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BMW E90 Door Strap (Interior Door Handle) Replacement
Published by macmaverickk
BMW E90 Door Strap (Interior Door Handle) Replacement

This is a rather simple DIY for a pretty common "sticky handle" problem with those of us in warmer climates.

There are a couple ways of securing your new handle to the panel (besides having a dealership do it)... this is my way which worked out very well and I'm obviously taking no responsibility for people ruining their handles or burning their houses down.

With that being said, let's jump into it!

Items needed (In order of appearance):
1) 2 hours of free time (Which is more than you'll need)
2) Prying tools (For door panel)
3) Torx 20 Wrench (Also for door panel)
4) Diagonal cutting pliers (aka Dykes)
5) Dremel Tool (OPTIONAL... just makes things a bit easier)
6) A second person (Someone stronger than you OR someone you trust with the next item on the list)
7) Torch (Yeah, it gets that extreme)
8) Any kind of metal rod (Vague, I know... It's for the step where we're melting down part of the handle and reshaping the plastic... I used a butt-end of a ratchet... the butt-end of a chisel could work well also)
9) New Handle (it's comprised of two parts... No more than $30 total... no nuts or bolts to worry about either)

Take off the door panel. I'll let YouTube take care of this step for me.
THIS VIDEO is good. Obviously stop watching once the door panel is fully removed and speakers are disconnected (At minute 3:55)

From the back of the panel, you can start working away at the melted plastic of the undesired handle:

I found that using a Dremel tool with a hollowing tip made it easier for my dykes to hold onto and rip the plastic apart.

Once most of the overlapping plastic is cleared, you should be able to just pull the handle straight out. May require some wiggling and forceful pulling (Keep your mind out of the gutter!)

Out with the old, in with the new (Yes, I accidentally broke the old handle when taking it apart)

STEP 4a:
Alright, flip the puppy back over and you're going to want to get this up on a counter (needs to be well ventilated area like a garage). Also get something to support the other side of the handle, as there will be a lot of force coming down on it soon. See the plastic "prongs" from the new handle sticking out?

Yeah, get your metal rod, torch, and assistant nearby... This is where it gets fun.

STEP 4b:
Get your torch on a very low setting and hold it between 1-3 inches away from your first plastic-pronged victim. It also helps to concentrate the flame on the shaft of the plastic prong too (Not pictured).

After about 5-10 seconds of melting, have another set of hands forcefully crush the prong straight down with the "metal rod".

You'll have to cycle between heating and pressing around 3-5 times per plastic prong. Once it is mostly crushed, start to s p r e a d the plastic around to give it a good base. Check the handle to see if there's any wiggle room... cause there shouldn't be (Remember, this piece is pulling the WHOLE door by itself.

Do NOT directly heat your metal rod and use that to crush a cold plastic prong. Not only will the rod quickly get way too hot to handle, BUT the plastic will actually STICK to the rod, which the opposite effect of what we want. Do not worry about catching the panel on fire when warming the prongs, it's not at flammable as it looks. But obviously exercise caution and minimize flames.

Put the panel back on the the reverse order that you took it off! Put the lock switch thing in at the top (no idea what you call it) first, and I started with the prongs at the top of the door, and then just hit the door all around the trim until all the snaps stopped. Screw in the Torx 20 screws, then snap on the second piece of the handle, and finally snap the trim into place!

That wasn't so bad! If anyone else has used a different method of securing their door handle to the panel, definitely share your experience!!
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By BeastMode335i on 07-11-2015, 10:26 AM
Nice, thanks for the DIY.. I don't have these handles but I'm sure many will appreciate your tips..
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