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Stuck door

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monarchd's picture
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I'm having a problem with a 1975 240d that I'm breaking down and rebuilding, the door lock is jammed.
I can't take the panel off the door to get a better look at it, because it's held in by the body, and I couldn't loosen it with a hammer and screwdriver through the small crack I could create in the panel. Basically I'm stuck because I can't unlock the door unless it's open, and I can't open the door unless its unlocked.

Any advice would be welcome, the next step for me is "get a bigger hammer"

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redghost's picture
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Blasphemy, but take all the hardware off the door and pry the panel apart as much as you can without tearing the fabric membrane. You have of course popped the upper door cover by the window, which will allow you to pop the big panel off at the top. This should allow access to the lock mechanism enough to open the door. Could be the door latch mechanism is shot.

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2002 S430 - Victor, White Tie & Tails
1974 450SL Frosch, my little froggy prince, after meeting a bunch of toads
1972 220D - Gump - She was green, simple and ran and ran
1995 E300D - Cleo - Killed by a Suzuki Vitara
POS 1987 SDL - Beware Nigerian Scammers

Anonymous
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How long has the car been setting? If it has been a few years, the odds are that the lock mechanism has not failed but the weather stripping has "melted" and glued the door shut. The easy way is to get in the car, put a thick towel over the door panel, hold the door handle in the "open" position, and give a good, firm kick to the door. Kick as close to the rear door edge as possible to prevent damage to the fiber board under the material covering.

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MBman's picture
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Hmm, I had this problem, you actually can separate the panel enough once all the hardware is off and see the guts. YOu may have a lever disconected or simply have anadjustment issue. Also try this true blue method
Get inside the car and brace your foot applying strong pressure to kick open the door, then try snapping the unlock mechanism up briskly while pulling the latch firmly fraction of a second later with your other hand. All you should need is one lucky shot. Could be a locking rod that will not releas, central locking mechanism? Or more likely something sticky at the catch plate. The way the striker arrangement works, with a cone-type piece inside another unit, really permits a door unopened for a while to seize up.Kick or push as close to the striker arrangement as possible.
have fun

Anonymous
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Thanks for the help,

I managed to take off the door panel to see what was going on, the problem definitely seems to be in the locking unit itself.

All the rods are connected to the door, but if I pull the lock up, it simply doesn't pull past a certain point (it feels a little like pulling against a strong spring), while if I pull the door handle (which, if I'm not mistaken, should unlock), it moves and then slides without pulling the rod along.

I also have a hard time pushing with my feet, as I have nothing to brace against.

If you guys have any suggestions on how to fix the lock itself, preferably short of destroying it, but if I have to, it would be greatly appreciated

Anonymous
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Re: Stuck door

This is an old thread. Nevertheless, I need help with this exact problem. Right rear door is closed, neither the inside release or outside handle will release the latch. Have the door panel open at the top after removing the back seats to get at it. With a mag light, I can see that the release lever is doing its thing, but the catch won't release. Anybody have a method for getting the catch undone from the inside? Kicking the door from the inside won't do it as the catch isn't releasing the striker pin.

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Re: Stuck door

when you say the latch is doing its thing do you mean it is connected, but not releasing?
Have you tried spraying WD 40 or similar ? Still try the door kick, sounds crazy, but follow the directions in my post above
Good luck

Anonymous
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Re: Stuck door

That's right, the little spring loaded ratchet release inside the lock assembly is moving downward like it should when the inside and outside door release handles are actuated. But, the catch that rotates and latches the striker pin is not releasing and spinning down to release the striker pin. I opened up the door panel on the opposite door in order to observe the function of the door lock mechanism. The one that is stuck is doing everything correctly, up until the point where the toothed catch is supposed to rotate and release the striker pin. Kicking the door doesn't work.

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Re: Stuck door

You need to remove the panel from the door. Take out the seats, pull the moulding off of the door frame, whatever you need to do to get the panel off. You are probably going to have to get into the mechanism with a small screwdriver or ice pick type device and try to manual move the latch to the unlatch position. No fun for sure. Sounds like you are looking at it the right way if you are comparing the action of the opposite door. Something is binding and stopping the spring action from spining the latch. Just has a pawl mechanism as I recall. I have seen them bind and not release on their own. Usually though, you could just pull the latch and push on the door. Wonder if something got into the mechanism?

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Re: Stuck door

I'll lube it again and give it another shot. Thanks very much for all your help.

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MBman's picture
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Re: Stuck door

they can be frustrating, and sorry the kick method did not work. I will tell you I used a sledge hammer on an old parts car trying to open a frozen door, it was amazing I beat it to a pulp and it still did not let go, finnally with sledge and a pry bar it came open, the latch never deformed. good luck

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Re: Stuck door

Funny that this post is out here as today I had the same problem! Small world...
I have a w123 dont know if it nearly the same as your door, however I pulled the ashtray out and wiggled my hand in there, grabbed the actuater rod, pushed and pulled on the button and the door opened like there was nothing wrong with it! Also I took off the other side to see where things were located. I made a tool to wiggle in it worked pretty well but the problem was the button and vacuum unit that was the problem.
Hope that helps.

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