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5/24/11 12:04pm - Original Message: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
debrown
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Mammoth Lakes, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1971 LS5 Convertible with M/T, A/C,Brandshatch Green, Saddle Leather interior, numbers match

Joined: 11/15/2003
Posts: 36
I replaced the driver side outside door handle about a year ago, which was a chore, but recently the outside and inside door handles won't open the door.  I think the vertical connecting rod from that handle has come lose from the door/lock mechanism.  When I use the interior handle, that doesn't work either. There seems to be something binding as I can see the lock knob try to rotate when I do that.
 
The problem is I can't remove the door panel to get at it with the door closed because I can't get to the 2 screws that hold the panel in at the lower front and back of the panel.
 
Any advice would be appreciated.  It's a convertible by the way. 
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5/24/11 11:09pm - Reply: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
rraider1
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Woodland, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1977 T-Top,350,Auto Black Ruby Pearl,Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 10/14/2003
Posts: 1152
get your window down get a good flashlihgt look down inside get a long screw driver and you should be able to figure out what to push on to get the door open. I did it a long time ago long shot but rock your door lock back and fourth I beleive the latch gets hung up likes its lockedrraider12011-05-24 21:16:03

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Bob R
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5/24/11 11:39pm - Reply: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
rraider1
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Woodland, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1977 T-Top,350,Auto Black Ruby Pearl,Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 10/14/2003
Posts: 1152
This Might Help

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Bob R
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5/25/11 12:16pm - Reply: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
debrown
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Mammoth Lakes, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1971 LS5 Convertible with M/T, A/C,Brandshatch Green, Saddle Leather interior, numbers match

Joined: 11/15/2003
Posts: 36
Thanks for the help and the photo.  When I look down with my light, I can see the inside door handle bar moving, but most of the mechanism is hidden because of a black plastic water shield.  I'll keep working on it, though.

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5/25/11 5:56pm - Reply: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
debrown
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Mammoth Lakes, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1971 LS5 Convertible with M/T, A/C,Brandshatch Green, Saddle Leather interior, numbers match

Joined: 11/15/2003
Posts: 36
Got the door open after fiddlin with the interior lock handle and door handle for a while.  Still don't know what caused the problem but there's about 10 things to adjust.  My manual is not much help on adjustments, just remove & replace instructions.  I may have to try to find a new mechanism that you send me the picture of.

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5/25/11 8:17pm - Reply: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
rraider1
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Woodland, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1977 T-Top,350,Auto Black Ruby Pearl,Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 10/14/2003
Posts: 1152
This sounds similar to what mine was doing when you would lock the door and try to unlock it it would not totally unlock and I could not get the door open. I did many things at that time but what might need to be done is to clean your door latch mechanism. their may be some posts on this and some one might chime in. but it needs to be socked in some cleaner and then re lubed. hopefully someone has done it recently and may have recommendation as to cleaner and lube. this might be the best place to start before you start adjustments.

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5/26/11 10:23am - Reply: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
philip
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Marana, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 Silver Blue

Joined: 4/8/2010
Posts: 104
I just cleaned both of my door latches. After removing them from the car they went into a can of carburetor cleaner, the old style stuff that smells bad and eats the skin off your hands. After soaking until clean, remove, rinse with water, blow dry with compressed air and then lubricate. I sprayed mine all down in the mechanism until the lube was running out the bottom, then let it sit overnight on a rag for the excess to run off. It made the door open easier and the power locks worked much better, the lock use to hang up when trying to unlock. It appeared that the factory used some kind of waxy lubricant, it was obviously dipped into what ever they used. It had the benefit of not collecting dirt, but over time the wax looses its lubricating quality.


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1977 Nova 1982 Corvette   

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5/26/11 10:40am - Reply: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
debrown
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Mammoth Lakes, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1971 LS5 Convertible with M/T, A/C,Brandshatch Green, Saddle Leather interior, numbers match

Joined: 11/15/2003
Posts: 36
Thanks for the info.  I'll give that a try. What kind of lubricant did you use? Oil or silicone based?

