Beetle Door Handle Rebuild

Door handle

An older tutorial put together by ’67 Beetle enthusiast Marius Strom, I figured it was worth another mention. This seems to be a popular topic in my inbox over the last few weeks.

Are you able to reliably lock and unlock your ’67 with the key from the outside? Do you ever feel like you’re going to twist the key off when you use your door locks? If so, your guide pin in your locking mechanism is probably broken.

Fixing them is pretty simple, and worthwhile — the door handles on a ’67 Beetle are one-year-only, and while you find a few on eBay or TheSamba’s classifieds, it’s worth rebuilding yours – it’s only a couple of bucks.

For my first post here at, I thought I’d try doing something completely new: a video. Let me know what you think.

[vimeo 43953299 w=600 h=381]

1967 Volkswagen Beetle Door Handle Guide Pin Repair from Marius Strom on Vimeo.

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started Air-Cooled Artifacts (previously, and Lane Russell). I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. Mike Buettell June 14, 2012 at 9:54 am

    WOW !
    I’m impressed. Great video.

    1. Thanks, Mike — I was interested to see what the community thought about the video. I should have included in the original blog post that I collected a bunch of info on how to do this from TheSamba, but didn’t find one consistently good set of video/photographic walkthrough.. Hopefully this video will solve that for others.

      1. Hi,

        I’m in the UK and have just watched the video of the repair to the drivers side door handle on a ’67 Beetle. This was a relief as I was wondering what to do as I can lock the door but not unlock it.

        Can someone confirm what the components are again just to be sure. The O Ring I understand but I cant find a supplier for a ‘Chicago Pin’ does anyone know of European / UK suppliers? or can someone mail me the components for a small fee maybe?

        Thanks whoevers out there.



        1. Rob,
          Thanks for the comment. I’ll have Matthew Keen chime in on this one, as he lives in the UK.

        2. I’ve got extra Chicago Posts, and I can surely put together a small kit of parts, but it’ll be a few weeks away as I’m just about to head out for 3 weeks of vacation. Apparently Chicago Posts are also commonly referred to as: Chicago screws, barrel nuts, sex bolts (!!!), or Post and Screws – perhaps figuring out which of those names are used on the other side of the pond will help you find them in the meantime.

          1. That’s terrific Eric. If you could send the parts to me at the following address that would be great and I’d be happy to pay a few Dollars to cover the cost and postage. My address is:

            rob snook
            33 alliance way
            paddock wood
            TN12 6TY



          2. I’ve FWD-ed your comment to M.

  2. Great job Marius. We’ll do more of these for sure as time goes on.

  3. Great Video! Just what I needed too because I recently bought my first ’67 Bug a month ago, and can’t lock or unlock my doors from the outside…I’ve resorted to leaving my quarter window open and contorting my arm around just to open her up! I am definitely looking forward to giving this procedure a try!

  4. See Marius, you already have fans! :)

  5. Hey Marius….is it hard to remove the door handles from the door itself? What is the best way to do so? Newbies like me are always worried about those details! Lol.

    1. Hi Mike – Sorry I left that part out of the video – and for whatever reason, the Bentley doesn’t cover the process either. It’s quite simple:

      On the back edge of the door (along the B-pillar), you’ll see one large screw off by itself near the striker/latch mechanism. Tucked underneath the door-to-body weatherstrip near there is two screws mounted vertically – dig out the weatherstrip and unscrew those two screws. Tap the handle forward towards the front of the car, and it should pop right out.

      If that doesn’t make sense, check out this thread on TheSamba:

  6. Thanks Marius!!! I bought my 67 about a month ago and I can’t unlock Buddy (my bug) at all. Locks great, but doesn’t push the locker knob up high enough. This is a great fix. Pretty easy job, no special skills or tools needed. Thanks again for the video. -Louie

    1. Hi Louie – You might be able to make do with just flipping the handles from one side to the other, but this is such an easy fix that it would be nearly criminal to not do it at the same time. Glad you enjoyed it, and let us know how it turns out!

