Monday, September 8, 2014

Replacing a Passenger Side Door Handle 2000 GMC Express Van

The original (broken) handle
With six girls constantly climbing in and out of the family van you can imagine how much use the door handles get on a regular basis. After several months of use, our 2000 GMC Sierra van's passenger door would no longer open. This left one side of a double door the only exit point for several cranky kids to the same time usually.

I called the local parts store and asked for a price. Not in stock of course but it could be ordered to the tune of $85. Thanks NAPA. A quick Google search and I found the same part online for $16.73 and with minimal shipping. SCORE!

Highly recommend PartsGeek for parts now. They shipped fast and we're ridiculously affordable. 

Upon arrival, I removed it from the box to compare it to the one I removed from the van. It was clear that there was a piece missing that included a retainer ring. Installation took all of ten minutes and she was ready go.

Turns out there are two rods inside the door. One rods controls the opening mechanism at the TOP of the door. The other rod controls the opening mechanism at the BOTTOM of the door. A quick pull of an unbroken handle and both rods are pulled in opposite directions opening both mechanisms thanks to two easy-to-open clips that lock around the rods (seen below in green and red colors).

The door panel removed
The real hard part was getting the stupid door panel back on. It clipped on in a way that male ends had to be slid through female slots and then push the door panel in a downward motion. At the same time, the top is held on by metal clips snapping onto the plastic door panel only possible with a thump from my fist.

This took several attempts before it finally worked. Broken door handle...fixed...for under $20. Take that NAPA.

Next comes the driver's window regulator. A driver's window that won't roll down makes for an unhappy driver when attempting to navigate anything that has a drive through window (bank, restaurant, etc). Wifey made it clear that the window is next on the to-do list.

If this one is too complicated, I might leave it up to the local mechanic. We've found a good one in town that will let us pay when we can afford, even if it means a few week after we get the repaired vehicle back home. Gotta love small towns for that kind of stuff.

New hardware view from outside the door

Inside the door view


Joshua Tolley said...

Our '98 Chevy 4-door pickup had a broken passenger side front handle when we bought it. I didn't worry much about it, and the kids had to roll the window down to open the door. Then the driver's side rear handle broke off as well. I still didn't bother about it much. Only when the driver's door handle broke did I finally it was time to do something. After taking the door panels off it became clear this wasn't the first time someone did this job.

Anyway, apparently that's the sort of thing large frame Chevys (including GMCs) are known for.

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

they can certainly be a pain in the butt sometimes. I seriously thought about just sticking a stick (like a 2x4) inside the door jam to prop up a window when the window regulator mechanism broke in the back window of my Jeep. Nevertheless, smarter heads prevailed and I paid to get the window regulator fixed.

Jason and Michelle said...

My 99 suburban door handle broke. My son and his friend replaced it :)
It took some time, they got it done ( a positive when you have 5 teenage boys)

Anonymous said...

If you elect to have someone repair your driver's side window regulator, check pricing with a good auto body repair shop. I found one who did it for about 1/3 of the dealership price. In my case it was a 2006 F150 that the auto body shop replaced for $128.00, parts included. He had it done in about 70 minutes (I waited for it). This certainly beat me ordering the part and attempting the repair myself.

Allison said...

I've done a window regulator on our truck (not Jereld). I asked Jereld to let me try before he jumped in and I was able to do it thanks to a Youtube video. So, I think you can do it!

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

Already got it fixed. Now, onto great next problem...

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

Oh I don't get anything done at dealerships. I learned that lesson years ago.

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

Oh yeah? Well... my girls can... fix... a... chipped fingernail.

Gokhan Degirmenci said...

This is a common problem in Chevys. My family has owned several Suburbans & Chevy trucks with the same problem.

The issue is not the door handle itself, but the spring that releases the door wears out, causing passengers to pull again and again on the handle because the door is hard to open. You can replace the handle, but without replacing the spring, it will happen again.

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