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Old 07-25-2006, 05:10 AM   #1
TypeG
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INT: DIY seized latch fix (door stuck shut)

materials:
drill with assorted sized bits
dremel with cutting discs
basic hand tools

this has happened to me twice, once about 8 years ago and just recently. i found a website that helps a bit:
http://techauto.te.funpic.org/doorproblem/

SYMPTOM: the drivers door will not open from either the inside or outside door handle. all the linkages are still in place yet, the door latch will not release.
CAUSE
the door latch assembly fails internally. the
latch is not serviceable.


if you can't open your door from the inside, but are able to from the outside, this is NOT your problem. or if you can open it in any way.

first take off your interior door handle and look for the linkage rod to be connected to it. if it's still there it's time to remove the door panel ( it sounds hard to take the door panel off while the door is stuck shut, but it's really not hard)

to remove the door panel, unscrew the screws, here:


here


and here


there's one push clip that you can't get, but that's ok it will pop out. start from the bottom of the door panel and pull out the plastic rivets. then swing the door panel up like a lamdo door and the last clip that you couldn't reach will pop out.

now look for all linkage rods to be connected, if they are, then you have a broken latch. (fun part)

after you've confirmed there's nothing wrong with the linkages, ect., time to start drilling.
this will be your tiny work space and veiw


i found this to be the sweet spot:



i just put a flathead screwdriver in the hole and began poking and prodding. the moment of glory came when i felt the door move about a half a centimeter. i knew i was close. a little more poking and the door poped open.

old latch/new latch


note: when taking out the old latch, i cut the linkage rod to the exterior door handle. if you don't do this, it will be a PITA to remove.

reinstall
to install the new one, you have to take off the exterior door handle to install the new linkage rod. use 2 flathead screwdriver's to pop out the fitting.


also, you want to remove the bolt below so you can move the window channel out of the way. it makes it easier to put in the new latch.


once you get the latch in there, you have to do a little adjusting, but no biggie.
this took me six hours over the course of a few days.






later.
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Last edited by TypeG; 08-11-2008 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:21 AM   #2
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here's some more pics of the latch to help you understand it's internals.

this is the black lever that you ae drilling to. this is what you want to move when you stick the flathead in the drilled hole.





later.
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Last edited by TypeG; 12-30-2009 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:32 AM   #3
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Very nice fix.

This happened to me right when my car went into the shop for the rust repair. Ironically, I had the door panel off the day it broke. I kept telling my bodyguy to drill out the assembly. But no, the dumbass went at it with a f-ing airchisel. It fixed the door, but he made a big song and dance about it.

I'll have to retain this DIY in case it happens again.
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:47 AM   #4
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i never really realized that people had problems with that.

cool fix tho. if its broke, drill a bunch of holes through it until it gives up and lets go.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:12 PM   #5
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^ agree with mike on this one. maybe it's only common with car at extreme temps? nice job nonetheless bro. is that dirt i see?! LOL just playing man.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:50 AM   #6
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i don't think temps have anything to do with it. the latch fails internally and i've only heard of the driver's door doing this. and yeah, that is dirt you see...all of that metal grinding made a mess, lol. later.
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:10 PM   #7
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I wish you had written this last year. Mine failed on me and the guy fixed it but couldn't get the door panel off so the panel was kinda bent in order to get to the failed part. Not a big deal since you can get panels in junkyards but just the fact that it happened can catch people off gaurd. I had to get in my car from the passenger side for 2 weeks before I got paid so I could get it fixed.

Good write up.
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Old 07-26-2006, 05:40 PM   #8
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Were you able to use the existing sealant when putting the vapor barrier (door lining cover) back?
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:44 AM   #9
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thanks adam. yeah, it does catch people off gaurd cause it doesn't seem like anything is wrong til you can't open the door. no noises, no anything, just won't open. and crawling out the passenger door sucks big time.


mrvinyl, i lost that plastic sheet along time ago, so don't have one, lol. i don't think it is sticky enough to re-use. the only thing that would stick to it is my hair when i had my head leaning on the door for a while. later.
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Old 07-27-2006, 03:37 PM   #10
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ok. were you planning on replacing it, or have you not had any moisture/corrosion/aging in there?
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:42 PM   #11
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i may replace it one day, but i haven't had any problems with moisture/corrosion. the only thing i have noticed is cold air seeping in when it's really cold outside. later.
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:59 PM   #12
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I like the way you work. Lol good job.
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TypeG
thanks adam. yeah, it does catch people off gaurd cause it doesn't seem like anything is wrong til you can't open the door. no noises, no anything, just won't open. and crawling out the passenger door sucks big time.
You are so right Brian. There is no noise or anything letting you know that it has happened. You go to open the door and it doesn't open...that is the only notice you get.
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:00 PM   #14
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Add another one to the dukes of hazzard passenger side loving list. Mine gave on me....at the JUNK YARD!!!! Son of a bitch. I was there and had no idea what it was. My theory....go to yard...buy new door for 30 bucks. Beat the shit out of old door!!!
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:06 PM   #15
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no need to beat the door, just drill out the latch. later.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:20 PM   #16
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Well I got it fixed. The latch I pulled was from a car without auto belts so oops. I broke my window in the process and cut the crap out of my hands. This sucks major ones and if it happens again I am getting a new car.
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:52 AM   #17
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how did you break the window? i just rolled mine up . later.
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:32 PM   #18
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I posted a while back asking what might be the problem with my door... and was directed to this thread.

I just did this fix today and it went pretty smoothly actually. Your pictures were bang on and it didn't take long to drill out the old latch at all.

The only problem I'm having now.. is that the linkage rod going from the latch to the interior door handle isn't sitting properly and I've been spending the last 3 hours trying to get it to hook up properly. It's almost as if it's JUST too short. Has anyone else had this problem? Or any ideas?
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Old 09-06-2006, 03:48 AM   #19
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i'd try to use the linkage rod from the old latch. later.
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Old 09-06-2006, 03:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TypeG
i'd try to use the linkage rod from the old latch. later.
It is the rod from the old latch. There are 4 rods, one going to the exterior handle, one going to the interior handle, one going to the lock button and one to the lock cylinder. All of them but the one going to the interior handle are attached to the latch.

I might try ordering in a new rod, just to see if I accidently bent it, but I don't think I did.

I guess it will just take some more fidgeting or something.
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