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  Here is the door handle removed from the door.  Squeezing the lever moves the black section up/down and the end of the lever sits in a square box on the next part of the linkage.  With wear, there was a gap between the end of the lever and the box. Here is the view from the other side.  You can see the small hole with a pin in it that that part of the linkage pivots on.  Big problem with my handle was that pin pivot was very sloppy, the tabs on either side had spread apart and the hole in the center had worn out making it much bigger than the pin.  As a result, all the motion of the door handle lever was soaked up in ineffective motion of the rest of the linkage (i.e. it moved, but not in the right direction).  Translation, squeezing the door handle lever did not open the door! This is another shot of the handle mechanism without the annotations. So to fix the two main problems, I first took out the pin and the pivoting part of the mechanism to gain access to the inner workings.  To fill the gap in the lever end/box part, I wrapped the end of the lever with some 3/8 Finally, to fix the sloppy pin pivot, I used a small drill bit to open up the hole to accept the next size larger machine screw I had in my parts box, I think it was a #4 or 6 screw.  Then I put in the screw and a small nut and tightened it down just enough to pull in the two tabs on each side of the pivot.  With the sides held tight to the pivot, there is no wasted motion.  End result, the door now opens with the pressure of a single finger, success!!!  

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