View Full Version : Sliding door can't open from inside.

09-16-2015, 04:46 AM
...and it's not the plastic piece cracking as discussed here (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16718&highlight=sliding+door+bailing+wire+weld).

I've got some thoughts on what is going on....but I'll tell the story here...

Door does not open from indoors. moving the indoor latch back and forth locks and unlocks the door. But from the inside I cannot get the door to open. I can see the rear cable get pulled... but perhaps not enough? From the inside (with the guts exposed) I can push on the place where the exterior door engages, and need to LEAN into it, and then the door will POP open. (similar story when opening the door from the outside - I'm afraid I'm gonna break that plastic handle one day since I really need to yard on it...)

So... I'm thinking that the interior latch is bottoming out on itself and cannot pull the cable far enough to actually open the rear latch enough to open the door. If that is the case... the cause could be the tab that the interior latch engages is bent... (it seems like a solid piece though... can anyone confirm if it should be bent oro not? pictures from manuals that I pull up aren't quite the same so hard to difficult.)

...hard to discuss all this to diagnose online... but I think a good start would be to ease the opening of the door from the outside first somehow, and see if that helps the effort to open from inside. Thoughts on that? lubricating the cable? Seems like the force required to POP the door is a bit more than I would expect from just a high friction cable....


09-16-2015, 04:49 AM
...and in the picture when I say "pull real hard" of course, I mean "push real hard" from the inside on the piece I'm pointing to.... :)

09-16-2015, 06:28 AM
not supposed to be bent, supposed to be at the 12:00 position. This was one of the problems with Butterjoe's van. I made him a few steel reinforced handles, too.

Stuff gets out of line and needs to be adjusted, or bent. The exterior handle engagement might need to be bent closer to the plastic actuator. Maybe the latch strike itself, at the rear of the door, needs adjustment; how easy does the lever activate things with the door OPEN? Also make sure to lube everything with a quality lubricant, not WD40. Take it out and clean it with WD40, and then use a low viscosity lubricant.

09-16-2015, 06:29 AM
Oh yeah, also check under the step for stuff getting in the way of the roller wheel.

09-16-2015, 04:32 PM
With the door open and the latch "open" it's fairly easy... the only thing you pull against is friction in the cable, I think. Doesn't seem terrible.

If I flip the rear latch closed while the door is open and then engage the handle it's a bit harder... maybe that indicates I need to concentrate there to have those two pulls be more equal, so the latch opening doesn't add so much friction?

I figure this all happened because it got hard to open the door, and more and more force was required which eventually bent the inner workings of the interior latch. Hopefully I can bend it back, and lube things up and that'll do it??

How hard is it to take this whole assembly out and lubricate, or is it easier to try and clean / spray while its in the door? Doesn't seem like you have the best access to everything in there. Are there low viscosity lubricants in a spray form? I've used similar compounds for rebuilding bottom brackets and hubs on bikes... but it's always been dripping out of a bottle.

The wheels squeak in the track too - seems like those little bearings are probably easier to replace then to lubricate?


09-16-2015, 04:49 PM
Easy removal, three screws and disengage the plunger lock (I don't know if 04-06 has a plunger) and the cable to the latch; both just snap in to plastic holders. I think you have to take the outer handle off, too. After unscrewing the inner phillips screw and removing the tail piece, pull the handle out and slide it toward the front or back of van (I forget which) about an inch and remove it from the outside. Probably toward the front. The plastic handle slides into a groove in the door sheetmetal to hold the back end of it in place. DO NOT LOSE THE INNER PARTS OR DROP THE SCREWS DOWN INTO THE DOOR. Magnets are your friend.

Clean and lube everything, make sure to clean and lube the cable housing, too. And the latch at the rear of the door that engages the strike. The strike might need to be adjusted up/down in/out; if it's off it will be hard to actuate the latch. The inner handle tab can be bent back in to place with pliers. Some of the wax based bike lubricants like Pedro's might work well on the latch/lock actuator, since they don't collect dust.

I've never taken the track wheels off, I've just used a spray lithium grease.

09-16-2015, 05:07 PM
Thanks so much... I'll give it a go tonight!