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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I’m brand new to this forum. I just picked up an 1982 280zx I’m planning on restoring. This has been my dream car for a long time, but I have a lot to do before it’s up and running. First major issue I’m having in the drivers side door won’t open. I can’t get it to open either from the inside or the outside. I can’t get the door panel off to see what’s going on either because it won’t open… It feels like either the locking mechanism is seized or the cable connecting to the mechanism is broken from the car sitting for years. Is there anyway to get the door open without damaging anything? The only idea I have is to cut through the interior panel and go from there. This is also my fist full car restore I’m attempting so any pointers or tips are greatly appreciated. I also don’t have the key to the vehicle and will have to have it rekeyed. Thank you!
 

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The service manual has pics of the rods for the door handles and locks. Maybe you could use a tool (slim Jim) and slide it down inside the window and hook and move what you need.

Edit: What about pulling the seat out to give you more access to the door panel? Bolts should be accessible, 2 on the front 2 on the back. Then out and over the passenger side…fun.








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First, download a copy of the service manual so you can see the parts better. The door is in section BF. XenonZcar.com S130 Factory Service manuals
Page BF-13 has a nice diagram that @mailnome copied and pasted for you.
Let's go over the "stupid stuff". Did you operate the door lock lever by the handle? When you pull it out (unlock), does it feel like it is moving anything? You can take off that plate behind the handle and get a better look. You may even be able to grab the rod at the lock lever with some pliers. If you can, pull it toward the front of the car.
When you operate the inside door lock, I believe it should pull the rod below the green arrow forward.
The pivot is secured to the inside of the door, and the rod below should pull up to release the locking mechanism at the red arrow.
If you can work a thin tool in between the window and the panel (probably with the window down), you could try to move the top rod forward, or you could try to hook the rod at the bottom near the locking mechanism and pull up.
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You could try an wire coat hanger or something similar and try to hook the inside lock arm at the pivot if it’s still hooked there. If not you could try to get it down at the door lock assembly. The one on the lock cylinder is probably locked and will not move.

If I remember maybe I’ll pull my door panel and check it out. Need to pull it at some point anyway.




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I just looked at mine. The seat and body door trim are off and I still don’t think you could get the panel off without breaking it up.

As far as the leavers/arms, you are only going to be able to get to the lower lock arm piece on the lock assembly itself. Those other pieces are trapped between the inner door skin and the door panel.





I put a long screwdriver down in for reference. 5 inches off the back of the glass and straight down. If curved the hanger to the curve of the door it should reach. You can go in from the outside or the inside, the outside might be a little better/straighter.




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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just looked at mine. The seat and body door trim are off and I still don’t think you could get the panel off without breaking it up.

As far as the leavers/arms, you are only going to be able to get to the lower lock arm piece on the lock assembly itself. Those other pieces are trapped between the inner door skin and the door panel.





I put a long screwdriver down in for reference. 5 inches off the back of the glass and straight down. If curved the hanger to the curve of the door it should reach. You can go in from the outside or the inside, the outside might be a little better/straighter.




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Hey I really appreciate all you info and knowledge. I tried for several hours today with a slim Jim and coat hanger trying to get it open. I finally gave in and cut through the interior door panel and am physically able to move the lock mechanism etc. I still can’t get the door open… I feel like an idiot but I am completely out of idea 😳 anything you could suggest?
 
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