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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

Van rear door won't open!

 
  #31  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jimbomitch View Post
Well, it finally happened, my Baby Doll turned 25 this year and I went to open the rear door last week and guess what? Yup, won't open, haven't tried from the inside yet because I can't reach it (I'm in a wheelchair). Waiting to recruit a friend to try it. I have a spare van so it's not anything urgent, but I think it's safe to say if you have an older van you can expect this to happen.
I did a quick search and found this thread, so I figured I continue it to help inform others. Because it can happen at the worst possible time. If my door doesn't open from the inside this will turn into a PIA because the van has a back seat close to the doors.
I'll update the outcome as the repair progresses.
My ride is 24 years old and besides the door cable ends I've had to replace the plastic "lock pawls" on the front doors. They attach the door lock to the lock rod. When it breaks the door lock turns but does nothing. Better get a set on hand now before you need them. There is a right hand/left hand part and most sale them in pairs.
I found mine on ebay, 5 pairs for about $5
 
  #32  
Old 05-07-2018, 08:54 PM
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@ Jeffery: do you have power locks? My doors are locked most of the time, they don't get used much because I enter through the side door that's remote controlled; the only time the doors get unlocked is when I have a rider and have to unlock the passenger door, or need to get into the rear.
 
  #33  
Old 05-08-2018, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jimbomitch View Post


From what I've gleaned in my research, these are the cure: https://www.ebay.com/itm/4pcs-For-Fo...72.m2749.l2649

Once I get access to the assembly, that is. Had a friend stop by to reach over the back seat to try to open the door. I explained where the inside handle was located and he said there was none. The van conversion company upholstered over it! Not off to a good start.

Edit to add that I very seldom open the rear doors, maybe 10 times per year. So it can be safe to assume this is age related.
That should do it. Easier and cheaper than changing the cable.
 
  #34  
Old 05-11-2018, 02:32 PM
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Well, thankfully we were able to get the door open from the inside, so when I get a chance I'll repair the cable, which is cracked on the plastic end, as expected.
 
  #35  
Old 05-12-2018, 03:46 PM
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Yesterday we got the door open from the inside, but that was a one shot deal because one of the inside cable ends broke after we opened it, although I was unaware of it. The door was never opened from the inside for 25 years because the upholstery panel was covering it. Confirmation that age is a big part of these failures.

Good thing I got the license plate housing/handle assembly removed because I ran out of time and shut the door. Today it wouldn't open from the inside handle so I had to fiddle around trying to open it from the latch from the outside license plate opening.

Still didn't get the assembly out yet, looks like the power lock actuator (riveted in) has to come out at the same time, with the inside door handle. Ran out of time, although this time I unbolted the latch and propped the door shut.

The cable ends seem to be the ticket, but the cable cover needs to be thinned down for the ends to slide on easily.
 
  #36  
Old 05-14-2018, 03:44 PM
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Got the latch/cables/door lock actuator assembly removed today. Come to find out that it appears that rather than drilling the rivet, the lock actuator can be pried off the bracket, but don't know how difficult it would be to push it back on. I'm going to try some kind of alternative fastening than the rivet because I don't have the rivet tool that's required.

Once I get right door done I'm going to do the left door because it'll just be a matter of time before those cables fail too.
 
  #37  
Old 05-14-2018, 09:03 PM
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You don't need to remove the actuator to replace the cables. I didn't with mine. It' ain't an easy fix, but it can be done. Also helps to remove the license plate mount from the door to access the lock mechanism
 
  #38  
Old 05-15-2018, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by baddad457 View Post
You don't need to remove the actuator to replace the cables. I didn't with mine. It' ain't an easy fix, but it can be done. Also helps to remove the license plate mount from the door to access the lock mechanism
Thanks baddad. Already removed the license plate housing and removed the complete latch assemblies. I'm spinal cord injured so my hands don't operate enough to get in there to remove the cable ends. Pretty simple task removing everything, just the actuator is a bit of an obstical. Now that it's off I can see that it could have been pried off the mounting bracket, rather than removing the rivet.
 
  #39  
Old 05-12-2019, 08:31 PM
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Grrrr. Really? Again?

Having the same issues with a 94 E250 XL Extended.

First main side door wouldn't open from outside.
Then main back door wouldn't open at all.

Went to Piknpull and checked ford vans for similar latches and cables.
Weirdly, the latches and cables had been stripped out of every van (21) from 92 to 05ish except 1 van.
For something that's "not a common problem", that's really weird.
Luckily that van had arrived week or so before, so I pulled out the cables and latches on back door.
Pulled the side door complete and went on my merry way.
Come to find out when I get home, actuators have to be drilled out because they're riveted in for some reason.
Get the back door system apart, kinda get it fixed, but no way to rivet it back in.

At this point I'm pretty F-ing over it.
Definitely wish I found this thread a week ago. Would have saved me some cash and time.

Went to repair shop (Stereo / Tint / Electronics), they removed the guts of old cable system and actuators.
Replaced with aftermarket rod style, works great. They did both doors, cleaned up and greased latches, new actuators with Rod style connections, $60 a door, 4 hours $120 done and gone.
Stoked my doors all work!

1 week later, Today, both Side and Rear secondary doors won't open.
I can feel that the bottom latch releases, but not the top.
I'm guessing this is yet another cable problem?

Going to pull doors apart tomorrow and see if it can just be fixed with those billet pieces.
I'll try to take pictures of what I find and the fix that works.
 
  #40  
Old 05-13-2019, 09:01 AM
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You can use a 1/4-20 fasteners instead of the rivet to secure the actuator bracket. But as I mentioned in another post, after I drilled out the rivet and removed the assembly, I noticed that the bracket had slots so the actuator could have been removed with the bracket remaining in place.
 
 
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