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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8594
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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How does the exterior drivers side door handle tighten on a

Customer Question

How does the exterior drivers side door handle tighten on a 1998 3000 GT
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.

The outer handles on these cars can be a bit of a pain to change out. The access is extremely tight and can be impossible without the proper tools... you will want to have 1/4 drive ratchet/sockets and preferably low profile ones at that.
If you do not have access to small enough tools, you would need to remove the window glass to get more room, which is no fun in itself.

To remove the outer door handle there are two 10mm bolts holding it on. The first is not too bad, as it is accessed through the back edge of the door. There will be a plug covering the access hole and the bolt will go in from the rear horizontally.
The second bolt is the more difficult one. It is accessed from inside the door, just behind the bottom edge of the glass with the window up. The bolt is just rear ward of the door lock cylinder and key lock switch.
You want to use a pick or similar to gently pull the lock cylinder switch off the back of the cylinder... these get very brittle with age, so be gentle; they will break easily.
Then remove the 10mm bolt from just behind the lock cylinder.

The next step is open to choice... you are supposed to release the plastic clips holding the door handle lever and lock cylinder lever to the appropriate actuator rods, and you can then tip the door handle out from the bottom and carefully navigate it out/down ward to remove it.
Personally I prefer to leave the lock cylinder actuator rod attached since it can be difficult to access, then proceed with removing the handle... as the handle comes out of the door you will have more access room to remove the rod from the lock cylinder, or if you are really tricky you can release the retainer from the lock cylinder and leave it hanging in the door.

That is just how I do it... you can fight with the 10mm bolt around the cylinder switch, etc, as recommended by the book, that way just seems easier to me. I am attaching a picture showing the location of the bolts and cylinder switch, etc, to help visualize it while it is still in the vehicle. It is not the best picture, but it should help some.

If you have any questions please just let me know.

Please remember to only rate my answer when you are satisfied. IF you feel the need to rate the lower two ratings, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY/CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to assist you with the constraints of your situation.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I don't want to remove handle I want to tighten it as it is loose and I don't see any bolts inside
Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.
Can you elaborate on how it is loose?

Is the entire housing loose or just the portion that you pull on to open the door?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the front side of the entire housing is loose
Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.

You can check that front 10mm bolt that is behind the lock cylinder to make sure it is tight, but other wise you are back to step one and you are going to be replacing the handle.

The mounting hole is known to crack on these and this results in being unable to keep the door handle tight. While there are some catches on the handle itself to hold the sheet metal, the bolts are what keep it tight and if it is not tight it is more likely to be either a loose or broken bolt hole.
In any situation other than the bolt being loose, proper repair is still going to be handle replacement.
I am attaching a photo showing the bolt hole that breaks loose:

Check that bolt to make sure it is tight... odds are it will be tight but the hole that it threads into has broken free of the handle and it will require replacement. If the bolt it loose (and the hole is not broken off), then you will only need to tighten it up. For what it is worth though... it normally ends in a new handle, they break a lot.

Again if you have any questions, please just let me know.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The only bolt holding the door handle in is on the edge of the door and it looks like there was some type of resin holding the handle to a metal tab attached to the door

Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.
It sounds like your bolt has vibrated loose and fallen out then.

You can see the location it is supposed to go in both the diagram I posted as well as the circled location on the photo of the back side of the door handle.
If there is no bolt there, that is why your handle is loose and you will need to replace it.

The bolt is a 10mm and is approximately 13mm in length.

With regard to you resin holding it to the door etc, this sounds unusual; if you see anything apart from what was shown in the two pictures I provided, you can consider that an alteration that may have been made to compensate for the looseness... without seeing it I could only assume.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

ok there is no bolt in bottom of door and it looks like the bolt hole isnt empty but I will keep looking thanks


Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.
No problem.

There is a water drain in the bottom of the door, normally near the rear corner where it could drop out (or get jammed).

If you confirmed there is no bolt in the hole on the handle, just find another short 10mm bolt to throw in it's place and you should be all set provided the hole isn't cracked/stripped (possibly causing the loss of the bolt).

If you have any further questions just let me know.

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