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Old 09-10-2019, 11:17 AM   #1
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can't get side door open


1994 Ford E 150. Has the side double doors. I can get the front one of the two (the one with the key lock) open. The cable is broke that opens the other door. I have the panel off, but there is no way to see the lock rod on the bottom. The cable is still fastened to it, but won't pull it up. Does anyone know if the lock rod pulls straight up or does it somehow turn? I soaked it with oil just in case it is rusted. I have no idea how long it has been since it was opened. The previous owner said the cable just broke one day.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:22 AM   #2
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Re: can't get side door open


Presumably it's symmetrical, and the other side isn't FUBAR. Can you pop open the other side (you don't say if the problem side is driver or passenger) and see how it's supposed to operate?
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:50 AM   #3
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Re: can't get side door open


I had one like that. Had to cut a hole in the bottom of door and air chiseled the latch. It was a pain but it worked with new latch.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: can't get side door open


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Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
Presumably it's symmetrical, and the other side isn't FUBAR. Can you pop open the other side (you don't say if the problem side is driver or passenger) and see how it's supposed to operate?
These are the SIDE double doors. Not the front doors. They are built differently from each other. The front one of the two, latches to the back one in the middle. The back one latches on the bottom.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:13 PM   #5
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Re: can't get side door open


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I had one like that. Had to cut a hole in the bottom of door and air chiseled the latch. It was a pain but it worked with new latch.
Not sure I could even get an air chisel in there. Barely room enough for my fingers. Can't even get where I can see it.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:46 PM   #6
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Re: can't get side door open


Sounds like the plastic cable latch end(s) broke/cracked, since the cable is still attached. Some replace this plastic piece with the aluminum ones that appear to last longer--around $10 bucks for all four of them.

The design on these models did not vary much for a number of years, and access depends on what is broken. If you view a few videos, you’ll see that some gain enough access through the spaces in the door, by removing the speaker and/or a few other attachments, while others may have to “cut a hole” as one of the posters said on their particular van!

Good Luck!




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Old 09-11-2019, 03:19 PM   #7
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Re: can't get side door open


Thanks for the videos, but my side door is nothing like the first video and the second one is of a rear door and they don't latch the same.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:48 PM   #8
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Re: can't get side door open


There is a tool called a SEE-SNAKE, that will aid you in looking the area over, by inserting it into the cavity, behind the panel.

This will give you an idea as to how to open the door without cutting holes in it.

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Old 09-11-2019, 05:21 PM   #9
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Re: can't get side door open


I have the panel off, just can't see the latch.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:21 PM   #10
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Re: can't get side door open


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Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
I have the panel off, just can't see the latch.
The see-snake, has it's own built in light, and will get in there to see the latch easily.

They are handy to have for any other inspection job that you might have later.

Just a suggestion.


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Old 09-11-2019, 10:14 PM   #11
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Re: can't get side door open


I just remembered: You should be able to go to your local Ford dealership, PARTS DEPARTMENT, and ask for a printout of their diagram, for this to see how and what is needed to reattach the latch.

At least my local dealer does this for me.

Then you will know better what you are looking for, with the SEE-SNAKE.

There is also a fiber optic camera that attaches to your cell phone, if you have one, that costs a lot less than the see snake.

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Old 09-12-2019, 07:41 AM   #12
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Re: can't get side door open


There is a solid plate built over the latch that prevents seeing it. It is all enclosed. Otherwise, I would just "jimmy" it open.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:35 AM   #13
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Re: can't get side door open


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Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
Thanks for the videos, but my side door is nothing like the first video and the second one is of a rear door and they don't latch the same.
Some pics of your freakin' truck sure would help...
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:22 AM   #14
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Re: can't get side door open


If the lock engages at the bottom you should be able to push a flat head screwdriver between it and the floor to open it.?
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