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Take a close look at the installation of the latching mechanism. There may be a slight adjustment that could be made to cause the latch to fully engage. I'm thinking the replacement was not placed in perfect alignment and the latch is failing to secure the door.
Look to see if there are slotted holes at the mounting surface indicating adjustment potential. Look on both pieces of the door latch as the mis alignment could be on either. Also check the door spacing across the top. Is it perfectly aligned or is it lower on one side by a half-millimeter of so indicating a hinge issue? A subtle change in the height of the door on one side could be the cause of mis alignment of the latch.
can you open from the inside, its the only way you going to get to sort this, failing that you may need to get a new door card and rip the one off the door at the top corner near to the lock latch and split the plastic and pull the door pin inside to open then take the door card off. sometimes you can do it with out braking the door card but would not say it will not brake. inside there is a plastic clip that the handle go's on then another bar to the lock. this is designed to snap if some one trys to open the door with force.failing that the handle part can snap where the bar fits to it. that you would need to change the handle.
Why does the interior knob or lever on my front entry
handleset sometimes cause the latch mechanism to jam and the exterior
thumb press to lock in place?If the front entry handleset is
newly installed, the latch mechanism may be binding. If the exterior
handleset is left sitting in the bottom of the bore hole through the
door, the rectangular spindle that extends through the latch may be
somewhat tilted and binding. This can be checked by loosening all
screws, slightly lifting the exterior handle, and then tightening the
screws before releasing the handle. This may make the spindle more level
with the latch and eliminate the binding. If this does not resolve the
problem, or the handleset has been installed for some time before the
problem occurs, the latch mechanism may be failing and need to be
This is a very common problem on all chevy trucks for this year. The door lock solenoids are integrated into the door latch assembly, and are notoriously weak. They will work fine sometimes, others they just seem to barely move or not at all. You will need to replaced the door lock / latch assembly for the affected door.
Check to see if one of the two tabs on the door latch assembly are broken. If one is broken, replace the door latch. If the door latch is ok, you might have to replace the door switch and the door latch. To replace the door switch you have to remove the front panel. Remove the two screws holding the door switch assembly in place and drop the door switch assembly down into the bottom of the washer. Remove the wires and transfer to the new switch. Reach up and line up the new switch and install the two screws. Remove the two screws on the door latch assembly on the door, and remove old door latch. Install the new latch and replace the front panel. I hope this helps.
Section 01-14A: Handles, Locks, Latches and Mechanisms
1995 Thunderbird, Cougar Workshop Manual
REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION
Removal and Installation
Remove front door trim panel (23942) and watershield from front door (20124). Refer to Section 01-05 .
Mark the location of the bolt retaining front door glass run front retainer (21572). Remove the bolt.
Check all rod connections against the appropriate illustration. Correct any disconnected or loose connections and check operation before replacing parts.
Remove power door lock actuator (218A42).
Disconnect the rods from the front door latch (21812) . The front door latch remote control link (21940) and the latch-to-lock cylinder rod cannot be removed because of the rod's end configuration. Remove wiring from clip on front door latch shield.
Remove front door latch control cylinder rod (22134) from the door lock cylinder (21985).
Remove front door latch remote control and link (21818).
Remove the front door latch retaining screws. Disconnect the door open warning lamp switch (14018) , if so equipped. Remove the front door latch from the front door .
NOTE: Do not damage anti-theft shield. Remove anti-theft shield from the front door latch .
Remove front door latch remote control link , front door latch control cylinder rods , and door open warning lamp switches from front door latch , where applicable.
To install, reverse Removal procedure. Tighten front door latch retaining screws 4-8 Nm (36-70 lb-in).
Front Door Latch Push Button Rod
Front Door Latch Remote Control Link
Door Latch Shield
Power Door Lock Actuator
Front Door Latch Control Cylinder Rod
Front Door Latch
Remote Control Assembly
Door Latch Removal and Installation
Remove front door trim panel (23942) and watershield. Refer to Section 01-05 .
Remove screw and washer assembly retaining front door latch remote control and link (21818) to front door (20124) .
Rotate front door latch remote control and link to remove from front door latch remote control link (21940) .
you need to remove the door trim. Remove linkage attached to latch. Usually the latch will be secured with 3-4 large phillips or torx screws. Remove old latch and reverse procedure to install new latch
Remove door trim panel and watershield. Refer to Section 01-05 .
Check all connections of remote control links and cables. Service as necessary.
Remove remote control assembly.
Remove door latch remote control assembly from latch assembly.
Drill out rivet at bellcrank and link (264B14).
Remove three screws attaching latch assembly to door.
Drill out rivet that attaches actuator motor to door.
Remove latch assembly with actuator motor and door latch control rod lever link assembly.
Install new bushings and clip onto latch assembly.
Install latch with links and power lock actuator into door cavity.
Position latch assembly to door, aligning screw holes in latch and door. Install three screws. Tighten to 10-13 Nm (89-115 lb-in).
Attach door latch actuator motor to door with a new rivet.
Install bellcrank and link to door using a new rivet.
Install inside door handle and remote control assembly to door.
Open and close door to check latch assembly operation.
Install watershield and door trim panel. Refer to Section 01-05 .
Door Handle to Door Latch Actuating Cable
Rear Door Control Rod Retainer
Rear Door Latch
Door Outside Handle Tension Spring
Outside Door Handle Anti Rattle Pivot (2 Req'd)
Front Door Outside Handle Spacer (2 Req'd)
Rear Door Actuating Rod
Outside Door Handle Anti-Rattle Bumper
Outside Door Handle Large Pad
Nut (2 Req'd)
Screw (3 Req'd)
Rear Door Electric Latch Actuator (RH)
Rear Door Latch Striker Assembly
Door Lock Striker Plate (Part of Door Shell Assy)
Rivet (2 Req'd)
Bellcrank and Link (RH)
Rear Door Latch Control Rod Link
Rivet (2 Req'd)
RR Door Latch (Inside)
RR Door Latch Push Button Rod
Door Latch Rear Striker Assembly
Screw (2 Req'd)
Rear Door Catch
Truss Head Bolt (2 Req'd)
Rear Door Latch Actuator Retainer
Rear Door Latch Control Escutcheon
Tighten to 21-29 Nm (16-21 Lb-Ft)
Tighten to 10-13 Nm (89-115 Lb-In)
Tighten to 7-8 Nm (62-70 Lb-In)
Tighten to 26-34 Nm (20-25 Lb-Ft)
Tighten to 3-4 Nm (27-35 Lb-In)