      1. Hello, Marius…

        There have been more than a couple of requests for a repair kit for door handles. Have you considered putting together a basic kit to sell? There would not be a huge market, but it could help some people in the 1967 Beetle World who can’t find or don’t know how to find the components for the repair. I have one such request sitting in my mail box presently. Contact me @ jay

        1. Yes… What Jay said.

        2. Hi Jay – I need to dig up and see if I can find any spare Chicago posts. Unfortunately, my time is getting more and more limited as I’ve got a little one on the way that I’m getting ready for.

          If someone that has the time available wants to put a kit together, I wouldn’t take offense.

          1. Congrats on the little one, M!

  7. Thanks for clarifying and validating that I didn’t ask an ignorant question! :) Your info rocks!!

    1. There are no stupid questions… :)

      Seriously, the only reason I knew how to drop the door handles off was because I’d done the same to my Vanagon a while back — and the Vanagon Bentley does talk about how to remove them. Funny to see that the process hasn’t changed in the 20+ years between building the Bug and my Vanagon!

  8. Great job again Marius. If you’ve not read his story, you can here!

  9. Chelsy Howard June 15, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Guys, this is fantastic! This site is a huge resource to all us ’67 owners. I’m so glad it exist. I like this better than TheSamba because it’s so focused. TheSamba is full of noise and opinions. Keep it up guys!

  10. this is perfect. Unfortunately I can’t switch my handles around because only the drivers’ side has a key hole! I needed this video

    1. Enjoy!

  11. The video did not explain what the “guide pin” does. Does it allow the locks to lock and unlock? Easy enough fix, but not real clear on what this fixes other then allowing the paddle to have something to slide on. I just can’t lock and unlock my doors and I am wondering if this will fix it. I need to get to Lowe’s and get the parts. Just need more explanation on what this fix will accomplish.

    1. Craig,
      Thanks for the comment. I’ll have M chime in on the thread who made the video.

  12. Great video Marius. I too wondered how to take the handles off in the first place. So you don’t have to remove the interior door panels? Also, I tried to purchase the repair parts at home depot but didn’t have any luck. I’d love to purchase a rebuild kit from you. Thanks again for your info!

  13. Hello Thank you for the Video, To give back, i found out where everyone can get what they need for the repair. Lowes has the chicago posts “Binding Post” and the Phillips Screw. Good Luck

    1. Good job, Eli! Thanks for doing the leg-work for others of our readers! jay

    2. Thank you…my research has been eliminated!

  14. Stephen L. Murray February 17, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Excellent Post!

  15. Marius, great idea to do the video!
    Thanks a million for sharing the info.
    Eric, thanks , as always, for

    1. Sam,
      Thanks for reading!

  16. Marius, thanks so much for the tutorial. Looking forward to fixing my passenger door handle soon! If others are still interested, I would be willing to source the parts and make kits in the coming weeks. With Marius’s blessing of course. Email me directly. Thanks again!

    1. Great info!

    2. Keep us posted about the kits!

    3. I’d love it if someone could step up and make kits available. You have my blessing. I only ask that I get a 15% commission on all future sales, a perpetual license to re-create my own kit later driving you out of business, etc.

      I’m kidding. :) Make the kits!

      1. And I want 25% for curation. :P

  17. I have 4 or 5 extra Chicago posts and screws if anyone can’t find them. Let me know and I’ll send you 1 or 2 – no charge in the spirt of our 67s :-)

    1. Hey that’s great Larry,
      Unfortunately I’m in the UK but happy to send you any fees to cover the cost of postage.

      My address is:

      Colliers Green Cottage
      Northiam Road
      East Sussex
      TN32 5RP

      Thanks Muchly

      Robin (Snook)

      1. Glad you guys connected.

      2. Snook
        I’ll put these in the mail this morning.
        Take care,

  18. What are the OEM part numbers for the right and left door latch mechanism and the door handle for a 1967 Beetle – vin 117556096?

    On my 67 drivers door (left) the latch mechanism is 111-837-015D and the door handle is 113-837-205J/206E.

