Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby JTalley [OP] » February 26th 2011, 8:07pm

When I got my van, the door was kinda hard to shut. It would slide easily, but it took several tries to get it to latch fully. Then it started being difficult to slide. I got a can of white grease and greased the latch and the track, and it worked perfectly. The next day it was just like it was before I greased it. Now it slides and latches good, but it's nearly impossible to open because when you pull the handle, it doesn't pop out. It unlatches, but you basically have to pry it out with your fingers so it can open. What could this be?
-Jake
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby paintdrying » February 26th 2011, 8:45pm

I really cleaned my. It is not perfect but I can open it with one hand now.
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby Leeann_93 » February 27th 2011, 12:17am

When you open the door all the way, look at the van where the rear slide first contacts. Grease there and it will make a huge difference.
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby throrope » February 27th 2011, 8:09am

Had similar issue. After applying armor all UV protector to the gasket, door released easily.
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby alexalexanders » February 27th 2011, 5:34pm

You might try to clean the tracks up. mine had a problem like yours and i wiped all the dirt out and re greased.
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby RECox286 » February 28th 2011, 1:57am

Take a look at the center rear the door. Specifically the slide/hinge assembly. Ascertain if the little spring that kicks the door out when the latch opens is intact. The hinge pin can also come dislodged which will misalign or jam the works. This may or may not be part of your problem. Hard to say with out looking at the door. Worth a shot...

Bob
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby 98cirider » March 16th 2011, 10:25pm

RECox286 wrote:Take a look at the center rear the door. Specifically the slide/hinge assembly. Ascertain if the little spring that kicks the door out when the latch opens is intact. The hinge pin can also come dislodged which will misalign or jam the works. This may or may not be part of your problem. Hard to say with out looking at the door. Worth a shot...

Bob

Can someone possible provide a picture or diagram of exactly where this spring is. The slider on my '90 Safari has not worked easily for many years. I've improved it by cleaning all three tracks and lubing them. The slider seems to move fairly smoothly, but when you pull the handle to open the door, the door doesn't pop out from the body at all. You pull the handle to release the latch, then you have to push outward to get the door to move.

I'm going to find some lithium grease today and clean the tracks again.

Is that spring on the inside of the door or is it visible without taking anything apart? I don't see any springs anywhere associated with my slider.

Thanks,
David
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Purchased new from dealer with Explorer Conversion Package

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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby RECox286 » March 17th 2011, 3:32am

Sorry but I don't have the capability to do pictures. Look in the area of the door (center rear) where the door latch is. There is a "hinge pin" that holds the slide/hinge assembly. The pin is inserted from top to bottom, and on the pin there should be what looks like a clothespin style (somewhat) spring. Most of the time they are intact, sometimes only one end of the spring is intact, and occasionally it is missing.

I just got a 95 cargo and not only is the spring missing, but most of the surface that the lower roller assembly rides on is full of holes right thru to the bottom. I have a Flintstone-mobile ! Not sure what I'm going to
do with it. Liquid steel may be the only way to go, well, we'll see... May end up having to fabricate a new "track" and epoxy it in place.

Bob
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby 98cirider » March 17th 2011, 4:23pm

RECox286 wrote:Sorry but I don't have the capability to do pictures. Look in the area of the door (center rear) where the door latch is. There is a "hinge pin" that holds the slide/hinge assembly. The pin is inserted from top to bottom, and on the pin there should be what looks like a clothespin style (somewhat) spring. Most of the time they are intact, sometimes only one end of the spring is intact, and occasionally it is missing.

I just got a 95 cargo and not only is the spring missing, but most of the surface that the lower roller assembly rides on is full of holes right thru to the bottom. I have a Flintstone-mobile ! Not sure what I'm going to
do with it. Liquid steel may be the only way to go, well, we'll see... May end up having to fabricate a new "track" and epoxy it in place.

Bob

Thanks for the reply. Here are some pictures of the center latch mechanism. Is this the area where the spring is and can you see if mine is missing?

David
Attachments
SlidingDoor-1.jpg
View with the door open and looking from the rear.
SlidingDoor-1.jpg (106.72 KiB) Viewed 3769 times
SlidingDoor-2.jpg
View from inside the van with the door opened a few inches.
SlidingDoor-2.jpg (104.87 KiB) Viewed 3769 times
SlidingDoor-3.jpg
View from inside the van looking up and the latching mechanism with the door slightly open.
SlidingDoor-3.jpg (102.88 KiB) Viewed 3769 times
1990 GMC Safari SL 4.3L, Z engine, (Original owner)
As of August 1, 2011: 237,050 miles
Purchased new from dealer with Explorer Conversion Package

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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby RECox286 » March 17th 2011, 5:26pm

Bingo ! that is the place where the spring should be, and obviouly it is not. Also note that the pin is not all the way down where it should be. Although, it is very close, so make sure the lock on the pin is holding it in place by trying to push it up (it shouldn't go any higher than it is) In the picture I also see a lot of grease/dirt buildup on the roller and on the track. Alll the tracks and rollers must be CLEAN and Lubed in order for everything to work. You may have to remove the roller assemblies, one at a time, to get them cleaned and freed up. The door won't workvery well, if the rollers don't roll. And Also, you should see if the door latch bolt is in good alignment with the latch of the door (same area, but just above what is shown in the picture, and located on the door jamb). You may have to adjust the bolt a little. #50 Torx. I had one that was worn so bad, I had to change it to get the door to latch properly. If when the door is all the way open, it is hard to release the bottom latch, you can insert a spacer between the release cable and the locking lever (bottom roller assembly).

