C3 - 1982 Can't unlock drivers side door - PLEASE HELP!!!

I was simply repairing my door handle spring and removed the door panel, etc. Fixed the handle and tested the door at least 20 times; opening and closing - it worked great. Then re-installed the door
panel, put away my tools and again came back for one final test of the handle and nothing - it won't freakin open. I have taken the panel back off (dont ask me how I did it with the door closed...but I did.) and have tryed everything. What did I do wrong? Any help is greatly appreciated.
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KB2006 wrote:

I can't speak to the C3 door mechanism, but I did go through this same type of problem on a Jaguar sedan recently. The door handle opened the door beautifully numerous times, then after I replaced the panel, it didn't work at all. It turned out that the door lock mechanism and the handle mechanism were fighting each other... once the door was locked, the adjustment of the handle mechanism (linkage rod) was such that it prevented the door from being unlocked, so the handle wouldn't open the door (locked) and the lock wouldn't release. In other words, the handle worked fine to open the door until the door was locked, thereafter it wouldn't work at all. In my case it was a matter of adjusting the handle linkage so that it allowed the door to open with only a very small movement of the handle; that adjustment in turn left the lock linkage free to move normally.
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The problem may be similar to what Wayne describes... On your car, the rod that goes from the handle to the latch has a slight curve in it. If the curve has been increased(or straightened) the rod can hang on a part of the lock mechanism near the latch. Also, while it doesn't appear to need it for retention, there must be a clip retainer on the rod at the point where it attaches to the door handle. If that clip is missing, the rod will intermittently twist so that it hangs on the lock mechanism mentioned above. The door will work "20 times" as you described, but that 21st time after the door panel is on can be when the rod decides to twist and hang. Ask me how I know. :)
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I already know how you know, but wonder if you did anything that makes it work fool proof?
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(Nothing can stop a sufficiently dedicated fool. Things can be made fool proof, but not damn fool proof.) Same problem on my 1977. New clips, new bend, and put the panel on just after the latest failure. That way you should get twenty good openings before it fouls up again. However, I am almost certain it won't work scattered on your garage floor.
Then again, in your case..... Nah, even you aren't that good.
Tried a thin walled flexible tube over the length of the rod on my last install. So far it's holding. I think maybe things get wacky from the rod scraping the inside of the panel over time. (It has only had about seventeen good openings so far, however. The real test is when I get to the 21st.)
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Wasn't looking for impute from a fool, just a correction to make it more difficult for him. ;p

Again you ASSUME to much.

Found what looks like the problem last night, needs one new part and I think I'll replace the door handle while I've got it torn apart. Looks like the latching mechanism could stand to have the staked pivots reset to make the action more positive.
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staked pivots? Is that the part of the mechanism that is hard riveted into the inside of the door? How would one make adjustments to that?
When I did take both my doors down, I found a piece of some kind of covering on one of the long rods. Do you know if there was something on those originally? I slipped a piece of thinwall tubing over it because it seemed like a good idea, but I don't know if it will make any difference.
My biggest problem was door sag, which I have fixed with new pins and bushings. I also put in the new bushings or bumpers that keep the window from rattling, but now it's really hard for the motor to get one of the windows up. I'm backed off as far as it will go on the bumbers, and I suppose over time it will get better, but can the angle be adjusted as the window goes up and bends toward the inside of the car? I'd like to relieve a little pressure that way. Are the track bottoms adjustable?
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I'd like to

Blowing like hell where I am, too, so it doesn't look like I'll be finishing my doors here really soon either. Anxious to see how to adjust the tip in. As long as I know that can be done, I'll hold up putting the doors back together anyway.
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