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5/26/11 5:18pm - Reply: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
philip
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Marana, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 Silver Blue

Joined: 4/8/2010
Posts: 104
I used Triflow spray lubricant. Works better than anything else I have tried.

http://www.triflowlubricants.com/Tri-Flow_Superior_Aerosol_Lubricant.html


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1977 Nova 1982 Corvette   

The Toy Box
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5/31/11 8:42pm - Reply: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
eddie20875 Lifetime Member
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Lanoka Harbor, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1975 metallic blue coupe with t-tops,L48, t/t steering, black leather interior. 1990 L98, white/red leather interior, auto,a/c

Joined: 12/21/2006
Posts: 828
i had a problem with my door not opening. first time i got a rod and moved all the linkages around inside the door and it finally opened. looked like it happened to the PO as the edges of the locking mechanism was bent outwards. i bought a used mechanism off ebay and installed it and figured my problem was solved.
 
door wound up not opening again and no matter what i tried i couldn't get it open. even took to the body shop where my 90 was fixed and three of us could not get it open. wound up taking a pry bar and breaking the locking mechanism to pieces and then the door finally opened and i saw why it wouldn't open but if i tell you i will have to kill youRolling On The Floor Laughing.
 
turned out it was the striker get caught on the door frame. when i looked someone had put extra washers behind it to move it out. drivers door only had one. took it out and then i found out why the extra washers were there. they stripped the nut that the striker screws into. took a tap and cleaned the threads and rinstalled the striker with one washer. had to reinstall the locking mechanism that came with the car and the door opens perfectly. may want to check that the striker is not going into the lock too far. 


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6/1/11 11:39am - Reply: 'Driver Door Won't Open'
crossfire1982
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Cramerton, NC - USA

Vette(s):
black 1982 coupe slate gray interior, 350 crossfire, 1985 fuel pump, Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 8/22/2006
Posts: 1094
If your car has power door locks the power lock actuator itself can sometimes make it difficult to fully unlock the door.  When operated electrically the lock knobs may move only slightly and when a key is used it will be very difficult to turn.  I recently replaced my electric lock actuators because of this problem and it made a huge difference.

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1/15/12 1:54pm - Reply: 'Re: Driver Door Won't Open'
81zoomzoom
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Lusby, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1981 WHITE ALT WITH ALL THE BELLS

Joined: 10/18/2003
Posts: 56
Hi everybody. My car would not let me in. The power door lock motors were the problem. I had to use a slim-jim and worked the lock at the pivot were the lock motor hooks up. Im going to do all the door repairs and may need new lock motors. Does anyone know how to take the door lock switchs apart?  

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5/23/12 11:35am - Reply: 'Re: Driver Door Won't Open'
68vet427
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macedon, NY - USA

Vette(s):
68 COUPE 454 HAS MOTION HOOD SCOOP, REVERSED GILLS ZL-1 FENDER FLARES AND MOTION REAR SPOILER, LEMAN'S GAS CAP, BUCKET HEADLIGHTS. CAN-AM FRONT RACING SPOILER. CHROME HOOKER HEADERS AND SIDE PIPES! 4 SPEED M20, LOOKS FAST STANDING STILL !!

Joined: 7/20/2006
Posts: 360
eddie20875 said: i had a problem with my door not opening. first time i got a rod and moved all the linkages around inside the door and it finally opened. looked like it happened to the PO as the edges of the locking mechanism was bent outwards. i bought a used mechanism off ebay and installed it and figured my problem was solved.
 
door wound up not opening again and no matter what i tried i couldn't get it open. even took to the body shop where my 90 was fixed and three of us could not get it open. wound up taking a pry bar and breaking the locking mechanism to pieces and then the door finally opened and i saw why it wouldn't open but if i tell you i will have to kill youRolling On The Floor Laughing.
 
turned out it was the striker get caught on the door frame. when i looked someone had put extra washers behind it to move it out. drivers door only had one. took it out and then i found out why the extra washers were there. they stripped the nut that the striker screws into. took a tap and cleaned the threads and rinstalled the striker with one washer. had to reinstall the locking mechanism that came with the car and the door opens perfectly. may want to check that the striker is not going into the lock too far. 

So, looking back, do you think that you could have gotten it opened without breaking up the lock mechanism?
I have the same problem right now.
Locked the pass door for the first time a few days ago, now it will not open, My door panel is off, so I can see in there, but no matter what linkage I move, it wont open.
Then,I read this thread and I noticied that my stricker is interfering with the latch.
I am going to try with an extra person tonight, wish me luck !
Joe



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5/23/12 8:50pm - Reply: 'Re: Driver Door Won't Open'
68vet427
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macedon, NY - USA

Vette(s):
68 COUPE 454 HAS MOTION HOOD SCOOP, REVERSED GILLS ZL-1 FENDER FLARES AND MOTION REAR SPOILER, LEMAN'S GAS CAP, BUCKET HEADLIGHTS. CAN-AM FRONT RACING SPOILER. CHROME HOOKER HEADERS AND SIDE PIPES! 4 SPEED M20, LOOKS FAST STANDING STILL !!

