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Old 08-20-2009, 12:31 AM   #23
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Well, I'll make it my personal challenge to figure it out. I'll let you know when I do.

What I don't get is how so many people remove their door handles and don't run into this issue. Do those people just life with wobbly door handles?
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:57 AM   #24
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Well, I'll make it my personal challenge to figure it out. I'll let you know when I do.

What I don't get is how so many people remove their door handles and don't run into this issue. Do those people just life with wobbly door handles?
just to confirm you are on the same page as me..

do you hook up the spring before putting the outer skin back on?

does the problem come when you try to pull out the handle so you can insert the lock cover nub?
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:31 AM   #25
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just to confirm you are on the same page as me..

do you hook up the spring before putting the outer skin back on?

does the problem come when you try to pull out the handle so you can insert the lock cover nub?
Well, to be honest, I'm not sure. I was running low on time yesterday, so I had to get my door skin back on quick. I got it back on and realized that the handle wasn't retracting all the way...so I played with it for five minutes, figured out what the problem was (thanks to your shots) and poked at it with the door skin on for a few minutes and gave up due to lack of time. I'm going to dedicate a full day to figuring it out this time, and at least now I know exactly what I'm working on. After looking at it though, my guess would be that it either pops off when inserting the lock cylinder or when pulling the cable to attach to the handle. I'll find out for sure this weekend.

I also found a bentley manual online that shows using a special tool dedicated to getting the spring back on the lever. My concern is that you actually need that tool to get the spring back on...then it's dealer time. I dunno, we'll see. I foresee a lot of pain and heartache with this project thats probably just going to end in a dealer visit anyway. But if I retreat, at least I know I gave it my all.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:33 AM   #26
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Well, to be honest, I'm not sure. I was running low on time yesterday, so I had to get my door skin back on quick. I got it back on and realized that the handle wasn't retracting all the way...so I played with it for five minutes, figured out what the problem was (thanks to your shots) and poked at it with the door skin on for a few minutes and gave up due to lack of time. I'm going to dedicate a full day to figuring it out this time, and at least now I know exactly what I'm working on. After looking at it though, my guess would be that it either pops off when inserting the lock cylinder or when pulling the cable to attach to the handle. I'll find out for sure this weekend.

I also found a bentley manual online that shows using a special tool dedicated to getting the spring back on the lever. My concern is that you actually need that tool to get the spring back on...then it's dealer time. I dunno, we'll see. I foresee a lot of pain and heartache with this project thats probably just going to end in a dealer visit anyway. But if I retreat, at least I know I gave it my all.

no, you dont need that tool.. you need it if you DONT take your outer skin off.. but you have tons of room to put the spring back on if you take off the outer skin.

hmmmmmm UNLESS... that is how the dealer fixed it.. i have no idea.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:41 AM   #27
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no, you dont need that tool.. you need it if you DONT take your outer skin off.. but you have tons of room to put the spring back on if you take off the outer skin.

hmmmmmm UNLESS... that is how the dealer fixed it.. i have no idea.
EXACTLY my concern. I haven't played around with it enough to know how it acts when putting the outer skin back on. It could be the act of reinstalling the skin that knocks it off...it's hard to say. Perhaps there's something to having the skin on that makes it easier to install, thus that tool comes in. Thing is, if you need to do it with the outer skin on, you need that tool. I picked at it with everything I have, screwdrivers, long allen wrenches, coat hangers, BBQ skewers (a moment of desperation) , and nothing would work. It needs to be a very long, strong, thin tool with a hook at the end to make it happen. The fact that they actually make a tool dedicated to this job concerns me that the outer door skin has to be on in order to install the spring. I'll keep you posted with my progress.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:45 AM   #28
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EXACTLY my concern. I haven't played around with it enough to know how it acts when putting the outer skin back on. It could be the act of reinstalling the skin that knocks it off...it's hard to say. Perhaps there's something to having the skin on that makes it easier to install, thus that tool comes in. Thing is, if you need to do it with the outer skin on, you need that tool. I picked at it with everything I have, screwdrivers, long allen wrenches, coat hangers, BBQ skewers (a moment of desperation) , and nothing would work. It needs to be a very long, strong, thin tool with a hook at the end to make it happen. The fact that they actually make a tool dedicated to this job concerns me that the outer door skin has to be on in order to install the spring. I'll keep you posted with my progress.
no. thats not what knocks it off. pulling the handle is what knocks it off.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:08 AM   #29
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no. thats not what knocks it off. pulling the handle is what knocks it off.
Right, but does the act of installing the door skin unsettle it in some way? It's hard to tell...but I aim to find out.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:58 AM   #30
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Right, but does the act of installing the door skin unsettle it in some way? It's hard to tell...but I aim to find out.
no, it doesnt. it is super tight.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:15 PM   #31
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Holy hell, that thing defies the laws of physics. I can't possibly fathom how that thing ever worked in the first place. First of all, ANY movement of the lever and the spring pops off...it barely attaches. Then I thought well, maybe if I put the door skin on and reassemble it I'll be fine. WRONG. I got the skin on (just attached to the handle and one bolt on front and back) and installed the handle, and lock cylinder, tightened them up and not a pop. As soon as I pulled the handle as if to open the door normally, the spring popped off.

