1. gtopat

    gtopat New Member

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    Annoyingly, I can't get inside the '76 Gran Fury I just pulled out of the junkyard. All 4 doors are stuck as the latch mechanisms are bound up, presumably from sitting untouched the last 25 years. My typical modus operandi would be destructive, but the body is clean enough, I don"t want to hurt the doors.

    Any chance there's a trick to freeing stuck latches with a careful application of slim-jim, coat hanger or penetrant? Am I resigned to breaking glass (at the least?) Anyone overcome such an obstacle, please share your tips!

    2nd straight 74+ with 4 stuck doors! What are the odds!
     
  2. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    First off, have you determined that the doors are not locked? If they are not locked try spraying penetrating oil between the window glass and the outer door frame, enough lubricant will usually free up the latch. If you can not get the latch free that way, you can pull one or the other of the front fenders and unbolt the door hinges from the door pillar. That will usually give you enough motion to eventually get the latch to release as you rock the door back and forth or up and down with the handle in the proper position to release the latch.

    Dave
     
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  3. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    I'm suspecting that since it's a Gran Fury, it has power door locks. But you should still be able to work the manual linkage on the door panel. The rods are held to the handle and the lock mechanism with (generally) thin metal clips or plastic push-through clips. I suspect that with age and time, the metal clips either rusted apart or the plastic simply evaporated, in either case, the lock rods fell out of their holes if anybody tried to jostle the door or body.

    The lock mechanisms usually have enough space in them, with hopefully enough residual lubrication, with enough of the original cad plating on these areas, that the pieces will move or can be freed-up. Plan on learning to use a SlimJim to get to the lock rod attachment on the latch assy to unlock the door and/or work the latch to open the door.

    My suspicion is that it's not particularly a latch issue, but an actuator rod situation. What would breaking the glass solve in this situation? Use the SlimJim to ensure the latch is unlocked. Remember, too, that the latch has a flat-wound spring which is what "kicks" the door open when the inner latch is activated.

    CBODY67
     
  4. gtopat

    gtopat New Member

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    Thanks guys. I can feel noticeable resistance, particularly in the front doors, when I pull the handles. They're not locked, just feel "gummed up." I'll bust out the Aero kroil and hose down the inside of the door.

    I get no "feel" out of the rear doors, so it may very well be as CBODY67 described, the actuator rod fell out. Looks like I'm adding a slim jim to my tool collection.

    Thank you again for the tips. I'll set to work on them this weekend and report back the details.

    Much appreciated.
    -Pat
     
  5. FK3 Sport Fury

    FK3 Sport Fury Hoser in a toque

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    I ran into the same problem on a rusty parts car that sat for years in a rain forest.I tried the spray inside the doors but it did nothing as there's a metal shield over the latch which prevented the oil from reaching it.Since the doors were rotten anyways,I guesstimated where the latches would be and drilled 2" holes with a hole saw which gave me access to the latches and after multiple sprays and plenty of soak time,they finally came loose.If your doors are good,you could try drilling a much smaller hole that could be repaired later to get the spray in.
     
  6. gtopat

    gtopat New Member

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    I think I ran into the same issue. I thought I had good access as the seals at the bottom of the windows were pretty perished, but no amount of penetrant seemed to help. Though I could get my slim jim onto the actuating rods, they required so much force they started to pop out of the latch. I ended up cleaning the glass spotless and selling the car "as is", the buyer said he would remove the broken windshield and get them open from inside.

    The next one scheduled to come home has stuck doors too (third straight!), but the body is in no-where near as nice shape. I'll do a cut-out in the door skin as you described since I don't need to preserve them. Maybe find a trick that way.

    Thanks again guys.

    -Pat