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Dealer replaced driver door handle but it doesn't latch properly

694 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  JuneauCabbie
Before I bought my 2003 LS (it was a one owner 110K dealer trade-in) the dealership replaced the driver's door handle. I had to wait several days before the dealership could get the original GM part. Unfortunately, the latch on the door is apparently too high, which causes problems with shutting and locking the door, and prevents the solenoid from latching or unlatching the lock. It's also very difficult to manually lock the door, since my fob locks every door but the driver's.

Got my Harbor Fright panel removal tools, but my door might also be a little low. I tried the old 2x4 lift trick, which didn't fix it. Can the door latch be moved up or down if the screws on the door edge are loosened?

I'm in Portland OR until after Thanksgiving, and I'm wondering if there are any Portland area folks on this forum that might be able to provide some advice before I pop the panel, or if there's a Portland body shop that could help me without charging me a fortune. I replaced numerous door solenoids back when I drove Astros and Safaris as taxis because of SE Alaska's freeze and thaw winters meant that they would get frozen and burn out about once a month, so I also bought a pop riveter, just in case. The guys at O'Schmuck's joked with all Astro owners returning solenioids that were under warranty, but it's been 8 years since I've messed with door latch stuff.
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Thanks for the answers. I thought that door pins might need replacing, since the car is 19 years old. In the past, sagging doors usually also would catch on the bottom, but this one doesn't. I will check the striker plate adustment. It's possible that the dealer's mechanics didn't tighten them enough. Now I need to purchase yet another set of screwdrivers, although I already have a set stored in my storage unit at home. At least there's a Harbor Fright near my temp residence.

More suggestions welcome... especially for help in Portland OR.
What brand latch was it?
According to the dealership I bought it from they had to wait for the door handle because they only use genuine GM parts, so I presume it was Delco, which for a car this old means it probably was from Dorman and rebranded.
Was it like that before the dealer put a new Handle on?... regardless - why is it not going back there?
Or maybe that's a na, ba, ba, nah.
The dealer was Seattle's largest Chevy dealer, and I bought the car with no warranty (110k miles). I'm now in Portland.

Loosening the 3 screws slightly that hold the Latch still will help temp, but will not relocate.
Hinge pins and or Latch Pin relocate might be it - as mentioned above.

Lubricate / Oil / Grease the Latch ( & that goes for ALL of them ).
They are lubed. Latch is as high as it will go. Went & bought Torx bits and tried to lower the strike pin but it was already at its lowest point. The hinge pin bushing appears quite worn, so I guess I need new hinge pins on this door, and a visit to the body shop since I don't have a warm garage and a helper or jack to deal with door removal without unwiring the door.
Burnside Collision
28th x Burnside NE
Shop is super busy now as all body shops are.
Thanks,. It looks like I need to visit him on Monday. I at NE 74th & Oregon, so that's a short drive.

Forecast is for a hard frost Sun night/Mon morning so he probably will get a bunch of cars in for estimates since drivers here probably aren't used to frozen roads. I'll just be glad when the wind stops!
I knew from the Carfax before I bought this rig that it had been in an accident that damaged the passenger side rear corner, which caused a slight misalignment of the Dutch door on that side, but it drove well and didn't appear to have alignment issues. It turns out that there may also have been damage to the driver's door doorpost, and the door itself.

Mark also noticed that not only is there a crack near the hinge on the door post, but also a crack near the hinge on the door. He said that attempting to weld it might not fix the problem, and that I might want to visit some junkyards and see if I can find a door without damage, which would be cheaper for him to paint & install than trying to fix the existing door. I appreciated his candor and helpfulness. He knows Astros and their construction very well (we both grumped about GM welding hinges instead of bolting them on).

I'll probably get it fixed because my intention when buying this van was to sell it once I find a sailboat to live on, and it will be hard to sell if the drivers' door and its lock are an issue.

I'm headed to Corvallis this weekend, and will be checking out wrecking yards on the way. If any Oregonians have a short list of good yards near Portland and down the Willamette Valley, I would appreciate it if you would post them here.

Thanks, gmcjunk, for the referral. A repeat customer in the shop said that he would never take his cars anywhere else for body work.
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