FMTV Replacement Door Handle Upgrade Kit - Lower cost - Looking for input

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107
5
18
Location
Belgrade, Montana
Hello all-

Our Acela Monterras all get a door handle upgrade to the new style A1R handles (see pix below). We are considering offering a Replacement Door Handle Upgrade Kit and looking for feedback.

Kit would include:


  • (2) New style door handles with locks
  • (2) New keys
  • (2) Handle gaskets
  • All new rods, new rod clips
  • Instructions and template for cutting

The only drawback is that you have to cut the outer door skin (see photo). We would include the cutting template for exact placement.

Kit would cost about $260 with keys, shipped (key codes generated randomly so we can't steal each others FMTVs!) - About half the cost of new OEM replacement handles!

Any interest?

Thanks for the input!

20171113_083301.jpg 20170412_121708.jpg
 

utahpow

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Orem, UT
Interested, however as Awesomeness suggested, I love the idea of a self-aligning punch with a core charge.

Side note, a rally up in MT would be awesome in the late summer.
 

1951M1078

Active member
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Location
Glendale,AZ
Just fixed mine but I'm in. Whats the paypal account ? Cutting the panel is easy.

I will have a set of used and keyed door handles for sale soon. LOL
 

scottmandu

Member
827
3
18
Location
Texas
YES!
The side opening handles will probably be more robust also.
I've seen just as many broken later style as early. It's not the handle that fails however it's the outer and inner latch mechanisms that wear out putting additional stress on the handle.

The later door skin also has formed ridges that strengthen the area around the door handle hole. Simply cutting a larger opening would cause quite a bit of flex in the door skin, and possible issues down the road. 2017-12-03 13.39.05.jpg2017-12-03 13.38.58.jpg
 

DiverDarrell

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Port orchard, WA
A templet that you align with the original opening and bolt hole, with center punch locations at all the corners. Tape/glue the templet on, mark all the new cut out corners, take templet off with a straight edge scribe all the cut lines. And if you really want to get fancy also include a drill point for all the inside corners so one could use a step drill and drill the proper radius for the inside corners befor cutting.
 

aleigh

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Phoenix, AZ & Seattle, WA
I think a major problem with the FMTV handles isn't necessarily that they are expensive (plenty of things are expensive), it's that they break "prematurely", and, moreover, are seemingly difficult to obtain. They seem to come from different places but the obvious implication is recycled FMTVs and the Steyer parts distribution network in Europe (the handles are from a commercial Steyr 92, so you can just buy them there). It's not really clear why the handles break. Was it a casting problem, a bad batch of them, or is a design defect. Is it that the handles are fine but shock load from misadjusted door latches are stressing them outside of the design envelope. Or do they just suck. Who knows.

So my question sort of is, why do we think the A1 handles are going to solve the problem (which requires presuming what the problem was, beyond just that they fail), and, probably more importantly, do we think we will be able to reliably source these handles well into the future? By the time you are cutting holes in your door you can buy any kind of handle, so it seems to me it would make sense to buy something off some common commercial vehicle. I speak out of ignorance here, for all I know the A1 handles are off the shelf and are on everything from bulldozers to generator covers to big rigs.

I say this having gone through the whole problem on my passenger door. In case any of this sounds negative, yes, I'm inclined to buy such a kit.
 

Awesomeness

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I've seen just as many broken later style as early. It's not the handle that fails however it's the outer and inner latch mechanisms that wear out putting additional stress on the handle.

The later door skin also has formed ridges that strengthen the area around the door handle hole. Simply cutting a larger opening would cause quite a bit of flex in the door skin, and possible issues down the road. View attachment 710616View attachment 710617
A separate brace part could probably be made, or if they did decide to make a punch tool it could probably form this lip too (if there is enough material there to do it).
 

snowtrac nome

Well-known member
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western alaska
That is something I might want to add to mine. The door latches are another part that could stand an upgrade I have had mine apart they look pretty wimpy.
 

scottmandu

Member
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Location
Texas
it's that they break "prematurely"
This would depend on what the designed service life is. I would guess that failure of 10-20+ year old door handle on a piece of equipment that has sat for most it's life in hostile conditions wouldn't be defined as a premature failure.
 
107
5
18
Location
Belgrade, Montana
Of all of the A1R's, miscellaneous A0's and A1's that happened to have been refitted with A1R-style handles and of the hundreds of SD Brazos we've supported since 2007, we've never seen any type of failure with the new style handle. The handle "family" is in current commercial production and used on fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, service truck bodies, etc. every day.

We also do not see any flex on the door skin with the Acela Monterra upgrades.

Not a sales pitch - just honest feedback.

Awesomeness - not doubting your experience at all - would you please post or PM me with more photos of the failure and an explanation of what happened? I'd really like to get a better understanding - thanks in advance!
 

Coffey1

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Gray Court SC
I would love to have a driver door shell but at 800 bucks mine will have to stay the way it is.
 

scottmandu

Member
827
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Location
Texas
Of all of the A1R's, miscellaneous A0's and A1's that happened to have been refitted with A1R-style handles and of the hundreds of SD Brazos we've supported since 2007, we've never seen any type of failure with the new style handle. The handle "family" is in current commercial production and used on fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, service truck bodies, etc. every day.
The old handles are also in current production. They also are better sealed from dust as the pivot points are not exposed from the outside.

The new handles are made from cheap pot metal. Throw a little bit of fine sand in them and it doesn't take long for the pivot points to start loosening. When this happens you have to pull them further to compensate for the additional travel, which causes the handle to wear into the body. The internal lever also warps, likely due to worn catches. Eventually the play in the handle is too great to over come and the handle won't open the door. I've seen it on two A1's I've owned, one came from New Mexico and the other from Hawaii, both were covered in a fine dust.

Personally I'd like to see something along the lines of a super duty handle in terms of a retrofit. They are abundant as replacement parts, one can get billet, gold plated, armored, plastic, you name the material and someone probably makes a super duty handle out of it. Key blanks can also be made at the walmart key cutting kiosk.
 

Awesomeness

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Firestone, CO
Awesomeness - not doubting your experience at all - would you please post or PM me with more photos of the failure and an explanation of what happened? I'd really like to get a better understanding - thanks in advance!
I don't have any failures - my '96 M1078(A0) has A1 doors with the forward pull handles. I was just saying that if you made a tool to cut the door panel (like I suggested in the other thread), you could potentially make it press that reinforcement lip into the panel at the same time as cutting it.
 

Ambeihl

Member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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8
Location
Memphis
Yes I would be interested. My truck still doesn’t have door handles and this kit is much cheaper than getting the parts direct from styer.


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