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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATE - '67 GTO pass door stuck- see page 2

Noticed today door won't open. I can hear the mechanism moving when using the inside handle. I don't hear anything when pushing the outside button. Any trick to getting the interior panel off with the door closed? What should I look for once off? Any adjustments or more like something broke? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

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I had this happen and it is a PIA, you need a stubby Phillips to remove the screws at the bottom and the handle tool to pop the clips on the window crank and door lever.
Two screws hold on the armrest then you can worm it out of there popping the clips by the hinges.
Don't horse it start at the bottom and lift up.
I don't know how I got it to open I just probed the latch with a long screwdriver while jimmying the inside handle and it just popped open.
I worked the mech closing it by hand opening it with the inside handle and outside button, the clips were on there and the rods were intact.
Never did figure out why it did it, after playing with it a few times I closed it and it worked so I put the panel back on.
 

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Does the lock mechanism work? If not, this could be the broken return spring problem I had on my 67. From what I have read, this is really commom.

If you cannot operate the lock knob up and down and hear/feel a distinct click, this could be the problem.

If it is, you can take a long screwdriver and push the lever on the opposite side of the outside button. Push it towards the outside of the car. You will need the window rolled down for this.

Once this lever is pushed back in place, the lock button should pull up and then the door will open.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. The lock is going up and and down normally. Seems to have some resistance with a click when pushed down. So it looks like I gotta go in. Will keep y'all posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Help!! I managed to get the interior panel off but so far no luck in getting the door open. We can see the latch. Both the door button and the inside handle are connected to the latch at they should be. We can see a lever in the latch move downward. It looks like there is another lever next to the one that moves. It moves a little bit downward but not as far at the lever moved by the button or the handle. We got the door to move a little by pushing down on the other lever with a screw driver. You know how when you don't close a door all the way it partially latches? It's a little like that now. The door moves a little but not as much as a partially latched door. My brother wants to cut a hole in the inside panel to allow us to pound more directly on the lever. I told him not until I get some guidance from our collective pals on this board. Suggestions???
 

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Try having one person on the outside lift and pull up on the handle and out with the button pushed in while you jimmy at the mech with a long thin screwdriver.
I wish I could remember what I hit to get mine to pop but it was hard for me to see and whatever it was I hit it just popped open.
I just kept jabbing at the levers.
I really had to cuss it and mess with it for a couple hours before it opened.
I think it was that really long string of expletives that finally did the trick.
I don't know it's like you got the first position to pop and it is stuck on the second position mine just popped open.
There is a spring in there and if it breaks it can jam the mech, mine was ok.
What stuck mine was out in the driveway, door open and a huge gust of wind slammed it shut.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We got it a little loose like it was in the half latched position. Drilled a hole reluctantly thru the rear door jamb. I have an inspection camera so we are able to see the latch on the bolt. Screwed with for 2 hrs with no luck. To check the lock, I locked the door this morning and then put my hip into it to get the door to close completely. As soon as I bumped it the door shut tightly and the lock popped up. We are hoping that the half open position put some kind of detent on the latch preventing us from prying it loose. Now that the door is closed we're hoping that with the button pushed in we can get the latch to rotate around the bolt. Hope it's not wishful thinking. Anyone know where to look for an exploded view of the lock assembly? Are they available anywhere? Thanks.
 

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We got it a little loose like it was in the half latched position. Drilled a hole reluctantly thru the rear door jamb. I have an inspection camera so we are able to see the latch on the bolt. Screwed with for 2 hrs with no luck. To check the lock, I locked the door this morning and then put my hip into it to get the door to close completely. As soon as I bumped it the door shut tightly and the lock popped up. We are hoping that the half open position put some kind of detent on the latch preventing us from prying it loose. Now that the door is closed we're hoping that with the button pushed in we can get the latch to rotate around the bolt. Hope it's not wishful thinking. Anyone know where to look for an exploded view of the lock assembly? Are they available anywhere? Thanks.
I looked all over for that exploded view and couldn't find it.
There is nothing I could find in the service manual on it and all I could find with Google is your post.
It is called a bear claw latch and in order to replace it you have to get the door open to access the screws.
There is a picture of the door latches in the Ames catalog on page 104.
Here are some pics, I don't think there is an exploded view since it is a stamped unit and doesn't come apart?

