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Old 02-03-2020, 10:52 PM   #1
Max57
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Question Can't open rear door

Well, today I found that I can't open the right rear door on my 57 sedan. It's locked and it won't let me pull up the button/stalk to unlock the door.



I tried pulling on it while trying to work the outside handle and the inside as well. I did spray some WD-40 towards the rear of the door with the window down hoping that it'll free up what ever is stuck. I rarely open the rear doors. I guess that I should exercise those doors as part of my check list from now on.


Any ideas how to free it?
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:11 AM   #2
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I would remove the inside door panel to access the lock/latch mechanism. Then you can identify the problem. Good luck.


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Old 02-04-2020, 12:35 AM   #3
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One thing to check for is something I call "over latching".
If you look at the door from the outside, does it look like it is in a little too far. By that I mean, look at the rear edge of the door, is it flush with the "C" piller. Easy to see from the door handle down to the "dog leg".
If it is in too far then get in the car and push out on the door. It wont open but it should pop back to flush . This might take a sharp blow. If it pops back to flush it should open easy with the handle.
There are rubber bump stops on the B pillar and C piller on 4 door cars(and wagons ) that are designed to cushion the blow when a door is closed. They also help limit the travel of the door. If they are missing it will let the door travel too far in, and the star wheel in the latch will catch one extra tooth. This will put high pressure on the latch and not allow it to release.
This can happen to the front or rear doors.
These bump stops are missing on my wagon and if I close a door too hard this happens.

Just a thought.

If the door is flush then this is not the problem.
Might have to take the rear seat out to get the door card off to have access to the latch mechanism.
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Old 02-04-2020, 05:01 AM   #4
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When you pull the door knob up/down can you feel if its working.
Try pushing the door knob as far in as you can whilst pulling on the door handle its self.
If all else fails you`ll need to access the door inspection plates, to do that the inside door card will need to be removed, the bottom rear seat will need to come up to get the door card off.
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angs1957 View Post
When you pull the door knob up/down can you feel if its working.
Try pushing the door knob as far in as you can whilst pulling on the door handle its self.
If all else fails you`ll need to access the door inspection plates, to do that the inside door card will need to be removed, the bottom rear seat will need to come up to get the door card off.

When pulling up on the knob, you can feel that it's 'NOT', actuating or even trying to release the locking feature. And I've tried all kinds of combinations when pulling the knob up. (trying the outside handle and the inside lever.

Yeah,,, I think my only option at this point is to get inside that door,,,.
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:59 AM   #6
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Hey Guys,,, guess what??

In my original post, I mentioned with the rear window down, I squirted a generous amount of WD-40 inside the window channel towards the rear area of the door. I just went into the garage and,, Wa-La,, the door unlocked and opened. I guess the WD-40 did it's magic over-night. I moved the knob up and down numerous times and she's now free. The door works again.

I'm going to do this on the other doors as well as a preventative measure and make sure I operate all doors as part of my pre-ride check from now on.

Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeTheUSA View Post
One thing to check for is something I call "over latching".
If you look at the door from the outside, does it look like it is in a little too far. By that I mean, look at the rear edge of the door, is it flush with the "C" piller. Easy to see from the door handle down to the "dog leg".
If it is in too far then get in the car and push out on the door. It wont open but it should pop back to flush . This might take a sharp blow. If it pops back to flush it should open easy with the handle.

Just a thought.

If the door is flush then this is not the problem.
Might have to take the rear seat out to get the door card off to have access to the latch mechanism.

The door is flush.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max57 View Post
The door is flush.

Well, dont forget that a slim jim might work to unlock the door. If the latch is still working that should let the door open.

Also, the rear latch mechanism has a "child lock" feature.
There is a lever that can be moved that will disable the inside door handle with the lock in the locked position.
With the child lock in the other position the inside door handle will unlock the door and release the latch in one motion.

You might have a situation where the child lock is on and the lock pull knob is not unlocking the lock when pulled up. This would defeat the inside handle and outside handle at the same time.

Hopefully the slim jim will work. If not then you might take off the garnish molding and carefully pry back the top of the door card enough to get a hand on one of the rods to get the latch open. Failing that, the back seat will have to come out to get the whole door card off.

Good luck and keep us posted.
You are not the only one who has faced this delimma.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:41 AM   #9
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Oops, just saw your follow up post.
Glad you got it open without taking out the back seat.
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