replace latch / lock inside door? - Maintenance and Repair Forum

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replace latch / lock inside door?
Friday, February 21, 2020 7:12 AM
Is there a way to replace the lock and latch mechanism inside the door - the thing that hits the striker on the body of the car when you close the door? It snowed, iced and froze last night when I went to close the door - the whole thing shattered and disappeared sunken way deep inside the door where I can't see, spin, or move it at all. Now the door won't close all the way, I can't drive the car, can't even close the door if I leave it parked somewhere - let alone lock it. Major disaster for me. Have no idea what to do. Not to mention water is getting inside because door is open enough to let it pour in. I don't even know how to begin, where to go, who to seek out to repair it. Don't see the part listed anywhere. The only things I can find online are the cylinder where you put the key, which is not what I am talking about.

Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Friday, February 21, 2020 8:20 AM
I would hit the local boneyard to either score the parts you need to fix it or to replace the entire door. You might even luck out and find a color match for a complete door swap-out. An entire door is not too much $.

I think that I have suggested the boneyard strategy before for some of your easier posts and I think there is an LKQ Pick your part near where your profile says you are. You can visit the LKQ site and see what Cavs & Sunfires are in the yard. Happy hunting!

You could also check Craigslist and maybe score an entire Cavalier close to your year for $200 for parts if you have the space for it.

Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Friday, February 21, 2020 9:58 PM
Yea seems like ur cavs been giving u a ton of issues. Junk yard is the best place to find parts altho thats not even that good anymore.

ReD RaiN
Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Sunday, February 23, 2020 10:34 AM

Thanks for the replies. I have never been to LKQ or any place like that. What is the deal? From what I can tell you pay some admission fee, bring your own tools and then go see what you can find? Anything else I should know before heading there? If the generic prices for latches and hinges are any indication (or exactly) what I can expect - that is one hell of an insane difference between the parts stores, let alone the dealer. I can't even FIND the hinges anywhere.

Any idea what the weight of a 2-door driver's door is? I am going to find out. The only thing I can think of is using a jack with a pillow or something on top to steady the bottom of the door. Then I'd have to hold it with my left hand and to all the work with my right hand. But after driving around town holding the door closed (or as closed as I can get it) and doing everything else with my right hand, I feel more ready for anything.
Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Sunday, February 23, 2020 4:30 PM
Visit the lkqpickyourpart website and find the one that is closest to you. The price list for the parts will be there on that page too. It might be easiest to just buy the entire door - especially if you luck out and get a color match. You can search for cavaliers in their search box to see if any are in the yard. Also note the row number so you can head right for it. They usually have carts or wheelbarrows there for hauling the parts back to checkout. The doors are kind of heavy - maybe 40lbs or so. They don't let you take jacks in sometimes so if you need one you sometimes need to find one they might have missed in another car's trunk. You can also use other things you may find like seat cushions . Floor mats from nearby cars are good to use to prevent scratches. Always be sure to be neat and put them back though. The next guy there might want that exact part - you never know.

The latch component itself may not be on the parts list and sometimes various places will react differently if you remove a part from a larger assembly that they may have a price for. I always try to remove parts cleanly and neatly without damaging anything else. There is nothing worse than needing a part and then finding a part only to find it ruined by some idiot while they were removing something else - wire cut harnesses really ticks me off. It took me forever to find a 98 Z24 front headlight harness even though I found 2 prior ones only to find they had been cut.

If you do decide to go ahead and remove the entire door longhandled straight ratcheting wrenches work the best by far. Exchanging the lockset once you get one should not be too hard. Good luck!

Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Sunday, March 01, 2020 9:39 AM
Have spent the last week + searching every corner of the internet for any diagrams, videos, photos....anything that would show how those rods are supposed to get off and on the latch. It is totally impossible to see, reach, feel or know how everything is connected back in there. Can't see from the top, can't see from the inside of the door - not enough room to even get more than 1 eye in the door panel and even that is about a foot or more from the connections, let alone that it is all hidden behind other support pieces and crap.
Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Thursday, April 09, 2020 8:00 AM

I have spent hours looking but I cannot figure out how in the hell you are supposed to detach/attach those 4 rods to the latch.

