Locked out

'75 model. Yesterday I locked the driver's door like always by turning the knob inside and closing the door. Later in the day I wanted to open the
driver's door again and the key wouldn't release the lock. I crawled in by way of the passenger door and the knob wouldn't turn a full 90* to unlock, only 45*. I ran the driver's electric window down and could not determine where the problem was with a small flashlight. Something is keeping the lock from releasing all the way. My shop manual doesn't cover trouble shooting the latch mechanism, and my assembly manual doesn't either. Any ideas ?
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Play with the door handle. Maybe something is jammed under the door handle. You can wiggle both inside lock and outside lock with a key. Squirt WD-40 in the key slot.
W Moore wrote:

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I've tried both. It seems the outer and inner door handles work independently of each other, and the inner lock-knob and outer key-trip for the lock are attached to the locking arm at different points. A long screwdriver will not move the locking arm fully out of lock position, only partially. It's like a spring or something in the mechanism has come loose and is jamming up the lock arm inside the latch unit. I have the original latching unit that was replaced in 2002 for a similar problem but at that time everything worked except the outer door handle portion. The kicker is that with the door locked closed I can't remove the interior paneling to see better, or even remove/replace the darn unit as a whole ! More ideas are needed ! Thanks for yours.

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I've been adjusting the doors on my 82 and have made many adjustments to get all the lock releases to work properly. They can be a bear to work on even when the window mechanism is out. The various rods in my door all lead to a lock panel mechanism. You need to get something down the window well (we used what looked like a long curved ice pick) and move the trip rod (down?) to make it open. Pulling any of the connecting rods enough might do it.
David
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David is correct. a good auto locksmith should be able to trigger the latch mechanism and open the door. I would NOT recommend poking around in the door cavity without complete knowledge of the inner workings. more damage can accidentally be done...
my2’
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'Key
(25+ years in the locksmith industry)
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He needs a "repo" man!
'Key wrote:

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repo men don't have complete knowledge of the inner workings in the door cavity. they just slam a slim-jim till the door unlocks. they are not much worried about doing damage....
my2’
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Thanks to all for the ideas. I have decided to take the car to my Vette guy who can either fix it or call in a locksmith. He is the guy I bought the car from in '77 who was a Chevy mechanic that left the dealership to open his own shop. Vettes are his specialty. Here's hoping it all works out !

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g'luck
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