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Can't Open Door


goformike
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I can't open the front driver's door on my '93 LS 400. I can hear the solenoid firing when unlocking. The lock lever does not have full travel when powered - it moves about half way. It feels disconnected when moved by hand. The interior and exterior dood handles have full travel and I can see the rods move. I believe the problem to be in the latch mechanism itself. I can't remove the inner door panel to access anything because I can't open the door. Help!

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I opened my door yesterday so I am posting the fix. With the window down, I pryed the inner door panel up and off of the door. I could see the rods moving when inside or outside handles were moved. The latch mechanism has a plastic shroud around it. After unsucessfully trying to move the shroud out of the way, I broke it partway off. I now had access to the trip lever and was able to open the door. With the door open it was easy to remove the inner panel to inspect. I discovered a broken spring and figured out where it went. Apparently without this spring holding a paw in tension, the latch remains in the locked position. Of course I had no replacement spring onhand. I was lucky that the old spring broke at the end so I did the old stretch, curve a new end, and reuse. The plastic shroud reattached enough to stay and not foul the window or the door. End result --- good as new. I am so relieved! I fixed my lexus for $0.00. I have a bad back and climbing over the center console was getting old.

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I opened my door yesterday so I am posting the fix. With the window down, I pryed the inner door panel up and off of the door. I could see the rods moving when inside or outside handles were moved. The latch mechanism has a plastic shroud around it. After unsucessfully trying to move the shroud out of the way, I broke it partway off. I now had access to the trip lever and was able to open the door. With the door open it was easy to remove the inner panel to inspect. I discovered a broken spring and figured out where it went. Apparently without this spring holding a paw in tension, the latch remains in the locked position. Of course I had no replacement spring onhand. I was lucky that the old spring broke at the end so I did the old stretch, curve a new end, and reuse. The plastic shroud reattached enough to stay and not foul the window or the door. End result --- good as new. I am so relieved! I fixed my lexus for $0.00. I have a bad back and climbing over the center console was getting old.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I opened my door yesterday so I am posting the fix. With the window down, I pryed the inner door panel up and off of the door. I could see the rods moving when inside or outside handles were moved. The latch mechanism has a plastic shroud around it. After unsucessfully trying to move the shroud out of the way, I broke it partway off. I now had access to the trip lever and was able to open the door. With the door open it was easy to remove the inner panel to inspect. I discovered a broken spring and figured out where it went. Apparently without this spring holding a paw in tension, the latch remains in the locked position. Of course I had no replacement spring onhand. I was lucky that the old spring broke at the end so I did the old stretch, curve a new end, and reuse. The plastic shroud reattached enough to stay and not foul the window or the door. End result --- good as new. I am so relieved! I fixed my lexus for $0.00. I have a bad back and climbing over the center console was getting old.

I just repaired my 91 with this same exact fix. I got in there the same way but couldn't figure out what to do so I went to this site and searched for the problem. After reading your fix I looked for the broken spring and went from there. Let me just say this repair is not for the faint of heart. Good job goformike.

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  • 4 months later...

I have the same problem with my 92 ls400. The drivers door is jammed on the inside and outside, yet the power lock button moves the lock switch halfway.

Goformike and Kennyr, how did you pry the inner door panel off with just the window down (since there are about four concealed screws when the door is closed)?

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I have the same problem with my 92 ls400.  The drivers door is jammed on the inside and outside, yet the power lock button moves the lock switch halfway. 

  Goformike and Kennyr, how did you pry the inner door panel off with just the window down (since there are about four concealed screws when the door is closed)?

First take out any screws you can get to and pry out the memory seat panel from the back. With the window down, I was able to pry the top of the inner door panel up and away from the lip that it sits on. Until I was successful with this I honestly did not know if this could be done without breaking it. Luckily it has enough play.

I then inserted some wedges to keep the opening as wide as possible while I shined a light down there to inspect. The rest of the fix as described in my 3/23/05 post should be self explanatory. I hope this helps. Give us an update when you are successful or if you need a better description. Good luck.

Mike

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I have the same problem with my 92 ls400.  The drivers door is jammed on the inside and outside, yet the power lock button moves the lock switch halfway. 

   Goformike and Kennyr, how did you pry the inner door panel off with just the window down (since there are about four concealed screws when the door is closed)?

First take out any screws you can get to and pry out the memory seat panel from the back. With the window down, I was able to pry the top of the inner door panel up and away from the lip that it sits on. Until I was successful with this I honestly did not know if this could be done without breaking it. Luckily it has enough play.

I then inserted some wedges to keep the opening as wide as possible while I shined a light down there to inspect. The rest of the fix as described in my 3/23/05 post should be self explanatory. I hope this helps. Give us an update when you are successful or if you need a better description. Good luck.

Mike

Following your advice I was able to pry the top of the inner door panel off of its lip, affording me about 3 inches of space to look into the door. Where exactly is the latch mechanism? Is it located to the far right of the driver's side door handle . . . the box covered with hard, opaque plastic? I'm not exactly sure how to get this off or how to switch the lock mechanism to "unlock." Thanks a lot for your help.

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The plastic box is the lock mechanism. This is directly at the latch point of the door. Look at the other side door for reference. Get a long breaker bar or screwdriver and set it on the plastic box. With a hammer break the plastic cover off the lock and push the pieces out of the way. Then look down there for the little broken spring. Then with a long thinner screwdriver try to flip the mechanism that will alow the latch to open. This was the hard part for me, finding the right piece to trip. It took me quite a while to hit the right spot. After you get the door open you have to bend the spring so you have a new tab on the top of the spring. It wont be available since they only sell the whole lock. Reinstall the spring and your done. This is a tricky repair but if you go to the dealer your gonna pay a couple hundo for the lock and a couple hundo for labor. My guess is 500 give or take. Good luck your gonna need it. Be sure to report back your results.

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  • 2 years later...

Hello all,

I found this thread and it described the exact symptoms I was having with my 93 LS400. After reading these posts I decided to try and fix the door myself. I've had some difficulty and would like any input that would help!

I peeled back the upper trim on the door, exposing the lock mechanism and broke through it. The spring was broken and lying at the bottom of the plastic box. I stuck a long screwdriver down to the bottom of the box to flip the unlock lever, and now I'm stuck. I took the other door panel off to try and figure out where to push in order to release the door, but no luck. I've spent hours trying to figure this out, and I'm at the end of my rope.

Can anyone describe where to push in order to release the door once the box has been cracked? Pulling the interior door handle moves the uppermost lever in the box and you can see where the spring was attached. Is the place to push below/behind this? Is it near the electric motor at the back of the door? Also, were you able to reinstall the spring without taking the entire door panel off?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. I can email pictures if that would help. I can't stand to have made it this far, then have to take it to a shop and pay someone to pop the door!

Thanks for any help.

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Ok you are having the same hard time I had, finding the tab to flip with a long screwdriver. It is in the box you broke open. If the spring is in place the tab does not have to be tripped but since the spring is broken you must find the tab. This will enable the door to open with the handle. It took me about 30 minutes of poking and stroking with the screwdriver till I hit it. I cant remember what it looks like but its there inside the box you broke open. This must be the way the dealer gets the door opened, then they sell you a new inner lock box. When you get the door open you have to remove the box from the door to get in there and repair the spring then reinstall it all. If you drive to a dealer maybe you can find a nice tech to trip it for you so you can proceed yourself. Go in the shop and offer anyone 20 to trip it and open the door. Dont let it latch again on the way home though.

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