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Thread: Stock TJ door won't open

  1. #1
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    Stock TJ door won't open

    Okay, so I went to open my driver side door this morning and NOTHING won't even open from the inside. It feels like the linkage is disco'd in the door because the handles move freely with no resistance at all, I also can't move the inside lock button at all.

    Is this something easily fixed or am I better to just take it to the shop? I can't get the door skin off because I can't open the door at all so at best I would have to remove the handle assembley and see If I can reconnect it.

    Not a huge dilema I guess but climbing in and out the passenger side SUCKS lol.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Cheers
    J
    OF4WD 5435
    2dr - 2010 - Rubicon
    Cake bakers united

  2. #2
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    same thing happened to me last winter (coincidentally I have 97 doors on my 03) Randy took apart the door for me and fixed it all up.
    I'll get him to post exactly what it was, but you CAN get the door skin off while the door is closed.
    2003 Sienna Pearl TJ 3" Black Diamond Lift | 1" BL | 33x12.50" BFG MT's | 15x8 AR 767's | 4:10's | ARB BullBar | Warn 9000i | Warn Rear RockCrawler Bumper | BestTop Tire Carrier | AEV RockRails | Custom Cargo Box

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  3. #3
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    On a 97 TJ you can simply unscrew the one screw holding the inside black little plastic handle and lock combo. Then carefully pull forward and out and disconnect the lock piece if still connected. Don't let the lock connecting rod fall in the door.. Now using your figures or a wire, fish out the connecting rod for the door latch. Reconnect and reinstall everything.

    This assumes the clip popped off of broke at the inside handle side.

    good luck.. Mine falls off all the time. Broken clip. never found a spare flip.

  4. #4
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    I had this problem with both of my doors at the same time, and it's very easy to get the door skin off while it's locked on the Jeep. Remove the 4 torx holding the skin, rubber pull handle and pop off the c-clip holding the window handle on. Then just yank the skin closest to the door lock mechanism, stick a screw driver in and push the "lock" rod up and use wire to pull the C-clamp lock open, viola.

    Now take the door inside, rip off all the inner plastic and get to work on in it. I ended up breaking my inner plastic handle to open the door on my driver side, and I now have a rope that I use to open it with, very ghetto.

  5. #5
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    if you can get the door off or get the panel off while its closed you could find the problem pretty easy. my rear gate wont unlock im not sure if we have the same problem.
    love my 2.5

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    so I went out at lunch and tried it once more and it seems that it wasn't fully unlocked and that's why it wouldn't open, the lock is still a little sticky probably because of the cold but it was strange that the handles felt for sure like the linkage had come off. Very strange indeed.

    Anyhow thanks for the responses, I'm sure sooner or later it will actually break so then I will know what to do.

    Cheers
    J

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    i am in the same situation now...02 TJ .. drivers side lock was screwy for a bit have to turn the key a couple times sometimes to get it to unlock, then last week (at the mall) door wont open from any side, and won't unlock with the button. had to climb in and out the passenger side... worse, i am driving the mustang a lot these days and have to move the jeep in and out of the driveway so the neighbors get to watch this every morning. tried to get the door panel off but it wasn't budging... will get a little more forceful.
    2002 TJ Sport

  8. #8
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    welll.......... that was a pain in the arse. didn't know there were two screws at the bottom of the door panel under the map tray..... was reefing on the door panel pretty good... managed to get the damn thing open though. and also broke the inside door handle (both clips in the back)

    but at least the door opens now.

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    I resorted to taking off the whole paddle on my passenger side door and pushed the lever down to open it from the outside. No more messing around for me though, I got a set of practically new steel half doors and soft uppers.

    I still have to get used to opening the door from the inside though, since my full door handle was broken, I always reached outside to open the door. I find myself doing it all the time now.
    JB Weld. You're my only friend.

  10. #10
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    I had the same situation with my passenger side door and I basically had to bend the bar back so it would catch on the latch, it was a bit of a pain in the ass working in such a tight space and trying to get your hand up inside the door. It was one of those things where you thought you fixed it and a day later it was fubared again. I "fixed" it 2-3 times and then caved and took it to a local shop and they fixed it for me permanently.
    '02 TJ, 2" body lift, 2" coil spacers, 33"x12.5" Goodyear Duratracs, 15x8 Pro Comp matte black aluminum rims, D30/D35 regeared with 4.56 gears, Bushwacker Flat Fender Flares, Warn Rock Crawler Front Bumper, Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers, hprtech custom rear bumper with swing out tire carrier, 48" Hi-Lift, Hard Top, Soft Top, Safari, Wrap Around Windjammer, Tonneau and trail cover.

    "I'm not retarded I just own a Jeep that's all".

  11. #11
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    when i had it apart i could see the rod from the outer door handle had come off the bracket that releases the door.... it comes up from the bottom of the door which is interesting considering where the handle is... but the bracket was rusted to crap and it looked like the rod was jamming the door lock which is why it wouldn't unlock. the outer handle would move but there was no resistance (just like someone else posted above)
    i put the rod back where it was supposed to be and everything started working again... but i can see how this will eventually happen again. I just stopped locking that door.

    don't really need the inner handle i guess, i can operate the door and the lock if need be with just the rods but i am thinking of selling the jeep anyway so might as well fix it right.

  12. #12
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    Hey guys! I know this is an old thread but I just had to deal with this today. After several days of endless key and lock button attempts I started to get frustrated and began pounding the door lol. I decided to walk away and enjoy a nice cold beer (YUM). After a few hours and a couple beers I went back out and reassessed the situation. Not being able to open the door I rolled the window all the way down and spread the weather stripping apart with some folded up cardboard so I could look inside. Armed with a small flashlight, a can of pb blaster a paint stir stick, and yes you guessed it... a nice cold beer I watch the movement of the rods, latches etc and then checked the working passenger door to see the difference. I came to quickly realize that the pressure springs especially were seized so I soaked everything down with PB. Right about now your wondering what I used the stir stick for, Well, after I compared side I noticed that the lock rod at the latch end was under excessive pressure and would not stay up in the unlocked position. Using the stir stick (after soaking everything down with PB) I applied pressure to the bottom link of said lock rod until it freed. I continued to use the stick to push down on the link after unlocking the door with the key thus forcing an up and down motion on the lock rod to completely ensure free effortless travel. While I have read several thread trying to explain the removal of door skin (while door is seized closed it is beyond a pita) I found a much easier way to get the job done . The key tools are: a good penetrating oil, a small flash light, a paint stir stick and yep you guessed it, A NICE COLD BEER! I hope this saves someone the frustration and fist pounding stupidity that I first endured.. Thank you and good night

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