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PDL (Pesky door latch) Confirmed! Here's the fix/PM!!

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by sonoranfun, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. sonoranfun

    sonoranfun

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    Well, this does it, I took some pictures and will post them sometime tomorrow. The PDL is no longer a myth!

    Here's the deal, I took the door latch out to try to fix the trouble today. If you remember my door was stuck shut and wouldn't open. I had gotten it to open by removing the door panel while the door was still closed. This took removing the seat and was less fun then a tax audit, well not really but you get my point. Anyway, after unhooking the inside latch I was able to put enough pressure on the latch to get it to open and close with about 3 times the normal pressure.

    Taking out the latch:

    I'll assume you have the door panel removed already. If not it's three screws in the arm rest, one you can see and two are under the part your arm rests on. This can be removed with a flat head, there are no screws on it. If you need to unhook to wires remember to remove that panel for the switches from the front part first. Once the screws are out you can use the flat head to pop the plastic door panel plugs out of the door and once that's done you can pull it up and out.

    1) Pull back the plastic on the latch side of the door

    2) Remove the 10mm bolt on the inside door jam just under the latch, this secures the window track.

    3) Remove four door lock and opening rods going to the latch. With the short one for the outside latch I found it easier to disconnect it on the bottom instead of the top.

    4) Remove the three screws holding the latch in. These are inside the door jam.

    5) Pull the latch down and out the lower/larger opening. You don't have to disconnect any wires.

    6) Remove the clear plastic piece, I found it pretty easy to do with a flat head and it basicly just pulled off.

    7) You can now see the full metal plate on the latch that was pressed against the side of the door. On the side of it that was facing out just below the metal plate you will see plastic. Right here you will see where the spring is going through the wall. Like a package of hot dogs pushing out of the plastic. There is one screw holding this plate on, remove this screw and the metal plate.

    8) You will now see one spring sort of in the center down in a channel and the other very close to the side wall (this is the trouble) with a small 1"x1/2" plastic/metal part that can move up and down. Remove this plastic/metal part and take care not to let the spring or the little plastice piece under it fly away. I would remove that small plastic washer type thing and set it someplace so you don't have it fall off and end up finding it later.

    9) Now if you look at the spring you will see that it's curved at the top 1/3" due to the shape of the channel it sits in and where the curve is there is steady wear pushing out on the thinnest wall due to the curve. On mine the spring coils had eaten into the plastic to the point it was binding and embedded into the plastic keeping the latch from moving down enough even with force.

    10) I would clip the bottom part of the spring as high as can be freely removed. In the case of mine I had to pull it out with a vise grips. In your best case you would have other springs there and would be able to put a fresh one in. In my case I stretched the spring about 1/2" and I was set.

    11) To deal with the worn plastic I took a small razor and smoothed it out as best I could. I then spent 15 minutes thinking about what would fit in there to secure it and still allow it to move freely. Too thick there isn't enough room, too thin and I don't have to tell you. If you can't cut it with a scissors it's going to be too thick. I came up with the perfect thing, I went down to my gate and snipped a part off the "keep out" sign. You can buy them at Wal-Mart for about $1 and it's a pretty thin metal, makes the wang wang noise when you move it back and forth. Just the pervect thickness though!

    12) Cut a piece about 1.5" x 3/16th and that should fit in there well.

    I just put this in and reversed the above steps to put the door back together. It now works perfect! I'll work on getting the pictures up right now but I would say if you have to go into your door for ANY reason that this is a MUST do PM! I would strongly consider doing the two front doors at the very least as I'm planning to get to the drivers side door as soon as I can!

    Good luck all and I hope the next person to find they have a door that won't open now has the answers instead of having to spend 2 weeks dealing with it like I have.

    THANK YOU TO THE PEOPLE THAT RESPONDED TO MY FIRST THREAD AND CHibbard FOR EVEN TIPPING ME OFF TO WHAT WAS WRONG!
     
  2. sonoranfun

    sonoranfun

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  3. CHibbard

    CHibbard

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    AWESOME! You did exactly what I was attempting to describe. I took a little off the arm that engages with the spring as well, just to make sure that the arm would not hang-up with the "custom" shim and the spring. You can clearly see in your photos how the spring is chewing up the plastic housing.

    Great write-up and photos. This should be put into the archives.

    Craig
     
  4. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    This thread scares me!
    I agree this should be put in the archives
     
  5. RavenTai

    RavenTai

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    good info, Thnanks for the pics and explanation. has anyone looked into how much replacent parts are? I assuem we cannot get individual parts of the latch, just whole latches?
     
  6. CHibbard

    CHibbard

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    I did look into a replacement when I had the trouble, it was darn near $3XX for the latch. The fix we came up with, makes any latch unit MUCH better than new. Add a little heavy grease prior to final install, and that door patch is good for another 10,000 openings!
     
  7. RavenTai

    RavenTai

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    $300 ouch, I figured they would be expensive but not that much, are we looking at the door latch as an assembly only or are parts like the plastic and spring available separately? One would think those would be more reasonable if available.
     
  8. CHibbard

    CHibbard

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    I've been told by our most favored parts guy, it is only a complete unit that is available.

    The design is bad.

    The problematic spring is loaded in arc. The outer edge of the arced spring acts like sand-paper over the years. Everytime the latch is opened the arc'd spring just eats at the plastic. The only solid fix to install shim on the outer edge of the spring so that no spring-plastic-contact is made. Seems like such a little issue, but knowing first hand, what-a-pain in the butt it is climb over the center console to get the driver's side! Attempt to back-up to a car hauler/trailer with drivers door locked solid and no one around to guide you to the hitch. What fun it was!

