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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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2004 dodge intrepid door wont open

Without completely mangleing the drivers side door of my 2004 intrepid, it won't open from inside or out. screws to access are on the bottom. Has anyone experienced this issue??
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 09:35 PM
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The latch rods use small plastic retaining clips that have a habit of breaking now because of their age. You'll be able to access them by taking off the door panel. You have 3 screws that run along the bottom lip, three inside the speaker housing, one in the pull cup, one behind your handle and two where the dash end cap molds into the door when closed. Then, carefully from the bottom, give it a sharp yank and it lifts right off.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 10:13 PM
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hey Squill he can't open the door from inside or outside the car so taking the panel off is a no go unless he tears it up
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 10:41 PM
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I'd get yourself a cheapy slim-jim set... then go to a junk yard where you can take apart the door and practice with the door panel off where to grab with the slim-jim.

Maybe do it on your own passenger side, then reach in and do the driver's side with the passenger side apart for reference?

Short of that, using a junk yard or replacement outer door handle as a reference, drill and or cut the driver's side outer door handle to destroy it and remove it - then with it removed, reach in and activate the latch. Then replace the outer handle with the replacment part you already got.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 07:44 AM
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Garage
a wrecker can jimmy the car too if need be.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmccul View Post
I'd get yourself a cheapy slim-jim set... then go to a junk yard where you can take apart the door and practice with the door panel off where to grab with the slim-jim.

Maybe do it on your own passenger side, then reach in and do the driver's side with the passenger side apart for reference?

Short of that, using a junk yard or replacement outer door handle as a reference, drill and or cut the driver's side outer door handle to destroy it and remove it - then with it removed, reach in and activate the latch. Then replace the outer handle with the replacment part you already got.
I have never used a slim-jim, so forgive my understanding if it is wrong. Isn't a slim-jim used to unlock door, since the function is basically "flipping a switch" to unlock/lock the doors? What I mean is the way the rod is used to open the door compared to unlocking isn't the same. Also, doesn't the slim-jim rely on the rod to be secured, at both ends, instead of free-moving? I had this exact problem, but a rear door, and the problem was the rod came loose from the outer door handle and the inner handle was broken. I don't see how a slim-jim would be able to grab, either of those rods, and have enough tension to pull and open. Like I said, I've never used a slim-jim, so forgive me if I am wrong. Maybe a better option would be to break the inner handle and find the rod with some pliers and pull?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 01:26 PM
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I had a similar problem with my 97 intrepid.
What I did was find another interior panel at the junkyard, and then cut an opening in my old panel. Then I just reached inside and worked the latch with my hand.
After I replaced the broken clip, I just popped on the replacement panel.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 01:39 PM
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^^^^^^^^^^ That's the way I'd go because 2nd gen door panels are very plentiful!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 05:43 PM
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And now you also know to replace that part every once in a while!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 10:51 PM
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being a collision repair guy for a living, I'd go with what Bilitheaxe said.....get a replacement door panel first so u know u can find a matching one....then get a boxcutter with a nice new blade and cut a hole in the existing one and find the door rod....pull up on it and the door should open....then replace the cover and probably a plastic retaining clip which broke....or if u don't wanna mess with it take it to a local collision/autobody repair place and they can do it for ya...we charge about $60 an hour and thats a 1 hour job or less....plus parts
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 07:31 AM
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then get a boxcutter with a nice new blade and cut a hole in the existing one and find the door rod....pull up on it and the door should open
I just want to clarify that the rod, connecting to the inner door handle, does not pull up, but rather pull it towards the front of the car to open the door. Also cutting just the door panel is not enough due to the moisture barrier, which you would have to cut through also. This is why I suggest breaking the inner handle area, which will allow you access to that rod and then you can either replace the whole panel or just the handle area.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BatCaveTrep View Post
I just want to clarify that the rod, connecting to the inner door handle, does not pull up, but rather pull it towards the front of the car to open the door. Also cutting just the door panel is not enough due to the moisture barrier, which you would have to cut through also. This is why I suggest breaking the inner handle area, which will allow you access to that rod and then you can either replace the whole panel or just the handle area.
But, since, the inner door handle is not working, it could be that the rod is not connected to the inner door handle
OR it could be that it is not connected to the door latch at the other end.

Since the door panel is being destroyed, anyway, why not just slice off the entire upper half of the panel and get it out of the way.
Would not want to cut any wires, though. That would suck!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 09:58 AM
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But, since, the inner door handle is not working, it could be that the rod is not connected to the inner door handle
OR it could be that it is not connected to the door latch at the other end.
My experiences have been that the rod disconnects from the inner handle, due to where it connects, breaks. If he discovers that the rod is still attached to the inner handle, then I would suggest cutting the panel. By starting small, he may just have to replace the handle area instead of the whole panel. I prefer to "destroy" something is small steps.

Quote:
Since the door panel is being destroyed, anyway, why not just slice off the entire upper half of the panel and get it out of the way.
Would not want to cut any wires, though. That would suck!
The OP, also stated,"Without completely mangleing the drivers side door". By breaking the inner handle area, the door panel is still secured to the door, which will allow him to continue to have a a better looking door panel, in case he doesn't find one to match.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 10:31 AM
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If it was just an inner handle problem, he'd still be able to open the door from the outside and remove the panel traditionally...

He can't remove the panel because he can't get to the lower screws because he can't open the door...

If you can't open the door at all, what can fail that you can actually fix? I'm assuming it is an internal latch failure - and I don't know how that can be fixed from the outside of the latch, honestly... He'd have to have had two rod failures (both interior and exterior handle rods, or the interior handle rod and the lock cylinder rod, plus electric lock failure) to render the door totally un-openable...

Might be a good idea to go to a junk yard, pull apart a door, remove the latch mechanism, and study it and how it operates. Then go take apart the inner door panel.

Might be a good idea to remove the driver's seat (4 15mm head bolts, two in front horizontally, two in back vertically) to give yourself some room to work. Then you'll really have to tear apart quite a bit of the door - the inner door structure is quite substantial in that area, so even after removing the decorative door panel, you may not be able to see much.

I hate to say it, but you may end up having to destroy the door to remove it - then replace the door with a junk yard unit.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 12:19 PM
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Didn't someone post a year or so ago that a dealer was able to get theirs open in this situation? Don't rermember details, such as if it was done without any damage.
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