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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-09-2012, 03:37 PM
tehnards tehnards is offline
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Driver Door Will Not Open From Inside or Out

Hey there,

Been struggling with this problem for a while. Figured I would try my luck here.

e36 sedan. Driver door will not open from inside or out. I've taken off the panel and the actuator, since it works. It seems the latch is stuck in a closed position and neither of the handles will activate it.

Is there a place on the door lock that I can press or pull that will manually activate the latch? I've tried almost everything, besides drilling into the door which may be next..

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2012, 03:49 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Have you tried using the key and make sure the door is unlocked first? The locking mechanism may be stuck and preventing the latch from opening.

Since you're in the door already, try pulling/prying up on the metal hoop on the latch. It's what connects the outside handle with the latch. If that won't open the door, it's either locked or the latch is broken. Metal hoop circled in picture below.....
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2012, 03:54 PM
tehnards tehnards is offline
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Thanks for the quick reply. I definitely have unlocked it by way of both connections (the key and the lock knob that sticks up). That metal hoop gets pulled as well with no result. I think it should be a stuck latch..

Last edited by tehnards; 08-09-2012 at 04:08 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-09-2012, 04:00 PM
tehnards tehnards is offline
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OK. I did a bit of drilling to expose the area a bit more. Here are some photos.








Last edited by tehnards; 08-09-2012 at 04:04 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2012, 05:53 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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wow...a little more cutting and you could just cut the door out...


hope you can repair that, though.


have you tried wiggling the levers to see if there is any free play, or looked into the bottom of the door for tiny broken bits that would indicate something has jammed??

you might need to get a little more umph behind it, but something should movewith enough leverage.

sorry to say, though, i have no keen insight other than what has already been offered.




df
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:03 PM
tehnards tehnards is offline
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Thanks for the reply. I've messed with every lever you can see, no luck.

As for the cutting, It doesn't matter. I just want the damn thing open. I have another door.

Last edited by tehnards; 08-09-2012 at 06:04 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2012, 11:42 AM
Jahnaboi Jahnaboi is offline
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Did you ever sold this problem?
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2012, 02:57 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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i believe there was another door won't open thread, and the op took it in to a shop that (apparently)m had the door open in a matter of minutes.

i have *no* clue as to how or what was done to accomplish this, but if there is some strange alchemy in regards to how to do this i wish that those that do know would share. it would be a wonderfull addition to the sticky's....




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  #9  
Old 12-23-2012, 05:07 PM
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Is it just me or does this latch mechanism look like its locked?
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  #10  
Old 12-23-2012, 06:34 PM
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J. Koopman J. Koopman is offline
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My DS door gets a little tough to open in cold weather. I pull up on the handle but it feels like the parts in the door don't like to move very freely when it's cold. I just have to be a bit careful with it. Does yours feel like that or does it all feel like it's seized up inside?
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  #11  
Old 12-25-2012, 01:24 PM
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drive by72 drive by72 is offline
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Could be a sign of a broken door handle. If the handle likes to "stick", that may indicative of the handle's frame being broken.
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  #12  
Old 03-11-2014, 04:17 PM
Hamishc Hamishc is offline
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E36 Drivers Door won't open from Inside or Outside

I have a 1994 320i (E36), the drivers door would not open from either the inside or outside it was like the door mechanism was deadlocked. I tried a number of different suggestions as described in various forums however nothing worked. In the end I came to the conclusion that the mechanism was broken and would require replacement. I purchased a second hand door mechanism and took the car to a smash repair shop as I expected they would know how to get parts apart and have the tools to cut open car parts after an accident. They were able to get the mechanism out without cutting the door frame and replaced the the unit with the second hand one I bought. I understand that they had to cut and chisel the old mechanism out, destroying it, to release the door. The cost was under $AUD100 plus the cost of a second hand lock mechanism (BMW quoted $800 for the part and time, approximately $AUD1100 all up). If the door completely dead locks this is probably the only way that you will get the door to reopen to make repairs. Hope this helps, good luck.
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2015, 06:13 PM
White528iSyd White528iSyd is offline
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Door won't open door will not open insside or outsde

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Old Today, 12:59 PM
White528iSyd White528iSyd is online now
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Door won't open door will not open
I had this problem with our 528i E39 1996. the passenger door seixed and could not be opened by internal or external handle. The lock indicator went up and down electrically/electronically via the actuator but the door would not open.

I tried spraying WD40 or aerosol liquid lubrication into accesible areas. I tried multiple door handle operations inside and outside. I tried thumping against the inside and outside of the door to unjamb it.

I read about making a hole in the door lining to break up the actuator and the risks with the air bag (DISCONNECT THE BATTERY FIRST AND LET THE CIRCUIT DISCHARGE FOR 15 MINUTES BEFORE MAUCKING ABOUT WITH THE EXPLOSIVE AIRBAG!!!), but was reluctant to do this but it seemed the way to go. BUT then I found this and it worked for me. door open, no damage done.

I used a hacksaw blade as a thin stiff insert between the window wound down and fully open and the inside rubber seal to get down to the locking mechanism at the rear of the outside door handle - thst is where you aim for, and then move the tool around feeling for a lever you can push down that is a mechanism that is springy and you can move. After a while of doing this and feeling around with the tool. You can manipulate the inside and outside door handles while doing this trying to open the door.

Finally it opened, no damage! I did scratch the window tint a liitle bit because i used a hacksaw blade but no big deal. Then I used my finger to operate the door lock clasp instead of closing the door again, and opened and closed the mechnism with both door handles many times to ensure it was working. I sprayed al parts with WD40 and removdd the little opening cover next to the lock on the normally concealed door edge to access into the lock area. Make sure you pull out the inner oval like section on this port hole as it comes out and then if you want to you can pull out the outer part of the port hole. At first I levered out the whole port hole cover but found I should have done it as a two step process. You cannot put it back in the hole in the door metal unless you take it apart as the two parts and put the base in before the cover.

Lubricate the lot and keep using the door as I suspect it was seized by moiture or disuse and became stuck as the locking pin that you can feel delatch when you slowly open the door latch with either handle with the door open and using a finger to reset the latch each time. Try practising with a door you can open first so you get the feel of it. Maybe it also teaches the other jammed door what you want it to do?? these cars are getting old and probably imprinting on the owners mentality, so be nice to it :-))
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