The Forums Home | Tech Tips | Gallery | FAQ | Events | Features | Search
Major event in Virginia

ODSS Bolters
return from


September 21-23
Rolling in Winchester VA Read the

Searching the Site

Get info about how to search the entire Stovebolt site here. To do a search for just the forums, get those details in the IT Shortbus fourm.
Who's Online Now
15 members (JW51, Jethro in Va, 78buckshot, Johnny N, 3 invisible), 560 guests, and 3 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
The Zone
Forum Statistics
Most Online1,229
Jan 21st, 2020
Step-by-step instructions for pictures in the forums
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#835402 Thu Mar 15 2012 04:33 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 338
The Ned Offline OP
Cruising in the Passing Lane
Below is a new tech tip for review from Achipmunk. Please take a look and comment as you feel may be needed.


Modifying a1947-1951 Front door handle for use as a rear barn door handle.

Before we get started: The rear door handles for AD Panels are not being repoduced and are more rare than the proverbial hens teeth. Often they are rusted with pits and blistering chrome. Because the handles are made of pot metal, they are difficult and expensive to rechrome.

Some folks think the pull down style front door handles will work as a rear pull down handle for the rear doors on their panels. This is not the case as the front door handles have longer shafts and a "tapered" bezel between the handle and the door. Note: the 1952 front door handles became push buttons. (Its a shame they didn't do the same thing on the rear) See comparison in Picture

However, with a little patience these front door handles can be modified to to work as a rear barn door handle without any problems. First take a good look at the handle your modifying and note how the little spring and spring "seat" are on the shaft.

Using a 3/32 inch pin punch, remove the little pin that is keeping the spring assembly and bezel on the shaft. The pin may be difficult to remove and it is very possible you may damage it and will need to replaced. A roll pin can be substituted for later reassembly. You will not need the front bezel, but you will need the little spring assembly. (the rear bezel will be "square" and not have a taper top to bottom. photo

You will notice the end of the shaft has 4 flat sides on it that fit into the door latch. These four flat sides will need to be ground back 3/8" more.... a little more will not hurt. I found that by making me a mark on the shaft with a hacksaw works well as a guide. At first I tried a big bastard hand file but it just doesn't cut it. So I used a bench grinder, and suggest you do too. I used the existing flat sides as a guide to keep them flat. photo
NOTE: if the square hole in your latch is worn or wallered out some, now is a good time to tighten things up by leaving the flat sides your grinding a little bigger/fatter than normal to help take up some of the looseness. Grind, test fit, grind, test fit.

Once you have the 4 flat sides ground, it's time to cut off the end of the shaft.

First measure back 3/8" from the tip of the shaft and mark the place you are going to cut. Because the shaft is hardened, a hack saw will take forever, if it will cut at all. So to do this, I used a die grinder with a cut off wheel on it. Makes sure grinder is level and make a good straight cut. photo

Once it cools off you will need to drill the hole for the roll pin to hold the bezel and little spring assembly on.

To do this simply measure back from the end of the shaft you just cut off 1 1/4". Center punch it, or mark on a piece of tape and drill a 3/32" hole in the shaft. I strongly recomend you center punch it, as it will stop your drill from wandering as you start and drill slow so it will drill straight through the shaft.

Note: You can use your rear old handle as a reference. I've modified several and all of the ones I modified, and all of the old ones I've measured, were the same. Still, we know how things were "back in the day" so just double check, in the end a 1/16:" is not going to make a difference!

Now install the correct bezel, the one that's NOT tapered, then the little spring with its two "seat" washers on each side....... drive in a 3/32 dia X 5/8" long roll pin, available at Ace Hardware, and you are now ready to install it on your rear door. photo

Now, go get yourself a hot dog & cold Pepsi while patting yourself on the back for a good job.


Last edited by The Ned; Thu Mar 15 2012 06:54 AM.
The Ned #835418 Thu Mar 15 2012 05:58 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,854
On that last picture, i see a plate of pizza rolls in the background. Is that part of the fitting process,,,or the reward once its done?
I did this handle switch-over deal when i was building my panel truck back in '94 and it worked perfect. Still working.

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,985
Great tip, thanks.

1949 Chevy 1/2-Ton
1989 Caprice

Sedgewick #835494 Thu Mar 15 2012 04:38 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,038
"Hey! I sound like Darth Vader!!
Great tip!

MNSmith #835681 Fri Mar 16 2012 03:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 66
Wrench Fetcher
Alvin, great tip and very well written.

APV60 #836029 Sat Mar 17 2012 02:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,354
Shop Shark
Alvin, good tech tip. I did this same thing on my Sub and it is still working only I had to use a new repro because the original was really pitted.


Weeds #836034 Sat Mar 17 2012 02:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,161
Leo Offline
Thanks Alvin, someday I'll be sick and tired of my droopy handle and change it.


Leo #836045 Sat Mar 17 2012 03:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,627
Authorized Pest
This is really working out well. I just love it!!! Thanks to Alvin, Ned and all the feedbackers, too!

Pizza rolls????? We should have a close-in for that. grin

Keep up the good work boys.


Peggy M
“After all, tomorrow is another day!”—Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
Share knowledge and communicate it effectively. ~ Elihu
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,925
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by delux54panel
On that last picture, i see a plate of pizza rolls in the background. Is that part of the fitting process,,,or the reward once its done?
I did this handle switch-over deal when i was building my panel truck back in '94 and it worked perfect. Still working.

ck you needed a 6 pack of Bud in the picture

You needed a 6 pa

Moderated by  MNSmith, Rusty Rod 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Home | FAQ | Gallery | Tech Tips | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-Ya Shop
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5