I had the same problem a few years back (and now the replacement latches are starting to break too!). The best thing, of course, is to replace them before they totally break, but that advice is too late. To get the doors open, I had to take off the cover for the rear AC in order to get access to the screws to be able to take off the upper plastic trim piece. That gave me access to the upper metal piece that the door latching mechanism catches on. Two big screws there, and the top of the door was free. Then I just kicked the doors as hard as I could until the lower metal piece broke. Maybe a real mechanic would know a better way. I couldn't see any way to get the panels off with the doors closed. The good news is that once I replaced the latch, the doors close just fine with only the upper piece. The lower piece adds more strength, but when a van's 20 years old, you're just happy it's still running.
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 AT 11:21 PM