View Full Version : getting a door to open
02-02-2006, 04:29 PM
I have a 72 elcamino parts car that I can't get the door to unlock. The key makes the button go up and down but the door remains locked. From the inside the lock button pulls up and you can hear the latch click but the handle still does not unlatch it.
The door and door panel are both in good condition and I don't want to damage them. I can't remove the door panel with the seat in and door closed. I could cut the quarter panel and open it that way if no one can offer an easier way. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I'd try soaking the latch INSIDE the door w/penetrating oil.PB Blaster is the best I've found.
Sometimes,you can roll the glass down,put paint sticks between the window and belt mldg,gives enough room to trip the latch w/ a screwdriver.
A Bendy Light is the BEST for stuff like this,tiny bulb or LED on the end of a flexible wand,Incredibly bright for the size of the bulb,puts light exactly where you want it,in spots a flashlight or a droplite won't go.
The tool wagons sell them for 20 or 30 bucks,Wal Mart has cheapies for less.
02-03-2006, 09:45 AM
I agree with Tim, thats what I would try first. What happens with those latch assemblies is they were greased pretty heavily at the factory when they were new. Over the years that grease gets thicker and turns to a thick gluey substance. There is a sliding latch in your door latch mechanism thats stuck from that thick grease/glue. Pulling on the door lock rod or the door latch rod won't move that sliding latch lever in the mechanism. Most people will say "get a Slim Jim and jimmy the lock" to unlatch the door. The problem is in this case tripping the lock or the latch rod won't unlock the door. At some point someone tripped the door lock and it got stuck in that position. Pulling the door lock rod back up won't unlock the door at that point (as you've already discovered).
You had mentioned cutting the quarter panel to gain access to opening the door. cutting the quarter wont do you any good because the door latch pin can only come out if the door is open. If the PBB blaster doesn't work then pull the front seat out and remove the door trim panel to gain access to the latch mechanism. Spray the latch mechanism down good with the PBB or even at the point WD-40 will work. Get a drop light inside the door and with your hand manually move all the sliding parts of the latch mechanism. One will trip the door open. Once you get the door open you task is only partially done. At that point you need to fully remove that latch mechanism from the door and soak it in some lacquer thinner for at least a couple hours. Make sure all the old grease/glue is gone, then re-lube it with some white lithium grease that comes in an aerosol can. Put it all back together and your problem should be permanently cured. I've done that sequence with many car doors over the years.
02-03-2006, 05:53 PM
I think it is just gummed up like you mentioned and the slide from the outside handle is stuck. My pick up does the same thing when I hit the power lock when someone is lifting the outside handle at the same time, it looks unlocked but will not open
02-12-2006, 05:14 PM
Try to get some penetrating sprayed on the latch. Usually you can get in onto the latch from between the window and rubber. Spray all you can...
Patience, patience, patience...keep working the key and lock....have someone on the inside keep working it also at the same time....
Usually it will suddenly open.
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05-23-2006, 08:52 PM
i had the same problem. A friend's chrysler car door hadn't been opened in 5 years.
I opened it, but not how i thought i would.
First, check the movement of the
inside door pull lever on the WORKING door when locked and unlocked. Does it move all the way when locked or does it only move part of the way. The chrysler felt blocked when locked. If there is a difference in the amount of movement between unlocked and locked in the FROZEN door then your latch maybe stuck.
after alot of debating, i went inside the car ---pulled the latch--then kicked the door out. it swung open. but be careful---you could break something--
but with a 68 chrysler---i could only break my leg.
use your best judgement
05-28-2006, 12:15 PM
i had the same problem on my car pb blaster and my size 10's did the job took 3 days of spraying and re spraying good luck
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