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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a couple of days ago my driver side handle handle on my 97 firebird broke, or something with the lonkage broke so it couldnt be opened from the outside. THEN later that day the lock broke somehow and now its stuck in the locked position, cant open the door at all, can't unlock with electronic locks or manuel, inside or out. How the hell can I take the door apart to fix the problems if i can't even open the door? Please help, I'm in quite the predicament here...
 

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There's a small chance you can remove the interior door panel with the door still closed. With panel off, you can get to the lock mechanism to remove the connecting rods and outer door lock assembly.

But I'm thinking you will probably have to destroy the interior panel to remove it.

96 factory service manual in 4th gen tech section will have diagrams of all internal door parts.

If door panel has to be destroyed, craigslist or ebay to find a good used one.

If you drive car to a lock smith shop, he might be able to unlock door for you with a special tool lock smiths and car thieves have.
 

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Ramblin' Wreck
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You can't remove the panel completely but you can get it open a bit to reach inside. Use the same procedure for removing the panel. You can do that from inside. Then move the seat all the way up and tilt forward the seat back. You should then be able to lift up on the panel and pull the rear part of the panel out. Not sure how much this will help, but you can then reach all the rods and maybe the levers.

Another possibility is to drill out the lock from the outside. You may have to replace it anyway.
 

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Ok so the lock magically got unjammed by itself and I was able to get the door open. The plastic rod clip for the exterior door handle broke. So I got a new one, got it on the rod but I cannot get the clip through the hole in the exterior door handle to attach it. I've tried various tools and leverage methods but I just can't seem to push the end of the clip through the door handle hole. It's too far back in there to get my hand in there. Any suggestions?
 

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Ramblin' Wreck
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The service manual seems to imply that the clip is already on the handle when the handle is installed, then you fasten the rod to the clip. You may have to remove the handle, attach the clip and reinstall the handle. Two nuts on the inside of the door skin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok so I took the handle out, put the clip in the handle, now the problem is I can't get the rod in the clip because I had to disconnect the clip from the rod to put it in the handle now I can't navigate the rod into the clip because there is just no room in that door for me to put any sort of useful tools to maneuver the rod... This is much harder than it should be...
 

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Ramblin' Wreck
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This may not help, but is it possible to completely remove the rod and attach it to the handle before installing the handle? Is there enough room to get it inside from the outside? It may be easier to attach the rod to the latch from inside the door(?).
 

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Actually there was a way I figured out. You can push down the rod enough to pull it so the end is coming out of the outside of the door. That is how I was able to attach the rod to the clip. It was a bit difficult getting the handle back in because the rod was attached but I got it done. After several hours of fighting everything with that door, I got it done. Thanks for the help and advise. I couldn't have done it without attaching that clip to the handle first.
 

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Ramblin' Wreck
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You are very welcome. Once again, we see that the GM service manual isn't prefect ;-)
 
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