How to fix the drivers side door that will not open from inside?

Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 PLYMOUTH ACCLAIM
  • 2.5L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 132,000 MILES
Hi, suddenly my drivers side door opens only from the outside, I have to roll down the window and reach out to the outside handle to open it.

What can I do to fix this problem? Thank you, Tom
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Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 AT 7:51 AM

23 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
This is due to the rod inside the door is not connected to the handle or the handle has broken. Either way we need to remove it and replace it or put the release rod back on.

We need to remove the door panel on the inside so here is a guide that will help with this:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/door-panel-removal

Below you will find the process from the manual that will help with replacing the handle.

Please let us know if you have other questions and what you find. Thanks
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Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 AT 3:42 PM
Tiny
TOMSCP
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Kasekenny1, The up and dock inside door lock is flat, how does that come off? Thanks, Tom
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Thursday, June 10th, 2021 AT 7:14 AM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
Never mind I do believe that the panel will lift up over this flat lock. If wrong please let me know. Thanks
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Thursday, June 10th, 2021 AT 7:56 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
I am sorry. I should have included this process from the manual.

Take a look at this info below for more detail. Let us know if you still need more and we can try something else. Thanks
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Thursday, June 10th, 2021 AT 7:20 PM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
Kasekenny1. Please magnify and look at this image of my car door. I am confused! After I remove all and any screws, the door handle and window crank, where do I start popping off the panel. Do I start between the light grey (where the light grey and the dark black plastic strip, in between them or does the dark one inch black plastic strip pop off? I hope I am explaining it to you correctly where you understand. Let me know, okay. Thanks, Tom
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Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 AT 1:45 PM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
Incase you did not get the picture the first time here it is. Thanks, Tom
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Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 AT 2:55 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Great question. Take a look at this guide as it will help with this:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/door-panel-removal

Also, take a look at the picture below. If you have the door handle, trim, window crank, and screws out then there are clips holding it in.

You need to start by using a flat head screwdriver and gently pry the lower center of the panel so that you can get your fingers under it. Then give quick aggressive pulls straight out and the clips will start popping out. Then work your way all the way around the door but not the top where the window is. Once you have the bottom and both sides out then that will lift straight up.

Please let us know if you have issues still but that guide will help so give it a look. Thanks
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Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 AT 7:10 PM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
Kasekenny1,

Does this larger screw have to removed? Please see the Philips screw on the top after magnifying it. Also have trouble sliding the pin out from the door handle to take it off? Thanks
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Thursday, June 17th, 2021 AT 9:00 AM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
Okay, I finally got the panel to break loose from the bottom, the only thing holding me back is that window crank handle. I know it has a sorta horseshoe clip in a groove in it, but for the life of me I cannot get behind that handle to lift up the clip inside the handle. I tried a pick and a rag, but could not get under it to lift it up. Any suggestions? Also, I noticed the window crank handle has a small thin cover over it, when I took it off there was a small bolt there. Could this be in place of a slip inside the handle? Look at the first picture I sent you and look at the handle, that round black figure pulls off the handle to expose the small bolt.

Thanks, Tom
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Friday, June 18th, 2021 AT 9:22 AM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
Kasekenny1, for future info, my 1991 Plymouth Acclaim does not have a horseshoe type clip on the window crank handle, you take of the little black cover on the handle and there is a 5/16 th bolt on it, that removes the handle.
Also, I am able to grab the cable for the inside door handle, it was laying on the bottom of the door still connected to the inside handle but I don't know if it just slide off the other end or it broke off its mechanism, it's hard to see up inside the hole. I cannot see where that second panel comes off it look permanent I was thinking about making the holes larger around the doors mechanism then I can reach in and either hook up the end of the cable that came off or find out what broke and see if I can buy another one. Any suggestions as to what to buy if have too? Better yet, is there a video for my car on how to change the cable for the inside door handle? Thanks
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Saturday, June 19th, 2021 AT 7:06 AM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
Can you find a drawing of the workings of the door mechanism especially where the cable is hooked into, the cable that came off looks in very good shape? Thanks
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Saturday, June 19th, 2021 AT 10:08 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Sorry for the delay. I saw you had multiple posts but when you update it, the post goes back to the bottom of my que and I forgot to check this last night.

Unfortunately we don't have a video on this nor does the manual have extremely detailed info on this cable. I even did a YouTube search and could not find one that had any quality info.

However, I did find the attached document that may give you enough of what you need.