    Given the amount of LC's out there over 100K miles, I'm sure this problem will be showing up more and more. (mine has 178K) I've now looked at the other 3 doors. Two were close to breaking through and locking out. The other one was fine (?). All of my doors now have the little shim.
     
  9. yellowchaosfj80

    yellowchaosfj80

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    I'm glad you got it GOOD WORK and thanks for all the info..
     
  10. sonoranfun

    sonoranfun

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    Yeah I called as well and they said just the part was $300!! Considering you can do this in 20 minutes per door if you're already in there for speakers or maybe 30 minutes if not plus I see no point in replacing a faulty design I just did it on my own.

    I owe it to CHibbard for even pointing out that could have been an issue. I would have found that but k nowing what to look for saved me A LOT of time I would have spent looking at other issues first like the latches or whatever so thank you again.

    As for when the issue happens, this I guess would depend a little on your weather I would assume and your driving. Being hot in AZ with three kids always in and out of the Cruiser I would guess here it may happen around 100k but for some sales man in Wyoming maybe the motor would blow first.
     
  11. Cruisin'Carolina

    Cruisin'Carolina

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    Thanks for the thread.....

    This happened to mine yesterday, I believe....

    I'm going in, any additional tips on getting the door panel off with the door closed? Seems the edges are pressed up against the edges and bottom.....
     
  12. Cruisin'Carolina

    Cruisin'Carolina

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    And just to be sure, when unlocked, the interior handle can be pulled with same effort, just nothing happens...

    The exterior handle will fully extend out, with a larger than normal amount of effort, but nothing happens.....is this the same symptom?

    Either way, looks like I will be going in. Just wanted to know if I was looking for the same culprit.
     
  13. Cruiser Jimmy

    Cruiser Jimmy Moderator

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    sonoranfun,
    I had the some problem for the drivers side about a year ago. Took the spring out and used a coil to extend to the hold point. Still no problems.
     
  14. Cruisin'Carolina

    Cruisin'Carolina

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    Ok seat out, screwws in door panel out, but inside door panel extends below the door bottom and past the sides...

    How can I pull this out enough so I can lift the whole thing up and get it off the top where it hangs from???? arrggghh...
     
  15. Cruisin'Carolina

    Cruisin'Carolina

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    WOW!

    This is the strangest thing I've ever seen. Sorry for the last couple of posts, I did not understand once I took the cover off of the internal handle, and disconnected it, the door would open.

    There is NO way to get the the door panel off if closed.

    On mine, I found that seat removal, although I did it, was probably unnecessary...

    The pics are freaky. Hardened plastic, and a spring MELTED? into it......

    I don't see how heat could have done this. Must have been some electrical charge for the door lock mechanism, or something, involved....
    MVC-016F.JPG MVC-017F.JPG MVC-018F.JPG
     
  16. Cruisin'Carolina

    Cruisin'Carolina

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    Pics, including the metal donor matchbox
    MVC-019F.JPG MVC-020F.JPG MVC-021F.JPG
     
  17. OZCAL

    OZCAL

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    Could that melting have been caused by years of some kind of lubricant being sprayed in there, finally breaking down the plastic with heat/electrical charge helping?
     
  18. sonoranfun

    sonoranfun

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    That's not true, I had to take mine of with it closed... You need to remove the pillar cover and pry from that side, it isn't easy but it came off damage free.

    Removing the seat was for taking the panel off with the door closed. Otherwise no you wouldn't have to. I would guess each one that does this will do so in a different way. In your case you may have been able to get it open, in mine I couldn't but mine wasn't as worn out either..

    Plastic won't break like say wood does, when you apply pressure to it time and time and time again it's going to stretch more then melt. So while it looks melted it isn't.

    Picture the plastic with tension on it like the spring would apply, getting it hot or warm would make it softer and allow it to bend faster. However even in a normal situation it's going to bend or stretch over time at a normal temp without anything happening to it out of the norm.

    It was just poor design........
     
  19. Cruisin'Carolina

    Cruisin'Carolina

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    Nevertheless,

    THANK YOU for posting this....I couldn't do it in 45 minutes, more like an hour and a half...

    I guess I misread, but I thought you got yours open after removing the rod from the inner latch?

    I just took that small latch cover off, undid that rod, and the door opened with effort from the outside...

    I guess I should note that I have the port installed leather interior....before I figured got the door open, I took off that center trim that coveras the seatbelts, but the panel on my 94 went at least 1/2 inside the sides of the doors, and at least that much below... I even tried to take the sill part off, but could not get the kick panel portion free....

    I still have a hard time imagining how this would happen...Mine was MELTED!!! It was pure plastic inside the spring, and I had to dremel with a cutting wheel each and every coil of the spring. It was totally encased in melted plastic....

    Weird, weird...

    Made me think the electric current to the door lock motor somehow travelled through the grease.....but I guess time and exposure the the chemicals in that grease could have done something....

    Anyway, forever in debt to your post! :beer: :beer: :beer: from a 1/2 :banana:
     
  20. bayvu

    bayvu

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    Just done the same thing on my drivers door (RHD). Couldn't see how to get the panel off.

    Wound window down, looked down into the lock from above and could see a spring floating towards the rear of the door.

    Forced the top of the interior door trim up up and off with no damage.

    Pushed a long flat head screwdriver down onto where the spring is visible, allowing the sprung part to move out of the way of the latch mechanism.

    Voila! Door opened.

    Remove panels, lock mechanism, stretch and bend spring, reinstall.

    Free and only an hour to do.

    Climbing in through the paseenger door and over the console for a couple of days is a real PAIN.

    Dave