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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Three Rings G0to60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 25 2011
    AZ Member #
    83022
    My Garage
    90 Corrado, 02 allroad
    Location
    Milwaukie, OR

    Driver's front door won't unlock

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    I realize that this information probably isn't the best to put out on the internet but I need some help. A few weeks ago I was trying to fix a sticky door latch on my driver's side front door. Basically when it got warm out it would be very difficult to open from the outside. The inside handle work fine in all temperatures. What I found was that the rod that connects the outside handle to the latch would "flex", for lack of a better term, when it was hot outside causing the it not to pull up far enough to disengage the latch. To fix this I reseated the rod in the black plastic carrier for the latch so that it engages quicker. Here's a picture to help illustrate what I was doing.

    20170607_173750_zps5xipdzpj by Wayne Larson, on Flickr

    Once I put everything back together it all work very well. The door opened perfectly from both sides so I thought all was well. The next day my wife was parked at her mom's when she called and said that she couldn't open the driver's door. It feels like the door is still locked even though the lock pin is up. I've tried unlocking and relocking it multiple times and have tried the interior and exterior handles and I can't get it open.

    My question is how can I get this door open so I can see why it's not unlocking? If you don't want to post on this forum perhaps you can IM me or send me an email (waynetlarson@gmail.com).

    Thanks for making it through my somewhat embarrassing moment.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Four Rings 4rings2turbos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 04 2009
    AZ Member #
    45941
    Location
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Items for Sale

    Shoot man. Obviously the best way would be to get to the mechanism behind the door card. Unfortunately there's the two screws on either end obscured by the A and B pillar. I would, in your shoes, probably pry the door card off of those two screws so I could try to get it up and out or at least reach behind the rear portion to manually move the mechanism. Not sure if you could get the front of the door card off with the dash in the way with the door closed.
    OEM+ work in progress allroad
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Three Rings G0to60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 25 2011
    AZ Member #
    83022
    My Garage
    90 Corrado, 02 allroad
    Location
    Milwaukie, OR

    Yeah, I thought about this. It's probably a last resort as I really don't want to have to destroy anything.

    What I may try is to unscrew those on the passenger side door card and try to pull it up when the door is closed. Then at least I'll know if it can physically be moved with the dash in the way without destroying anything. Then if that works I can try it with the driver door and hope that those little screws don't damage too much stuff. Again, this is a last resort in my mind.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings 4rings2turbos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 04 2009
    AZ Member #
    45941
    Location
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Items for Sale

    Best of luck to you, I hope you can work it out.
    OEM+ work in progress allroad
    Unicorn Society member #8
    @fourings | Build

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Four Rings rollerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 16 2010
    AZ Member #
    64156
    My Garage
    S6 Avant X TWO! and 67' Speed buggy
    Location
    Central Wash
    Items for Sale

    Use the inside handle, pull it FIRMLY to open the door and ram your shoulder into the door hard, it'll open and you'll fall out on the ground. That's about your only hope without ruining parts. If it's possible to open the door that will do it, if it doesn't work you're probably going to have to hack up the door panel.
    Sometimes if you slide the seat all the way back you can get some sort of gentle pry bar type thing into the door jamb near the latch and carefully wiggle around while holding the inner door handle to release, to try and convince it to let go..don't bend anything though.
    foley803 : What does an electrical surge sound like? Barking dogs? Watermelons?

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Three Rings G0to60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 25 2011
    AZ Member #
    83022
    My Garage
    90 Corrado, 02 allroad
    Location
    Milwaukie, OR

    Quote Originally Posted by rollerton View Post
    Use the inside handle, pull it FIRMLY to open the door and ram your shoulder into the door hard, it'll open and you'll fall out on the ground. That's about your only hope without ruining parts. If it's possible to open the door that will do it, if it doesn't work you're probably going to have to hack up the door panel.
    Sometimes if you slide the seat all the way back you can get some sort of gentle pry bar type thing into the door jamb near the latch and carefully wiggle around while holding the inner door handle to release, to try and convince it to let go..don't bend anything though.
    This may work. I've noticed that when I use the inner door handle the lock pin will move so possibly I could pull it and slam into the door. I should have my wife video it for the comedy factor. Either I fall on my face out the door or I look like a two year old having a tantrum in the car.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Three Rings G0to60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 25 2011
    AZ Member #
    83022
    My Garage
    90 Corrado, 02 allroad
    Location
    Milwaukie, OR

    Smallish update. I tried pulling the inner handle and ramming the door but it just wouldn't budge. Not even a little. With that I pulled the door card off the passenger side door to see what kind of obstacles I had to reach the latch mech. I came to the conclusion that maybe the inner latch pull wasn't long enough to fully unlock the door. I tried pulling up on the lock rod with pliers to make sure it was fully up but all that accomplished was me pulling the entire lock rod out. Oh well, they don't do much anyway and I'm still in the same predicament.

    I also tried prying up the door card with the window down to see how far the door card would flex. It goes a far amount but not quite enough to get your hand or anything worth while in there. I did briefly try to get a wire coat hanger down in there but after looking at the passenger side there isn't anything, other than the lock rod connection, for it to grab on to.

    So now I'm out of ideas about how to get this door open short of cutting a hole in either the door card or the actual door (I had a moment of weakness where I almost got the dremel out). My next play will be to actually go to a shop to see if they have any non-destructive ideas.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Jun 10 2013
    AZ Member #
    116885
    Location
    United States

    The door cars are not that bad used from ebay. I would dremel it and move on.

  9. #9
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Nov 24 2015
    AZ Member #
    364899
    Location
    Milford, CT

    Here's a quick video I found of what you're dealing with inside the door. I don't see any way to do this through the window slot.

    https://youtu.be/G5Aa7IZCJRU

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