Fix that door handle once and for all! - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Fix that door handle once and for all!

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this before, but also having broken door handles on my 2008 GXP, I found a way to repair for good. Just fill the areas shown in the picture with epoxy to at least 75% full on the new replacement handle, let it cure, then replace and you should never have a broken door handle again.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 08:50 PM
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Great suggestion

We have been doing this since about 2008

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 11:08 AM
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Excellent photo. Good detail. Exactly what epoxy did you use?

Richard Snipes
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:53 PM
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 04:53 PM
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If GM had spent 50 cents more on a door handle, reinforcing that crummy thing, the price of the car could have been increased one dollar to build (for them) 100 dollars per car to buy (for us) and nobody would have known because the handles would never break and that 100 bucks would have been invisible on the window sticker.

However, they look at up front cost. And by saving one dollar per car equipped with that door handle, they saved millions. And it's a shame that the cost savings outweigh the reliability experienced by owners. It's things like this that make people say "GM cars suck". It's an easy fix on our cars thank goodness, but still a needless fix. I replaced the exterior door handles on my 1970 Buick, in 1990. They still worked perfectly after 20 hard years. 21 really; the car was built and sold in '69 as an early run car. Cosmetically they were scratched and pitted and replacing them was cheap and easy. And they had gaskets, which I note our handles lack.

Driving and working on a Sly 2008 Solstice GXP 5spd 260/260, and the worst-built 2012 LS3 Camaro 1SS to escape from Oshawa.

Gone but not forgotten:
2007 Solstice GXP 5 speed 290/340

Stored and needing to part ways with a 1970 Skylark Custom convertible I have owned since 1989 and turned into a GS455 clone. 462 with 7/8 primary headers, adjustable roller rockers, TA Performance Stage 1 aluminum heads, auto, Chevy 12 bolt, 3.31:1. Sadly a project car now but a driver from '89 to '06.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBlair View Post
If GM had spent 50 cents more on a door handle, reinforcing that crummy thing, the price of the car could have been increased one dollar to build (for them) 100 dollars per car to buy (for us) and nobody would have known because the handles would never break and that 100 bucks would have been invisible on the window sticker.
The later handles were reinforced in more places.

Owner of "Campbelle", a Brazen 2008 GXP ... with mods piling up...
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBlair View Post
If GM had spent 50 cents more on a door handle, reinforcing that crummy thing, the price of the car could have been increased one dollar to build (for them) 100 dollars per car to buy (for us) and nobody would have known because the handles would never break and that 100 bucks would have been invisible on the window sticker.

However, they look at up front cost. And by saving one dollar per car equipped with that door handle, they saved millions. And it's a shame that the cost savings outweigh the reliability experienced by owners. It's things like this that make people say "GM cars suck". It's an easy fix on our cars thank goodness, but still a needless fix. I replaced the exterior door handles on my 1970 Buick, in 1990. They still worked perfectly after 20 hard years. 21 really; the car was built and sold in '69 as an early run car. Cosmetically they were scratched and pitted and replacing them was cheap and easy. And they had gaskets, which I note our handles lack.
No one designs the way you describe. No one. Do we design to minimize cost? Of course we do. Believe it or not, millions of dollars on the bottom line is actually fairly important to a business. But no one designs with the idea that failure is OK, the very idea is ridiculous on its face.

What happens is that a design looks good on paper, then it looks good in prototype form. Finally it passes the initial durability tests. Sometimes, and more often than we like, the design doesn't survive mass production and use by the masses. Tolerances stack up in a bad way, materials aren't as perfect as the test samples, and maybe the molding process isn't as controlled as it should be. People also tend to abuse things more than we think they should.

Throwing stones from the cheap seats is easy to do if you have never been on the other side of the fence, and your comments make it plain that you haven't been. Would an extra hundred dollars have meant much to the average buyer? No. But there are thousands of parts in a car, and if you up-rated every one of them the sum would be pretty staggering. Where do you draw the line?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 08:36 AM
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But there are thousands of parts in a car, and if you up-rated every one of them the sum would be pretty staggering. Where do you draw the line?
Apart from the costs, the weight increases could easily be staggering too!

Owner of "Campbelle", a Brazen 2008 GXP ... with mods piling up...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnWR View Post
No one designs the way you describe. No one. Do we design to minimize cost? Of course we do. Believe it or not, millions of dollars on the bottom line is actually fairly important to a business. But no one designs with the idea that failure is OK, the very idea is ridiculous on its face.

What happens is that a design looks good on paper, then it looks good in prototype form. Finally it passes the initial durability tests. Sometimes, and more often than we like, the design doesn't survive mass production and use by the masses. Tolerances stack up in a bad way, materials aren't as perfect as the test samples, and maybe the molding process isn't as controlled as it should be. People also tend to abuse things more than we think they should.

