The Problem: One of our vehicles is a 2005 Ford Freestar minivan. Recently, one of the rear sliding doors refused to unlatch or unlock. The lock mechanism was completely jammed and could not be unlocked by either the electronic lock button, or manually pulling up on the lock button. Pulling on the door handles (inside or out) did nothing.
The Issue: Obviously, I did not know this when starting into the repair, but the linkage (essentially a shaped metal rod) that linked the latch handle mechanism (for lack of a better term) with the latch had come loose--probably from passengers slamming the door too hard for too many years)--and fallen out of place, thus preventing the latch from being released. Moreover, it apparently had fallen into just the right position to jam the locking mechanism.
|This is the linkage. The end on the left of the picture fits into a lever that is part of the latch/lock control mechanism. The right side, which is coated in black, fits into the latch release.|
The Repair: The first step in the repair is to remove the inside door panel. First, unscrew the locking knob (which simply screws onto a rod in the door). This is actually quite long, so it will take a lot of turns to completely remove it.
Second, remove the screw near the door handle.
|Remove the circled screw first.|
With the panel removed, you should see the interior of the door, which will be covered by a water barrier / insulative layer.
|Moisture barrier / insulation. You can see the rod to which the knob for the lock attaches.|
|Lock - Latch Mechanism|
|Latch. Three more torx-head screws to be removed.|
|Blue ring gone! This is where the uncoated portion of the linkage fits.|
|Here is the blue ring. Just push it back into the hole.|
|Here is how the back of the linkage fits in.|
|In the circled area you can see part of the hole that the front of the linkage fits into. The arrow indicates the direction of the pivot.|