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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, so all my doors have this happening now, where they don't open on the first pull (mostly after initially unlocking). I know how each door has to reset back to its original position before the door can be re-opened, and about the indexed cable on the outer door handle, and have played with that length to try to fix. I also read about lubing the latch and catch with some dry lube - I decided to try Boeshield.

Here's the problem - when I got to my driver's door, I noticed that the rubber covering over the metal latch (that is the exposed part of the locking mechanism) was starting to seriously corrode. Basically, it could jam up the latch at any time, and prevent the door from ever opening. So, the only decision I saw was to immediately remove the regulator panel and lock mechanism, because the door will likely soon never open again. I have everything out (a total nightmare, as you all know), but I don't know if there's any way to replace just that metal latch by taking apart the lock mechanism, or if I'm going to have to fork out $100s for a whole new lock mechanism.

I'd also like to know if anyone has lubed the internals of the lock mechanism, and where, with what, to also address the sticky door syndrome.

EDIT: BTW, I've done at least one door microswitch re-soldering (I think on this door), so I'm familiar with and comfortable pulling apart the lock mechanism, if there's some way to salvage or replace just the latch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I finally cleaned off all the 3M strip calk (08578) off the panel and the door - total nightmare - 4 hours of cleaning! Not using that stuff on the doors ever again except *maybe* at the base (I've been flooded, so I'm rightly paranoid). If you've dealt with it previously, you know what I'm talking about. The stuff works phenomenally well, but is horrible to apply and remove. Has anyone run across a single-piece "rope" rubber grommet that can be lined around the OEM panels, in the groove? I know several people suggested buying the newer aftermarket panels with nice weatherproofing (not the foam garbage that came OEM), but I can't justify dumping any more money than absolutely necessary into this car.

Still no idea what to do about the latch. The car is sitting outside without a lock - have the door pulled shut, but no lock. Wonder if I can fit a bike lock inside the door and around the U-clasp? :lol: Too tired right now to check. Earned a :beer:. Maybe someone will do me a favor and take my car overnight!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, so a pic is worth a thousand words. This shows exactly my problem - see that metal latch (dead center of pic)? It's supposed to be coated in rubber/other, completely (see the remnants around the edge?). The coating was already corroding and interfering. I made it worse by trying to pull some out, but it was a ticking time bomb regardless.

Auto part
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I also have a question regarding the external handle. The 1st pic below is what I assume to be the "home" position for the external handle cable and related latch. The 2nd pic shows what happens if I pull the external cable to the limit and let go ... it stays put, and doesn't return to the home position - it just stays extended like that. If I push it slightly, it snaps back to home. Is that normal, or one of the contributors to the double+ pull door not opening mystery?

View attachment 89691

View attachment 89689
 

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Ok, so a pic is worth a thousand words. This shows exactly my problem - see that metal latch (dead center of pic)? It's supposed to be coated in rubber/other, completely (see the remnants around the edge?). The coating was already corroding and interfering. I made it worse by trying to pull some out, but it was a ticking time bomb regardless.

View attachment 89687

My 1998 GLS had this same problem. That black plastic coating around the lock latch mechanism was all falling off and like getting all ground up and causing limited movement / functionality.
The only original lock mechanism left on my car is the passengers side rear. I can count on one hand how many times that door gets opened in a years time.
The drivers side door lock has been replaced multiple times. My door is sagging about 3/8" due to a worn door pin / hinge.
As a result the door lock mechanism keeps wearing out because it's the hitting striker latch way to low. I think about that almost on a daily basis and say to myself, I'm going to make an offset pin to compensate for the worn out door pin / hinge. And that's about as far as that gets. I tried once before to get the top door pin out. Nothing doing.

The old ones also had corrosion in them from all that climate related damage from back in WI.

I know it sucks working on these things. It's a lot of labor just to get at the door locks. Believe me I hear you about not wanting to cough up the cash.
If I ever get around to fixing my car and what ails it, this next time around I'm just going to bite the bullet and put all new door locks and window regulators on all 4 doors.
For all the messing around I've done in the last 5 - 6 years I figure it'd be worth it to have fully functional door locks and windows once again.
My problems didn't start until the car was 15 years old, so plunking down the cash will get another estimated 15 years of service.


For whatever it's worth, I got my used lock mechanisms from https://carparts4sale.com/

https://carparts4sale.com/rh-rear-d...i-mk4-beetle-passat-b5-3b4-839-016-b-cp040587

A very cheap alternative to buying new.
 

