I ordered an aftermarket handle for my 1999 Mercury Villager from Ebay. $23 or something like that. It is made of plastic, where the stock handle seems to be made of pot metal. I installed the handle, but it won’t trip the latch when the door is closed. I have tried pushing down the latch and tripping it with the door open, and the handle trips it every time. I tried lubing the moving parts with lithium grease. I didn’t take time to measure them, but the trigger that pushes out when you raise the handle seems like it might be a little shorter on the new handle…not sure. Any suggestions?
The good news is that the inside door handle now works since I was able to push in the safety lock.
*Edit* It appears the new handle doesn’t push out far enough to get the lever to pop the latch out. Comparing it to the factory handle, it looks identical as far as the size and the way it is shaped/molded. At this point I’m looking at either bending the rod that connects with the outside handle/lever or crimping some kind of spacer or collar on it that lengthens it slightly.
*Edit* Since the handle was made of a fairly tough, but flexible plastic, I was able to use a pocket knife to cut away some of the material so the handle would open a little wider. This pushed farther on the lever that trips the latch, and now the handle works. So beware of $23 handles on Ebay unless you don’t mind whittling on it a little.