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97 Astro, door handles don't work, how to open door

I am trying to keep driving my Astro until I pay off my wife’s new car. Repairing the door shouldn’t be a problem if I could get the door open to remove the inside door panel. Does anyone have an idea how to get the door open? Can’t use the inside or outside handle now.

First, Locate A Matching Interior Trim Panel At The Local “Take It Off Yourself” Auto Recycling Yard.
Next, Remove The Van’s Interior Panel . . . In Pieces. Be Careful Using That Box Cutter.


I think he is plainly saying HE CAN’T GET THE DOOR OPEN AT ALL. Not that he doesn’t know how to fix it, though that may be true enough.

I sort of suspect the problem is, with the door stuck shut, up against the seat, he doesn’t have the ability to take off the panel. Just my guess.

Locate a replacement panel or at least visit a wrecking yard so you can see how the latch mechanism works with the panel off…Armed with this knowledge, use a common 3" hole saw to gain access to YOUR latch control rods, open the door, and repair the latch release mechanism (with the parts you brought back from the junkyard…) You may (or may not) have to remove the drivers seat to gain access to the door in question to drill the hole in the proper place to reach the latch mechanism…

I finally got the door open by removing a plastic decoration on the inside door panel opposite the door handle and working with my fingers and needle nose pliers. The suggestion to cut the inside panel did get me checking to see what would cause the least damage. Thank you.

Thanks For Letting Everybody Know. Quite Often, We Never Hear What Happened.