How do I open the rear doors so that I can repair the broken door latch handle. I assume that because the loosening the few interior door panel screws didn't loosen the panels, there must be more screws that are hidden with the doors closed. The Chilton manual is useless.
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1991 GMC Safari Question: Broken rear door latch
Answer #1Jim Taddei March 04, 2011, 13:19Master
Good question, there is no access to the door latch mechanism from the inside, no mater how many panels you remove. You must cut the old handle off, then you can pull the latch rods and open the door. The access panel is on the inside door edge. Here is the best way to remove the door handle. From the outside you will see to small round bumps on the handle plate that attaches to the door. Those are the heads of the bolts that attach on the inside. You must grind these round heads off to the point where the handle will release from the door. An air powered die grinder works best for this job. As the grinding work is done, you can use a small pry bar or screwdriver to begin to loosen and remove the handle from the door. Once the handle is loose you can pull the rods to open the door. Please let me know how this works for you I am also interested to know if anyone has a better way to remove these door handles.
Answer #2Visitor, March 19, 2011, 13:52
Remove as many of the screws as you can from the right hand (passenger) side interior trim frames and carefully pull them away ( they do bend enough)to access the vinyl covered panel on the metal of the door itself. You should be able to remove most or all of the screws holding the cover panel on. Remove the speaker cover by gently prying it out. Pull that panel out. Reach in to the interior of the door and pull down on one of the 1/8th inch rods in there. It will be a fairly strong pull and that will unlatch the door. The other rod locks and unlocks the door. You will probably have to replace the latch mechanism. This has happened to me a few times and I have put a small access cover on the panel in anticipation of the next time. Door latches are a weak point on this vehicle.