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Discussion Starter #1
My drivers door is stuck closed and trying to remove the panel. Anyone have ideas? I know some clips will break and I'm OK with that, just trying to keep it minimal. Need to replace the door latch mechanism. What do body shops do to open the door when the door latch fails?
 

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They usually stick a slim jim into the door to pull the latch.
If the latch is broken......

Drill 2" hole in panel use drill and door handle bit.
using snips , cut pieces of door panel out and remove.
Pull off Door latch cover
Using Screwdriver, pull latch open.
then -----------
Buy new latch
Buy used Door Panel.
reinstall.

Sorry, but it's not a lot of fun to remove a door panel while the door is closed.
The door panel is held down by 2 screws (inner door handle, inner door latch) and a bunch of stand offs that you pull on to open.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, that's what I was afraid of. Grrrrrr!!!
 

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I don't think you can remove the door latch mechanism from inside the door, or from the panel side of the door. The screws are facing the door jam, and there are no exposed bolt threads to cut from inside the door.

I would say to first try removing the door speaker, see if you can reach the latch to manipulate the lever. Easier if you have a mechanic's video scope to see what you are doing, but just follow the connecting rod and see if the lever can be actuated by your hand.

Good luck.
 

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I don't think you can remove the door latch mechanism from inside the door, or from the panel side of the door. The screws are facing the door jam, and there are no exposed bolt threads to cut from inside the door.

I would say to first try removing the door speaker, see if you can reach the latch to manipulate the lever. Easier if you have a mechanic's video scope to see what you are doing, but just follow the connecting rod and see if the lever can be actuated by your hand.

Good luck.
Hey that might work! Though I just realized that the window track is in the way.

http://www.mdxers.org/forums/18-maintenance/39189-driver-door-lock-actuator.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update:

So while waiting for the door latch assembly to come in, I've been slowly working to get the door open for the past 2 weeks

After weighing out my options of wrecking the door panel or drilling through the "B" pillar from the inside. I decided to drill for the following reasons:

1)Replacement was extremely hard/expensive to find in my area, especially in tan color.

2)Even if I got the panel off, there was no guarantee that I was still able to release the door latch from inside the door.

Here is what I did to open the door while saving the interior panel:

a) removed interior "B" pillar panels/trim on both pass and driver side (area where the seat belt anchors).

b) Applied masking tape on areas I was drilling. Using the passenger side as a template for measurements and started drawing lines with a straight edge. The goal here was to locate were to drill so I can drill out the "U" shaped door latch anchor in the b-pillar.

c) Once that was done, transfer all the dimensions over to the drivers side. I used one of the panel attachment holes for reference.

d) drilled with a 1/4" bit, be sure to angle the drill right to hit the "U" anchor. I repeatedly went be to the pass side to confirm that the proper angle was used to hold the drill. You will need to drill through 3 layers of sheet metal. Once I was through, use a flash light to peek in. I was surprised that I could see the silver anchor. Continued drilling with a longer bit,approx 5" deep(remember you need to drill through both sides of the anchor and rear of the door latch hook) and with a swift kick from the inside; the door flew open.

e) the rest was easy. replaced the door latch and door latch anchor.

f) painted and taped up the holes.

g) I'm one happy camper, Door latch costed $75 off ebay (new opened box OEM part and anchor was free from junk yard.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All the screws were fine, didn't even touch them, just the "U" anchor that screws to the b-pillar.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update:

So while waiting for the door latch assembly to come in, I've been slowly working to get the door open for the past 2 weeks

After weighing out my options of wrecking the door panel or drilling through the "B" pillar from the inside. I decided to drill for the following reasons:

1)Replacement was extremely hard/expensive to find in my area, especially in tan color.

2)Even if I got the panel off, there was no guarantee that I was still able to release the door latch from inside the door.

Here is what I did to open the door while saving the interior panel:

a) removed interior "B" pillar panels/trim on both pass and driver side (area where the seat belt anchors).

b) Applied masking tape on areas I was drilling. Using the passenger side as a template for measurements and started drawing lines with a straight edge. The goal here was to locate were to drill so I can drill out the "U" shaped door latch anchor in the b-pillar.

c) Once that was done, transfer all the dimensions over to the drivers side. I used one of the panel attachment holes for reference.

d) drilled with a 1/4" bit, be sure to angle the drill right to hit the "U" anchor. I repeatedly went be to the pass side to confirm that the proper angle was used to hold the drill. You will need to drill through 3 layers of sheet metal. Once I was through, use a flash light to peek in. I was surprised that I could see the silver anchor. Continued drilling with a longer bit,approx 5" deep(remember you need to drill through both sides of the anchor and rear of the door latch hook) and with a swift kick from the inside; the door flew open.

e) the rest was easy. replaced the door latch and door latch anchor.

f) painted and taped up the holes.

g) I'm one happy camper, Door latch costed $75 off ebay (new opened box OEM part and anchor was free from junk yard.)

EDIT: sorry in my excited state, I forgot to mention a 3/8" drill bit was used after the 1/4".
 
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