Interior door handle – R75 chrome upgrade project

Words and pictures: David Peters


In this section, you can read all about David Peters’ clever interior door modification employing MG Rover parts – in this case from the Rover 75/ MG ZT. Quite remarkably, the R75 interior door handle is almost identical in both size and profile to the oval door handle trims used on the MY2000 MGF and the later TF. But as David explains, this is not a direct swap… if only everything in life were that simple!


You can, alternatively, download these instructions as a PDF file here. Hope this helps!



1.)    Original R75 Door handle. The hinge that moves the cable is actually on the handle. Not so on the O.E.M. MGF item.




2.)    You will need to prise off the chrome cover from the black base element. Careful, as this is easily broken. However, this is not too much of a problem; you can use some stick-on material later to put the chrome ring back in place.

         The black base is fixed to the door shell. Over this fits the door panel and door cards. Then one fits the chrome surround. If this is “clipped” in place, how on earth do you remove it? Undo the whole thing! You’ll get the picture later on.




3.)    Trim all excess material around the slots in the black base that fit the chrome pins. And get yourself a beer to make up for the evaporated sweat


4.)    Trim all slots like this




5.)    Re-trim the hole through which the pull cable passes. File off.




6.)    Prise out the plastic circlips that held the old cable.


7.)    a. Bend (1) downwards

         b. Fix the OEM back plate on a table, or on a piece of card board... Mount the MGF oval door handle. Use an engineer’s (Macon’s) straight edge to indicate on the table or card board the circumference of the oval door handle. Take it back off and position the R75 black base so that with the engineer’s straight, it has the same circumference than the MGF item. Remarkably, they both have the same shape and size, you only need to position the R75 trim on the MGF bracket.

         c. Once positioned, mark with a centre pin through the mounting hole on the bracket, the new fixing hole for the R75 handle. Drill the new mounting hole (2)

         d. bend the arm where the MGF pull cable goes through (3)










8.)    Loosen the screw of the OEM MGF bracket and prise out the cable. If you have the opportunity, shorten the cable by ½’’ (1,25cm). I didn´t and there´s some slack in the R75 handle when fitted. First check what you need in order to do this and to remount the end of the cable that fits the R75 hinge!!



9.)    Obtain some of these rubber grommets (fawcet grommets)


10.) Drill an additional hole right here (1), fixing the screw (2). Why? Well, the black part of the R75 handle is fixed on the base plate and sits behind the door panel. Remember? So we need to force this plate flush against the door panel/card. By fixing the door panel back in place, this doesn’t happen naturally. The panel is too flexible and card board like (read “cheap”). So in this hole, we will put a screw which when fully screwed in, will push against the door shell, as a reaction, the bracket and black R75 base plate will be forced outwards, against the door card/panel. So the chrome surround will fit easier






11.)    Trial and error unfortunately ;-( : I fitted two washers



12.) The MGF’s OEM plastic thingy on the pull cable is a little too big for the hole in the R75 lever/hinge, so press it gently with tweezers. Then prise it into the R75 door pull receptacle:






13.) Mount the handle*. (Note the trimmed R75 slots – I forgot one though)

Second picture demonstrates the cable arrangement is within the R75 handle, and why we needed to bend the bracket. The R75 cable is guided through there. Never mind the rotten plastic sheeting on the door. I had ordered a new set of plastic door covers and hell, I left them in my other car. Couldn’t be bothered, so continued.



14.) If you remove the doorpanel. Do not take the door card separately from the door panel. Let it in one whole assy. Easy for trial fitments. Easy on/off. You might need to trim down the cardboard (1) from the door panel. And possibly(?) the metal flanges (2).


* I believe I also used rubber grommets over the screw that holds the base of the R75 handle as well. Again, to bring the base forward and sit flush with the door card. I’m not sure I did though...







15.) I didn’t take pictures of the placement of the chrome surround. I used thick double sided sticky tape. And it still holds. By now, you will notice, that when you do decide to click the chrome surrounds in the black base slots, if you need to take of the door panel, you need to take the black base of the handle with it. This means that the cable is still attached to the door in its guides but also to the door pull/lever. In this situation, I wouldn’t want to try and undo the chrome ring. So it’s up to you how to do it.


Now this is not a perfect fit - as you might have found out by now. It all depends on how precisely you are working. And even then, there will be some gaps here and there. MGR tolerance then - and if it’s all over the car, we’ll live with it in the interior as well *LOL*


Upon doing the write-up, I noticed I didn’t have a picture of the screw used to bring the black R75 base forward.


You might end up with something looking like this though (looks stunning and well worth all the effort – Ed):