[Vwdiesel] Rabbit door handles

James Hansen jhsg at sasktel.net
Mon Mar 10 16:17:37 PDT 2008

Yeah, they are one of those things, that when done, are done.
Jobber handles are (were) cheap.  As Mark sez, the little aluminum 
rocker deal in there goes south, and breaks.

The actual culprit is the door latch mechanism, the deal that physically 
holds the door shut.  There is a flat sliding plate in there that runs 
the catch for the latch.  It is flat on the housing, and prone to 
corrosion and dirt collection.  IF you remove it, disassemble it, clean 
and polish the guts, reassemble with a liberal coating of something 
good, like fluid film, it will work again, just like a brand new door 
catch. Save the WD-40 for spraying on missles, this needs something oily 
to keep functioning. When sticky, the catch gets too hard to actuate, 
and the handle suffers, and winds up like yours, busted.

2 screws hold the handles on, but you can snap handles off carefully 
without destroying the door if absolutely necessary, then reach in with 
fingers to depress the flat deal on the catch the handle part that is 
currently busted acts against.  Take out the screw you can get at under 
the metal trim (use a teeny flat bladed screwdriver to get the trim 
off), and grab the handle firmly and reef it off if necessary. (it's 
designed to so this)  Opening the door from the inside exposes the other 
screw in the jamb.  This one screw in the jamb may actually loosen up 
periodically and effect handle actuation as well.


if you use fluid film on your door catch faithfully, I can guarantee you 
that your handle problems will end at point you start to use the lanolin 
based fluid film.  It is very good stuff, and yes, is THAT good.
I get it by case lots.  WD is used now for doing things like displacing 
water, which it excells at.


mark shepherd wrote:
> Rolf I've wired drilled and pinned the beasts but the problem starts with 
> aluminium joints corroding due to the iron pins and the al oxide wearing 
> them sloppy. The sloppier they get the more you have to grunt to squeeze 
> enough to open. If youre strong enough they'll break; if not they stay shut 
> and you stay outside... The one screw is hidden under the plastic/chrome 
> trim the other screw is in the lock catch area of the door edge. Easy to 
> take off but new ones are the only true answer. Grease them well to make 
> them last...
> Mark
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Rolf Pechukas" <rbp at 4u2bu.org>
> To: <vwdiesel at vwfans.com>
> Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 7:13 PM
> Subject: [Vwdiesel] Rabbit door handles
>> hello all
>> I am now crawling in and out of the back hatch to lock/unlock my doors
>> driver's side won't lock/unlock from outside w/ key
>> pass side trigger on handle is fully depressed into handle and does
>> nothing, again from outside
>> is there anywhere to find a diagram for rebuilding these mechanisms?
>> anyone who has dealt with this kind of thing want to offer any advice?
>> thanks
>> Rolf in MA
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