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2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside


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gman28
User

Aug 31, 2015, 10:29 AM

Post #1 of 12 (691 views)
  post locked   2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

I have a 2003 Ford E250 Van, 5.4l engine with 128,000 miles.

My key will lock my passenger front door from the outside, but will not open it. In order to open the door, you have to enter the van from the driver side, reach over and pull the handle from the inside. The door handle feels a little stiff from the outside when the door is closed but unlocked. In other words, should you elect to open the unlocked door from the outside, it will, but feels stiff compared to the driver's side door handle.

I have searched you-tube looking for a short video on how to remove the window crank handle, to remove the door lining, to see what might be broken and need repaired. I also noticed that the door handle uses rivets in its construction.

I'm hoping a forum member might have had to fix this problem and will coach me through it.

gman28


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 31, 2015, 2:19 PM

Post #2 of 12 (673 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

? Crank windows and manual or power locks?
Yes - you should go inside and see what's going on either set up. Tear away enough plastic so you can see inside thru access holes in door metal and I would while there not only look but spray back of lock, door handle and rods, as well as back of the latch itself and all moving parts with discretion while there. Test while apart and watching.


Some - another brand tons newer was so sticky/stuck it needed a new latch totally not really all the hard to do on many. Some I've taken out and really lubed them up and some were just too far corroded and impossible to clean up and lube up,




T



gman28
User

Sep 1, 2015, 7:09 AM

Post #3 of 12 (661 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

Tom,

My van has crank windows and manual locks.

gman28


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 1, 2015, 7:33 AM

Post #4 of 12 (659 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

Same thing except it can't be a frozen up motor. You really wont know till inside.
General: Rods are used in almost all vehicles from a key lock to the latch with jaws you see from open door which inside also connects to the door pull for open and in the mix is a physical lock rod too - all must be free to move, not bent or jammed somehow plus at latch not corroded. Ones that work at all now usually it's just lube or see where a rod somehow bent or maybe a clip that holds rod ends in place is messed up.


If those there will be left and right handed ones not necessary quick to find a new or good used one! If someone has been there before you could fake some of that with wire which wouldn't last. Ya - I've had to till I could get correct clips.


You'll know if anyone has been inside as the insulation on about all, any make is impossible to remove for access without some evidence or damage. Some might (shouldn't) leave it off totally or literally duct tape up where torn which seals it unseen inside and keeps drafts out and moisture from certain other things. Put it back or if you care enough and it's missing make one up out of heavy grade plastic, cut as needed.


Just notes to the wise on doors and using them: Don't slam doors - period. Things aren't made out of bridge grade steel in there. Don't close doors even hard with window part way down! Lube hinges and latches everywhere seen first with like a WD-40 then as seen fit a spray grease. The pins on door hinge last totally forever if lubed and do wear out, squeak when moved up to having to lift a door to close it! Some (fewer Fords) are a ROYAL IMPOSSIBLE disaster to repair, some not so bad. Lube is cheap.
Also inside where key goes light and drying silicone spray or sold as lock de-icer has lube in it. I'd avoid real grease in those or oils.
All this stuff wants lube after some years, use. OE lube will wear off or out.


Try to save it. If latch they do cost some bucks,


T



gman28
User

Sep 1, 2015, 10:51 AM

Post #5 of 12 (652 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

Tom,

I took the door skin panel off, pulled the plastic back, and took a quick look at the inside door release handle, the outside door handle, and the lock mechanism. With the door open, I can open and lock the door with the key. But once I close the door, I can't lock the door with the key. The inside components are pretty rusty, so I sprayed everything with some pb blaster and wiped up the over-spray and drippage.

