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My 94 Driver Side Door Won't Open!


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The door won't open at all. I don't know if it is the lock or the handle. Any way to open the door or to remove the door panel while the door is shut. What about removing the door panel trim that surrounds the window switch and door handle? Please help it's a daily driver.

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You have a problem on your hands. There is no way to open the door without removing the interior door panel.

Years ago my wife locked her keys inside her 97 ES while on a business trip. Two different towing companies tried to open the door with a door jimmy without any success. It took a call to our hometown dealership to give the key codes to her car to another dealership 20 miles from where she was locked out. They cut a new key and delivered them to where she was stranded. So forget trying to break into the door itself from the outside.

Your best bet is to remove the inner door panel. It'll be a bit## trying to remove it from the driver's seat with the door closed, but you'll have no choice. Once the panel is off and you remove the weather shield, you'll be able to get at the innerds to find out the issue.

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Okay, I got my door open believe it or not. I actually don't believe it myself at this point. I am posting my reply on this thread instead of my own in the hopes that someone else with this problem can fix theirs as well. I will post pictures when my actuator comes in and I install it.

First, I took off the part of the door panel that goes around the inside door handle. Mine is the taupe interior and the part I removed is the lighter color part. It attaches with metal tabs to your door panel.

I then cut a hole in the panel underneath to access the lock and handle rods.

I then used a reciprocating saw to cut the piece of metal in between the two access holes to better access the door lock actuator.

I then used trial and error to find the latch that opens the door. Door opened and I screamed my victory cry. (It took three hours to get this far!)

From there I took the whole door panel off, and was able to see the broken spring that caused all of my woes.

I still need to install the new actuator and when I do so I will take pictures of my work and explain where the latch is to open the door!

Can anyone help with actuator installation tips or tricks?

I hope I helped someone with this. The only tip I can give is that the latch moves DOWN to open the door, so don't waste your time trying to pull anything up!

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  • 4 months later...

Okay, I got my door open believe it or not. I actually don't believe it myself at this point. I am posting my reply on this thread instead of my own in the hopes that someone else with this problem can fix theirs as well. I will post pictures when my actuator comes in and I install it.

First, I took off the part of the door panel that goes around the inside door handle. Mine is the taupe interior and the part I removed is the lighter color part. It attaches with metal tabs to your door panel.

I then cut a hole in the panel underneath to access the lock and handle rods.

I then used a reciprocating saw to cut the piece of metal in between the two access holes to better access the door lock actuator.

I then used trial and error to find the latch that opens the door. Door opened and I screamed my victory cry. (It took three hours to get this far!)

From there I took the whole door panel off, and was able to see the broken spring that caused all of my woes.

I still need to install the new actuator and when I do so I will take pictures of my work and explain where the latch is to open the door!

Can anyone help with actuator installation tips or tricks?

I hope I helped someone with this. The only tip I can give is that the latch moves DOWN to open the door, so don't waste your time trying to pull anything up!

With the knowledge you now have, do you think you could have opened the door with any particular lock-pick tool frfom the outside? If so, can you describe how you might accomplish this feat?

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