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Discussion Starter #1
The rear door won’t open. The safety trigger seems to function normally. I’m not certain how you remove the door panel to check the linkage and/or cables.

Any insight into the issue/cure would be helpful!
 

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Here's the steps from the service manual

Remove the window moulding as follows:
Remove the screws to the rear window latch.
Position the latch out of the way.
NOTE: The weatherstrip must be removed. It is fastened on top by a pushpin.
Pry the moulding to remove.
Remove the door panel as follows:
Remove the screws and the scrivets.
CAUTION: Do not pull directly outward on rear door trim panel, as damage will occur.
Pull straight up to remove the rear door trim panel.
CAUTION: Insert the lower panel tabs first or they can break when installing the rear door trim panel.
To install, reverse the removal procedure


Not sure how you can do all that without getting the door open however. Let us know how it works out.
 

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I've dealt with this a few times. Mine's a 99, and once you remove the phillips screws that hold the window hinge you can pop the upper portion of the panel off by pulling it towards you. Then you'll see the two 7mm bolts and plastic rivets - if the rivets haven't disintegrated by now, push the center pin in to loosen and pull the rivet off. Then the lower panel will lift straight up and come off. Then you can get access to the cables, and they're usually loose where they meet the latches. I've done this with the rear door closed without any real issues.

Sometimes you can simply pull the torx bolts at the handle on the edge of the door and get to the end of the cables. A pair of pliers will grab the ball on the end of the cable and might give you enough pull to pop the latch open.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Andrew, would it be possible for you to post photos of what/where you’re describing?

KL thank you as well. Sorry for the delay in response but I was away at the NFR and then was sick for the past couple of weeks then Christmas happened to come along, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I took a glance at the door handle on my truck and it appears my handles look like they may be riveted on. I didn’t have my reading glasses on but it sure seemed to have a rivet stem in the middle.
 

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I'll see if I can get some pics of the repairs, but here's the barrel adjusting nut I'm talking about.
IMG_2859.jpg
 

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Here's some pics of the repair. They're not from a SD, this was on a Dakota, but it all works the same.

The end of the cables are shrouded in plastic that breaks down over time and lets go of the housing. You might have to modify the threaded end of the nut, like I did here. Sometimes the threads are too long, and will interfere with the lever, and sometimes they're too wide to fit in the latch. I've also filed the latch hole a little wider to get a steel nut to fit, but the aluminum nuts are a lot more forgiving. Once they're in place the tension from the cable holds everything.

Damaged Cable End.jpg
Modified nut.jpg
Repaired cable end.jpg
 
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