Passenger door lockout

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Guswah

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Does someone here know how to open a passenger door that has suddenly locked? I'm stumped!

I have a feeling that the child-lock feature has something to do with this, but I have never used it. If I could at least open the door I'd be able to look at the child-lock switch, but I can't find any way to do this, not from the inside and certainly not from outside. I think I've tried all the usual things.

My SportTrac is an '05. I'm hoping someone here has had a similar experience and knows the answer.
 

blert

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There is a lot of missing info here so I am going to say this...

Grab the lock thingy and pull up?
Double click the unlock button on the FOB?
Punch in the unlock code and then hit "3"?
 

Guswah

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1. Don't know what's meant by the 'lock thingy'. Could be several things, but surely you don't mean the lock knob because I don't know anyone who'd actually try to unlock the door and overlook the lock knob.
2. I did say that "I've tried all the usual things." You can be sure that single, double, and even triple clicking the unlock button was one of them.
3. Aha, the code. That's is the kind of thing I was hoping to hear about. I'll try the code sometime today. (It's raining an ocean out there at the moment!)

Thanks a million. I'll be back.
 

blert

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1. Yup, that's what I meant. I meant no disrespect. Just to be clear, I live in Florida, you would be surprised.
edit: How is pulling up the knob not unlocking the door? Strange. :end_edit
2. See #1.
edit: Even with child lock on, all four of my doors unlock on dbl-click. Do the driver's door controls not unlock the back doors either? :end_edit
Do both your front doors unlock when you dbl-click?
3. I hope it works.
edit: If dbl-click and driver's door controls don't work then I doubt this will. :end_edit
 
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blert

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If it does unlock but still won't open then the handle or connecting rods or some other bit is broken inside the door. I'm sorry, I have no idea how to get the door open in this case. There are smarter folks than I around this forum, hopefully they will chime in soon.
 

swshawaii

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Here's the fix. Used to be an excellent and short video, but I can't find it. Simple, and it works. GL
Remove the trim around the inside door handle, and remove the 2 philips head screws holding the interior door handle to the trim panel. Use a trim removal tool, and remove the door trim. It's a bitch, but it can be done with the door closed. I used a thin steel paint can opener that is fashioned like a tiny crowbar/little "L" - and bit by bit, worked my way around the trim, pulling it straight out and up. You can also fabricate one out of a thin steel putty knife, bent 90 degrees in a bench vise.

When you get the panel removed, find the steel rod that connects to the inside door handle. Take note of the direction that the rod travels to unlock the latch. In my case, I grabbed hold of that rod with some vice grips, locked them to the rod real tight, and sharply pulled the rod back towards the latch about 6 times when all of a sudden the door popped open!

You'll need to replace the door latch assembly, as the spring inside has broke.
 

Guswah

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No good news just yet. It's still raining out there, so I won't get back at the project until it does.

Updates to my first post:

a. The three other doors all behave just fine, exactly as they should. And they respond to the key fob control.
b. The errant door (rear passenger side) remains firmly locked despite all clicking, yanking, and taking the lord's name in vain.
c. When the lock knob is pulled up (or pushed down) it's really stiff with only a little play each way. Unfortunately I've never tried to manually lock the doors on this vehicle before, so I don't know what it's SUPPOSED to feel like.

More tomorrow.
 

RR-sport trac

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I had the same issue swshawaii reported. Door handle on rear driver's side door pulled too hard or at the wrong time and door was permanently locked - I pulled the rear seat and was able to get the door panel off pretty easy - then reached inside the door and messed with the rods going to the door latch - until the door popped open.

I also had to replace the latch - there is a very thing spring that breaks - there are a lot of threads I found by googling that talk about how these latches break on STs and explorers
 

swshawaii

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IIRC, the door can be unlocked WITHOUT removing the door panel. Once the plastic bezel surrounding the interior handle is pried off, remove the two small screws holding the handle to the door sheet metal. Pull the handle rearward (or forward?) and disconnect the lock rod from the hole in the handle. Attach a vise grip to the lock rod end and firmly move the rod forward and back. This should unlock the door. Once open, inspect inside the latch for a jammed or missing spring that may be laying in the bottom of the door. Door locks are not one of the Explorer's strong points. I've replaced 3 of 4 latches with broken springs, and all actuators with stripped nylon gears since I bought my 2005 used with 46K. Let's get your door open and we'll go from there. Keep us posted.
 

