1991 Acura NSX: Fixing the Door
January 02, 2012
The replacement billet door lever from ScienceofSpeed.com came in last week, so I decided to fix it this weekend. All in all, it was an easy fix; maybe a four on a difficulty scale of ten. It wasn't completely without some frustration, as you'd expect, but there's certainly a feeling of satisfaction that comes with fixing something yourself.
The first step is to remove the door panel that slides into the handle and lever pocket. I used a plastic putty knife the lift the edge, then pulled it out with some pliers wrapped in a small towel (so as not to tear the leather).
It took some effort to get the panel off, but once removed, the door mechanism was now visible.
Six screws held the pocket in place. I removed them and placed them in the same orientation off to the side, ensuring the screws go back in their original locations.
Here's the underside of the pocket. Now you can see the part that broke. Pretty cheap metal, I'd say, just a step above plastic. See the black dot right next to the fracture? That's a sticker that covers some very small screws.
These small screws gave me the most problems. I thought I was sunk, since I didn't think I had a screwdriver small enough for the job. Then I came across a miniature screwdriver set I bought a few years ago. Let's hear it for having the right tool for the job!
The first screw needed a lot of effort to remove. When I finally got it out, I found out why.
There was a lot of red thread lock on it. The second screw wouldn't budge, and I ended up stripping the head. A few choice expletives later, I came up with a fix.
That metal was pretty cheap, so I pried it up with a flat screwdriver and just snapped that sucker right at the hole.
Next, I popped the C-clamp that was holding in the hinge pin. I dropped in the new billet aluminum piece and reassembled the whole mechanism.
While I was re-installing the leather door panel, the pliers slipped and put a scrape on the inside of the door handle. I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I have Tourette's Syndrome now.
Thankfully, last week I made a model of one of my personal cars and had a tiny bottle of Testors flat back paint. A little dab later, it was all fixed.
That's it. The door works just fine now. There's a little bit of binding halfway through the stroke, but nothing to worry about.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor