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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Just noticed the passenger side rear door handle on my '85 Reliant is a bit out of whack; the top right corner of the handle is resting on the door skin and has rubbed through the paint. I prefer playing with the greasy parts, so not familiar with how to adjust the handle. Is there a way to make a simple handle adjustment so the handle clears the door? Thanks!

270934

270935
 

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It bolts up from the inside of the door.
It is possible that the linkage is forcing it that way for whatever reason.
The linkage adjustment for how far the handle needs to raised before it disengages the latch is on the backside of the door where the latch is located.
You will see a slotted hole, inside that hole is an Allen Head screw, loosen that screw and move the linkage to adjust.

If you would like to see an exploded view of the door/handle go to the Chrysler Parts Catalog.

1985 Catalog, Group 23C Body/Doors and Related Parts, Page 940, Figure 23C-1100 Items 7-15.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cool, will pull the door panel and have a look. Wasn't sure where to start. Thanks, NAJ.
 

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Adjustment hole is in the door jamb end, under the visible latching mechanism.

Adjusting determines how much the handle moves up to open the door.

No need to remove anything to access the adjustment hole.

Often the mis adjusted handle needs to be lifted too much.

From memory a 5/32" allen head key wrench is used.

Thanks
Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK...clear now. Will try adjusting the linkage. The handle is actually resting on the door skin while at rest, so unless there's some binding it might need to be adjusted from the inside as well to get the handle off the door.
 

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The out of whack condition you show in your picture results from the door to latch linkage adjustment that others refer to above being out of adjustment and then resulting from that you have to pull with increasingly higher force on the handle as the adjustment continues to get worse resulting in bending of the hinge arms on the handle. You need to adjust the linkage as described above which will make your life vastly better but you will still have a bent handle.You can try to re-shape the internal parts of the handle and / or the arms between the hinge and the handle or you can buy a new handle. I think the "Help" brand at a car parts store sells them and / or the last time I needed one I got a new one from Cindy at FWD Performance.

The reason for the adjustment between the handle and the latch (variable length 2 piece rod) is that in production its hard to control all of the dimensions that stack up to control the distance between the output lever on the handle and the input lever on the latch. Its easier for them to just mount the latch and handle to the door then lock down the variable length rod to the length it needs to be. Problem is that the rod length adjust mechanism they've designed slips over time resulting at first in you having to move the handle a bit more and then a bit more more within its free travel range before the latch releases then later running out of handle travel and having to exert ever higher forces to get the latch to release, thus bending the handle.

You can resolve the problem temporarily (or permanently if you're lucky) by doing the factory recommended fix that others refer to above (loosening and re-tightening the SHCS through the hole in the rear shut face) or better the way I do it is to replace the handle with a new one, remove the latch and lubricate and fiddle with all latch parts then thoroughly clean both parts of the linkage rod (brake cleaner etc.) and loosely assemble the rod and SHCS with something that will permanently hold the rod length adjustment such as Loctite cylindrical part locker or JB weld. At that point you can assemble it to the door and make the adjustment or as I tend to do tighten the rod down to an educated guess length on the bench and assemble it to the door and see how you did then probably remove it to the bench and change the length, iterating a few times. I've never had a long term repeat problem with this method though its more of a hassle thus my front right handle currently needing repair, not working and bent at an angle worse than what you show and I've not gotten to it in too long.

Source: I spent 8 years at a Detroit "big 3" as a door hardware engineer.
 

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Chrysler and Jeep vehicles well into the 2,000's still have the same hole.

They rarely need adjusting as the handles etc. are probably better.

I wouldn't be surprised if they still have it!

Thanks
Randy
 
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