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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I've had my '78 now for 9 days, and the first big problem just arose. I went to the gym today at lunch, locked both doors, but only the passenger side opens now. The driver's side key feels like it unlocks it, but it won't open. Can't open from the inside either by manually pulling the handle. Door lock button on the inside is fully extended out to the unlock position.

I'm 6'-2".............climbing over the shifter sucks! Help!!!
Thank you
 

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Sounds like your problem lies inside the door. Take the driver's side door panel off. Make sure none of the linkage to the lock and the latch are binding or bent. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
how do I do that if the door won't open? Do I need to remove the drivers seat to get at the door panel? Is the door panel tricky to remove? I'm a newbie at this. Thanks for getting back so quickly Hotrod!
 

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Ah, I had the same problem with my 74', cept it was the passengers side. Took out the door panel and realized it was my door lock latch that was stuck shut. I got a flat head screwdriver and then pried off the door lock latch. I unscrewed it and examined it, turns out it was old and a bit rusted, I sprayed Wd-40 and put some grease on it but it was beyond my repair. It just won't move, I ended up buying a whole new door lock latch from Eckler's, installed it and everything went great. You may just get off the hook with some grease, to get to the door panel, start loosening up screws on the door panel and completely expose the inner components, locate the door lock and examine it, then work around with a flat head screwdriver from the passenger side or if you can from your driver's side, leave taking out the seat as a last last resort, you shouldn't have to. Check this out so you get a better idea:
http://www.ecklers.com/product.asp?pf_id=45517&dept_id=1445
 

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I can sympathize with you, man. So far, not much help, because you need to get that door open, first. Then you can remove the door panel and repair the inards, but first let's open the door. If you lower the window, you should be able to look down through the window slot and using a flashlight, see if your door lock is attached to the lock linkage. If that's the problem, try a heavy piece of wire to retrieve the loose end of the linkage to unlock and open the door. Then when you get the door open, you can remove the door panel and do the inner repairs that you need so it doesn't happen, again. Good luck and let us know how things go for you. Also, If you're not sure what to look for and how the linkage works, you could remove the other door panel to see what you have to do to get the door to open. Just look at the whole thing as a learning experience! :woowoo:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
duane4238,

thanks, that's exactly where I'm at at this point. I've pulled the passenger side door panel to see what needs to be done. What a mess in there! Years of crap built up on those parts.....I was able to loosen the driver's side door panel so that I'm able to look down in there, but it won't come off. I don't believe pulling the driver's seat will make any difference in getting that panel off, so for now I'm leaving the seat alone. I removed the screws from the manual side view mirror and the inside door handle. Pulled the screws from the armrest also. One last screw on the top all the way at the back of door, but it get buried under b-pillar interior trim pc.......could barely get at that screw, but finally got it off. Now the door panel is loose, but it's not going anywhere.....I'll post again if I get any further. Thanks to everyone who's helped thus far.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's a miracle, but I pushed on something with a screw driver (after many tries in different areas) and it popped the door open. There is definitely a spring broken in the latch that locks on the pin that's attached to the frame......sorry, but I don't know the proper terminology for these parts. I doubt this can be fixed, although I'm not sure. probably going to purchase a new driver's side door lock. Now, what's the tricks to installing that?
 

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It's a miracle, but I pushed on something with a screw driver (after many tries in different areas) and it popped the door open. There is definitely a spring broken in the latch that locks on the pin that's attached to the frame......sorry, but I don't know the proper terminology for these parts. I doubt this can be fixed, although I'm not sure. probably going to purchase a new driver's side door lock. Now, what's the tricks to installing that?

I believe the door locking mechanism is held in with 3 large head 1/4" NC phillips head screws. Put the window all the way up and the lock should come out without much difficulty.
 

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Let's hope your hand will fit in the hole to mount the new door lock :D, it's easy, with one hand hold the door latch in place, inside the door frame. With the other hand get the screw driver and screws and work your way from there, the screws will mount from the outside(which makes things a bit easier) Another easy installing process. The door latch may fall out of place, but just work with it and you'll get it eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Let's hope your hand will fit in the hole to mount the new door lock :D, it's easy, with one hand hold the door latch in place, inside the door frame. With the other hand get the screw driver and screws and work your way from there, the screws will mount from the outside(which makes things a bit easier) Another easy installing process. The door latch may fall out of place, but just work with it and you'll get it eventually.
Thanks for the info. What concerns me the most is the hooking up the linkage from the key lock, the inside door handle and the inside door lock button. Looks like lots of little parts, and not much room to work in there.

I've purchased the new inner lock mechanism.......so just waiting to get it.
 

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Thanks for the info. What concerns me the most is the hooking up the linkage from the key lock, the inside door handle and the inside door lock button. Looks like lots of little parts, and not much room to work in there.

I've purchased the new inner lock mechanism.......so just waiting to get it.
I have a 76 and had to replace the door latch assembly (the 3 bolt one) some of the linkage and the door lock cylinder. So I'll offer any advise I can since it is a tight fit area.

The main thing though that I didn't see in the previous replys, is your car manual locks or electric?
 

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PalmBeachVette76,

Many, many thanks! These locks are manual locks.
Ok, well keep us posted when you get the new parts. The door latch assembly isn't that bad to replace. You'll have to remove the metal panel in the lower section of the door under the interior door latch lever. With this panel off you can put the new door latch assembly in and wiggle it up and around the window frame into position and start the 3 bolts and hook up the door release rod.

I didn't think to take any pictures during my replacement but then again it wasn't something I really wanted to remember lol. The door lock assembly is a real pain, I hope you don't have to do that one. I had to change the exterior door handle too since it had the droopy spring syndrome.

Granted everything I've mentioned is based on a 76 door, I'm not certain what changes if any they made to your car, but with as many of us here someone will be able to help you out with anything you need.

As they say on the big Island of Hawaii "ain't no big ting brudda" :thumbsup:
 

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Door Latch Problem

I just had the same problem but luckily I was redoing the interior and already had the door panel off. There is a great picture showing a tab or arm just below the lock rod receptor on the door latch that when pressed downwards on with a slot screwdriver actually pops the door open. Now all I need to do is figure out how to get the latch out...
 
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