1997 Ford Explorer - door wont open...

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  #1  
Old 05-26-15, 09:30 AM
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1997 Ford Explorer - door wont open...

Just got our most recent purchase home and tried to open the left rear door without success. Pressed the unlock button and could hear the actuator pulling, and watched the knob move up and down, still no open. Got the inner panel off and disconnected the lock rods, still no open. Hosed the latch down with WD40 and worked both the open and lock arms, and still no open. Seems like the latch is jammed in the locked position. Any ideas on how to get the door OPEN so I can repair or replace the latch and handles? I tried backing out the striker bolt, thinking that would free it up enough to let it open, but no luck. This is a nice little wagon, and I would rather not have to use flame or explosives to get the door open! Thanks in advance - Chris
 
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Old 05-26-15, 11:38 AM
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I would first observe a working latch to see how it locks and unlocks. Then check the bad door interior with a light and maybe a mirror. Look for a disconnected or broken connection. You may need to do some "fishing" with a piece of coat hanger or long nose pliers to pop it open.
 
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Old 05-26-15, 01:04 PM
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Thanks, goldstar. Pretty sure it's not a connection issue - got the inside handle rod, outside handle rod and inside lock rod off and the lock actuator out of its bracket, and can't move the lock/unlock arm or either open arm even with a tool and leverage. I'm scared that I'm going to wind up having to take the latch apart piece by piece from inside a shut door. Bet a Ford dealership tech could have the door open in about ten minutes and $500. Hope the problem didn't show up until after the warranty had expired, so Ford got to keep ALL the money they worked so hard for... Chris
 
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Old 05-26-15, 06:17 PM
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Do a Google and you will find that this is a common problem with that vehicle.
Rather than copy and paste someone else's solution, Google and follow the instructions. Apparently there is a small spring in the latch which is the weak point.
 
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