Need help with rear doors on Suburban

All,
I have a 1996 K2500 Suburban that has the barn-style rear cargo doors. When pressing the unlock button on the remote, or even the one in the burb, you can hear the rear door unlock. The right door will open, but
the left door will not open using the handle. I understand that the lock cylinder is in the right hand door, so the door isn't locked. Also, when using the key to unlock the door, the right door will unlock, but the left door will not open.
Is there a way to open the left door without damaging the trim on the door? It seems that the connecting point between the handle and the latch has come undone. I could drill out the handle, but I don't know what is on the other side.
I have the CD set called SI2000, but have to use the 1999 suburban to get detailed information about diagnosis.
Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. I need to get this figured out, or I'll have to take it to the body shop or dealer.
Thanks, Bill
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If the rod has come off, it will not pull the latch. But it will feel really easy to pull the handle. If you pull the handle as far as it will go and pull on the door, will it open? The rod has a natural bend in it that tends to straighten out over time. If that is the case, you need to remove the panel on that left door and bend the rod so the movement of the handle pulls the latch further. It also helps to lube the latch and weatherstripping with silicone spray to help it open.If the handle is broken(which is not uncommon, you can drill it out without fear of damaging anything as there is nothing to hit with the drill on the other side. Then pull the handle out, remove the broken piece hanging on the rod and install the new handle. If you do not have access to a rivet gun, you will have to remove the panel to install nuts and bolts on the handle.
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Thanks.
When I drill the handle out, will there be access to pull the rod to open the door? I do have a rivet gun, but I'm not sure if it is big enough for the correct sized rivets.
Bill
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Yes, you should be able to pull the rod if the handle has broken in the usual way. If your rivet gun is too small, once the door is open and the panel is easy to get off, you can try putting a washer on the backside of the rivet before squeezing. Or just use screws and nuts.
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Well, drilled out the rivets (actually studs) last night, and I still couldn't get the door to unlatch. I needed to unbolt the striker, then unlatch the upper latch to open the door. It appears that that bottom latch has gotten somewhat seized. I took everything apart, and am now soaking the bottom latch in PB Blaster. I will lubricate it with anti-sieze before putting it back together. I am thinking of putting on phillips head screw where the studs were, unless I can get the studs at a reasonable price.
Thanks again for you help. Bill
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