S10 Truck, new aluminum third-door handle, for 1996–2003
Chevrolet S10 and GMC Sonoma extended cab trucks,
this part is designed and manufactured by Stealth Conversions

Our Price: $24, including shipping.  

Step-by Step Installation Instructions:

S10 4.3 V6, 2WD, Mount Assembly Comparison
Plastic third-door handles, for 1996–2003
Chevrolet S10 and GMC Sonoma extended cab Trucks

The handles for the third-door (or cargo door) are injection molded plastic. While cheap to manufacture, light-weight, and rattle-free, they are notorious for breaking.

S10 4.3 V6 High Performance Replacement Mount Kit

replacement handle developed by Stealth Conversions

Stealth Conversion’s replacement third-door handle is made in America, from heat-treated aircraft aluminum, which will not break.

The handle was designed to have the same travel limits and feel as the stock plastic handle.

The plastic handle provides lubricity between the moving parts. The aluminum handle requires grease to function smoothly. The rounded contact suface helps retain grease. The holes for the pivot pins are carefully machined to prevent rattling, while leaving enough clearance to retain grease.

The handle is light-weight so that it will not rattle — it weighs about the same as the plastic handle.

Corvette motor mount compared to 2.8 V6 mount

Tools for installation of handle

Tools Required:

  • T-30 torx
  • small knife or small flat screwdriver (not shown)
  • needle nose pliers (bent nose preferred)
  • socket
  • 1/8" or 3/16" punch (a small screw driver, or a nail can be substituted)
  • small hammer.
  • small hammer

Corvette motor mount compared to 2.8 V6 mount

A knife is used to remove handle assembly.


Remove the screws with a torx driver (size T-30).

After removing the torx screws, use a small knife (or small screwdriver) to gently pry the handle assembly from the door.

Corvette motor mount compared to 2.8 V6 mount

Removing the Clip

Maneuver the handle assembly to get access at the plastic retaining clip (arrow).

Gently squeeze the retaining clip with a needle-nose pliers, as shown, so it can be detached from the handle assembly.

Corvette motor mount compared to 2.8 V6 mount

Removing second clip

Maneuver the handle assembly as shown, for access to the second clip.

After removing the second retaining clip, remove the handle assembly from the door.

Corvette motor mount compared to 2.8 V6 mount

Pivot pin removal


Place the handle assembly up-side-down on top of a socket, as shown, so the pivot pin can be removed.

Gently hammer on the pivot pin with a 1/8" or 3/16" punch as shown. A nail or a small screw-driver can also be used.

Do not use pliers to remove the pivot pin from the housing, or it may nick the pivot pin, and cause installation problems.

Corvette motor mount compared to 2.8 V6 mount

Handle and pin grease points

Test fit the pivot pin into the aluminum handle as shown to insure that it slides into place, and spins easily.

If the pivot pin does not easily slide into the handle, check for nicks or scratches on the pivot pin. If any nicks or scratches are found, use a file or sandpaper to smooth the rough spots.

After insuring the pivot pin slides into the aluminum handle, put some grease in the pivot holes, and the area the arrow points to.

Install the aluminum handle into the plastic housing.

Install the pivot pin, noting that the serrated portion of the pin goes on top.

Gently tap the pivot pin into the plastic housing until it is fully seated.


Corvette motor mount compared to 2.8 V6 mount

Handle assembly installation


Install the plastic clips onto the handle assembly.

First, attach the lower rod to the handle, as shown, using your finger to seat the retaining clips.

Next, attach the upper rod.

Maneuver the handle assembly into the door.

Corvette motor mount compared to 2.8 V6 mount



Fasten the handle assembly to the door with the torx screws, and verify the handle works properly.

If the door does not open properly, remove the handle assembly and adjust the position of the plastic retaining clips on the pull rods. Ideally, the door should open when there is about 1/4" to 3/8" of clearance between the aluminum handle and the side of the plastic housing.

The finished installation has an attractive appearance.



GM Bulletin:

File In Section: 08 - Body and Accessories

Bulletin No.: 02-08-64-007

Date: March, 2002


Third Door Hard to Open and/or Handle Breakage
(Adjust Lock Rods)


1996-2002 Chevrolet and GMC S/T Extended Cab Pickup Models (S-10, Sonoma)



Some customers may comment that the third door is hard to open and/or the door handle may be broken.


The lock rods may be improperly adjusted.


Adjust the lock rods using the following procedure:

1.Remove the door trim.

2.Release both lock rod rods from the lock rod retainers.


3.Position the upper lock rod first. Refer to arrow in illustration. Position the lock rod in the retainer so that there is 10 to 12 mm (0.39 to 0.47 in) (Approximately 11-12 threads showing) from the end of the lock rod.

Important :Make sure the upper striker is not bound against the latch. If this happens, you must push the door inboard to release the latch. To correct a bound latch, adjust the striker until the striker is centered with the latch.


4.Position the lower lock rod in the retainer where it rests, usually 5.0 to 6 mm (0.19 to 0.23 in) of threads from the end of the rod after the upper lock rod is locked in place.

5.Install the door trim.

(Courtesy General Motors)


Our Price: $24, including shipping.  

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last updated, 10/25/12

May 2006, www.thirddoorhandle.com

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