It looks like the outside door handle needs replacing. But the handle won't open far enough to get a drill bit on the rivets to drill them out. More importantly, how do I remove the metal rods without breaking them with such limited access space? I will have to search for a video on you-tube on the removal process. So, if anybody out there has a link, please post it.

gman28


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 1, 2015, 12:36 PM

Post #6 of 12 (645 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

Wow - Just been Googling the web away for good pics of what I expect you are dealing with. Seems if rusty/corroded you should see that rods by sight are moving full travel or bending with the key but NOT the inside lock button however placed.
Sorry for the novel but it sounds like a rod is bent and no longer strong ONE direction.
Need to know some things: If a door is locked and you are inside does just pulling the handle unlock and open the door - zillions of Fords for decades did that - others didn't - BUT on some they would put a lever on door jam near latch marked that would move such that a locked door wouldn't open with lever from inside alone - you had to unlock it at the button or someone outside by key. If this has that feature it MUST be in full UP or DOWN position as part way will mess up the whole show jamming!


Rods and clips: Generic pics of what's expected if they show..........
One style of common rod clip........

^^^^ Was there. You would swing the bail off the rod then rod comes out. Nylon stays in the hole. Other types of many sorts like some you would just push like say a right angle end of rod into a nylon piece and with some force stick in place. If those getting one OUT you pry it out but need to know what type of what. These dang thing break too.


Rods:
Generic again but like this...........

Note if that shows ^^^^ was there that rods are NOT just straight. If forced then can bend and not do the travel required and need unbending.


I asked if door opened with it locked by just lever inside. If the rods were all stuck, ice and was trying to push on a bended rod it would or could bend it too much and would possibly work only one way then by key.


If key doesn't even try now that you can watch that's another issue now dealing with broken item(s)


Watch the motion by hand and by key so you see just what moves and how far by hand or by key. Very telling and you might if a rod moves some assist it with pliers in that direction and see it that makes it work.


All this stuff is hair pulling plain silly hardware but must stay in place and nothing bent or broken never mind rusted things really mess it up?


It almost seem like at some point this was forced to open either indoor handle or outside handle while door was frozen stuck.


Issues usually broken plastic things, bent rods or corrosion that doesn't allow full travel by key especially weaker than a handle.


It might help to go see one that works in a junkyard with a junk door but works and has keys to it - if a place find an easy one with panel and crap already off.


YouTube has some impressive vehicle specific replacement procedures for some of this stuff and I don't have time to watch thru way too many to find a door handle replacement for this exact vehicle as there may be several and long or wrong problem.


IDK - If need be watch what driver's side does that passenger's side doesn't. Means that panel has to come off too but a chance to lube things in that one as well.


Some popular vehicles like this will have whole handle/lock assemblies after market but would fit if too hopeless with what you find.


I know view of things never mind hands on clips, rods or whatever is tight and dang car maker know how to make everything sharp so you cut yourself bloody reaching around almost blind or by mirrors!


So yes, I've fussed and fixed a ton of this crap that others just gave up on or couldn't spend the time on some. You should be able to leave panel off and still use the van while targeting exactly what it will take.


With rust mentioned it means to me also Winters with ice and salts - the problem of many such things all thru vehicles.


*****************
One last thing: Easy with PB as well as it can work it's a horror on some paints and some rubber parts! Careful what gets sprayed. It works as well as any if that's the issue. WD-40 is weak in comparison but harmless to most anything and less capable is the trade off.
This is remarkable hard to explain how and what to be looking for. Watch out for rivets too. Some on doors are not the common size you may be thinking of and require a special gun for the new ones that tool is VERY expensive!


If you find a YouTube that is like your problem send it to me via private message and let me insert it as posting links other than pictures isn't generally allowed.


Best I can do for now without being right there,


Tom



gman28
User

Sep 2, 2015, 8:58 PM

Post #7 of 12 (629 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

 Tom,

Let me answer your question:

Q: If the door is locked and you are inside does just pulling the handle unlock and open the door?

Ans: Yes, the door will open from the inside using the handle.

I spent most of the day searching for you tube help. Didn't find anything that was helpful for my year and setup.
Sent a few emails asking others if they had any helpful files, but came up with another dead end. I took a good
look at the inside and will be changing the outside door handle first. See if that solves the problem and proceed
from there.