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I finally cleaned off all the 3M strip calk (08578) off the panel and the door - total nightmare - 4 hours of cleaning! Not using that stuff on the doors ever again except *maybe* at the base (I've been flooded, so I'm rightly paranoid). If you've dealt with it previously, you know what I'm talking about. The stuff works phenomenally well, but is horrible to apply and remove. Has anyone run across a single-piece "rope" rubber grommet that can be lined around the OEM panels, in the groove? I know several people suggested buying the newer aftermarket panels with nice weatherproofing (not the foam garbage that came OEM), but I can't justify dumping any more money than absolutely necessary into this car.

Still no idea what to do about the latch. The car is sitting outside without a lock - have the door pulled shut, but no lock. Wonder if I can fit a bike lock inside the door and around the U-clasp? :lol: Too tired right now to check. Earned a :beer:. Maybe someone will do me a favor and take my car overnight!

I've replaced both front window regulators on my wife's GLX with Genuine VW/Audi replacements. They are using a different type of adhesive / weather stripping than what was used from factory.
Hers were needed because of corrosion and a snapped cable.

If your window regulator is still in good shape, using regular clear RTV or silicone works great. Come time to remove that bad boy will really suck though. Even though silicone stays flexible, it bonds to the metal surfaces and it's freaking strong.

I know this doesn't solve your dilema at hand and I know your tired of throwing money at this thing, but is it worth it to just bite the bullet and drop a few hundred $$ to fix the issues and so you don't have to sweat it anymore.
Believe me I get it, but having that little peace of mind every time you push button on your FOB is worth something also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If your window regulator is still in good shape, using regular clear RTV or silicone works great. Come time to remove that bad boy will really suck though. Even though silicone stays flexible, it bonds to the metal surfaces and it's freaking strong.

I know this doesn't solve your dilema at hand and I know your tired of throwing money at this thing, but is it worth it to just bite the bullet and drop a few hundred $$ to fix the issues and so you don't have to sweat it anymore.
Believe me I get it, but having that little peace of mind every time you push button on your FOB is worth something also.
Thanks for chiming in, Andreas, and with all the details. It's nice to know I'm not the only one that's seen this corrosion. That pin misalignment issue sounds like a whole new level of a nightmare!

My regulator panels (OEM) are in good shape, notwithstanding the weatherproof foam which I long ago scrubbed off. The risk of flooding with these doors makes any door job way more time consuming and stressful. Yeah, I thought about black gasket rtv (Permatex), but as you say it can be a PITA to get off.

I looked at the website you linked to ... couldn't find the front driver's side for my year, but maybe it's too early. $50 is good, but I always wonder how much wear (and if the microswitches are ready to go with flaky solder joints - I guess I could swap in my board). I went on ebay and I was shocked to see (new) aftermarkets ranging from $20-$40. Wonder if anyone on PW has had any good experiences with these vendors / manufacturers. At those prices, I'd do all the doors. I don't know how they produce such a mechanically complex device and make a profit at those prices.

In the meantime, while I think, I need something to lock the door shut. Need to take a look today to see what I can jerry-rig.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, bit the bullet on a new OEM replacement lock. Figured if I'm going to cheap out on any of the doors, the driver's door is NOT the door to do it. Hate spending money on this 20-year old car, especially things like the doors and such, but what ya gonna do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just realized the passenger side, front, has the same latch corrosion going on, and is clearly causing interference. Another order placed. Passat money pit. :( Too bad can't rebuild the old ones - seems like such a waste. At least the new OEM models come with the "new microswitch design", so probably won't have to re-solder in the future. Silver lining.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Finally got my passenger regulator panel off. Seriously, what were they thinking with this door design? Even after having done it like 10 times, it's still a ROYAL PITA! The most absurd part is the cable that goes to the lock mechanism - VW Lead Engineer during B5 design - "Hey guys, let's put the lock connector on the backside of the panel, and make them do acrobatics to get to it. We could (also) put a disconnect on the front side, but what fun would that be?!!!" I hate these doors with a PASSION!

EDIT: If anyone has any weatherproofing ideas other than the 3M and RTV, please chime in. That's going to be the last remaining question after I spend another 4 hours cleaning this passenger panel (and door) of 3M goop, and get the two new OEM lock mechanisms in the mail.
 
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