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November 21, 2004

Trapped

Nothing's fun when you're half-awake in the morning like wondering if you're ever going to get out of your car. The liftgate hatch has been rattling lately, and my dad was throwing out an old pair of hiking boots, so I liberated some rubber from the soles. With some little rubber shims, the screws would actually press the door panel to the frame rather than going straight through the long-since-enlarged screw holes in the panel.

So I cut myself up some shoe rubber to fit the recessed are the screws are in, closed the liftgate behind me, and sat down in the cargo area to reassemble my vehicle.

It was a brilliant idea and it worked fabulously.

Until I tried to get out of the car.

As I always do, I folded down the right half of the rear bench seat, climbed over the cargo cover, and proceeded to unlock the rear passenger-side door. Except the lock mechanism wouldn't budge. It was quite stuck. Thinking it might just be a little jammed, I tried working the door handle. I tried pulling the door more closed. I tried pushing the door. I even tried the power locks on a whim. None of it helped, the door remaining adamantly locked.

So I went out the driver-side rear door instead.

But now there's an interesting quandary: you can't readily get at the door mechanism without removing the entire interior door panel. But you can't remove the interior door panel without opening the door. So if the door won't open, and you need to get inside it to fix that, what the heck do you do?

Part of me guesses it might be remedied by removing the handle shield or the trim panel at the pillar behind the door, though I don't have a service manual handy to verify either of these ideas (and thus won't be sitting out there with screwdriver in hand blindly tearing apart my interior). Worst case, I'm now driving a one-of-a-kind three door Jeep! And like some sort of horrible horror movie, all the locks will continue failing completely until it's a zero-door Jeep and I have to escape for my life by rolling down the window. Which, thankfully, I could actually fit through quite easily if I had to.

Posted by Colin at November 21, 2004 9:16 AM

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