1963 Jaguar E-Type OTS
The story of a ground up restoration of a classic "XKE" Jaguar roadster

Door handle details (9-11 March 2006)

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fetching & dismantling
sandblasting & evil rust
right "b" pillar
fixing right inner sill
basic body repair, por-15
frame removed, footwell repair
hole fixed, car flipped, etc.
sill stiffeners, rear bulkhead, etc.
various small parts
left sill, added stiffener, etc.
   - lousy weather
trunk floor (reprise)
right floor, left sill, etc.
left floor, wheel well, etc.
right upper wishbone
floor done, car righted
rack, front frame, evil rust
left door cleaned & fitted
right door, right suspension
bonnet, part 1
bonnet, part 2
bonnet, part 3
bonnet, part 4
bonnet, part 5, etc.
bonnet, part 6
bonnet, outer sill, etc.
lots of stuff
left side, bonnet internals
frame, bonnet attached
engine stand, oil pan removal
pistons removed, sanding
sanding, final filling
color, frames, primer
brushed primer test
2nd coat primer
holiday greetings!
finish prep, detail on dent fix
spraying primer
winter chores
  1. undercoat, plating prep
  2. plating, spraying color
bonnet, plate prep, cylinder head
cylinder head paint, bushes
plating saga
front frame, suspension, part 1
front suspension, part 2
front suspension, part 3
priming and painting
bonnet, part 7
painting color!
boot lid, steering wheel
gas tank
winter chores
  1. firewall sundry
  2. front suspension
  3. steering setup
  4. master cylinders/pedals
  5. the rest
data plate screed
winter to spring
  1. irs rebuild
  2. trunk floor, harness
  3. data plate (again)
data plate, door, headlights
dash vinyl, crosshatch aluminum
windshield, right door
interior, "widget"
chrome parts!
door handle details
rolling chassis
molasses rust removal
electrical, part 1
bores, thrust washers
new engine!
head differences
block differences
compression ratio
engine in place!
catchup & photos
it runs!
setback and brakes
darned close & engine diffs
top and seats
driving and little stuff

Door handle details

Winter has been mild in North Carolina, though cold enough in the deep winter months to keep me out of the garage. March usually is the transition month — a month of teasing warmth and, when cold, a month of yearning for spring. This March has been warm. So warm, in fact, that this weekend I opened the front door of the garage to let air and sun in. This is what the car looked like on 11 March, just before the left door handle was put into place.

Please excuse the mess. Winter blows leaves through the cracks beneath a side door, but the rest of the disarray is my fault. I am always amazed to see pictures of other fellows' neat and tidy workspaces. I've never been that organized, and I have kids who use the garage and the tools as well.

This entry might be a little too detailed for most folks, but I found that I spent an inordinate amount of time just figuring out how the door lock/latch mechanism works. I initially thought that some parts had been pilfered, since there seemed to be too much "air" in the middle of the section covered by the can-like "retaining case." There is a plunger-like piece that slides freely in the rear section of the tumbler piece, and it slides freely when the car is locked, and is held in place when unlocked, so that the plunger is forced out the back end of the retaining case to activate the latch mechanism in the door.

I got a new retaining case from XKs Unlimited. The cases are sided, and so this one fits only the left side. (A tab is labeled "LH" for "left hand.") The retaining case frequently will fail at the rear end, as mine had. The part was virtually identical to the original, except for the fact that excess metal from the casting had not been trimmed off. This mainly was an issue for the hole at the rear (pictured). Ten minutes of sanding with some 220-grit sandpaper made everything clean and correct. Fit was not good on a small tab that slides into a slot on the door handle, but this was a matter of a little more sanding to bring the tab down to size.

Neither of these were big issues. It is, of course, much better to have too much metal than too little.

This lock and the one on the right side door had apparently been lubricated with oils and perhaps a little grease. They were both caked with grime. I took everything apart and soaked everything in kerosene (aka "paraffin") and scrubbed with an old toothbrush. This is the usual drill I go through with parts, as I don't have a fancy parts washer. I've decided to use a dry graphite lubricant on the locks.

For the most part, the pictures to the right and their "tooltip" captions, which you get when you mouse-over the pictures, tell the story in excruciating detail. The pictures themselves are probably the most useful of the explanations. Nothing in the disassembly or reassembly requires any special tools, just a needlenose pliers, a couple of screw drivers, and a fairly strong couple of fingers. The springs are not tremendously hard to compress, so you can easily squeeze the parts with one hand.

How the mechanism works perhaps becomes apparent from the pictures. The important piece that manages the locking is the small linkage piece that slips into the slot at the rear of the retaining clip. When the door is locked, this part offsets the plunger inside the tumbler and allows the plunger to slip between the fork-like sides of that section of the lock tumbler. The seventh picture from the top shows this linkage piece in place; the ninth and tenth pictures show the plunger functioning in unlocked and locked settings.

One thing I did that might be an addition, though a small one, was to place rubber seals between the door handle and the two points it touches the body. I don't have any record of a seal in that position when we disassembled the car, but that doesn't mean that the original cars wouldn't have had seals. I cut mine out of rubber from a car inner tube. Worked nicely.

I've finished installing the chrome I got back from Ricardo.

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