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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently had my exterior drivers-side door handle break in the heat and discovered it is a common issue with the CRZ due to a poorly engineered part. I came up with a solution that matches the feel and function of the OEM part, and decided to share it here for anyone else with the same issue.

Tools:
  • flat head screwdriver
  • #3 and #2 phillips head screwdriver
  • 10mm socket and ratchet
  • 5mm hex key
  • 2mm hex key
  • Dremel with cutoff wheel or a hacksaw
  • Drill with 3/16 or 5mm drill bit (1/8" or smaller bit is also recommended)
  • Soldering iron (temp control is preferred)
Parts List:
If you don't want to worry about buying the individual fasteners or printing the lever arm, send me a DM and I will mail you a parts kit with some spares for $40
Printing Recommendations:
Material:
ABS, ASA, or PC (PLA, PETG, and Nylon either have thermal issues or are susceptible to creep)
Minimum Total Wall Thickness: 1.5mm
Infill: 80% Hexagonal, Triangular, or Cubic

Step 1:
Remove the exterior door handle. There are many posts on how to do this and CRZOwner915 has an excellent video here. I do have some additional tips though.
  • Make sure you are using the right size driver on the phillips screws. they are torqued pretty tight and easy to strip. especially with an impact driver.
  • Remove the phillips screw next to the locking mechanism plug to remove the assembly.
  • Be extra careful when removing or installing the bolts that hold on the exterior handle as they can easily fall into welded interior compartments in the door and become impossible to retrieve (ask me how I know).
  • After removing the locking mechanism, plug the connector back in to keep your alarm from going off.

Step 2:
Disassemble the handle. First remove the Phillips screw holding the cast aluminum block to the lever arm. You can then remove that piece. Now you should be able to push out the 5mm plastic pivot pin and remove the painted handle part.

Step 3:
To modify the original handle, cut off the original lever arm to where the plastic is solid. I did this with a Dremel, but use what you have. A hacksaw will work too.
Wood Automotive tire Bumper Automotive exterior Helmet


Next you need to drill the post that's left 3/16" or 5mm right in the center about 8mm deep. Go slow and be EXTREMELY careful while drilling that the bit doesn't walk off center. If the hole blows out the side of the post, it will be difficult/impossible to salvage. I HIGHLY recommend that you first make a pilot hole with a smaller drill bit.

Step 4:
Using a soldering iron set to ~300°C heat and press the threaded insert into the drilled hole until it is flush with the top of the post.
Bag Electric blue Wood Strap Natural material


After sinking the insert, it may bulge out the plastic on the outside of the post, so you might need to shave it down a little for smooth operation.

Step 5:
Install the printed lever arm using an M3x20mm button head machine screw, and reassemble the handle. Make sure the spring loaded white piece is on the proper side of the lever arm.

The final assembly should look something like this.
Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive design Automotive fuel system Automotive exterior


I haven't had a chance to evaluate the longevity of the printed part, but it is significantly beefier than the OEM lever arm and worst case, it is easy to print a new one and replace it again with the modified handle. I'm aware how much of a problem the door handle mechanism is, so I wanted to share my solution before waiting a year or more to test the parts. If you have any additional questions, respond and I will be happy to answer! I hope this is helpful to someone.

P.S. If someone wants to send me their broken handle to take better pictures of the process, I will repair it for free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wonder if getting this printed in something like CF reinforced ABS would produce better longevity
I have no data either way to speak to the longevity, but the printed part has more than double the material around the failure point of the OEM part. CF reinforcing might help extend the life, but I've noticed thermal creep on CF Nylon parts which was a bit surprising, so I'm not sure how much it would actually help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So there's another failure point for a lot of people, and it's this hinge point. I'm now wondering if a stronger arm is going to rip this hinge off faster.

View attachment 65139
It seems like this part should be a lot stronger. Does it rip off at the base? The only way I see to fix that would be a part with a larger surface area epoxied to the base part.
 

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Even if this 3D printed part doesn't last that long what's it cost in terms printer time and spool or whatever the term is. Guessing it's still a fraction of the OEM door handle.

So there's another failure point for a lot of people, and it's this hinge point. I'm now wondering if a stronger arm is going to rip this hinge off faster.
Ah F. Lets just machine whole new door handles of billet aluminum then.
 

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So there's another failure point for a lot of people, and it's this hinge point. I'm now wondering if a stronger arm is going to rip this hinge off faster.

View attachment 65139
I'm pretty sure that's what failed on mine as well. The handle moves up and down way too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Why would you say that about nylon? I thought it was one of the better materials, both structurally and thermally.
Nylon does have excellent ultimate strength, but a lot of that comes from its elasticity which only increases at elevated temperatures, making it unsuitable for certain applications. Nylon with fiber reinforcement for rigidity would probably work fine, but even that is susceptible to creep where sustained low-level loading causes permanent deformation. To be honest, ABS and ASA probably exhibit similar creep behavior, but not everyone has access to printable high grade engineering polymers so I wanted to include some options that are more "accessible". If you do want to go with an engineering polymer though, PC is going to be your best bet.
 

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It seems like this part should be a lot stronger. Does it rip off at the base? The only way I see to fix that would be a part with a larger surface area epoxied to the base part.
yes, the base rips off. I think it only happens when the handle lever has failed and you have to start REALLY cranking on it to open the door.
I've been tinkering with a couple broken door handles (I think one was from @Eddie70 ?) and trying to mock up a metal brace for that hingepin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
yes, the base rips off. I think it only happens when the handle lever has failed and you have to start REALLY cranking on it to open the door.
I've been tinkering with a couple broken door handles (I think one was from @Eddie70 ?) and trying to mock up a metal brace for that hingepin.
That makes sense. Though if the lever fails like mine did, cranking on the door handle isn't going to help since it completely broke at the pivot hole. If you or anyone else wants to provide a handle with a broken pivot support, I can look at designing a sturdier pivot and writing another guide.
 

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So I dusted off my 3d printer and did a couple of these in PLA (just because it's what I have on hand, I'm waiting on ABS.

also, for anyone interested, the thingiverse model is for a left door. it is really easy to just mirror the part to make it for a right door.

Some feedback for @Shovels : the Thingiverse file is oriented so that it is straight up, you might want to orient it so that it is in the right orientation for print. i.e. laid flat, with the recessed side up. I wasn't paying enough attention to the orientation and botched the first print because it was trying to build that up as an unsupported area (user error on my end to be sure, but still would be a simple thing you could do to help novices not make novice errors lol)
 

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PLA would be good for a mockup but probably won't hold up well in actual use. But at least the file is available. My handles are currently ok but if this breaks on mine I could try printing one.
I still have my broken passenger handle with the snapped-off tab, maybe someday I'll mess with it but other than really strong glue I'm not sure what can be done with it.
 

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PLA has an abysmally low glass transition temp below 100C, so I'm like 95% confident it is going to fail pretty quickly once it gets hot outside again.
I can soften PLA with a simple 500 lumen flashlight. It's kinda crazy how it will get soft before it gets hot enough to burn you. 65C is the limit of what any PLA I've used can handle. Also, PLA suffers from creep issues as well, where it will slowly deform over time even when under light stress.
 
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