Problem 1 - there is no room to work inside the door. Problem 2 - it is dark as it can be in there so 1 hand holding a flashlight makes it even more impossible. Problem 3 - you cannot see the latch and where the rods connect no matter if the window is up or down. The whole area is totally blocked from view. My only possible guess is that in order to connect the rods to the latch, you have to disconnect them from the 4 places they connect to on the other ends - which is insane - and then take the entire thing out so you can connect the rods to the latch outside of the car, then put the whole mess back in to connect everything. IT CANNOT BE THIS COMPLICATED. But there is absolutely nothing online about how to do this. Nothing. I have spent weeks searching.
Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 7:48 AM

I have spent hours and days and weeks and now months searching for instructions / diagrams / photos / video - anything that would answer how to replace the latch assembly. There is nothing.

Having the latch ready to install but not knowing how you are supposed to get the old one off and the new one on.

Very frustrating.
Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Sunday, May 17, 2020 6:38 AM

Been fighting with this for 3 months. Spent another 6 hours on it yesterday. After all that, the result was zero progress, sliced-up bleeding hands and a near nervous breakdown.

I have spent approximately 1 hour every day since the end of February searching online - EVERYWHERE for how to do this.

Here is the problem. The broken latch is too deep into the huge drivers side door to see, reach or even feel. Yesterday, I took off as many things as I possibly could, and used more force than I should have - with the risk of breaking more things in the process. There is no way to turn the latch to remove the metal rods and there is no way to move the latch into a different position because it is held in place by the 4 rods - even after unscrewing it from the door. The opposite ends of the 4 rods are attached to the interior and exterior plastic door handles - which are RIVETED in place. I don't have a drill so last night, in the last 2 hour marathon attempt - I tried to use a screwdriver and hammer to get them off - and that only caused more damage and injury.

CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW TO GET THE LATCH OUT and off of the rods - and the new one in?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am at the end of my ability to keep working on it.
Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Monday, May 25, 2020 1:57 PM
Hi Dean,

I can feel for you, it looks like an ugly job!
You did not mention what year is your car.
I have a Haynes manual, which is generic, as well as the factory manual for the '05 model. On the other hand, I have not done this...
To get the lock out you need to disconnect the rods, at least at one end, to be able to navigate the lock, once you removed those three bolts.
For the rods of the inner handle, you need to drill out the rivet that secure the inner handle, then you can slide it back to disengage the tabs that hold it to the door frame, and then you can disengage the rods from the handle.
For the outer door handle you lift up the handle, drill out two rivets that hold the handle to the door. They claim if you lift out the door handle then you can disengage the rod from the outside door handle. From the drawings that is questionable to me, but I have not seen it!
To the lock that rod is snapped into a clip that supposedly can be un-clipped.
The factory manual mentions to remove the lower, back, window channel the window slides in, there is a bolt at the bottom, then you will have more room.
As for the rod from the lock cylinder, they just mention to disengage it?
There are drawings in the factory manual, but it seems to me those are only helpful once you mastered the tasks
Use a mirror to have a better look at how to remove the rods.
They also mentioned to memorize that what rod is attached to where. Better take pictures!
The rivets mentioned are pop rivets, you can replace them easily.
Hopefully it is some help to you!

Regards, Peter
Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:40 AM
Thank you for the information, Peter.

This past Saturday, I spent another 3 hours from 2pm to 5pm and was able to remove the old latch after about 1 hour of extremely difficult nearly impossible guessing by feel alone since it is not possible to see anything. Then the real nightmare started. It took me 2 hours of trying to get the first of the 4 rods connected - and when I was trying to get the 2nd connected, because of the extreme pressure and amount of force required to even try and move the latch around in there - it slipped and I very badly sliced my right thumb (I am right handed) and that was the end of that - until it heals. I had blood, black mold, and grease/grime/dirt covering everything, mixed with blood. It was an epic disaster. I can't do anything now until the deep, long cut on my thumb gets better. I am still in a state of disbelief that something that should be so simple has turned into a 4 month long fiasco for the ages. The only change from before - when the door would not stay shut at all and of course did not ever lock - is now the door shuts all the way and locks always - and can only be opened from the inside so I have to always open and reach across from the passenger door. The car is a 2001 with almost 255K and this is just one of the many repair projects I have to do. It hasn't been washed since last December because it couldn't be anywhere near rain or water with the door not closing. Being poor is fun.

Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 9:23 AM
You need a gofundme page !
Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Thursday, May 28, 2020 6:27 AM
Hi Dean,

Now I see, your car is a coupe, the door longer than in a four-door.

Do use mechanics gloves to not shred your fingers!

Here are the drawings from the manual, hopefully it will help.
Sorry for the bad scans, the book is big and the scanner crappy.
Pushing down the book jams the scanner...

door.8.png (94k)
door.5.png (130k)
door.4.png (213k)
door.1.png (33k)
door.3.png (235k)

Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Thursday, May 28, 2020 6:28 AM
More pics.
door.6.png (105k)
door.2.png (225k)
door.7.png (134k)

Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Sunday, June 07, 2020 6:29 AM
Figured I would give you an update because I wanted to thank you for going to the trouble of uploading all those images. I looked at all of them, but they bear such little resemblance to what things actually look like.

I waited 2 weeks for the gash on my thumb to heal enough to get back at it yesterday afternoon. Things did not go well. It is really my fault, I guess. I knew I was going to come back to working on this, so for the last 2 weeks, I had driven around with the 3 disconnected rods just dangling rather than maybe using duct tape to secure them. Withing 30 seconds of trying to get the interior door lock rod connected - it broke off of the lock end - which is hidden under the riveted handle cover. That was the end of any hope to get that rod connected. No drill, no way to get the rivet out.

Then, I moved on to the exterior lock and handle rods. I thought these would be easy. Wrong again. The snap-closed type connector thing that was on the old one for 19 years did not work on the brand new one. The thing just would not close. I compared the old one to the new one, made sure I had the rod in the right spot and there is only one place it could go anyway. I must have spent an hour trying to keep it from opening every time I used the exterior handle. Nothing worked. Finally I decided to use sheer force and got a pliers and just went nuts on squeezing it together as hard as I could. The whole design is a nightmare and I can't believe they couldn't come up with anything better. It has held for the last 12 hours, but I am almost positive that any minute now it will just open up again and the outside handle will be useless. Finally - the exterior lock rod. Because I have nothing to compare these rods to - I have no idea whether they are fully intact or whether some piece of the end has broken off. There is something wrong with the way the lock is working - I can feel the grooves in the rod moving inside the latch which was not how it was before and not how it is supposed to be. So I don't know if part of the rod broke off that keeps this from happening or not.

The bottom line is that I am in worse shape now than I was 2 days ago, even though I have 2 more rods connected. Before, with only the interior handle rod connected, the door would close all the way, but could only be opened from inside and it automatically locked ALWAYS. But now, while the door still closes all the way, and can be (temporarily -until the connector opens up again and the rods slides out) opened from the outside, the door can only be locked form the outside - meaning I can never lock it from the inside and if I want to lock it I have to open the window and reach outside with the key to do so.

The whole thing has been one of the most mind-boggling things I have ever gotten involved with.

But I have no many more issues that as frustrating as it has been, I am also dealing with major starting issues, and pretty much every piece of plastic on the car breaking, cracking or falling apart. Just in the last 3 days, I have changed the transmission fluid, rotated the tires (using just the scissors jack and no stands), tried to replace a headlight bulb then found out it wasn't the bulb but instead a loose connection of some type, changed the air filter, added some r134a. I still have to change the oil. But replacing the starter is what I am most dreading.

Thanks again for your help.
Re: replace latch / lock inside door?
Sunday, June 07, 2020 4:55 PM
Man that really sucks.
Somebody you know probably has a drill and bits. Ask around. If removing the cover you spoke of will give you access, by all means find a drill to borrow.
You can rent drills at Home Depot for cheap, if no one has one to loan you. If you don't have a riveter, you can buy small bolts and nuts to put the cover back on with. Take the plate with you to get the right size when you return the drill, if you get it from HD.
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