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Anybody ever disassemble a closed Plymouth door?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by StayFrosty, May 10, 2013.

  1. StayFrosty
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 24

    from Wisconsin

    Hello everyone,

    I went to take the '54 Plymouth out for a drive the other day. When I attempted to open the driver door it behaved like it was locked--the handle pulled out freely and didn't do anything. Thinking I accidentally locked the door somehow, I crawled through the passenger side and tried opening the door there. I got a little (but less than normal) resistance from the handle but the latch did not disengage. I removed the metal trim around the window and looked in to the door as I tried the handle again. I could see the linkage moving correctly.

    If I ever want to open this door again, I suppose I'm going to have to disassemble it with the door shut and figure out what part of the latch is broken. Has anybody on here ever done this? Any tips on how I might remove the door panel without destroying it? The lower part of the panel is original and still in near-perfect condition. I would like to save it if at all possible.

    In addition, the process for removing the interior door handle/escutcheon is less than obvious. From the research I've done, there is supposed to be a pin somewhere that has to be removed but I haven't had any luck locating any pins. Any advice on this would be welcomed as well.

  2. Old Ray
    Joined: Jul 21, 2008
    Posts: 92

    Old Ray

  3. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,298

    Rusty O'Toole

    You may have to take the door panel off the passenger side and look inside to see how the mechanism goes together then reach down beside the window with a slim jim or coat hanger wire to open the door.

    The escutcheon is spring loaded. Push it in, you should see the pin thru the handle. There is a special tool to take them out but a small punch or even a nail ground flat on the end will do.

    (slow typing tonight, Ray beat me to the punch ha ha)
  4. daliant
    Joined: Nov 25, 2009
    Posts: 684


    Sometimes all they need is a good shove to get them open, if the handle still feels like it's still attached to something have someone hold the handle from the outside (make sure they stand out of the way so you don't blast them with the door if it opens) then from the inside give it a good shoulder check. When you do manage to get the door open lube the heck out of the latch wheel and test the action before closing the door again.
    Last edited: May 10, 2013

  5. StayFrosty
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 24

    from Wisconsin

    I don't know that I want to try that. The handle on the outside doesn't feel like it's doing anything. The only resistance is the handle return spring.

    Thanks for the helpful hints on the door handles and window handles though. I'll have to give that a try tomorrow.
  6. magoo
    Joined: Jun 6, 2002
    Posts: 213


    my 58 Plymouth has a strange clip to hold the handles on It has a square shaft with a groove running across it on one side with a lip clipping on to it took ages to work it out. also sometimes the door seems to lock itself for no reason,but works fine after you unlock it with the key

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