Joined: 7/20/2006
Posts: 360
OK,
I got it to unlock and  open.
I had to push one of the Lock levers on the inside  with a screw driver while I turned the inside lock  knob.
Something is catching within the mechanism, I will probably get  a new one done the road. For now I just  will not lock it.
Joe



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5/24/12 12:08pm - Reply: 'Re: Driver Door Won't Open'
aceinthehole Lifetime Member
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Valley Springs, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1978,Metalic Money Green W/Gold emblems,TH350 w/gear splitter,black & grey interior.1978,two tone,Metalic Rootbeer & gold ,Doeskin interior,auto. trans. 1981, Silver w/mirrored T-Tops,4 spd, charcoal interior.

Joined: 11/20/2005
Posts: 3618
Interesting phenomena, the wifes '78 has the very same problem on the passengers side Wacko. Doesn't seem to be any solution short of replacement. With money tight, I hate to go there so we just don't lock it.

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Jimmy B.
Just can't wait to get on the road again.

 
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5/24/12 7:13pm - Reply: 'Re: Driver Door Won't Open'
rraider1
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Woodland, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1977 T-Top,350,Auto Black Ruby Pearl,Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 10/14/2003
Posts: 1152
I do not know if this could be some of the problems people are having? I could not get my door locks to adj and work properly when I first got my 77. when I went to try and get the stock alarm to work peoperly I discovered the door handle rods where reversed the left doors was installed on the right door they are different
 
 


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Bob R
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5/24/12 8:15pm - Reply: 'Re: Driver Door Won't Open'
aceinthehole Lifetime Member
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Valley Springs, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1978,Metalic Money Green W/Gold emblems,TH350 w/gear splitter,black & grey interior.1978,two tone,Metalic Rootbeer & gold ,Doeskin interior,auto. trans. 1981, Silver w/mirrored T-Tops,4 spd, charcoal interior.

Joined: 11/20/2005
Posts: 3618
Food for thought Robert. Can't get enough of that Thumbs Up.

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Jimmy B.
Just can't wait to get on the road again.

 
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5/25/12 6:42am - Reply: 'Re: Driver Door Won't Open'
dwright Gold Member
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Victor, NY - USA

Vette(s):
2004 Commemorative Edition Coupe, Auto w/HUD. 13K miles in 2015. Sold 1982 Red Coupe

Joined: 7/12/2004
Posts: 6757
I had a similar problem where it was difficult to unlock the driver-side door.
My mechanic took it apart, cleaned and lubed everything.
When I got it back, the key moved freely, but did not unlock the door.
I took it back and he found that a small clip had come off.
He put a new clip on and now it works great.
Of course now I have a problem with the passenger side, but that is another story.


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5/25/12 2:39pm - Reply: 'Re: Driver Door Won't Open'
Jaws79 Lifetime Member
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Sykesville, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Corvette Coupe Corvette Light Blue Midnight Blue interior Mirrored Glass T-tops

Joined: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4211
What story is that, Dave?   Wink  I had the problem with my driver's door. Sometimes it would lock but not unlock. You had to put the window down and work the key and the lock button at the same time until it unlocked. Then when in OC, MD last year for the boardwalk cruise I had two occasions when the door would open then not latch. Both times I had to remove the inner door panel and slide the lock mechinism with a screwdriver until it worked (for a while). when I got home I took the door panel off and discovered that the lock mechinism slides up and down in the CENTER of the door latch. After much cleaning and lubing, the lock works much better, no problems. Nothing is more embarasing than having your car break at a show!
 
Barry
 
Angry      Big smile


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5/25/12 3:49pm - Reply: 'Re: Driver Door Won't Open'
tb2k82ce Lifetime Member
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Lemon Grove, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 C3 Collectors Edition 44000 miles, sat in the sun most of it's life, My wife purchased it for me for fathers day in 2007 from her girl friend that had it for 19 years. It is on the road again. I'm retired but it is now my daily driver.

Joined: 10/17/2007
Posts: 2007
When that happened to me I called a AAA lock smith.  I locked the only set of key inside the car. 
 
No snickers please.  Like one of my old bosses used to say "I can dish it out but not take it". Beer
 
The real scary part is he came out tried a couple of normal things then looked it up in his AAA locksmith book and showed me the answer. “Break side window no know reliable means to unlock”. That may not be true but according to AAA (he left his book by mistake I called him and he never came back for it).
 
Short story my window was down about ˝ inch on the passenger side he was able to get a strong enough pry bar to unlock the T-top latch and I got in. I was surprised when someone in an earlier post got a slim-jim to work. The AAA guy could not. Talent I guess. Mmm I wondering about what he did in his youth. Not wanting to mention any names but check out the previous posts.



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