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2000 Dodge Intrepid - Rear door lock removal (if unable to unlock and open door)

Procedure for fixing drivers side rear door with bad lock which was locked with door closed and no way to open it.
This is how I opened it (and would have taken much less time/effort if I knew exactly where the locking pawl was located; so I have included a picture):
Step 1: remove rear seat; it has 2 push-in spring clips at front. Just jerk straight up at each side.
Step 2: From inside of car; Remove 3 Phillips head screws at the bottom of door panel. Slide your finger along bottom of panel and you can feel them.
Step 3: Remove 2 other Phillips screws vertical one in door handle and other in pocket behind door release (there is little rectangular panel over them that must be pried out with small screwdriver)
Step 4: Black Plastic trim at back/top of door panel between window and door frame (about 3" x 4"x 1" deep plastic) is retained by push-in spring clips. Pry it off with stiff putty knife.
Step 5: Door Panel has plastic push-in retainers at lower right and left of panel and hooks over the door at top where it meets the window. Again use the stiff putty knife to pry lower portion of door panel out at the bottom; once free at bottom, push up to disengage the top.
NOTE: The lock/unlock button; door release rod; and power window wiring are attached to the door panel and should be disengaged in the order listed above to remove the door panel.
Step 6: Remove inner (black flex plastic sound absorption sheet) that is secured by a bead of sealant around the perimeter.
Step 7: Use 5 or 6 strips of duct tape on outside of door to tape window in up position to prevent it falling when you remove the power window lift unit (Need to remove lift to provide access to get a drill in the door to drill the lock). The door will need to open later with the tape still holding the window, so make sure you have good adhesion to the door (not just top of car) above window.
Step 8: Window is attached to the lift mechanism by 2 nuts that are visible through ~1” holes just below the window (metal bracket attached to bottom of window has 2 studs pointing horizontally toward you. These studs go through keyhole slotted holes in top silver rail of the lift mechanism). Loosen the nuts a few turns with a socket inserted through the access holes.
Step 9: Must take pressure off the lift mechanism to allow top rail to move horizontally to align nuts with large part of the keyhole slot in silver rail. To do this, temporally connect the power window cable to door panel (do not need to lock it, just electrical contact). Turn key to Accessory position to power the window lift. Carefully, just bump the down direction of window switch on panel to take pressure off the lift. Once silver rail can be moved, slide it to align nuts with large part of keyhole and disengage lift from silver rail. With window switch, lower the mechanism to make it easier to get out. Disconnect the door panel and move it out of the way.
Step 10: Loosen the 5 bolts that hold the window lift mechanism in place (4 around the motor, 1 at end of arm) then lift mechanism out.
Step 11: You now have access to the latch and can drill through the metal back plate of the lock to reach the latch locking pawl. After center punching at the desired location suggest you drill a small ~1/4th inch hole followed by a ½ inch hole. Three holes close together on the lower outboard portion of the plate should provide access to open the latching pawl. Refer to the attached picture of the mangled latch and the new one to determine the location of the holes. (As you can see it took me a lot of trial and error to find the locking pawl.)
Latch and pawl are metal with black nylon coating. Find the latch and pawl through the holes and with pointed tool pry pawl to the right to release the latch. You may need to move the pawl twice since there is a second locking position with door partially open.
Step 12: Once door is open, disconnect the vertical outside handle release rod (red outboard connector – see picture above); remove the 3 torx screws from outside door and remove latch mechanism with rods and wires connected. Installation of new latch mechanism is simple reverse of this step. I found a new latch on ebay for $75.
 
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