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Leo, Auto Service Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 770
Experience:  2005 Dodge ASE master technician of the year
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Unable to open rear door.

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Door latch is stuck. Unable to open rear door. How do I remove door latch on a closed door ? I got 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Thanks !

It's generally not to bad to get them open..

If you have a flip up liftage window open it up (it'll make it easier).

Then you have to crawl inside, remove the screws from the liftgate trim panel, and try to pull it away far enough to reach down inside to the latch. You'll be able to feel the rod that runs up to the handle assembly. Generally you can trip this by hand, as it's usually a problem with the handle mechanism, not the latch. If the latch is really frozen up, you might have to pry on the lever with a screwdriver.

The trick is doing it without damaging the liftgate interior trim, or yourself! there are some sharp edges in there, I'd recomend a good thich shirt, the edges of the trim panel can be particularly sharp.

If the latch just plain won't release, then your looking at removing the rear fascia, and trying to cut the stryker out... I've done it, and it's a major pain.

I hope this answers your question, if so please click accept. If you need more information, don't hestitate to ask!

Leo and 2 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Leo, I am having an issue with a rear passenger door (behind driver). I am sorry for the confusion. Your answer was a very good one anyway. I think in my case I'll have to cut (somehow) that latch assembly.
Any suggestions ? Thanks.
Oh shoot, I'm sorry. I got ahead of myself.

Getting the rear door open can be quite a trick. It sounds like you have the interior door panel off? Once you do the real fun begins.

The first thing I would do is soak it with penetrating oil, then wait a day, then soak it, then wait a day.. and hope that come Saturday morning it would be freed up enough to pull on the lever + unlock, open the door. You can get a lot more leverage on the rods than the inside handle.

When that fails, generally I use an air chisel (a dremel would work in a pinch, but buy lot's of cutoff wheels!) to peel the latch open enough to get at the guts and release the pawls holding the latch mechanism shut. This is not a fun job. The latches are put together very well, and it seems every piece of sheetmetal in the door is like a razor blade. I don't envy you. Definately go the soak / wait routine a few times first. You can get a lot more inside the latch with the interior panel off, which really helps.

I hope this helps a bit, sorry about dorking out the first time!

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks Leo. You are definitely know what you are talking about. Answer is accepted.
Thank you for the accept / positive feedback. Good luck gettting it open, I'm hoping soaking it will work for you!