Still need help

Replacing door latch assembly for 2001 cavalier 2-door coupe part number 940-104 latch assembly.

Have been trying to figure this out for months. Spent 6 more hours a couple of days ago, took everything apart that I could, used more force than I should have, accomplished nothing. Seems impossible to get the latch off of the 4 rods. (2 to exterior lock and handle, 2 to interior lock and handle) Even with latch removed from the door, it is impossible to reach, see, feel or rotate to an angle that would allow the rods to come off of the latch. I have examined this from every angle and nothing works. I am assuming and hoping that you don’t have to disconnect the rods from the other ends, because they are behind a riveted-on handle both inside and outside. That would escalate the magnitude of my misery greatly, as there is no way to pry off, grind off or chop off those rivets. And I don’t have a drill.

Any instructions or procedures for this particular make model and latch would be appreciated because I can tell you that ANYTHING you find on Google, Youtube or anywhere else online - I have already seen it and it doesn’t help. Thanks.

Are you disconnecting the plastic latch rod clips?


I had posted the latch replacement directions from the factory manual in your earlier post here. Those may be the best directions you’ll find unless there is a very detailed video available somewhere showing exactly what has to be done.
Notice that the directions say to cut one of the clips (for the outside handle rod) with side cutters.

I’ll bet the Factory Service Manual (which you should have purchased before attempting this repair) has detailed, step by step instructions for the procedure.

Hold the rod and push the plastic clip until it separates from the rod.Use long nose pliers for this.After it has separated,unhook the other end of the clip.

Like @COROLLAGUY1 stated, you need to rotate the plastic clips that are clipped over the rods in order to remove the connections. Once the clips are unclipped the rods will separate from the connection.

If only mine looked anything like this. I can’t see anything. It is all completely hidden from view.

Thank you. I looked over this again. I can’t believe you have to cut off and destroy one of these clips. Just being able to see anything is the hardest part. And the guide that the window slides up can be unbolted from the bottom (which I did), but I have not been able to figure out how to get it off the top once the window is up. It seems to just be clipped-on, but there is no way to force it out of there. And I have used more force than I should have trying. If I could get that things off, it would improve my ability to see by just a little, but still leave it nearly impossible. Can’t see anything from the top - with the window up or down. Can’t see anything from inside the only hole in the door panel because it is too far forward and too many obstacles in the way. I thought I had everything I needed once I got the new latch but now I have to try and figure out which clips/connectors I need too? Any water or rain means the door stays open letting the interior or the car get wet. It has been raining here for 24 hours a day every day for the last 3 days day and night non-stop. I can’t leave the car alone and I have yet to figure out a way to keep the door shut all the way using a rope or anything else. The moment I shut the passenger side door, it just opens up on the other side.

With all due respect, you’re in over your head. Why not take the car to a good, independent shop, and ask them to install the latch?

All I know is that with all the problems ( Multiple threads ) with this 19 year old Cavalier I would have replaced it a long time ago .

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Because I can’t afford it. I thought that would be obvious.

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All I know is that you keep saying the same thing, rather than contributing anything useful - or better yet - not saying anything at all. Do you just like to see your name on this forum, or what? I will never understand people who MUST reply when they have ZERO new ideas.

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This could be one thing that needs to be resolved; maybe you could take a picture of what things look like for you? Many door interiors have plastic sheeting that covers most of the interior cavities, obscuring the view…I assume you removed this (if it was present)?

I’ve removed everything that can be removed. It is not possible to see the latch or connections, and BARELY possible to even feel them. They are approximately 12 inches inside (to the left as you are trying to squeeze 1 eye in the tiny hole after removing the panel, window crank and plastic splash guard, as well as unbolting to metal bars that cut across this already small hole). So you must have one hand holding a flashlight, and it is not possible to bend or use your left arm/hand for anything other than to push around the unbolted latch from the hole at the end of the door where it was unscrewed. I haven’t seen anything like this configuration online (and I’ve watched ALL the related videos), nor has anyone else I’ve shown this to in person.

I can’t offer you any useful advice on this but I do feel your pain. About 10 years ago (and as a long time mechanic) I had to replace an outer door handle on my Lincoln. An entire weekend of wrestling, bruises, and bloodshed to change the damned thing.

Made worse not only by lack of access but a number of tiny electrical switches tied into the message center, security system, electric locks, and so on.
I don’t know if it will help or not but a small trouble light inserted into the door would work better than a flashlight. It may not stop the wrestling, bloodshed, and profanity but it might help a tiny bit. Or not.

It might help if you posted at least a couple pictures of the obstacles as most people here do not know what this particular door looks like but may be able to offer advice if we can see the problem.

Do you have a smart phone with a camera? Put it on video with the LED illuminated or a trouble light inserted in the door cavity and perhaps you’ll be able to see what’s going on inside without having to get your eyeball in there.

Any idea what the part (connector) that needs to be CUT-OFF (I still don’t understand this…how can you get the new one on if the old one only comes off by cutting it) looks like? If I need to make an additional purchase and additional trip to the parts store just for this one damn plastic clip, I sure as heck want to make sure it is the one I need.

The directions say to cut off the outside handle rod-to-lock clip, which I believe is the big yellow one. If you already have the Dorman replacement part, it appears to have all new clips included.

Dorman part 940-104:

It looks like you can cut the two halves of the yellow one apart to release the rod (cutting is probably easier than trying to unclip it).

It’s not always better to DIY.

I realize this answer is from 3 years ago. Hopefully OP got it taken care of.

I’ll walk through how I did it on my 2000 GMC Jimmy (AKA Chevy Blazer). I’m not a mechanic, so car experts, please feel free to @ me to make corrections! I welcome it!

I first watched this video. I knew it wouldn’t be my exact model. In fact, the major differences I found were that (1) removing the door panel was easier, but (2) there were 4 different rods for the latch.

  • There’s a solid vertical bar taking up a lot of room. I didn’t see any instructions to remove it, but it was getting in my way, so I removed it with the bolt above and below. (When replacing it, make sure the little “springy” part is up at the top, it takes some finnegling to get back in).

  • Once I had access to the latch I used one hand to remove the 2 rods on the inside (closest to me where I was working), at the base of the latch. I did need to use some force, but they popped right out.

  • The 2 rods on the outside are supposed to be attached to the latch during removal. Their point of removal is actually way inside the door up near the top. There are simple lock tabs that are super-easy to remove. You need to feel around, but they’re not the hardest to find, and you’ll know it when you feel it. Release the tabs. Getting the rods out of the connector up there is a bit trickier, but it can still be done. If you find you can’t remove it, try moving the arm of the latch to find a better angle.

  • Now that all 4 rods were disconnected I went ahead with the rest of the latch removal. My latch was actually in 2 pieces (which isn’t normal, hence why I needed to replace it), so it did take some finnegling to jimmy it out.

  • When replacing the rods onto the new latch, I found the lower outside rod didn’t fit snugly in its holder. I was worried about this and even got frustrated trying to install it. What I found is that once everything is in place, the looseness doesn’t matter. So if it comes loose in the installation process just put it back in its holes and continue on.

Hope that helps somebody! There really aren’t a lot of guides/tutorials on latches out there.