Take a look at this and let us know how it works out.
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Saturday, June 19th, 2021 AT 3:32 PM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
Okay, even though my car does not have power windows, if you magnify and look real close, in the center there is a cable (thick looking) going from the inside door handle, it has a L shape at the end of it, that is the hook. I need to find out exactly where it connects. It look like it just fell off somewhere and is laying at the bottom of the door. It is very stiff and I can lift it up but cannot see where it connects to.
Remember it's the thicker looking cable that is still in the inside door handle and goes down to the middle of the picture for the connection, but to what? Please let me know your thoughts and thank you.
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Saturday, June 19th, 2021 AT 4:37 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Take a look at this. If I am understanding correctly you are looking for where this rod goes. If so, it is going to connect to the latch and there should be a plastic clip that attaches to the rod after the L end of it slips into the opening in the latch lever.

If you still can figure it out, can you get some pictures and I will see if we can draw on the pictures to get a little more detail?
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Saturday, June 19th, 2021 AT 7:25 PM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
I hope these images help, the first one on the left is the bottom of the doors second panel, which it seems cannot be removed, there is no seam around it to detach. Anyway if you look close you will see the hole at the bottom of door and in that hole is the mechanism that operates the manual windows up and down. That is easy to grease if necessary.
The second photo if you scroll it down just a little bit you will see two holes and I believe the cable for the door handle dropped end has to to back up there somewhere but I cannot see in the holes and put the cable up to hook it on at the same time. Unless it does not go up that far. By your picture the connection looks lower. If that second panel could come off I would have not problem seeing all and connecting it. But for the life of me I do not see how that second panel can come off? Please let me know your thoughts and thank you.
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Sunday, June 20th, 2021 AT 8:32 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Maybe I am confused, the second panel you are talking about is the red panel that is blocking your view of the mechanism inside the door? If that is the case then you are correct. This is the inner door panel and does not remove. This provides the structure for the door and can only be cut out.

Unfortunately what you are dealing with is one of the worst things a mechanic has to do, working inside a door panel. There is no room and they always seem to put the access holes in the worst place to make it more difficult.

The L end of that rod has to hook to the latch. Can you see your latch? That rod has to hook to the lever on the latch that releases the door.

I know it is not the best illustration but if you can get a couple pictures of the latch then I can hopefully show you the portion of it that this has to hook to.
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Sunday, June 20th, 2021 AT 7:11 PM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
KaseKenny1, That red secondary panel is permanent, you are not confused. Thank God you are understanding my predicament exactly! I will try to put a mirror inside and if I can get the phone camera to take a shot I will, but it is a very tight squeeze.
If worse comes to worse I will see if I can cut the hole or holes larger so I can get out the hook on mechanism. Will get back to you, meanwhile any suggestions let me know, I really appreciate you help and patience with me!
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Monday, June 21st, 2021 AT 4:49 AM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
Kasekenny1, before I do anything further please look at this picture the cable with the L on it seems to want to go into the bottom hole of the door lock latch. Do you think that that is all I have to do. It's really hard to get it into that bottom hole, but if is sounds right, I will try it with maybe a pair of pliers. Let me know if this sounds right. Don't forget the top hole has the cable for the door lock to go up and down, the bottom hole must be for something, hopefully it is where the inside door cable goes. Let me know what you think? Don't forget look really close to see the empty bottom hole, the L on the cable is really close to it. Thanks
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Monday, June 21st, 2021 AT 8:34 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
That is exactly correct. This is going to be hard to get this in as the latch normally has to be taken loose so that you can turn it and allow the rod to slide in. Then when all the rods are connected, you reattach the latch to the door.

You are getting there. This is not easy so don't feel bad. I still have a scar on my hand from a Ford Focus that did not want to give up a door latch. I eventually won.
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Monday, June 21st, 2021 AT 8:13 PM
Tiny
TOMSCP
  • MEMBER
Kasekenny1, we did it. The only thing is I was eyeballing the bottom hole and the hole it actually went into was just above the door lock latch but on the same channel. I was able to pull it down to see it, but I had very hard time as you said putting it back on, the only problem now is it will not stay in the hole. If you look at my picture you will see the three holes, the one at the top has the cable that I put back in but look see I used a plastic tie to hold it in place temporarily, until I figure out what to use to keep it in the hold. I don't want to put the panel back on only to take if off again to redo it all over again. Any ideas on what to use to keep that cable in the hole? Look close at the picture and you will see the plastic tie holding it in. Thank you very much.
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Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021 AT 8:47 AM

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