Door Handles: The Trapeze of Opening

I have not been a fan of Land Rover’s complicated system of levers and bars and cams and rods and hooks and flappy paddles made of Play-doh (Play-doh website, such a catchy tune!). I have now replaced my third exterior door lever. The levers get torn because of the ridiculous way the interior bits are put together, making it almost certain that something is going to fail.

I’ve had lots of trouble with the passenger side (Mrs. OkieRover’s side) door of the Range Rover. To say there was “a trick” to open it would be a gross understatement. There was a process of tricks required for it to open.

I decided on Sunday I would fix it. All it needed was a little adjustment.

I took the door card off and managed not to break the locking plastics as I have done on the driver’s side door.

I got the levers all disconnected and refreshed my memory on how “I believe” all the cams and levers and paddles and pivot points and hooks and rods work. Turns out to adjust the pull all you need to manipulate is one rod. I’ll discuss that later.

So I get it all back together. I tested it several times. Then I tested it several more from inside the vehicle. My neighbor Mr. Fisher came over to chat and drink Boddington’s with me and I went to demonstrate the successful repair.

It’s only hubris if I fail, ~ Julius Caesar

More after the jump…

Hubris is amazing. I was very proud of myself that I was able to fix this problem. Mr. Fisher had experienced the inconvenience of the flappy paddle failing to open the door. So he would definitely know how good this was.

I went over to the door…and nothing. I tried again. Nothing. I cursed…loudly…tried again. Nothing.

I got INSIDE and tried the handle and nothing. I tried again. Nothing. I cursed…loudly…tried again. Nothing.

So last night I had to figure out how to remove the door card while the door was closed. It required me to remove the passenger seat. With that done, I removed all the screws. Removed the speaker.

External “flappy paddle” door rod. Adjust by turning.

Using my big flat screwdriver (2 parts OJ, 1 part vodka) I popped the door card loose. With a slight turn up from the rear on the card and a pull it came out. Thankfully nothing broke.

Lying in a very awkward position I slipped my hand in the door. I then tried every lever and rod and paddle and it would not budge. I was about to give up when I decided to remove the electric door lock. It doesn’t work anyway so I figured at the least I’d have a better look.

I fiddled with it some more and presto it opened. I did not know what caused it to release but it did. I turned the rod that controls the outside flappy paddle a few turns back to reverse the possible over adjustment.

The flappy paddle and the interior lever worked 12 times each. Slamming the door and trying it and closing it partially and closing it fully and properly.

I even had Mrs. OkieRover try it. All attempts were successful. I buttoned it up and breathed a sigh of relief.

Still lots to do before the big trip, springs, air conditioning, vibration proofing.
I reached out to two forums looking for suggestions about preparing the vehicle for exceptionally rough roads. I’ll share the results.

Dan Cefalo checked on us via email in light of the recent storms. Thanks, that meant a lot.
Brad Johnson sent a nice email thanking me for help with his fan resistor. Always glad to help where I can.

Pray for those in Oklahoma recovering from tornadoes. Newcastle, Moore, Carney, Bethel Acres and Shawnee are just some of the cities affected by our recent storm outbreak. If you can help financially, please contact the Red Cross or one of the many local relief funds.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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