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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
(Apologies in advance, as the original content of this how-to was posted in a duplicate thread that got nuked, so it might look different this time around.)

If you found yourself in a situation where you cannot extricate yourself from your car, then you've come to the right thread! My driver side door latch decided that it wasn't going to let me open the door any further, and instead of cutting a hole in the door card to access the door internals, I decided to attack the problem from the other side.

Tools needed:
  • Die grinder
  • Metal cutoff wheel
  • Metal grinding bit (see below for example)
  • 15mm deep socket and ratchet
  • Long, thin, flat blade screwdriver or similar alternative
  • Pliers/vicegrips
  • Shop vac (optional, but highly recommended)
Parts needed:
  • 2x A126W5329F door striker bolts
  • 1x B132B4169J (LH) or B132B4170J (RH) latch (optional)
  • 1x B124B0201F door striker (optional)
The Procedure:

First things first, you'll need to strip the rear interior from the car. This includes the rear seat cushion, the rear seat back cushion, the rear headrests, the rear window trim, and the rear side trim, depending on which door striker you need to access. The front lower edge of the rear side trim pieces slip underneath the trailing edge of the door sill trim pieces, and since the door won't open, you won't be able to remove the door sill trim. But you can remove the 2 fir tree fasteners in the side of the door sill trim piece and slide the rear side trim piece out from underneath it with it in situ. If there is more clarification needed on the trim removal, please let me know and I can add more detail.

Since my driver's door was stuck, that's what I'll use in the example. With the driver's seat folded and slid as far forward as possible, I removed the rear side trim piece to expose the door striker bolts and the ECU:

striker_backing.jpg

The area highlighted in red is the nutplate with the 2x 15mm nuts that are lightly welded to the plate, and the 2x door striker bolts. Take your 15mm socket and ratchet and break free the 2 nuts. They'll resist, since they're welded, but eventually the welds will break and the nuts will spin. Go ahead and remove the nuts and set them aside. The door should be a bit loose at this point, and the bolts will wobble.

Put your shop vac in the car (turn it on) and place the hose near the ECU. With your pliers/vicegrips in one hand, and your die grinder with cutoff wheel in the other hand, hold one of the striker bolt legs and cut it off as close to the nutplate as possible. Repeat on the other bolt leg. It should look like this (minus the nuts; I hadn't removed them yet, but it would have made things easier):

striker_back_nopost.jpg

Remove the nutplate and set it aside. The door should open more now, and on the outside of the car, using the long thin screwdriver or something similar, try and wedge it into the door gap against the door striker bolt head. The idea is you want to prevent it from spinning, which will likely happen in the next step. Swap out the cutoff wheel for the metal grinding bit. With the shop vac going, grind off the remaining bit of bolt body from inside the holes. Once the overall bolt length is around 3/4", the door should open:

door_open.jpg

I wasn't able to prevent the bolt heads from spinning entirely, so there was some slight damage caused to the door itself:

door_open2.jpg

But the damage is minimal, and can be repaired/repainted at a later date. Once the door is open, you can remove the door card and try and manipulate the latch from inside the door. If you're unable to get the latch to release the door striker, you can carefully cut it off with the cutoff wheel and replace it. You can also now access the 3x bolts that hold the door latch to the door, if you plan on replacing the latch assembly (I did, just for peace of mind).

Here's what you'll have once everything is open:

body_side.jpg striker_parts.jpg

To reassemble, the order is bolt -> door striker -> black washer -> black trim plate -> silver washer -> nutplate -> 15mm nut. All of the parts except for the nutplate and nuts are on the outside of the door jamb.

For reference, here is an example picture of grinding bits, of which I used one that looks like a ball:

1259646
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks CO. I actually asked the mods to remove this thread, since Cloudflare was giving me grief when I posted, and it ended up double-posting. The other thread with the same title actually has the pictures inline.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gah! They removed the wrong double-post! :smh:

Give me a few to recreate the how-to in the first post.
 
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