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I have a Mitsubishi Montero Limited. The back door will not

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I have a Mitsubishi Montero...
I have a Mitsubishi Montero Limited. The back door will not open. I beleive the latch is broken on the inside because when you pull up on the latch nothing happens. The latch has no spring in it (it does not automatically return to its normal state).

How do you take the panel off the back door to replace the latch and how can you get the back door open?
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Mitsubishi
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
8/31/2010
Mitsubishi Mechanic: Doug, ASE Certified Technician replied 7 years ago
Doug
Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8,623
Experience: Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Chat Conversation Started
Doug C :

Hi,
Am I understanding correctly that when you try to release the tailgate door the handle squeezes up then does not naturally return to the at rest position?

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

Yes.

Doug C :

Thanks

Doug C :

This is a rather common condition. In most circumstances, your latch will be OK in this case, however the handle itself will need replacement or liberal lubrication. The handle has a load spring on it which seizes up from corrosion causing this to happen.
I have always been able to free a door for service by working the handle open and closed manually (using a plastic prytool to work the handle back and forth)....

Doug C :

If you do not have luck doing it this way, you can access the actual latch portion of the door from inside the vehicle with a little work

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

I have already tried this. Matter a fact I opened it several times by manually moving the handle to its normal position, then locking an unlocking, then opening the door. Now there is no tension at all on the handle when pulled or moved back to its original position.

Doug C :

Okay thanks.
If you are unable to get it open again that way for handle replacement, we can usually go in from the inside as well.

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

How do you get to the latch from inside?

Doug C :

On the driver side of the inner door panel you will have a small recessed pocket or possible a tool box built into the door panel

Doug C :

If you have the tool box, you will twist the two locks at the top to remove it; if you have the pocket, you will likely have two push-in plastic fasteners to remove, also both on the top of the pocket

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

Yes, I have a tool box built into the door.

Doug C :

Once removed, you can tip the box forward and lift up to remove

Doug C :

Great. Behind the tool box, you should see a rather flimsy plastic sheeting

Doug C :

you are going to need to cut a slit in this material to reach through it to the latch

Doug C :

You will need to repair the cut with some duct tape or similar afterward, as this is your water sheet for the door that keeps the plastic dry

Doug C :

Once you have access into the door, you will need to feel around towards the top near the glass, for a vertical metal rod about 3 inches long. Grab this and work it up and down once or twice and the latch should pop open

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

If my handle parts have rusted or need to be replaced to fix, how difficult is this to fix and are parts available for this repair?

Doug C :

This is something the average do-it-yourselfer can accomplish. You will need to go in there and verify the handle is the problem to be sure, however in my experience it almost always is if the handle is sticking; a failed latch will not jam the handle into position.....

Doug C :

If you provide your VIN for me I can get you exact pricing on your handle

Doug C :

Also, here is the metal rod I was referencing:

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

My Vin number is XXXXX

Doug C :

Thanks. For that vehicle, the door handle is going to be part # XXXXX and has a list price of $64. You can purchase them online for a little bit less however (Mentor Mitsubishi sells this part for $47.80).

Doug C :

The only difficult part you may run into is if your vehicle has enough rust/corrosion issues to cause this handle to fail, you usually will have the trim panel (that holds the handle and the license plate etc) bolts seize up and potentially break off in there, run into that a few times

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

Thanks for the info. My son currently has the vehicle now and is in class until 10:00 pm to night so I will not be able to check all of this until tomorrow. Is there anyway we could continue to chat on this if I run into problems?

Doug C :

Sure just come back here and post and I will receive a message if am available; otherwise I will see it as soon as I become available. I try to respond as quickly as possible, but sometimes there are delays

Doug C :

If you would like, I can give a summary of removal

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

I'm not sure how to gain access to this area if I have to replace the handle. Will the whole back liner come off or will I have to just do it in the dark by touch?

Doug C :

Oh no, you'll have a good view of the action. You will need to remove the door panel....

Doug C :

Once the door is open, that's about it for playing it by feel,

Doug C :

On an 02, I believe you are going to need to remove the top and bottom door trims...check to see which trim overlaps which; if the bottom overlaps the top, you can leave the top intact. If the top overlaps the bottom, you must remove the top.... the top trim has a cover over the third brake light that is held on by two philips screws, and a pull handle with two 10mm bolts holding it on....

Doug C :

The lower door panel, the toolbox will need to be removed. There will be two philips screws behind the 'net' box, check the hooks on the top corners just outside the 'net' box, sometimes these are replaced with screw anchors, so remove them. If the top panel overlapped the bottom, there will likely be screws behind it (The reverse setup ones were this way). Once all screws are out, you will be able to pry the panels off

Doug C :

The remainder will be held on with pop-in fasteners

Doug C :

Remove the license plate from the outer garnish.
From inside, release the actuator rod from the handle (there will be a small plastic retention clip holding it to the handle)

Doug C :

On the bottom area of the garnish, accessed from inside the door, will be two 10mm nuts. Lube these up with penetrating oil, then remove them. THe garnish is now held in with 2 pop-in fasteners at the top; you can now remove the garnish and change out the handle with a new one

Doug C :

The handle will have 10mm nuts holding it on; I have heard people say they have changed it without removing the outer garnish, I have never tried this however

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

I will check this tonight or in the morning and get back with you if I have more questions. Thanks. This sounds like a lot of work but it sure beats paying Mitsubishi (I don't know how much they would charge. Do you have an estimate?).

Doug C :

I would charge one hour for this job if the door was stuck. If it was currently opening, 1/2 hour or about $45 plus the cost of the part

Doug C :

Basically a 1/2 hour fee for time spent climbing through the car and fumbling in the dark to get the door open. Once that is done, it is mostly smooth sailing

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

Thanks! That price does not include parts or Mitsubishi's $105.00 charge for diagnostics.

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

Will chat tomorrow.

Doug C :

In my dealership, any 'diagnostic' is applied to price of repair. Further, if you come in with a known problem, there is no diagnostic.... not sure how your dealer(s) are, but that should be negotiable in a situation like this

Doug C :

Sounds good, just remember there are busy and slow parts of the day, and if you do not hear back from me I will get with you as soon as I can

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

Thanks again. It will probably be tomorrow evening around this time.

Doug C :

Sounds great, I am usually pretty slow around 5-6pm

Doug C :

so you should hear back from me quickly

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

Doug C I did get the door open. I can feel a small spring that is aparently not reseting the handle to allow it to open. It appears all the parts are still there and functional, just need to replace the spring. There was also a wire attached to the back side of the key lock. Is that a part of the alarm system?

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

By the way I have been busy the last couple of days so I just got to this today. And, thanks for your help!

Doug C :

Hi

Doug C :

sorry for the delay

Doug C :

Yes, the wire on the door lock is the sensor that disarms the alarm when the key is turned in the lock

Doug C :

If just the spring is binding, you will need to just get the handle itself and no latch. The handle is $64 retail at your local dealership... it is not a common stock item though, so anticipate having to order it.

JACUSTOMER-4wfq5f8b- :

Thanks Doug! I do have other Mitsubishi issues but I will save them for another time. I will log back on later this month to discuss wheel alignment and 4WD issues. Thanks again for your help. I'm accept this one and closing out.

Doug
Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8,623
Experience: Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Mitsubishi Mechanic: Doug, ASE Certified Technician replied 7 years ago

You're welcome, thanks for the Accept!

 

When you are ready to work on your alignment and 4WD concerns, I'd be happy to assist you again if you wish. Just put my name in the opening question so it is brought to my attention.

 

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