Bing Images

I had no idea what I was going to do if mine didn't open, I just worked the handle and jabbed at the lever the door handle rod went to and it eventually popped open.
My next plan was to destroy it with my die grinder and go at it with my heel bar or possibly saw off the striker.
There is nothing at all I could find on the net on how to get it open.
 

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It's a simple mechanical problem. The problem is, you can't really see into that area and it's hard to access. If it were me, I'd get an entire new door lock/latch assembly and see if I could remove the old one as it sits. My experience has been that once these latches start to intermittently stick/act up, they keep on doing it due to normal wear. And you never know when. Good luck, and keep us posted.
 

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pjw, that article is your answer. Been awhile, but this happened on my '67 and it was a broken spring. You can barely see it in the photo. Ekler's Chevelle parts has the springs. It's a small spring, and when it breaks, it just falls into the door. I got my door open by rapidly working the door key in the lock while NOT pushing on the door handle button. It popped off, and I was able to fix the mechanism with a new spring. You can retrofit with a generic spring if you want....it just needs enough tension to return the little stop-latch.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
C67GTO, GTOG and GR, thanks. It seems that the locks are readily available so the plan is to obtain a pair first, along with new door panels. 21+ years ago when this car was redone, the folks who did it took a few short cuts. One was to fail to put the vapor barrier back that provided some protection to the inside of the panels. They actually painted over the remains of the original mastic used to hold the barrier in place. So the panels really need to be replaced. Will likely get new armrests and maybe some new cranks and handles. We do have the door a little more loose. I suggested to my brother that we do a General Lee. Find a speed bump and hit it hard. Of course he would have to push on the door at the exact moment. He wasn't too thrilled about the idea. Will keep you all posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
UPDATE...got the door open. While embarrassing, in the interest of someone learning from my mistakes, here's how it went. Take a look at the photos. After discussing with my brother and not getting a silver bullet answer here because there is none, we got ambitious. After studying the driver side door latch, we decided our best course of action was to drill a hole in the door jamb to access the part of the latch that wrapped around the bolt. After doing so, I realized I had partially drilled through the window channel of the back window (not visible in the photos). It survived in spite of me. Now we could see the latch with the inspection camera. We tried for an hour with a screwdriver to free it to no avail. I tried a couple of times on my own but got nowhere. I spoke with my brother yesterday and we decided to give it another go this morning. I fired up the compressor, got out the air tools, drills, etc. We first decide to try to hit up on the latch from the inside with a hammer while he pushed in the button and pulled on the door. No go. The door is open about a 1/4 in so we can wiggle it. I then took a screw driver that had been filed to a point and stuck it into the latch through the hole. I pressed down on it and the door lifted up a bit. So I began a violent up and down motion while my brother pulled up on the outside door handle. The door seemed to open a little more. So I took a larger flat blade screw driver and we started at it again and the door opened in about 10 seconds. Whew!!! So would I do it again this way? Yes. would I study the consequences of drilling blind more carefully before I started? You bet. As for the photos, one shows the hole we drilled from the inside through which you can see the door jamb bolt. One shows the same hole from further back for orientation purposes. And one shows the hole from the outside. Now onto the Internet to start buying parts. Lastly, thanks to all those who responded and even those who didn't. I know you were with me in spirit.
GTO Pass Side Latch by pjw1967 | Photobucket
 

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Glad to hear you got it open with minimal damage, getting access to it and even seeing in there is a real PIA!
Did you figure out why it stuck in the first place?
I never did on mine and I am thinking about replacing it before it does it again.
After getting mine open and working the mech I was really apprehensive about closing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
GR, new ones are available so I am going to get one for each side. Might as well since the driver side could fail at any time as well. You can't see into the mechanism. My guess is the return spring broke and jammed in there somehow. Might try to take it apart someday.
 

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I put a set of them on my list for my next order, I have to open up the panels to replace the handle gaskets anyway so I may as well replace the latches while I have the panels open.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
UPDATE...new latch installed. The mechanism for the push button is dramatically different on the new one vs the old one, but it works nicely. I have tried to show what I believe was the cause of the problem in these photos. One the new one you can barely see a blue "pad" that is next to the latch itself. On the old one you can see what looks like a piece of blue stuff on the bottom. The pad is plastic and seems to provide a buffer against the latch bolt. So it is likely that the 48 year old piece in the old latch broke off and got lodged behind the latch. The rest is history. Will be changing out the driver side latch soon...

 
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