I have dutch doors with lift door on the rear of my van. Lift door release is activated by pushing the release button and using a fixed handle to lift the door. The right side releases as normal, left side will not. I do not see any way to remove inside panelling short of ripping it off with the lift door still closed. Is there a inside release? How can I get to this to repair it? Is it a mechanical or electrical release mechanism at the left latch? thank you very much.
Re: 99 Astro lift door latch left side inoperative
I slammed the door shut one time and the door wood not open at all. I had to take the inside door handle off and found that the cables simply came off of their post (inside the door) on the outside part of the door handle. More than likely only one cable has come off its post on your van. I hope this helps!
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Just repaired the same problem on 97 astro. Get in the back and look for the rear handle on the lift gate and remove it. Mine had two cover pieces over two 10mm bolts. Under the handle and handle plate you can access the push rod for the left side latch. Mine snapped back into place with the plastic holder still in place. You can also get a new plastic piece or wire to hold it into place. I think mine was shut to hard over just wiggled out over the years.
You can pick up the handle from your local GMC dealer. I paid roughly $90 for both (a bit high...but money well spent!) As noted, yes; you do have to remove the interior door panel. From there it's just a matter of removing 4 nuts (metric #10 socket), and replacing them back once the new handle is slipped into place! The bars that operate the door latches simply snap into the plastic clips attached to the handle assembly.
The operation sounds worse then what it really is. It took me longer to write up this review than it did to actually do the work! 5 minutes max...done!! Hell, if you're local; buy the parts
use a large screwdriver,tire iron or a wooden spoon[?] inserted into the 'hole'between the latch levers,where the post should be.lift door latch as if to open door,pull/pry latch 'ears' open.if they don't stay in place when opened fully,latch may be broken.
Inside the panel of the left door there is a metal rod going from the handle to the bottom latch. There is a plastic clip that that connects the linkage to that latch, with time it wears out. You should be able to find it in "HELP" brand section of a big chain auto parts store.
Ok here is what I just did. From the inside I removed the handle bolts and the two screws on both ends. (Be sure the other side is pushed in and latched). Then I used a punch and removed the two hinge pins on the roof. ***WITH SOME HELP*** push the release button. Careful for the door will pop out due to the cylinders pushing outward. At that point I removed the molding to access the latch. *Note---there are two more screws on both ends of the molding.* From the inside you can now reach the latch and release it. Again be careful the other cylinder will push out and the door will drop until it reaches the end of the cylinder stroke. Now you will need to re-pin the hinges at the top. From there I located the broken plastic clip that caused all this discuss. I temporarily removed the latch so I can still use the van until I get to the parts store plus it seems as if it will be easier to replace the clip. GOOD LUCK ! ! !
The handle that broke had a little 'finger' that actuated the release mechanism. The only way to open the back hatch is to remove the inner panel and push on the release mechanism.
Once off, you can either a) buy a replacement handle (expensive) or b) do what I did and simply make a piece of L-shaped metal to lever the release mechanism from the outside.
If your handle is completely off of the door you can look up under the little plastic cover (that hides the handle) and see the slot on the right side that the release handle inserts into. You need to stick the lever into that slot, and angle it down about 30 degrees from horizontal to get under the latch mechanism, which unlocks the hatch if you pry it upwards.