RR-sport trac

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Hey swshawai - did you have to go through the ford dealer or one of the oem online sites to source the nylon gears? There are a lot of yellow connections on the latch rods that appear to be worn out - almost every time an adult sits in the back seat the pull the black plastic handle too hard and I have to mess with it or replace the handle to get it working - I agree the door mechanism is not a strong point with my st
 

swshawaii

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No sourcing actuator nylon gears. After I discovered ALL the actuator motors are the same I just bought the cheapest OE replacements and reused the brackets. Just seems like too much trouble to rebuild the motors anyway. Three main failure points with Explorer door locks are the latches with broken internal springs, actuators with stripped nylon gears, and broken plastic latch rod connectors. On occasion the rivet holding an actuator may pull through the sheet metal. Problem is these issues are almost impossible to diagnose until the door panel is removed. See link below.

 

Todd Z

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sadly on these stupid doors once one of the things inside te door get worn or fail this happens.... Its a royal pain to get it open and then repaired.
 

raymaines

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sadly on these stupid doors once one of the things inside te door get worn or fail this happens.... Its a royal pain to get it open and then repaired.
But I wonder why this would happen on a rear door? I could see the driver's door, but not the passenger side rear door.
 

swshawaii

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^ Maybe non use, Dirty, dry lock cylinders and door latches are prone to failure and should be cleaned and lubricated periodically especially if not used.

Common problem with door lock cylinders sticking and not turning freely with a key.
Same applies to all the door lock mechanisms and linkages. If parts are not moving freely and binding, something's gonna break.
 

RR-sport trac

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My guess is it is a combination of poor design and time plus the child lock mechanism is on the back doors - then when people get in the back and don't have the "knack" for opening the door it doesn't open right away and they think they did not give it enough force and start yanking on it harder and something breaks - my daughter who sits on the passenger side in the back can open it every time but no one else - I have temporarily fixed it numerous times - it is on my list to get new latch rod connections and see if that helps but until the door breaks completely it is low priority
 

swshawaii

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PCV valve mounted in the rear of the driver side valve cover is ridiculously close to the firewall. Replacing the rear door actuator was another one of the more difficult jobs on my 2005. There is so little space and visibility, plus Ford made the glass run channel irremovable for the rear doors. Two "simple" jobs that took me much longer than I care to admit. Rant over. LOL
 

RR-sport trac

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PCV valve mounted in the rear of the driver side valve cover is ridiculously close to the firewall. Replacing the rear door actuator was another one of the more difficult jobs on my 2005. There is so little space and visibility, plus Ford made the glass run channel irremovable for the rear doors. Two "simple" jobs that took me much longer than I care to admit. Rant over. LOL
I feel your pain - I am embarrassed to say how long it took me to change the rear door latch on the driver's side....
 

swshawaii

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Front actuators and latches were pretty easy for me. Rear with the glass run channel in the way is something I never want to do again. Had the finger cuts from razor sharp sheet metal to prove it. Leather gloves don't work when you need "feel". Found it much easier to cut the white plastic actuator "pistons" for wiggle room. Wasn't going to save bad actuators anyway.
 

Guswah

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Thanks to everyone for all the info. When the rain stopped I got back into the project and tried Blert's #3 suggestion (enter number code and then "3"). It didn't work.

It does appear that the door needs to come apart. But just to add to some of the above comments, yes, it's a rear door, and it's not used very much. When it seized shut, I'd opened it normally and then my daughter slammed it shut from outside. I suspect something weak in the door just broke or came apart. Regardless, this would be a testament to Ford's inability to create durable door components.
 
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