What kind of mechanic can replace door handles on a 1996 Chevy Express

Asked by Mar 17, 2017 at 09:19 AM about the 1996 Chevrolet Express G1500 RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1996 Chevy express van, and one of the
interior pieces broke off the passenger door
exterior door handle. I've replaced door handles on
other cars before, so I ordered a replacement and
went to work. Let me tell you, it is IMPOSSIBLE to
replace. The door handle needs to sit in this metal
bracket that floats inside the door panel, and
there's no way to seat the handle in the bracket and
get it through the hole at the same time. There's no
way to fit the bracket in properly after the door
handle is in the hole. There's just no way I can
figure to do this. I spent about six hours messing
with it before giving up and calling a mechanic. So
a mechanic came out yesterday and spent over
two hours on it before giving up and telling me to
call a body shop. Does anyone have experience
with this, or know what the best kind of place to
take it would be?

1 Answer


John, I had the same issue trying to reinstall the door handle on my 2003 Chevy Express and found your question here after a lot of searching. Last night I found the solution in a Chilton's manual. The key is removing the window channel in order to allow enough wiggle room to fit the handle assembly and metal bracket. I just wrote about it here: https://littlevangoes.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/passenger-door- keyhole-recovery/ But specifically about the window channel removal, there are two places where it's secured. There is a bolt securing the bottom portion. That's the easy one. At top there is a kind of "neck-like" bracket the channel fits into. The channel itself has a kind of "tab" or lever that you have to push up or in to slide or pull the channel down through the bracket holding it there. When you reinstall the window channel, keep the tab pointing downward so that it can clear the bracket when the channel goes back up through it. Ones the tab clears the neck bracket, it will "snap" back into position as a catch to keep the channel in place at the top. Hope this helps. I know how frustrated I was.

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