Throwing stones from the cheap seats is easy to do if you have never been on the other side of the fence, and your comments make it plain that you haven't been. Would an extra hundred dollars have meant much to the average buyer? No. But there are thousands of parts in a car, and if you up-rated every one of them the sum would be pretty staggering. Where do you draw the line?
Didn't remark on all the parts John. Just one. Do not represent me as having commented on anything but one. That's crass, and you know better.

That's a nice opinion that "nobody designs like that". It's also a nice opinion that I don't know what I'm talking about. There are acceptable design standards that are followed, based on precedent by making similar parts over the years, industry-wide. Over-designed those handles ain't. They were made to a design standard that said that x+Y= good enough and it saves z dollars over a more robust one which is deemed unnecessary. All driven by up-front cost. Have a great weekend.

Driving and working on a Sly 2008 Solstice GXP 5spd 260/260, and the worst-built 2012 LS3 Camaro 1SS to escape from Oshawa.

Gone but not forgotten:
2007 Solstice GXP 5 speed 290/340

Stored and needing to part ways with a 1970 Skylark Custom convertible I have owned since 1989 and turned into a GS455 clone. 462 with 7/8 primary headers, adjustable roller rockers, TA Performance Stage 1 aluminum heads, auto, Chevy 12 bolt, 3.31:1. Sadly a project car now but a driver from '89 to '06.

Last edited by ChrisBlair; 06-28-2019 at 11:19 AM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by TomatoSoup View Post
The later handles were reinforced in more places.
Absolutely true. Somebody discovered that 'good enough' on the latest approved rev wasn't good enough. And rightly, it was up-revved.

Some design engineers and manufacturing engineers goofed, and there was a response by GM. But I won't apologize for noting the initial crappiness. Good MK I eyeballs should have questioned the strength of the part. Despite some opinions, I see this professionally, and daily on products costing over a hundred thousand dollars more than a Solstice. I see the costs of the pieces parts I talk to the designers and manufacturing engineers and the assemblers. And it is all too often true that money was saved for great looking reasons up front, which had to be spent twice on the other side.

If I had to guess, I'd say that the test method wasn't applied properly and the failure was something of a surprise to GM.

Driving and working on a Sly 2008 Solstice GXP 5spd 260/260, and the worst-built 2012 LS3 Camaro 1SS to escape from Oshawa.

Gone but not forgotten:
2007 Solstice GXP 5 speed 290/340

Stored and needing to part ways with a 1970 Skylark Custom convertible I have owned since 1989 and turned into a GS455 clone. 462 with 7/8 primary headers, adjustable roller rockers, TA Performance Stage 1 aluminum heads, auto, Chevy 12 bolt, 3.31:1. Sadly a project car now but a driver from '89 to '06.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisBlair View Post
Didn't remark on all the parts John. Just one. Do not represent me as having commented on anything but one. That's crass, and you know better.

That's a nice opinion that "nobody designs like that". It's also a nice opinion that I don't know what I'm talking about. There are acceptable design standards that are followed, based on precedent by making similar parts over the years, industry-wide. Over-designed those handles ain't. They were made to a design standard that said that x+Y= good enough and it saves z dollars over a more robust one which is deemed unnecessary. All driven by up-front cost. Have a great weekend.
No, you didn't remark on any other parts, but those parts are still there, and each one has the potential to have the same sort of problem. You can't apply a unique standard to one part unless you have the benefit of hindsight, which of course all second-guessers do. I'm not sure how that would be stupid or insensitive, but I'll give you your opinion.

Yes, those are very nice opinions. They are mine and I like them. And you are very correct that acceptable design standards say that you review all designs to see where there is excess and waste, and you work to correct those deficiencies. You also work the other way and look to see where designs may be questionable or inadequate so that you can correct the other way. And when dealing with a consumer product, up-front cost is a pretty critical thing to be aware of, since getting it wrong will put you out of business just as fast, and maybe even faster, than quality problems will.

I have noticed that this "crummy thing" does not experience universal failure, suggesting that it may not be quite as bad as some think. I have 190k cumulative miles on two cars with intact door handles, and I know of quite a few others as well. So maybe the design is perfectly adequate until manufacturing variances are taken into account. If the process is less consistent than first thought, a strengthening of the design would compensate for those parts made at the low end of the tolerance range.

And thank you, I will have a nice weekend, assuming that the weather man is on the high end of the tolerance with his forecast.

John
Lexington, KY
Sky NA 2007 Midnight Blue
Sky RL 2008 Carbon Flash - Naked
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 03:55 PM
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From the looks of it, I think a lot of the failure is due to user error. A lot of people unfamiliar with the car look at the handle and yank up instead of out and you end up with a broken handle. Maybe "you" didn't do it, but a previous owner a did, your friend did. You can have a broken handle for years without realizing it. I've helped people take off handles we believed were good just to be sure and found they were, in fact, broken.

Chris

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