Any way to mod my '93 so i can open dutch door from the back

Any way to mod my '93 so i can open dutch door from the back

Postby TroySmith80 [OP] » February 4th 2012, 9:13pm

Every time i need to get into the back of my van, and i'm not already sitting in the driver's seat, my urge to kill rises when i have to walk all the way around to the front, reach in to the dash and hit the door release button. Seriously GM, WTF? No way to open the rear door when you're standing back there with an armload full of stuff to put in?

My rage is compounded by the rear light that does not shut off when you close the door. Then you have to go up front, hit the button, go back, open the hatch, switch off the light, and close the hatch again. Seriously, it's a good thing i don't carry!


So, now that i've vented... how can i go about putting a button on the back of the van so that i can open the door from back there? I have a '93 LT Astro AWD. I've seen some vans that appear to have a button back there from the factory, but mine doesn't and from what i've seen around here, most don't.

I would want the button to be disabled when the doors are locked. Or if that's not possible, maybe just hide the button somewhere where it's not obviously visible but still somewhat convenient? Does my '93 have wires back there that can trigger the door release, or am i going to have to run wires from up front?
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Re: Any way to mod my '93 so i can open dutch door from the

Postby astroracer » February 4th 2012, 10:33pm

I'm not sure when GM added the button but my wifes '01 and my '04 both have one. You may toddle off to the junk yard and see if you can pick up a switch and the pertinents there. It may not be that much to get the entire top door. You will have to look into the wiring but that shouldn't be too difficult and may just entail tying into the current power wire.
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Re: Any way to mod my '93 so i can open dutch door from the

Postby RECox286 » February 4th 2012, 11:01pm

Here's what I did. There is a hot wire that is accessible in the lower passenger side door hooked to the "unlock" key switch .

I removed the black license plate recess trim and drilled a finger sized hole in the top of it, mounted a "momentary" push

button over the hole so that the switch could be accessed from the "hidden" hole. I wired the new switch in parallel with the

still functioning key switch, and now all I have to do is stick my finger thru the hole to activate the switch and unlatch the

upper door. Works great, doesn't require a key, or going to the front of the truck to push the button there, or even any

thought on my part. Nobody would think to look there for a switch, and the hole is really out of sight except to geckos !

Good project for an afternoon and a six pack.

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Re: Any way to mod my '93 so i can open dutch door from the

Postby TroySmith80 [OP] » February 4th 2012, 11:29pm

Uncle Bob, that is EXACTLY the sort of thing i was hoping to hear. Perfect! Thank you very much!
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Re: Any way to mod my '93 so i can open dutch door from the

Postby RECox286 » February 4th 2012, 11:31pm

Yer welcome, now, Git 'er done !

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Re: Any way to mod my '93 so i can open dutch door from the

Postby Lumpy » February 4th 2012, 11:59pm

And take 'er pictures.


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Re: Any way to mod my '93 so i can open dutch door from the

Postby RECox286 » February 5th 2012, 5:03am

Absolutely ! I don't have that capability, and I keep forgetting about including that instruction in my posts.

Thx, Lumpy


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Re: Any way to mod my '93 so i can open dutch door from the

Postby TroySmith80 [OP] » February 25th 2012, 2:18am

Did it today. Took all of 30 minutes. Now that i've been through it, i could do it again in 10 probably. Anwyay, just picked up a very small SPST temporary plunger switch at radio shack for like 3 bucks.

0. Verify that operating the key in your rear door pops the hatch. If not, this mod probably won't work until you get the key to work. Also, realize that this button will ALWAYS (unless the battery is dead) pop the hatch, even if you've locked everything. That's a bit of a risk, so don't put the button in plain sight.

1. Remove the rubber molding that goes over the tops of the door trim panel and the sheet metal (it's the highest part on the door once the hatch is open. Now remove the inner trim panel from rear door. This is the hardest part of the entire operation. What a pain in the ***. There are these plastic "christmas trees" that push in through holes in the sheetmetal and hold the panels on the door. Well, you're lucky if you don't half destroy the panel trying to get it off. If you look very closely around the outside of the panel, you can see where the 'trees' have been attached. Insert your prying tool there and work them all out until the panel is off. Also, look at my pictures.

2. Find where you want to mount the switch, and drill an appropriately sized hole. I put mine in the top of the license plate cavity.

3. Solder about 16" of wire onto the leads of your switch, insulate the terminals as necessary. Feed the wire up through the hole in the license plate cavity until the switch is in position. Then thread the nut over the wire and onto the back of the switch and tighten it up to mount the switch.

4. Look through the lower hole in the inside of the door and find the two wires coming from the key-hole. Splice one of the wires from your switch to one of the wires from the key, and then splice the other two wires as well.

5. Replace the panel. Just line up the christmas trees and then give a good smack with your fist on each one. Replace the molding on top. DONE!

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Re: Any way to mod my '93 so i can open dutch door from the

Postby Jasen » February 25th 2012, 2:54am

On my 97 Cargo. No dash button or power locks but I did install a momentary switch in the by the slider.
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