Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bad Design Ticks Me Off

It's one thing to replace a vehicle part that wears out or breaks. It's another thing entirely to have to keep replacing parts because of poor design in the first place.

A couple days ago the driver's side door handle broke on my '94 Ford F250. Sure, you are thinking, it's a '94, parts are going to break. Maybe so, but the same part over and over and over again?

Used to just get another from the used parts bin at the local salvage yard. Problem is, my truck isn't the only one that keeps breaking handles. The salvage yard can't keep them in stock. Last time I had to buy a new handle. Took the whole door apart so that I could inspect and tweak the mechanism. When I was done, the door latch worked better than it ever did the whole time I owned the truck.

The new handle lasted about three weeks.

Today I went down to Tractor Supply and picked up a piece of flat stock steel. With a torch, vice, drill, reciprocating saw and a hand file, a new handle was soon fabricated. This one shouldn't break.

Instead, the door will probably fall off the truck next.



  1. Gotta love those "engineers". And the bean counters who keep them on a short leash. One of my "favorites" is the old Chevy truck hoods that eventually bend in half...

  2. It's pretty sad when they have a bad design and keep using it year after year. Only wish the rest of the truck was as well built as the 7.3 turbo diesel. Bought it for the engine, and there are days when I think that's all I got.

  3. I bet I have replaced a hundred of those cheap assed plastic handles.
    You did the right thing.
    I worked at a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealer for ten years and I hate automotive design engineers with my whole being.