    Thank you

    1. Let us check.

    2. Hello, Howard…By now, you may have discovered the information about the Latch Part #s which you needed. I am unable to verify that from my lack of a vantage point. However, you are correct on the door handle Part #s–205J/206E. Strange part number but that’s it in any case. I hope that you can arrive at the correct part numbers for the latches. jay

  19. Where can you find the 3 inch Chicago pin? I just bought a 1967 beetle yesterday and I found out the hard way that the locks don’t unlock from the outside by locking my self out. I found this video and really want to try to take care of this myself.

    1. Laura,
      Let me find out! Also, we would love to feature your ’67.

  20. My 67 Beetle sedan locks are a little different in that the guide post does not have that partial shaft that yours fits into at the base, ie, where you stuck the end of the Chicago post with the screw and the end of the spring. My guide post was just cast into the flat bottom of the lock mechanism. Consequently I have no shaft to hold the new guide pin base so it doesn’t wobble. I know that my parts are stock and original since my wife is the original owner of the car and the locks have never been changed in any way. Can this fix be modified somehow to work for me… maybe drilling out that hole at the bottom so that the screw can go through it and then into the Chicago screw in order to hold it tight to the base? I will experiment but would appreciate any thoughts or advice.

  21. Hi Marius, Im in Seattle area, I have 1967 bug and I have some problems with my doors Handle :-( , are yoiu in WA?

    1. Howdy – Yep, I’m just over in Bellevue.

    2. Hi,

      I’m over in the UK and of course have a 67 Beetle and of course have had a door handle problem. I was going to disassemble it and follow the recommendations on the (excellent) video but I found that just be very slightly lifting the key when opening the door it worked. I guess after nearly 50 years of use a few niggles are to be expected. Very envious of you being in Seattle…its my most favourite place in the US. Whereabouts are you?



  22. Great!!! do you know a vw place that can help with my door handles?

    1. Did you try doing what I described in the video?

  23. No, I did exactly what you did on your video. By the way, thank you so much for the video, is really helpful and well explained! the problem i have is on the key cylinder it gets stock on the handle. The key turns but can’t unlock the door from the outside.

    1. Hmm, beyond that I don’t know what to do. George up at Porbug in Lynnwood is a great VW mechanic and can probably get you sorted.

      1. Thank you!!! I will look for him….

  24. Hey. Nobody left any kind of response at all to my comments about how my 67 bug lock mechanism differs from the one in the video.

    Is there a way to post a picture along with my comments so the difference I am talking about is more clear?

    1. Jeffrey P Miesemer August 3, 2018 at 10:10 pm

      I believe I have the same door handle as you do. Mine didn’t have the pocket to seat the rod. Here is how I repaired mine:

  25. I there a kit I can still acquire somewhere? I watched the video a few years ago, but was unable to view it this time. My Bug has exactly that problem so a fix would be greatly welcome. I wonder how many times over the past 45 years i have owned this car, has the mechanism locked and unlocked without a failure.

  26. I need to try this on my handles. I have a backup set, but I’d love to get the ones currently installed working properly!

  27. When I first got my ’67, neither doors would unlock. Proper lubrication helped.

  28. Any updates on the idea of a kit being made?

    1. No updates on a kit from my perspective. I’ve moved, had a kid, and just gotten busy. I have no idea where my extra parts are since the move. Again, as I suggested, I’m totally open to other people putting together a kit. :)

  29. Very nice, detail video. The Chicago pin is a very elegant repair. Lacking one of those, I used some parts I had on hand and accomplished the same repair. I had a 2″ long by 3/16″ case hardened roll pin which fit the hole fairly well. I also had some cabinet wood screws with a long ,smooth shank that was slightly larger in OD than the ID of the roll pin. I cut the screw head off leaving about 1/4″ of smooth shank and drove it into the roll pin, this provided the base for the spring. I dremel’d the diameter of the screw head down to get a tight fit in the socket, and I was done. I then put it together and cut the roll pin back to the desired height. Door locks work again!

    1. Hi, Jim…I am glad that you have found yet another way to improvise a good solution to the worn door handle problem! You have offered encouragement to all of us that there can be more than one way to effect a repair! jay

  30. Does this procedure also work for late 1966 round button door handles?

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