Tip & How-To about Vehicle Parts & Accessories
You can find videos about removing the door panel and the exterior door handle on YouTube, so I will not cover those in this post. Other posts about this repair involve things like drilling a hole and inserting a bolt into the broken plastic handle, but if the breakage is in the area where these photos show, those fixes can fail in time. This fix reinforces and improves the faulty design of the part; in other words, auto makers (including BMW!) use plastics where metal, such as light-weight aluminum, should have been used. INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Remove the interior door panel. 2. Peel back the plastic covering from the door to access the door's interior cavity. 3. Remove the 2 10mm bolts on either side of the handle securing the door handle to the body. I recommend a ratchet wrench for the easier-to-reach nut and a socket for the other. 4. From the outside, pull the door handle out enough to reach the lock and opener rods from the plastic connectors on the handle so you can remove the handle from the door. 5. Remove the metal door opener arm from the handle. One bolt holds it in place. 6. Fashion a "splint" from a 1" X 1" piece of aluminum. It should be thin enough (about 2 or 3 millimeters thick) to wrap around the broken handle arm as shown in the attached photos. Be CAREFUL not to damage the other plastic handle components. In my photos, it appears a previous owner tried to repair the breakage with a thin bolt. You can see the dried, cloudy-colored glue beneath my aluminum splint. Be sure your splint is wrapped tightly around the broken arm so that the arm cannot come apart again. Good pliers are essential here to bend the aluminum splint as shown. 7. Once completed, reattach the metal opener arm to the handle and ensure the spring end rests in the notch of the arm. 8. Reattach the handle to the door body, ensuring the rods are back in their proper plastic "hooks". You cannot attach them incorrectly, as they only fit one way. Removing and reattaching the screws inside the door cavity can be tricky. The door frame edges are sharp. Be patient and careful not to cut yourself. It will probably take a good five minutes or more to get the screws back in place and tightened.
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