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Chrysler Repair/'98 Dodge Ram: power door lock/door latch


QUESTION: 1998 Dodge ram van 3500 my driver door will not open from inside or outside. power lock seems to be clicking & working yet showing symtoms of not unlocking by inside & outside latches not doing anything. manual lock has been useless for awhile before & linkage is detatched. I've tried to take off door panel as much as door being closed allows to get my hand inside. unable to locate any way to unlatch or unlock door.

Other than to try lifting up/ pushing down on the door handle at the same time that you are pulling/pushing the door outward, just on the possibility that it is simply friction that is preventing the door from opening...I believe that you will need to remove the inner door panel to get at the latch mechanixm. To do that you would want to remove the driver seat. There are 4 bolts that hold it to the floor. According the the '04 manua that I have; you remove the 2 bolts at the front of the seat track, then move the seat forward and remove the 2 rear bolts that hold the track to the floor. Then you folt the seat back forward than move the seat back.
Then you look under and detach the 4 or so bolts that attach the seat to the center assembly or middle seat, if equipped. Then the seat should lift out of the way to give you access to the inner door panel. If power is provided to the seat, then unplug the harness before removing the seat.
I can copy some pages from the '04 manual that show how to deal with the latch assembly and attach them to an email that I would send to you directly. Let me know your email address but don't use the "@" symbol, instead use "at" otherwise the address will be automatically erased.
Please "rate" my answer (see below).

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I don't really see how removing the seat would still allow access to a screw at the bottom rear of door & 1 that is inaccessible while door is closed because dash is in the way. a latch assembly assembly attatchment would be appreciated.

Hi Dan,
I don't personally have a Ram so can't know the exact obstructions to getting off the door panel. I assumed that getting the seat out might be helpful to you. I hope you can solve this.
I just sent 3 pages from the '04 manual which I believe would be similar to your vehicle.
Please rate my answer and consider a 'yes' to the question about a nomination of me to be 'volunteer of the month' at Allexperts.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


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Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

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