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Old 02-26-2005, 10:39 PM
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Door closed and locked: I can't get the door open

When I purchased my car (71 Cadillac Eldorado) the door was in a locked state. The car has power door locks. I tried the power door lock and it doesn't work. I tried the key, which is a proper key, and the key would turn slightly but not unlock the door. I tried pulling up on the knob. I managed to peel the inner door panel back and stick some fingers in there to see if anything was hung up. I did lower the glass enough to gain sight of the door lock solenoid, thinking the solenoid was stuck. I worked a clothes hanger down there and hook the solenoid. I pulled up with all my might to no avail. I worked a screw driver in from the top of the door (where the window glass comes up) and poked around and tried to "help" the rods move the way they seemed to want to go. Nothing has worked.

Here are some ideas I had:
(1) Find a replacement door and have this door mangled (cut off?) to get it off the car
(2) Alter the inner metal door panel enough to stick my hand or tools in there to see what the problem is. Visibility is very limited as to what is hung or not working.

Help! I can't get the door open. Suggestions?

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Old 02-26-2005, 10:51 PM
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I had that happen to me on a camaro once. I swapped doors at a wrecking yard and drove home to find the passenger door wouldn't open. I didn't think much about alligning the door striker. I can't remember for sure how we opened it but we tried removing the rear interior panel to get access to the striker and loosen it and I think we may have pried up on the door from the inside while triyng to open it. Mine was definately stuck because of miallignment, yours sounds like the latch won't unlock. If al else fails you might be able to remove the front fender to get at the hinges although one of the fender bolts may be under the door. try disconnecting the rods from the solenoid to the latch and pulling on them. Or get a locksmith with some jimmie bars to unlock it, If you stop by the shop they may get it quick and won't charge much.

Probably more confusion than help, sorry.
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Old 02-26-2005, 10:57 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

I called a locksmith before I even started and they weren't too optimistic or eager to look at it. Seems they are more interested in home door locks, etc, plus they didn't seem to indicate they had a clue when speaking to them by telephone.

I tried several implements to jimmy the solenoid to no avail. I thought about purchasing a "slim jim" but I was applying plenty of force upwards using what I had and the solenoid wasn't budging and the rods weren't moving.

One thing I could not determine is if the latch was stuck or the solenoid was stuck. If the solenoid is stuck, I could somehow sever the rod leading to the solenoid and everything would just start working. If I sever that rod, and the solenoid is the problem, then I won't have a rod, or access to it, to use the rod to pull upwards to unlock the solenoid.
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Old 02-26-2005, 11:03 PM
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I'm pretty sure the solenoid rod and the key lock rod work independently so that one or the other will actuate the latch but they are 'independent. The rods atacch to levers through plastic grommets so if you just pry them they should pop off easy enough. spray the snot out of it with wd-40 as well, might help. If you can manage to get the door panel off you should have lots of room. If you are looking for a slim jim talk to tow truck drivers. They usually have a set and know all the tricks.
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Old 02-27-2005, 07:38 AM
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Thanks for the tip abut the tow operators. Didn't think of that!

I'll post what I find!
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Old 02-27-2005, 05:00 PM
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Locks are for honest people. I think a key to get it open looks like a brick. good Luck!! Keith
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:20 PM
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one of my friends locked his car for the winter and when he went to unlock in the spring to start working on it again the lock wouldn't open we just sprayed it with, I think it was called pb blaster or something like that and about an hour late it worked perfect.
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Old 03-04-2005, 06:38 PM
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does the other door open?
if so check the battery for full charge.
I seen guys ***** and moan that the door wont unlock and low and behold the battery was almost dead.
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Old 03-04-2005, 07:26 PM
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Put the window down and spray the crap out of everything in there with WD-40, or a similar oil. It's probably just rusted up from sitting.

If something has come loose in there, remove the seat and door panel. You may damage the door panel, but that beats wrecking the door.
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Old 03-09-2005, 01:33 AM
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Smash the window out and crawl through

Last edited by montea; 03-09-2005 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 03-11-2005, 08:51 PM
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Smash the window out? I'm leanin' towards cutting the door off.
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlipperFish
Smash the window out? I'm leanin' towards cutting the door off.
ya smash the window out and jump in dukes of hazard style!
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:33 PM
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I finally got the damn thing open. I did remove the driver's side panel to look at the innards. However, the inner panel openings are different on each of the sides, so I didn't have an exact comparison.

On the stuck door, I made a 3 inch cut on the inner panel and bent the metal back so I could get a full hand in there. The metal is quite thin and bended easily. There are many open circles, squares, odd shaped openings, but none were big enough and positioned properly to accomodate my hand. So, I found one that looked good and made the opening a little bigger.

Since the outer door panels were still attached, since I couldn't open the door to remove them, I had to hold those back enough not to break them but enough to allow me to get in there and work. I was able to pry them back 6~8 inches. Surprisingly, they didn't break through all of this.

The incision I made left enough room to get a mini saw in there inside the door panel and hack the rod, going up and down, leading to the power door lock actuator. Basically, I severed the rod to eliminate the actuator from holding on and not allowing the door to open.

After eliminating the actuator as being stuck, and a dangling cut in half rod, I reached my hand up there and felt around form the proper pieces that needed to move. I jiggled and tugged for about 20 minutes, then I heard the *clunk* and new the latch opened. I used the handle of the door and it opened.

Thanks again for the tips!
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