Plac, do you know if the dealer replaced the latch mechanism? I'm wondering if it's broken? There is just no way in the world that thing could work. No way. Anyway, I wave the white flag, off to the dealer today...
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:45 PM   #32
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Holy hell, that thing defies the laws of physics. I can't possibly fathom how that thing ever worked in the first place. First of all, ANY movement of the lever and the spring pops off...it barely attaches. Then I thought well, maybe if I put the door skin on and reassemble it I'll be fine. WRONG. I got the skin on (just attached to the handle and one bolt on front and back) and installed the handle, and lock cylinder, tightened them up and not a pop. As soon as I pulled the handle as if to open the door normally, the spring popped off.

Plac, do you know if the dealer replaced the latch mechanism? I'm wondering if it's broken? There is just no way in the world that thing could work. No way. Anyway, I wave the white flag, off to the dealer today...
EXACTLY!!

no, they replaced nothing. they just did it.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:47 PM   #33
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Anyway, I wave the white flag, off to the dealer today...

FYI, they quoted me 3 hours, but only used about 2.

3 hours at my dealer is like $400..
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:07 PM   #34
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FYI, they quoted me 3 hours, but only used about 2.

3 hours at my dealer is like $400..
Well, I bought my car as a used 09 with 1,500 miles on it. It came from out of state, and they need to smog it to get it registered. The dealer I bought it from is an hour away and they agreed to fix my door handle in exchange for my trouble of driving it out there. So, I lucked out BIG time.

It's amazing though, I don't see how they fix it. It is impossible without replacing something.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:11 PM   #35
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Well, I bought my car as a used 09 with 1,500 miles on it. It came from out of state, and they need to smog it to get it registered. The dealer I bought it from is an hour away and they agreed to fix my door handle in exchange for my trouble of driving it out there. So, I lucked out BIG time.

It's amazing though, I don't see how they fix it. It is impossible without replacing something.
Its what we already talked about. They must assemble it, and then use that special tool to reach thru a hole and attach the spring. Remember, the handle doesnt need to move much to release the door. Still, I want someone to video them doing it some day. That is the ONLY way I will ever get over this nightmare experience I had.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:21 PM   #36
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Its what we already talked about. They must assemble it, and then use that special tool to reach thru a hole and attach the spring. Remember, the handle doesnt need to move much to release the door. Still, I want someone to video them doing it some day. That is the ONLY way I will ever get over this nightmare experience I had.
Yea, it's got to be the tool, but I played with it many times and could see no difference when putting the door skin on or attaching the handle to the cable. I figured it didn't take much movement in the lever to open the door, so I reassembled the whole thing with the utmost care. I had the entire thing put together and tightened WITH the spring still engaged and as soon as I opened the door, it popped off. On my car, any tiny twitch in the lever popped the spring off. There is no way it can work as is. No possible way. This whole thing completely blows my mind. I have yet to encounter something on a car that I couldn't figure out and admitting defeat on this project is a huge fail in my eyes.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:26 PM   #37
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This whole thing completely blows my mind. I have yet to encounter something on a car that I couldn't figure out and admitting defeat on this project is a huge fail in my eyes.
HAHAHAHAHA dude... are you quoting directly from my own thread?

