Is there a way to reset the drivers side door latch without taking the whole assembly out? The (I'll call them clam shells) on the door latch have gotten stuck in the closed position and the door can not be closed. Lifting up on the door handle or pushing on the outside door button make no difference. What do I need to do please?
It is fairly easy to remove the door latch once the inner panel is removed. 3 screws and unhook the rods. No need to remove the window or anything else. Of course small hands would help, but I have large ones and was able to do it. There are 3 springs on the latch. 2 are easy to see and replace, the third is not. It is a small flat wound spring that keeps the lock rod from dropping by its own weight. Every time we closed the drivers door it would automatically lock because the spring had rusted away. We had to replace the latch, which is not expensive, since this spring is not available alone.
If you pull up on the lock rod, you should be able to force the latch jaws open, without removal of the latch.
Thank you both fastbackford351 and Bop11. Both are good suggestions. I tried prying the "clam shells" with a screwdriver and had no luck. I also tried pulling up on the inside door handle as well as the outside door button and used the key as well. None of these efforts got the door latch to open. I think what I need to do next is check out all of the components inside the door the connect to the door latch. Any suggestions on how best to do that are appreciated. Again thank you Bop11 for your description of the springs on the door latch. Is there a place to find a schematic or some step by step directions about how to take apart and reassemble all of the components involved with this door latch?
Just noticed , you said you "tried prying the clam shells with no luck". When you were doing this, did you have the inner door handle lifted or the outer button pushed? Prying won't work with out doing either of those, as the whole thing about the latch is to keep the door closed unless a handle is activated.
Did you get the latch out?