Driver door exterior door handle loose and edge light missing

Body parts, seats, dash, headlining, windows and stuff!

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Driver door exterior door handle loose and edge light missing

Post by awlhung »

Dear all,

I recently purchased a red 1987 Lotus SE and I realized the driver side door exterior handle is very loose. Seems like it is being hold by one screw/ bolts from the inside. Is there something I can do with it?
In addition, I realized that both door edge lights are missing. I am planning to get a pair of replacement but appreciate if anyone can tell me if there are wires inside the door to connect to them? Also when I open the door the dome light didn't work (I have to switch it to on manually).

Appreciate if some experts can share repair idea with me on this car as I am new to Lotuses. Thank you! :D


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Re: Driver door exterior door handle loose and edge light missing

Post by Alan_M »

Loose door handles are a common problem. It is a poor Toyota design. The plastic around the captive lug breaks. Some have repaired them, but there are new modified 3D printed ones now available.
Just do a forum search for Door Handle and you’ll get all the info.

As to the door lights, these were standard and there should be wires within the doors.

Interior lights will be a case of tracing wiring etc to find the fault. There is also an interior light delay relay that might be worth checking.

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Re: Driver door exterior door handle loose and edge light missing

Post by supraholic »

I discovered mine was somewhat loose soon after purchase. Actually, mine wasn't so much loose as it would it would work its way crooked after a few pulls. One possible cause is the threaded insert can come loose and the bolt won't tighten. The solution in the Supra community for years has been to glue it back in. My Excel's problem wasn't that, the bolt would tighten and hold fast, rather it seemed that the bracket on the inside did not grip and being that the hole in the door was larger than the handle, it would slide vertically. If that's your issue, I removed the interior door panel, cut a little plastic wedge, the type used for leveling a toilet (left over from a home remodeling job - I never throw anything away) and glued it to the top of the door handle inside, wedged into the gap to stop it from moving vertically. I used some rubbery weatherstrip adhesive so I'm sure that it will easily come off later without damaging the door handle when it becomes necessary to remove it. Seems to be working a treat so far. There's also one of the members here offering to sell 3D printed door handle bodies that have been reinforced if your door handle has become cracked. ... repair-kit
Phil - 86 Excel SE

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Re: Driver door exterior door handle loose and edge light missing

Post by MetBlue »

As already said, this is a common problem and for many is one of the first jobs tackled - as it was for me.
This link shows what I did to repair the broken insert. Still good two years later. It also prompted others to post their suggested solutions.

Ignore the bit about the actual lock lever on the B post. Doesn't sound like this is a problem on your car.

Oh - Welcome by the way. I know you'll enjoy the car.
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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Re: Driver door exterior door handle loose and edge light missing

Post by rbgosling »

On the courtesy light topic...

Yes, there should be wires in the door to connect to the door edge lights.

Courtesy light not coming on may well be the switch, which is on the right-hand (and left-hand) end of the dash. Contacts can corrode and make poor or no contact. Getting them out to clean them up should work, but it's a faff to reach them! Or the delay relay, as already suggested. Or, simply, the light itself, or rather the switch within it. There should be another courtesy light for the rear seats that lights up with the front one and door edge lights too.
"Farmer" Richard

1990 Lotus Excel SE (Lilith)
2022 MG MG5 EV (not due to be a classic for quite a few years...)

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