Take your time, and good luck. Let us know how you make out. Hope all this helps. Try to look at things logically.


Bob
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby 98cirider » March 17th 2011, 6:06pm

RECox286 wrote:Bingo ! that is the place where the spring should be, and obviouly it is not. Also note that the pin is not all the way down where it should be. Although, it is very close, so make sure the lock on the pin is holding it in place by trying to push it up (it shouldn't go any higher than it is) In the picture I also see a lot of grease/dirt buildup on the roller and on the track. Alll the tracks and rollers must be CLEAN and Lubed in order for everything to work. You may have to remove the roller assemblies, one at a time, to get them cleaned and freed up. The door won't workvery well, if the rollers don't roll. And Also, you should see if the door latch bolt is in good alignment with the latch of the door (same area, but just above what is shown in the picture, and located on the door jamb). You may have to adjust the bolt a little. #50 Torx. I had one that was worn so bad, I had to change it to get the door to latch properly. If when the door is all the way open, it is hard to release the bottom latch, you can insert a spacer between the release cable and the locking lever (bottom roller assembly).

Take your time, and good luck. Let us know how you make out. Hope all this helps. Try to look at things logically.


Bob

Thank you for helping. My service manual does not seem to mention that spring. I suppose it will be a trip to the local GM Stealer, I mean Dealer, to order the spring. I'll update after further work.
David
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As of August 1, 2011: 237,050 miles
Purchased new from dealer with Explorer Conversion Package

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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby 98cirider » March 17th 2011, 9:21pm

One more question. The picture below is a parts diagram for the 1985-03 Safari or Astro, it does not seem to show a spring around the pin. Is it possible these years of the van did not come with a spring?
David
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby RECox286 » March 17th 2011, 10:03pm

Couldn't say for sure but all my gen 1 trucks do have the spring. Some are broken, but they are there.
Not sure that even a dealer would have the spring, I think you are going to have to graze in a JY for this one. Also, you might be able to find some rollers that are better than yours if you look around.

Bob


Maybe you will become our resident sliding door maven after this go round !!!
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby 98cirider » March 22nd 2011, 3:35pm

I am still unable to determine if my sliding door is supposed to have some kind of spring in the latch mechanism to assist with the door opening. I stopped at the GMC dealer, parts department, yesterday to see if they could be of help. They were not much help. However, he did print out their diagram of the 1990 sliding door. I can not see if there is any kind of spring.

I also stopped by O-Reilly auto parts and picked up a can of White Lithium Grease. I'll spend some time cleaning the three tracks and then lube with the Lithium to see if it makes a difference.

Can someone take close up picture of their latch mechanism with the sliding door slightly open?
David
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby 98cirider » April 8th 2011, 10:46pm

I have not been able to locate a diagram or picture showing a spring within the latching mechanism for my sliding door. I started disassembling the interior passenger side rear so I could get to the little screws holding on the center exterior sliding track cover. I changed my mind due to the amount of interior panels I would have needed to remove. My van is a conversion and I would have had to remove the panels from floor to ceiling.

So, I wiped out the tracks the best I could and sprayed them with the white lithium grease. Man, that stuff is slicker than gorilla snot and works like a charm. The sliding door is much easier to move. I still think something is not quite right when you first pull on the handle to open the door. It does not pop out like I think it should, but it works much easier now than before.

David
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As of August 1, 2011: 237,050 miles
Purchased new from dealer with Explorer Conversion Package

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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby 98cirider » May 9th 2011, 6:26pm

:banana: I finally figured out why my sliding door was hard to open, and the repair took all of 15 seconds.

My sliding door was hard to open because the top of the striker, (not the part of the striker that goes into the latch), but the larger part on the end that the torx bit goes into, was rubbing the inside of the latch mechanism when the door was closed. Basically when the door was closed, that part of the striker was wedged into the latch housing, it made it difficult to open without some force. After making a slight downward adjustment with my mallet, maybe 1/16th of an inch, the door opens with ease.

I discovered the problem because I noticed the top of the striker just above where the torx bit goes was rubbed to a shine, bare steal, no black paint. Since I do not have a torx bit in the size needed, I tried my mallet. It only needed to move a tiny bit. Then I repainted the striker black to see if the paint gets rubbed off when closing and opening the door. So far, the paint is staying on, and the door is working better than it has in several years.

David

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Purchased new from dealer with Explorer Conversion Package

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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby RECox286 » May 9th 2011, 11:16pm

Hey,

Please be a bit more careful about saying you fixed a Chevy with a F**d tool, OK ?

Bob
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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby 98cirider » May 10th 2011, 7:20pm

RECox286 wrote:Hey,

Please be a bit more careful about saying you fixed a Chevy with a F**d tool, OK ?

Bob

If you mean I should not say that I made a repair to my GM (Safari) with a tool specifically designed for another automotive manufacture, I completely agree, that is not my preference on how to effect a repair. Using "their" tool was just easier than purchasing the correct size torx bit to move the striker less that 1/16th of an inch.

Apologies and kind regards, it won't happen again. Thank you.
David
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As of August 1, 2011: 237,050 miles
Purchased new from dealer with Explorer Conversion Package

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Re: Sliding door is hard to shut/open

Postby RECox286 » May 11th 2011, 12:24am

All is forgiven...

Glad you got 'er working.


Bob
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