79-93 Fox Body Door Handle Review
We’ve been dreaming up this idea for quite some time now. It seems like ever since Shannon went all-in on his Uncle Ted’s ‘85 Capri, we felt like there should be a low-profile door handle for the Fox Mustang.
Well, having a really good group of people here at LMR, we finally made the dream of some low-pro door handles become a reality! These low-profile door handles from SVE have been designed in-house using CAD software, machined from 6061 billet aluminum in the USA, and then assembled and packaged right here at LMR; and we couldn’t be more excited to offer these for the 79 to 93 Fox Body Mustangs.
if you’ve owned a Fox Body Mustang, then you’re all too familiar with the plastic OEM handle and the few quirks they tend to develop as they age which are cracked plastic and broken return springs just to name a few.
What gives these low-profile handles that “cool” factor, is the sleek, modern profile of the handle and that they sit flush with the exterior of the door. The perimeter of the low-pro handle does share a similar footprint to the factory handle, but if we look closely, the face of the low-profile handle has a slight convex curve to match the OEM door profile.
Should I Paint The Door Handles?
Now that we've reviewed these door handles, let's discuss how you should paint your new handles and then move onto the installation process. As far as finishes are concerned, there are several routes to take. You can leave these brushed, you can polish them, you can paint them using SEM trim black to mimic the factory handle, or you can paint them body color and apply a clear coat so that they really look minimalistic once installed onto the car.
We will discuss how to paint these handles below.
We will be working with Project Blue Collar, where we have already removed the factory outer door handle from the car. If you have not removed the current door handles, be sure to check out the door handle removal process.
- Socket & Rachet Set
- Hex Driver Set
- Drill with 5/16th Unibit
- Precision Flat Head Screwdriver
- Clear Coat or Trim Paint
- Body Color Toush-Up Paint
- Clean Microfiber Towel
- Cleaning Supplies (More Details Below)
- High Grit Sandpaper
- To get started, disassemble both handles to prep them for paint. Make notes or take pictures of how they’re assembled before taking them apart. Remove the 11mm nuts from the back side of the mounting plate.
- Rotate the plate and then remove the two large button head hex drive screws with a 4mm hex driver.
- Remove the two hinge screws with a 2.5mm precision flathead screwdriver.
- Remove the small button head hex drive screw for the handle arm with a 2mm hex driver.
- Finally, remove the set screw with your fingers or a 1mm hex driver. Repeat these steps for the other handle.
- For those of you that would like to paint these body color, LMR strongly recommends that you take these to a local body shop to have them professionally prepped and painted.
- If you’re wanting to put these on the car with the brushed finish or you choose to polish them out, I would recommend that you at least clear these with either a matte, satin or gloss clear coat.
- However, we’re going to show the steps you need to take if you’re painting these trim black. Thoroughly scuff the mounting plates and the handles with a grey scuff pad and warm water with some dish soap.
- Rinse the parts with water and then dry them with compressed air.
- Wipe them clean with a prep spray followed by a tack cloth.
- Hang the parts in a well-lit and well-ventilated area. First, we’re spraying them with an e-coat that is very similar to the factory e-coat. This e-coat is currently available at LMR.com.
- In order to fill in and level the pre-installed brushed finish, follow the e-coat with a few coats of filler primer. After that, allow the filler primer to dry and then wet sand with some 600-grit paper. Wipe them clean with a prep spray followed by the tack cloth.
- Now you begin spraying the parts with some trim black paint. Follow the directions on the can until complete average is achieved. Allow the parts to dry for at least 24 hours. After the parts have fully cured, we can prep the handles for assembly.
- Run all of the hardware through their respective mounting locations to clean any possible overspray from the threads. Also, make sure the hinge screws pass cleanly through the handle.
- Now you can reassemble the handles. Place a washer over one of the large button head hex drive screws. Thread it all the way through the body plate until it stops in the correct orientation. Do the same for the screw.
- Place the handle face down on a microfiber towel and position the mounting plate in place. Insert one of the hinge screws and fully tighten it with a precision flathead screwdriver. Do the same for the other hinge screw.
- Apply a small amount of blue thread locking compound to the small button head hex drive screw.
- Position the handle arm in the correct orientation and then tighten the screw.
- Repeat these steps for the other handle.
- With the door handle removed from the car, drill out the two holes in the door with a five-sixteenths uni-bit.
- This allows just a little more room to situate the handle within the door.
- Blow away the debris with compressed air and wipe the area clean with a prep spray and microfiber towel.
- Apply body color touch-up to the exposed metal. If you don’t have body color, black will work just fine since you won’t see these holes. Go ahead and take this time to apply the body color touch-up paint to other areas in the door cup if it’s needed.
- Allow the paint to dry before assembly. Carefully position the corresponding handle assembly into place for the side of the car that you’re working on.
- Finger tighten the two retaining nuts.
- Move the handle within the door cup until it’s even. Go ahead and fully tighten the two nuts.
- Apply a small amount of blue thread locking compound to the set screw.
- Lift up the handle and reinstall the set screw. Turn the set screw in or out depending on the clocking of the handle.
- Whenever the handle is even, you can let the blue thread locking compound fully cure.
- Remove the factory rod from the latch. Install the nylon flange nut onto the new latch rod and run it all the way to the bottom of the threads.
- Now you can install the new rod into the handle arm and then insert it into the latch. Turn the nylon nut with your fingers until it barely makes contact with the handle arm. Test for operation and then repeat these same steps for the other side.
- Reinstall the door panel and its associated components.
- After that, you’re good to go!
We hope you appreciate our commitment to the Fox Mustang, and that you found value in this install. That’s all we have for you today, so until I see ya in the next one, y’all know what to do, for all things Fox Mustang, keep it right here with the real enthusiasts, LMR.com!