inside the door and the other is on the outside of the door (on the inside of the car). Once these are removed it enables you to move that mech out of the way to get to the other bolt.
I undone the 3 latch screws to give me a bit more movement in the rod that connects to the handle too.
This should give you enough room to get to that other nut and clip the rod into the handle once installed.
Once handle is installed simply just slide the window mech back up into position and bolt back in.
Generally, the interior door panel must be removed to access whatever method the manufacturer used to install the handle. i know this isn't a complete solution, but once you get the interior panel off, the rest should become pretty clear.
YOUR OLD MOTOR SHOULD HAVE RIVITS HOLDING THE UNIT TO THE DOOR. YOU MUST DRILL OUT THE RIVITS JUST TO THE MOTOR AND REMOVE. IF THE NEW MOTOR DID NOT COME WITH BOLTS YOU WILL HAVE TO BUY THEMFROM ANY HARDWARE STORE.SHOULD BE 1/4-20S OR 5/16-20 BOLTS JUST LONG ENOUGH TO LEAVE ROOM FOR THE NUTSTO LONG CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS, ALSO BUY LOCK NUTS WITH NYLON LOCKS SO THEY WON'T VIBRATE LOOSE. GETTING THE DOOR PANEL OFF SHOULD BE EASY, REMOVE HANDLES AND SCREWS AROUND DOOR POCKET CHECK CAREFULLY FOR HIDDEN SCREWS
GENTLY PRY THE DOOR PANEL FROM BETWEEN THE METAL DOOR AND THE PANEL, SHOULD BE 6-8 PLASTIC DOOR GROMMETS HOLDING THE PANEL AFTER ALL ARE LOOSE GENTLY PULL THE PANEL OUT AT THE BOTTOM AND RAISE THE PANEL NU TO RELEASE IT FROM THE TOP WINDOW AREA. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO UNPLUG THE WINDOW MOTOR CONTROLS AT THIS POINT AND SET PANEL OFF TO SIDE AND START WITH THE RIVITS. WHEN YOU GET THIS FAR THE WINDOW SHOULD BE IN THE UP POSISTION EITHER SUPPORT THE WINDOW FROM INSID THE DOOR AREA WITH A PIECE OF WOOD OR SOMETHING SO IT WON'T FALL AND BREAK. I DAVE USED DUCT TAPE FOR THIS AND WORK WELL ALSO BUT USE ENOUGH TO TAPE FROM THE OUTSIDE TO THE INSIDE ACROSS THE TOP OF THE DOOR
LET ME KNOW HOW THINGS GO
Order the exterior door handle AND the clip that attaches the rod to the exterior handle from your local dealership ( any part in the salvage yard will have at least as much wear as the one U are replacing ) Also order a can of touch up paint matching your car. After you have the parts and have painted the new exterior handle, roll down the window and remove the interior door panel. ( instructions have been posted at 'replace door lock buttom' ) Two nuts, one on each side, hold the broken handle in place and must be removed ( DON'T loose them ). Loosen the rod from the clip at the top to allow a bit more room, But take note on the way it is attached ( you will need to reattach the rod to new handle ) To install new mechanism put the new clip on the rod, carefully place the gasket and the new handle in place and install nuts to secure. Test the door handle and make sure it works. Reinstall interior door panel.
I had the same problem and I finally found the solution after taking the panels from the inside of the door. Ford makes these vehicles with plastic clips to hold the bar that releases the latch and after so much repetitive usage of them they break. so most likely you will need to go to a ford dealership to get these clips which are stupidly priced at $3.00 a piece. All you need to do is take out the old pieces and put in the new and they'll most likely last you for another 10 yrs. but that's not a guaranteed fix from Ford.