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'78 Door latch not working

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turbo78vair

Guest
I had our '78 pace car outside this morning cleaning it up after getting really dusty while at a local cruise in last night. When I went to open the right door, it didn't work. Handle moves down without any resistance, but doesn't appear to be connected. Door opens with the inside handle.

Any suggestions before I start to investigate?

Thanks
Gary
 

wishuwerehere82

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
Messages
2,314
Location
Rochester, NY
Corvette
Red '82 Coupe,Sebring Silver '98 Coupe
The linkages inside the door can stick at the latching mechanism. Try lubing the latch with some spray lithium grease before you have to take the inside door panel off.

Inside the door, the linkages are connected together with rods that are held on with rotating clips on the ends of the rods. You may have popped off one of them to the door handle. Or the rod from the door handle may have gotten bent so it doesn't fully engage the latch, there is a length of threads on the rod that can be unscrewed to lengthen the rod.
If you end up taking the door panel off to investigate, a long nose pair of fishing pliers comes in handy for reaching the linkages.
Good luck!
 
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turbo78vair

Guest
Thanks for the quick response. I hope to do some checking tomorrow.
Hey I know Rochester! Worked summers at Kodak Park while going to Alfred Tech. Home was in Penn Yan area. Then to Indiana (67-86), back to NY in Jamestown area (86-05) and then back out to Indiana.
Vette joined the family stable in March of 2006.
 

bobs78

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 6, 2004
Messages
90
Location
Hot AZ
Corvette
50th AE vert - 25th SA - 54 Polo White
I had our '78 pace car outside this morning cleaning it up after getting really dusty while at a local cruise in last night. When I went to open the right door, it didn't work. Handle moves down without any resistance, but doesn't appear to be connected. Door opens with the inside handle.

Any suggestions before I start to investigate?

Thanks
Gary

I just had the same problem with my 78. I agree lube the latch on the door :_rock That's what I did and its working again. Hope that is your problem. Good luck
 
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turbo78vair

Guest
Door latch still not working

I'd hoped that the suggestions as to lubing the latch might help with my problem, but no success. So I will put the door latch work on my list of to do stuff.
Beautiful day (70) in Central Indiana. Might just have to take a ride in the Vette.

Take care
GaryC -'78 Pace Car
 

LVMYVT76

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
664
Location
springfield, mo
Corvette
1976 medium blue
There is linkage from the door handle to the door latch, if a retainer has broken, the linkage can come loose. If I were tearing into the door, I would fix the problem but would also remove the latch, soak it , clean it and re-lube it. It makes a world of difference. Also if I were in the door I would also do the window regulators, these make a big difference when cleaned and re-lubed. It takes a little work, but what else do you have to do in the winter??/
 
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turbo78vair

Guest
Thanks again to all for your input. Actually think that I should go into the door to service/repair the latch, lock, push/pull lock in armrest and the lock/unlock auto feature. I think the rod has come off the handle for some reason. There is no resistance in moving handle down. Last night I looked through the assembly manual and that helped me to understand the hardware. Probably should do the power window while there as well. Regards
 
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turbo78vair

Guest
Me again - was going to mention that malfunctioning door latches are also being discussed on Corvette forum. Folks talk about getting 'stuck' in their cars due to latches having trouble. Doors wouldn't open from inside or outside. One guy said he had to do the Dukes of Hazard exit. I'm afraid I'd have trouble with that. Might have to call 911. What is your problem sir???
Take care friends - GaryC
 
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turbo78vair

Guest
Right side door handle is broken

I pulled the door panel off this afternoon to get at the door handle nuts. Front nut is easy, but rear one was alittle more difficult. Handle is broken at bottom. Die cast piece that looks pretty fragile. So now off to order a replacement.

Auto lock also doesn't work - suggestions for that problem?? Thanks
Take care - Gary C
 

wishuwerehere82

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
Messages
2,314
Location
Rochester, NY
Corvette
Red '82 Coupe,Sebring Silver '98 Coupe
I pulled the door panel off this afternoon to get at the door handle nuts. Front nut is easy, but rear one was alittle more difficult. Handle is broken at bottom. Die cast piece that looks pretty fragile. So now off to order a replacement.

Auto lock also doesn't work - suggestions for that problem?? Thanks
Take care - Gary C
Auto lock is usually a bad switch or the wires on the connector to the door panel switch have broken at the connector. Glad you found the problem with the door handle.
You would be sad if you saw Kodak Park these days. Alot of buildings on Lake Ave. and Ridge Rd. have been torn down. My dad worked in the one with blue windows on Ridge Rd. back then -Gone.
 

LVMYVT76

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
664
Location
springfield, mo
Corvette
1976 medium blue
I had a passenger door that would not open from inside or outside. The locksmith messed it up when I locked my keys in it. It took a different door latch mechanism to fix it. Luckily, it did finally open one last time so I could tear it apart. The fun was watching my wife slide across the console from the driver's side to her seat. I had no problem getting funds to support this project!!
 

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