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Help! Passenger door latch failure

Flowjoe

Active member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
35
Location
SoCal
Corvette
1970 - LT1, 1982 Standard
On our '82 the passenger door latch mostly looks like this:
passlatch1.jpg

One can feel spring tension when it is depressed and it returns about half way home consistently. Sometimes it will return to the full rest position (in line with the top of door) but not always. It does, however, always fail to open the door.:)

Took the panel off today to lube the window tracks and regulator as well as trouble shoot this problem. I expected to find the rod not connected to the door latch but this was not the case. Everything was where it was supposed to be, it even moves the latch mechanism just not enough to open. Here are the best photos I could manage this afternoon:

passlatch2.jpg
passlatch3.jpg
passlatch4.jpg

Any help on how to proceed will be appreciated.
 
Last edited:

bill81vette

Moderator
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
4,316
Location
Troy,NY
Corvette
1981 dark blue metallic

Antz81

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2013
Messages
936
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Corvette
1981 4 speed
Have you tried to adjust the rod that goes up to the handle?
It looks like yours is adjusted to make this rod as short as possible. but if you adjust it to be longer it may solve the problem.
 

Flowjoe

Active member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
35
Location
SoCal
Corvette
1970 - LT1, 1982 Standard
I believe you can either....
A) replace the handle or
B) there was a spring available for the lazy handles
here is a link...http://www.parts123.com/parts123/yb...3G027Y9M66679918550D~Z5Z5Z5~Z5Z5Z50000050G~~~

Interesting - and thanks for the link:thumb

I understand that will make the door handle pop back up but will it aid in making it open the door again? I have disassembled 4 of these doors in the past (L & R on a '69 and a '70) but have never had to put one back together or adjust them.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
It's likley the door latch/lock mechanism inside the door is lacks lubrication and is full of dirt, hardended grease and other debris.

Remvoe the lock/latch assy. First, soak it in hot soapy water and scrub off dirt. Dry with shop air then soak in solvent to get all the old grease off it. Dry with shop air again.

Now inspect the assembly to see if its working properly. If it is put a little bit of grease on parts which pivot than reinstall it. Adjust the lock latch rods as necessary. Then, reassmeble the door trim.

I did that on the driver door of my 71 with great success.
 

Flowjoe

Active member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
35
Location
SoCal
Corvette
1970 - LT1, 1982 Standard
Have you tried to adjust the rod that goes up to the handle?
It looks like yours is adjusted to make this rod as short as possible. but if you adjust it to be longer it may solve the problem.
I had considered that butbthe AIM shows 1" of thread past barrel adjuster...that approximately what I have:confused:confused. The real issue is that I can't figure out how to remove the barrel adjuster from the latch...any hints there? I know it has a retainer but I can't see it nor figure out how to access.
 

Flowjoe

Active member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
35
Location
SoCal
Corvette
1970 - LT1, 1982 Standard
It's likley the door latch/lock mechanism inside the door is lacks lubrication and is full of dirt, hardended grease and other debris.

Remvoe the lock/latch assy. First, soak it in hot soapy water and scrub off dirt. Dry with shop air then soak in solvent to get all the old grease off it. Dry with shop air again.

Now inspect the assembly to see if its working properly. If it is put a little bit of grease on parts which pivot than reinstall it. Adjust the lock latch rods as necessary. Then, reassmeble the door trim.

I did that on the driver door of my 71 with great success.
I had considered that. Not being sure exactly where my problem lay I decided to clean it in situ with brake clean and the re-lube with a dry lubricant (PTFB). Not ideal but I thought it might let me see some improvement. For the inside release there was a benefit but not so much the outside release. I may have to take it all apart yet.

Am I correct in assuming I have two distinct problems here? 1) the lazy exterior door handle 2) the failure of said handle to open the door. If true, I suspect that there will not be a single solution - that, for example, replacing the door handle will not fix both problems. Correct?
 

Antz81

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2013
Messages
936
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Corvette
1981 4 speed
I had considered that butbthe AIM shows 1" of thread past barrel adjuster...that approximately what I have:confused:confused. The real issue is that I can't figure out how to remove the barrel adjuster from the latch...any hints there? I know it has a retainer but I can't see it nor figure out how to access.
Mines set closer to 1/2" than 1" without any issues.
I think the rod can be released at the base of the outer door handle.
 

Flowjoe

Active member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
35
Location
SoCal
Corvette
1970 - LT1, 1982 Standard
Update

Thanks for everyone's help. I have solved the door issue. Elected to order a new exterior handle (Trim Parts - I know their quality from Camaro-World and the online reviews by Corvette folks makes them the go to for repop handles). Removed the latch and everything moved as it should but decided to give it a thorough cleaning and lube as Hib Halverson's post. Reassembled and actually had to shorten the rod (by a little bit) that Antz81 and I were discussing in order to get it to mesh with the hole in the latch lever. At any rate, it all works perfectly now. Can't say that it was the dirty latch (although cleaning and lubing surely didn't hurt) or the replacement handle.

Thanks again all!:thumb
 

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