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Bob, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4087
Experience:  40 year GM Tech. +30 Certified. ASE Master Tech.(expired, retired) Medium Duty, Heavy Line, Retired
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1999 chevy suburban: rear door will not open.

Resolved Question:

I have a 1999 chevy suburban. the rear door will not open. I have ensured it is not locked and it still will not open. I climbed in the back and applied force to the door while my husband was outside lifting the handle and pulling. It still will not open. I just had it opened yesterday. There is no appartent damage so I do not know what the problem is.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Bob replied 6 years ago.

The problem is going to be that either the linkage to the door latch has become unhooked, which is not uncommon. Or the latch itself has failed and has something inside of it, like a piece of metal flashing or something that is not allowing it to unlock. The real big problem you face is that to gain access to any of it the inner door trim pad must be removed. This is going to be real difficult to do without breaking anything, because they are designed to be removed with the door open. I am going to send you the instructions for removing the door trim in hopes that you can work it off of the door without causing too much damage. Then you will be able to inspect the lock for unhooked linkage, etc. Really sorry that there is not an easier way. Disregard any of it that does not apply to your truck, like the widow regulator handle, yours has none. I will ad a second part to the post, just in case it is the rear barn door that you are referring to instead of a rear side door. If it is actually a lift gate or something else, please advise. Thanks

Rear Side Door Trim Panel Replacement

Removal Procedure

Tools Required

J 38778 Trim Panel Remover

    Caution: Unless directed otherwise, the ignition and start switch must be in the OFF or LOCK position, and all electrical loads must be OFF before servicing any electrical component. Disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent an electrical spark should a tool or equipment come in contact with an exposed electrical terminal. Failure to follow these precautions may result in personal injury and/or damage to the vehicle or its components.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Remove the door handle bezel. .
  3. Remove the window regulator handle, as necessary.
  4. Remove the speaker, as necessary. Object Number: 277812  Size: SH

  5. Remove the trim panel armrest screws.
  6. Using the J 38778 , carefully pry the retainers from the retainer seats.

    Remove the trim panel from the door.

  7. Disconnect the following components:
    The courtesy light connector, as necessary.
    The power window switch connector, as necessary.
    The speaker wiring, as necessary.
  8. Remove the courtesy lamp lens.
  9. Remove the power window switch, as necessary.

Rear Door Trim Panel Replacement (Utility)

Removal Procedure

Tools Required

J 38778 Trim Panel Remover


    Object Number: 277847  Size: SH

  1. Using the J 38778 , carefully pry the retainers from the retainer seats.

    Remove the trim panel from the door.

  2. Remove the retainers from the trim panel.

Installation Procedure


    Object Number: 277847  Size: SH

  1. Install the retainers to the trim panel.
  2. Install the trim panel to the door by completing the following steps:
    2.1. Align the retainers with the holes in the door.
    2.2. Carefully apply pressure to the seat retainers.
Bob, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4087
Experience: 40 year GM Tech. +30 Certified. ASE Master Tech.(expired, retired) Medium Duty, Heavy Line, Retired
Bob and 7 other Car Specialists are ready to help you

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