How to Replace and Install Mustang Door Handles

IMG_2104[3]After 40 plus years of operation the outside door handles on a Classic Mustang will not only look pretty drab and dull, they’ll operate poorly and should be replaced. This article will show you how to do the installation; it’s fairly easy to do it yourself.

We’ll be using quality Scott Drake parts for this demonstration provided by none other than Average Joe Restoration Mustang Parts. The installation is performed on a 1967 Mustang but it is the same procedures for 1965-1966, 1968 and 1969 and 1970 Mustangs; 1970-73 Mustang door handle are a flush mount – lift style but the operational principals are the same.

 How the door handle works

When you push the button on the outside door handle it operates a bell crank, that is attached to a rod that operates the door latch. Put all these things in motion and they release the latch from the door latch striker.

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You can adjust the push button depth so the door opens with a shallow or deep push.

Removing the old door handles

InsideDoor-clip-nut copyYou will have to get inside the door so you can access the attaching hardware and latch rod connection; this means that you will have to remove the inside door handle and window crank, the door panel and possibly a moisture barrier or water shield. When you have all of these goodies removed, roll the window up all the way and then reach inside the door body to get a good idea of where the attacking point are.

  1. Unclip the door lock rod retainer clip at the bell crank with a flat tip screw driver
  2. Remove the nut from the stud
  3. Remove the screw from the handle
  4. Pull the door handle up and out. You may have to give the handle a slight twisting motion to remove it.

IMG_2042Your old door handle may have a factory rod clip, you can use the new aftermarket one supplied with the new handles or buy new door latch rod retainer clips.

Door handle Installation



Before you install the door handle you should do a trial run on the hardware installation to make sure the screws and nuts install without problems – check once / install once.


The door handle stud will remain attached to the door handle for installation. Screw in the stud at the handle end, finger tight.

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Installation Steps

  1. Place the door handle pads into position
  2. Slide the bell crank portion of the handle into the door first, with a slight twist; then the handle end with the stud
  3. Attach the door handle screw, finger tight
  4. Inside the door body, attach the retaining nut to the stud
  5. Check you door handle pads position and then tighten up the nut and screw
  6. Place the door latch rod and seat the retaining clip.

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InsideDoor-clip-nut copy[1]

Purchase all of the parts featured here from Average Joe Restoration Mustang Parts

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