Door Handle
1990 928 S4

June 21, 2000

The trouble started when I tried to open the driver's side door. I lifted the handle, but the door didn't open. At first I thought it was the still locked, so I tried unlocking the door again. Still won't open. I went to the passenger side, tried the door, and it opened. I reached across to the driver's door and pulled the handle, and the door opens. Go to the driver's side of the car, close the door and try the handle. The door doesn't open. Over to the passenger side, open the door, reach in and open the driver's door, close passenger door, go to driver's side, get in the car, close the door, and drive home very annoyed.

I called Susan at Devek and described the problem. She said it was a common problem, and the that the part was only $39, but it would take 3-5 hours to replace with a lot of pain, aggravation, and cursing (for those so inclined).

Undaunted I ordered the part, hey I have the manuals...

The part arrived on Friday (6/23), just as promised. I figured I could put it in over the weekend.

June 24, 2000

I read the manual, and it doesn't cover the part I need to replace. It does describe take off the door and removing the locking mechanism. I figure I'll take the door apart and see if I can get to the back of the door handle.

I started with the interior side panel, above the door handle. It's held on by two (2) push in clips at the top and two (2) sliding clips at the bottom. I grabbed the top of the panel and pulled it loose. Then I slide the panel back (toward the back of the car) and up. This exposed some bolts that held on the arm rest.

Next I removed the arm rest. It's held on by six (6) 10 mm bolts. Five of the bolts are around the arm rest, the last is in the air vent, hidden by a plastic cover that will pull out. After all the bolts were removed, I unplugged the wires for the seat memory, mirror toggle, and mirror control and lifted the arm rest out of the way.

I then removed the cover under the interior door handle (1 phillips screw at the base of the handle), and the interior lock knob. There is a cover in the center of the knob that needs to be pried out, exposing a phillips screw. I removed the screw, and slide off the knob. I then screwed out the plastic cup using a large circlip remover. If you don't have one of these, carefully turn the cup using the 2 notches in the middle. Next I removed the small trim piece near the door hinge. It's held on by one (1) phillips screw, I removed the screw and move the trim piece to the side.

Next I removed the interior door panel. There are three (3) phillips screws (2 at the bottom back, 1 at the top front) that need to be removed. Then the whole panel can be pried loose. There are several plastic/nylon push in tabs around the perimeter that hold it in place. I was careful of the wires for the speakers and light. I disconnected the wires (and labled them) and set the panel out of the way (in the back seat).

I peeled down the plastic that covers the opening in the door and tried to find the back of the door handle, but there was too much junk in the way. At this point I stopped. I didn't want to remove something I didn't have to, or that I couldn't put back together. So I decided to call Devek again.

June 29, 2000

I talked to Marc at Devek, and he said I'd have to remove the locking mechanism and the metal plate from inside the door. Porsche apparently designs these things to be disassembled, then assembled in order to be fixed.

I removed the lock motor, it's held on by two (2) 5 mm hex head screws. Remove the two screws and the unit slides out. I then disconnected the wires attached at the bottom back of the assembly. There was also a pin held on by a small clip that connects the arm of the motor to the latch mechanism. I removed the clip and then the pin. I put the lock motor assembly in the back seat.

I then removed the metal plate that's inside the door. I pulled the wire clips that held the wires for the lock motor off the plate. There are two (2) phillips screws that hold the plate that are accessible from outside the door. One is in the door jam and one below the window. I removed them and then loosened a 13 mm bolt on the inside back bottom of the plate. This bolt just needs to be loosened. The plate will then slide out. One note here. I had been working with the window up (closed) and the battery disconnected, but in order to slide the plate out, the window needs to be down, so plan accordingly. Another thing, don't fully remove the bolt at the bottom of the plate, there's a lot of tension on the door frame and cross beam there. If you remove the bolt, the holes will not line up again, so the bolt can not easily be replaced....

Once the plate was removed, the broken part was visable. There are two (2) 10 mm nuts that fasten it to the door, and two (2) 4 mm hex screws that attach it to the outside door handle. There is also a small linkage piece that connects it to the door latching assembly. I removed the nuts and screws, and disconnected the linkage (pressed on) and the part came out. I used a special allen wrench to remove the hex screws. It allowed me to remove the screws at an angle, since it was too crowded in there to get a straight shot at the inside screw.

I installed the new part and attached the linkage. I checked the outside door handle and it worked. I then reassembled the the whole mess, checking each assembled item to make sure they still worked, before going to the next piece.

The whole process took over 4 hours, on two different days and cost $46. This is not a process I'd look forward to again. Thanks Susan and Marc for your assistance.

The culprit and replacement

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Copyright 2000, George A Suennen
written: 07/03/00
rev: 07/24/00