I have to order the handle sometime tomorrow. Don't like the idea of using rivets again. Have to see if there is
an handle out there uses bolts and nuts.

gman28


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 3, 2015, 1:20 AM

Post #8 of 12 (623 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

OK - inside handle both unlocks and opens door in one motion - just means like I thought more is moving or needs to then ones that don't do that.
Check for aftermarket handle if popular might even be I stock.


Rivets: There may be no room for nuts and bolts plus if you even can holding back side while tightening may not work and undoing it if needed might not be able to hold back side?


Rivet may be the pest if the larger one. Said the gun was nasty expensive. Like close to $400 bucks! One I'm thinking of is hydraulic and very powerful. Doubt rentable?


IDK - you are looking at it. At some point if tools for one use is in the way see if a body shop will just do that and finish the rest yourself if it must be replaced or come out?


Good luck. Fussy little junk inside doors can be a hassle as you are finding out,



T



gman28
User

Sep 10, 2015, 8:24 AM

Post #9 of 12 (560 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

Tom,

Success, I managed to repair my door handle yesterday. I wish to post the new updated OEM Ford replacement part numbers. This information will help anyone searching for them in the future.

Updated passenger outside door handle: 8C2Z-1522404-AD
List Price: $56.62 - Online Price around $39.63
Note: New handle is plastic vs original metal unit.

Ford also updated the rivets, new part number is W525172-S417 List price $2.51 each.
Note: I did not use rivets in my repair. I don't own the special rivet tool, nor could I rent one. I decided to use 1/4" x 3/4" stainless steel pan head bolts, washers, and Free Spinning Washer Nuts. Purchased from my local hardware store.

Repair steps once I removed the outer door panel and water shield:

1. I removed the three bolts holding the door latch with a T-27 Torx Bit Socket.

2. I then removed the right side window rail with a 11 mm socket.

3. Turned the latch sideways to see how to disconnect yellow clip. Used a curved hook tool and pulled it open to release the threaded rod. Note: It turned out that I didn't need to do remove the latch bolts once I saw how it was designed.

4. Next, I removed the broken handle.

5. Inserted the new Ford handle.

6. Placed a washer on the bolt, inserted the top bolt first, reached inside the door, placed a washer on the bolt using a needle nose pliers, worked the nut onto the bolt, tightened it using a 7/16 open head wrench and Phillips screw driver.

7. Moved onto the lower bolt. It proved to be a little more challenging because of the other rod obstacles. I solved that problem by using a needle nose vise grip securing the bolt and by placing the nut up against the hole, inserted the screw and washer and tightened it up. I had to call my son for help on this one. He screwed the bolt while I held the nut in place.

8. Checked to make sure everything worked, opening and closing the door from the outside with the key.

9. Reassembled everything and was happy as a lark.

Thanks for the help, and I hope that the above information might help others in the future.

gman28


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 10, 2015, 8:42 AM

Post #10 of 12 (558 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

Glad it's fixed and all worked out with what must be aftermarket parts so this is popular.


Just a warning on hardware, where rivets were used: Yes you can and have here or there. What can go wrong is if you have to get back later with nut and bolt types if frozen up real good you may not be able to get them out again without damaging something? All depends on where located and access to both sides or not.
Again - those larger rivets are just fine - the dang tool is the problem! Costs a fortune and no way around that,


Tom



gman28
User

Sep 10, 2015, 12:36 PM

Post #11 of 12 (549 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

Tom,

I used a Ford part for the repair.


gman28


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 10, 2015, 12:45 PM

Post #12 of 12 (546 views)
  post locked   Re: 2003 Ford E250 Passenger Door Key Won't Open From Outside  

Might be? If exact OE was discontinued the new one could be plastic and not metal? That or FORD like others gets parts wherever they can also or in fact has discontinued the one you replaced? Can't really know. Glad it's fixed is the result.


Let it be. I'll close out thread as locked to keep spammers out. YOU may request it be re-opened by any moderator,


T







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