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How To Install Fox Body Mustang Outer Door Handles (87-93)

Posted 12/16/2015 by Jeff Jimenez

Watch our 79-93 Mustang exterior door handle install video here! Fix your broken Fox Body Mustang door handle. No more climbing through the passenger side to open your door! Broken door handles are a common Fox Mustang problem - replace it with a 5.0Resto door handle kit!

FOLLOW: mustang , 79 93 mustang , fox body , video , installation , tech , 5.0resto , exterior , door

Broken 79-93 Mustang door handles are a common problem. Often this is due to the 20 plus years of abuse the doors take. Follow along with this customer submitted installation instructions on how to replace fox body exterior door handles. Installation does require you to drill out your old door handle rivets and replace them with new rivets. Stop the embarrassing door handle issues and replace yours today with a quality set of 5.0Resto door handles.

Tools Needed:

  • Rivet Gun
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Drill Bit

Installation Instructions:

(Customer Submitted)
  1. This is the stock handle unfortunately painted to match the body color. I recommend taping around the door handle before drilling out the old rivets or installing the new ones to protect the paint if the rivet gun or the drill decides to move.
  2. Fox Body Mustang Door Handle Install Fox Body Mustang Door Handle Install

    Fox Body Mustang Door Handle Install

  3. On the stock door panels, you will have two bolts under the armrest pad that are covered by two round armrest plugs and a philips head screw farther up the pull handle that holds the armrest assembly on. Once these are removed, the assembly has two T-shaped tabs holding it in-just pull up and forward and they slide right out. There is a screw on the door handle bezel, one in the speaker grille, and one in the mirror hole coverthat have to be removed as well. If your car has manual windows, the plastic cover on the window crank slides to the side and a torx bit holds the handle on.
  4. Fox Body Mustang Door Handle Install
  5. Once these are removed the door panel is held on by the clips in the back of it. It is easy to slide your hand behind the edges of the panel and gently pull the panel away from the door one clip at a time, but if your door panel is not in very good condition you may want to invest in one of our Mustang door panel removal/installation kits.
  6. Fox Body Mustang Door Handle Install
  7. The top of the panel lips over the door frame at the base of window, so you have to lift the panel off the door once the clips are out.
  8. Fox Body Mustang Door Handle Install
  9. Then drill out the rivets and disconnect the rod from the door handle on the inside. Be careful when doing so as you do not want to drill through the door, only remove the rivet head.
  10. Fox Body Mustang Door Handle Install
  11. Once the door panels are off, it's a good time to replace the inner door belt weatherstrip, as it only takes a few minutes. We just pulled the factory staples outand used the LRS-21456HDW inner door belt screws to attach the new ones. It's as simple as pulling staples and screwing the new ones in.
  12. Fox Body Mustang Door Handle Install
  13. Check the fitment of the rivet in the holes in the door. If the rivet has little to no play, proceed to step 8. If there is excessive play, do the following. Insert the rivets through the handle and in to the door. Place a 1/4" washer over the rivet to allow the rivet to properly peel and set in the next step
  14. Center the new handles up and make sure the rod inside the door is going through the rod retainer on the door handles. Rivet the new handles on. The door handle rivets are quite large so if you don't already have one you will need to purchase or borrow a large rivet gun. We sell one that is designed to work with this kit (rivet gun for 1979-93 Mustang outer door handles) or you might be able to find one at your local hardware store.
  15. Fox Body Mustang Door Handle Install
  16. Keep in mind that the metal handles to stand out from the door a little further than the factory plastic counterparts. It only took a little over an hour to do both sides, and was well worth it. For cars equipped with power windows and locks, there will be a few more things to unhook when pulling the door panels off, but should be pretty close.
  17. Fox Body Mustang Door Handle Install


About the Video

Mustang Outer Door Handle Installation - 5.0Resto (Fox Body)

Check out our YouTube channel for even more tech tips, installation videos, how-tos, and more. The best place to go for anything Mustang related!

Published on 2012-11-06
Product: 1979-93 Mustang Black Outer Door Handle Kit
Brand: 5.0 Resto
Fits: Mustang LX, GT, Coupe, Hatch and Convertible
Year Models: 1979 (79) 1980 (80) 1981 (81) 1982 (82) 1983 (83) 1984 (84) 1985 (85) 1986 (86) 1987 (87) 1988 (88) 1989 (89) 1990 (90) 1991 (91) 1992 (92) 1993 (93)
LRS Part #: LRS-22404K

Broken Outer Door Handles on Fox Body Mustangs are a common problem. Nothing is worse than not being able to open your Mustang door! Follow along in the video as Jmac shows you how to replace/install/remove your Mustang door handles.

This is a driver and passenger side outer door handle kit for your 1979-1993 Mustang. The original door handles on the later Fox Mustangs were made from plastic and commonly tend to break over time. Our new replacement door handles are made from metal instead of plastic for a long lasting fix for your Mustang. This door handle kit comes with a black painted finish and ready to be installed.

Use only 5.0Resto Mustang parts on your Project Fox Body Mustang!!!

Hi I'm Jonathon.

And I'm Jeff and we're with Today we're going to show you how to replace those broken outer door handles on your '79 to '93 Fox Mustang. This is actually a very common problem on these year models because of the factory plastic handles that were on the outside of the car. Now Jonathan, tell them a little bit more about the 5.0 Resto replacement handle kit.

Absolutely Jeff. Our 5.0 Resto handles are made out of metal so you don't ever have to worry about them breaking again. We have them coated in both trim black and in chrome. And that way we've got you covered, no matter what your car requires. And we always include the attaching rivets.

All right Jonathan. Also it looks like you've brought your tools. Tell them a little bit more about the specialty ones that are required for the install.

Tools you'll need to put on your door handle-- take off and put on your door handle-- hammer and a drift and get out the original mandrels from the existing rivets, drill and 3/8 drill bit to drill out the existing rivet heads, and then a large rivet gun to install your new door handle and rivets.

All right. Looks like we've got all the tools. Let's get back here Jonathan and get this install started.

Sounds good. While Jeff was removing the door panel I went ahead and taped off the area around the door handle. That way we wouldn't damage the paint.

All right guys. Now if you have any questions on removing your door panel, make sure you check out our YouTube channel for a how to video on removing your door panel.

To get started with removing your door handle, grab your hammer and your drift. And you're going to have these little hardened steel mandrels that are left in the original rivets. Just go ahead and knock those into the door. And Jeff, if you would pull those out whenever they come in.

All right.

Then you can go ahead and take your drill [INAUDIBLE]. And you don't want to completely drill through the rivet. Just drill through the head and whenever the head pops loose, stop drilling. Now that you have the rivet heads removed, you can go ahead and push down on the inside rod and remove the handle from the door. Go back on with your new handle. Slide it in and engage it with the rod.

As you can see, I've already got one rivet in place. Go ahead and grab your large rivet gun. Insert the rivet. And you can engage the door.

All right Jonathan, looks like you're finishing up. Now I know sometimes people use bolts to install these door handles but we used rivets. Can you tell me a little bit more on why?

Sure thing Jeff. A lot of people will tell you that using carriage bolts with some nylon lock nuts is an easier and cheaper way to install your door handles. That's simply not the case because those lock nuts will loosen over time and you end up with a loose door handle which is just like having a broken one. We use the OE type rivets. That way you end up with a permanent installation.

All right appreciate it Jonathan. Looks great. Now if you need more tech tips and install videos for your Fox Mustang, make sure you check out