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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I learned that an online 3-D printer could make a replica of my door trigger for my 77 Rabbit. Does anyone have any experience with this yet? Any recommendations for online 3-D printers?

My problem: I inherited a 77 VW Rabbit that shows the original papers of purchase from Europe (Italy) but it was purchased by a serviceman of the U.S. So it drives like a U.S. car (steering wheel in the right place), but has some parts that just don't match up to U.S. parts. Case in point? The door triggers! U.S. parts don't fit my car. Meanwhile all 4 of my triggers have failed because of the cheap pot metal used.

HELP!

NPR article for more info: http://www.npr.org/2012/07/07/156416954/new-projects-help-3-d-printing-materialize
 

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try vwheritage.com

They have the different handles for the different model years.
I thought the handles for a 77 were the same as the 81.
 

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First let me ask you.
When you are describing the "triggers" are you specifically referring to the outside part of the door handle?

As from my experience of Ownership on Rabbits started in 1980 with my purchase of a 81 Rabbit Diesel, and
from my experiences with them, the outer handle will break where it attaches to the rear of the door.

That is the Screw that is behind the weatherstrip on the edge of the door (a large Phillips) holds the back of the handle to the door.
Under the metal strip on a "ls" handle or the Plastic strip at the front is the smaller Phillips screw that holds it to the front.

This "trigger" is plastic, and comes as part of the whole assembly.

You order the replacement handles then remove the key lock cylinder from yours and put it in the new one so your KEY's work.

The handle here is a tad expensive:
http://www.vwheritage.com/vw_spares_Door-Handle-Front-Left-Black-Golf-Mk1-76-81-Golf-Cabrio-All-155837205A_act_shop.product_pID_119651040_lang_EN_country_GB.htm?crumbStartPage=1

Rockauto.com has this
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The trigger is the inner mechanism, not the outer shell. It will be the actual thing you move in with your finger. It moves the piece inside that unlocks the door. My actual handle is odd... it appears to be a one piece mold. According to my car parts book, the exploded view shows that my handle is supposed to have a cover piece. But mine doesn't have cover pieces, and I don't believe they ever did.

Both the handle and the trigger are made out of metal. No plastic. Cheap metal though.
 

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Take pictures of it, and maybe we can steer you in the right direction. I have been in and around Junkyards for a lot of years, specifically when I was new to the "dub" scene, and all I can ever remember the handles were all the same.
 

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Im pretty sure he is talking about the latch you pull to open the door... But how strong can you be if you have a problem with breaking multiple triggers.
 

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Im pretty sure he is talking about the latch you pull to open the door... But how strong can you be if you have a problem with breaking multiple triggers.
I would think that he has terrible door sag, then the latch pins are catching as the nylon guides aren't there any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry for the lack of photos. I can't find my handle wherever I misplaced it.

Yeah the actual latch is breaking. It's not because I'm strong, it's not because there is door sag. The fracture happens at the same place, the weakest/thinnest part of the pot metal. They're just old crappy pot metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Photos! (I found my handle/latch)



This shows the rear door trigger (slightly different from front) next to the front door trigger/handle.



rear door trigger with 2-part epoxy clay at weak stress point.



rear door trigger with 2-part epoxy clay at weak stress point.



the door handle. It does not have a cover piece and never did.



The current temporary fix. Shows the trigger or latch inside the handle, with the 2-part epoxy clay (the light grey area) on the weak stress point.



different view



another view

So, you can see where a friend of mine worked the broken latch (trigger as I call it) and put some extra 2-part epoxy clay on it. But it will break again, it's only a temporary fix. You can see it as it looks discolored. This is where the triggers always break.
 

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That handle is the original style, they remanufactured it, and the trigger off of most any rabbit door should and will work.

Get a replacement handle, then take the screw out of the pawl, then the return spring. Insert your key into the lock and smack the back side out to get the key
cylinder apart. Then you can swap over your pawls from the old to the new.

Now if you want to try this....
Durafix.

http://durafix.com/

I would think that there is a problem in your lock assembly. Try removing it and cleaning it.
http://www.toplessrabbit.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2024
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did order a handle a while back and the parts didn't match the one I currently have. That's why I mentioned earlier that I didn't want to get burned again.

But if you direct me to a handle somewhere, I will purchase one and see how it goes.

Will the new latch trigger be pot metal too? I'd rather have one made out of a stronger metal that won't break so easily.
 

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They are all pot. I have never personally seen a handle that broke there. Usually they break at the rear door mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yesterday my mechanic friend went to a wrecking yard and pulled some parts for me. He looked at the door handles of 79 rabbit and said they didn't fit mine because they had two screws (not sure what part he's talking about) whereas mine only has one.

Do you know what he's talking about?
 

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On the older rabbits, they used a finger to slide under the front edge of the door. later as in 80 they added a screw for the front as well as the finger holder. The rear is but a single screw.

Here is a old handle that I have salvaged.






See the finger hook in the front?
The front has a slot to take a small screw on the 81-93mk1 frames.
The rear mount is the same as yours, and the "trigger piece" probably could be removed and replaced on yours.

I would check the lock mechanism and clean it as it is probably sticking, and the door if it doesn't open freely but catches
that too could be an issue as with door sag, it takes more effort to "pull the trigger".

If your door pins are missing the nylon part, or it is chewed, that too can cause a bindage of the door.



dirty lock:


cleaned and greased:



door catch pin, with nylon.


door sag:
 

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I have never worked on 3D printers and I absolutely do not know how they work. This is a very sophisticated piece of equipment and once I tried to figure it out, but it didn't work out and I nearly ruined an expensive $ 500 printer. It was after this incident that I began to study printers and decided to buy myself more reliable models for work. I studied the whole market and all models and most of all I liked the experience with printers from Printer Ink Toner Cartridges and Office Products. These are really very high quality devices at affordable prices and there is an excellent price-quality ratio.
 
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