same for me tho actually.. i couldnt really move the handle at all without it popping off. i wish i had an x-ray machine now, so i could watch it operate inside the door.
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:17 PM   #38
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HAHAHAHAHA dude... are you quoting directly from my own thread?

same for me tho actually.. i couldnt really move the handle at all without it popping off. i wish i had an x-ray machine now, so i could watch it operate inside the door.
It really is the most frustrating experience ever. I just got my car back, and it's working fine. I spoke with the tech who did it and he said that he just removed the latch, put it back together, and reinstalled it and he said there was nothing out of the ordinary. I asked him about the tool and he said he just took the door apart instead to make sure nothing was broken inside. All he claimed to do was put the spring back on the lever. I assembled it and popped it off a dozen times and spent an hour just studying it and couldn't figure out how on earth it works.

My conclusion is that VW techs must put magic gnomes in the doors to re-attach the spring after it falls off the lever. As soon as you remove the lock cylinder (or cap), he escapes and you have to take it to the dealer because only those techs have the power to tame the gnomes into the door.

Really, that's my only logical explanation. I'm still dumbfounded by this whole situation and today I view myself a lesser gear head as a result. Seriously, x-ray vision would be so money. I'm dying to see how that damned mechanism works!
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:47 AM   #39
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The irony of this thread and my similar situation is killing me! Mine is a problem with the two door... my front passenger lock ring thing falls off when i try to tighten the final piece in... Must have put on and took off my exterior panel 6 full times.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:41 AM   #40
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That was my worst nightmare when i had my GTI.
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:12 PM   #41
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fixed my 3 pics in this thread.
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:12 PM   #42
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damn, was hoping you had a resolution to this.
Ive been driving with my door handle messed up for a year now
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:39 PM   #43
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Have anybody solved this? :(
I have the exact problem with my rear doors.
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:58 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PetrolHead View Post
Well, I'll make it my personal challenge to figure it out. I'll let you know when I do.

What I don't get is how so many people remove their door handles and don't run into this issue. Do those people just life with wobbly door handles?
I have this issue and have had it for a while!

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no. thats not what knocks it off. pulling the handle is what knocks it off.
THIS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetrolHead View Post
It really is the most frustrating experience ever. I just got my car back, and it's working fine. I spoke with the tech who did it and he said that he just removed the latch, put it back together, and reinstalled it and he said there was nothing out of the ordinary. I asked him about the tool and he said he just took the door apart instead to make sure nothing was broken inside. All he claimed to do was put the spring back on the lever. I assembled it and popped it off a dozen times and spent an hour just studying it and couldn't figure out how on earth it works.

My conclusion is that VW techs must put magic gnomes in the doors to re-attach the spring after it falls off the lever. As soon as you remove the lock cylinder (or cap), he escapes and you have to take it to the dealer because only those techs have the power to tame the gnomes into the door.

Really, that's my only logical explanation. I'm still dumbfounded by this whole situation and today I view myself a lesser gear head as a result. Seriously, x-ray vision would be so money. I'm dying to see how that damned mechanism works!
I WAS ABLE TO FIGURE IT OUT! (With help from an ex-VW tech)

As always, you're fault if you break something following this.

Okay, long story short... That spring in the back lever shown below is a helper spring to set the cable to the right tension. Not pulled too much for possible early door open and not too little so the door handle has slack. Set that first. YES you must take the outer door skin off AGAIN.
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Next find the metal frame shown below. It is typically held on by some rubber band elastic. Mine was bright purple. Remove that entire assembly. Be careful, the black plastic piece is spring loaded and will go flying if you don't hold it back while taking it out.

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Here is the important bit. The words in the pictures explain most. You'll need to rotate the locking circle a little to push back the black plastic piece all the way down. Then rotate the circle as far as you can while pressing that piece down.

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It is fully locked down and ready for reinstall.

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Note, how the door handle goes into that black plastic piece to regain the tension when you pull.

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How it should look when installed properly. But you won't get to see it really.

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What you will see when you go to install it. Make sure the handle get seated properly, else you'll have to take the door apart AGAIN to fix it.

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Hope that helps.
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