XJ40 front door locks will not open

Hi All , i have just gotten my car back from a head reco , running like a dream , BUT now the drivers side (RHD) door will not open all the rods and bits and pieces seem to be in their right places , but short of being a contortionist , i cannot for the life of me figure out or see anything , so being frustrated i have stopped doing anything to it until tomorrow , went to shut passenger door , and guess what it has done the same , except this door is open , small bonus . So basically i’m pleading for anyone who may have had this happen to them to please help me out . All the solenoids and electricals are working so has to be mechanical . ??? Mark

Mark …

You say that the drivers side for will not open. Does this mean it won’t unlock or it won’t physically open?

Can you unlock it with the key, inside handle, or lock stem?

Try resetting the electrical locking system by getting in the car and shutting all the doors. Now operate
each door’s lock stem individually leaving each in the open position. Does the driver’s lock stem operate all the locks now?

Again while setting in the car with all the doors closed unlock all the doors and try the lock button on the dash. Do they all lock?

Hi Grooveman , the door mechanism will unlock and sometimes re lock itself , the door will not physically open , neither the inside or outside handles will open the doors , will try the other things you suggested tomorrow in the day light . Mark

Mark …

Sorry for the dumb question but have you unlocked the door with the key ?

The inside and outside door handles are two independent mechanical inputs to the mechanical door lock assembly, so if the door lock isn’t releasing and allowing the door to open it’s definitely a mechanical problem.

When you operate the two handles do they feel the same as the passenger handles (resistance, distance of travel) ?

I can’t think of anyway to check this out without removing the door panel and I can’t see how you can do that with the door closed. Maybe you could use a Slim Jim to get in there and trip the lock mechanism …

By the way why not go into your preferences and add the yr/model of your car and your country which will put a flag next to your icon.

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Hi Grooveman , The inner handle is free movement and the outer is very minimal , when lifted it barely clears being flush with outer surround of the handle . I’ve tried everything i can think of ,i now have the exact same problem with the passenger door except this door is open , i left everything yesterday and am going to have another go at it today , if i take the three screws that hold the locking mechanism in will it all come out as a complete unit , or will need to dismantle everything connected to it first . jag lock jag lock

Mark …

The locking mechanism is attached to 3 adjustable linkages, one for the inside and one for the outside handle, and one for the door stem. The linkages are secured to the locking mechanism by a clip that rotates down and over the rod. You have to release these clips before you can detach the rods and then you can remove the main lock after you unbolt it. The pictures show the type of clip.


*** WARNING *** you must have the hands of a 10 year old concert pianist and the patience of Job to work on these locks. Because of the small opening difficult to remove, crazy hard to put back in !!

Mate , have been there before , but only to change the handle , b#*+ch of a job , and i have big hands , went in there today on the door that is open . Think you can find the 8mm spanner needed , that you know you have , had to get a new one . will find the other when the job is finished . Back in tomorrow and not stopping until something is done , wish me luck .

Two weeks ago I had a friend’s 1988 XJ40 in my shop and the drivers door would not open from the outside or inside. All other doors worked as expected. I was able to remove the trim piece around the inner handle and then remove the wood panel near the top of the driver’s door while it was still closed. I discovered the reason the inner handle wasn’t working was because the flexible steel cable that runs from the inner door handle to the latch had popped out of it’s socket where it attaches to the inner door handle. Once I restored that cable to it’s proper position, I was finally able to open the driver’s door at least using the inner handle. The problem with the outer handle was a completely separate issue.

Just an FYI

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Steven and Groove , have gotten into the door that was open but would not shut because of the striker latch , both inside cables are still connected , now have to take the window frame out to remove the lock . Seems the problem is in that lock , will take pics as i go and share them if useful to anyone else .Mark

I have changed latches before on the driver’s door and a rear door of my 1994 so I know it really is no fun at all to do.

Steven , really don’t want to take out the window frame , is there any way around it . Are there any pics or diagrams for the internal part of the lock that actuates the part that fastens itself to the striker , so i can try and figure out whats going wrong ?

Tomorrow I can see if I can find any of the latch assemblies that I changed out and take some photos. I didn’t take the window frame all the way out. I seem to recall that all I did was remove some of the bolts so I could move the thing around some to get at the latch. Sorry if I don’t recall more details.

Steven , Thanks , had a day away from the car today , some numbness in the hands from diabetes and chemo treatment , so yeah , a bit sore today . any pics of the actual door lock mechanism that the latch locks over the striker would be good also the internals of the lock. I really appreciate your responses , thanks again Mark.

So far I have not been able to locate the missing latch assemblies I removed from my 1994 car as of yet. I will try searching again tomorrow.

No problem Steven , when you can .

G’day Mark.
This is a front RHD door lock mechanism for a 93.
First pic shows where the rod from the key actuated rod connects.
Second pic shows where the cable from the inner release handle fastens, ( the white bit that looks like a tailfin ) and also where the rod from the ‘pop up’ button fastens to.
From reading your description I’m guessing the latching mechanism is not releasing from the striker pin BUT this part of the device is out of sight. All of the actual latching mechanism is encased inside a folded riveted box that you can’t get to. I can see a large looped spring in there but not much else. I can work out from operating it all by hand that if that big looped spring was broken then the latch would not disengage from the striker pin, but obviously can’t say for certain if this is what has happened to yours.
I hope this helps a bit. If there is anything else that might help just ask.
Good luck mate.

G’day again Mark,
here’s some pics from top and below of that enclosed riveted box I mentioned. You can see a small coil spring with a bit of red on it, and above that near the top what looks like a much thicker spring. When either the inner or outer handle is operated that thicker spring ‘opens out’ or expands and the tail you can see in the pic raises the plastic parts towards the camera. When this happens something out of sight releases the heavy U shaped catch allowing it to pivot clear of the striker pin. The other pics show the underside, the black bit just above the pcb is the underside of that large U catch.

One thing I noticed is that U shaped catch is coated in plastic. On the one shown some of that plastic has alread scuffed and begun to roll up causing it to foul. Maybe on your lock a bigger piece of that plastic has snagged and jammed the catch ? just a thought. I hope it’s going well for you mate.

Mark, the rod from your outer door handle connects into the square you can see on the right of the first pic. Lifting your handle causes the rod to press downwards, it acts on that arm you can see with the spring end through it, so it is that spring you can feel when trying the outer handle.
The other thinner spring with the bit of red on it operates when the internal handle is pulled.
Operating either of them causes the plastic piece at the bottom of the pic to rotate. It is shaped like a backward C with an extended piece at the bottom, fastened into this extended piece is a metal pin about 6mm thick. This pin rises upwards as the C shape rotates allowing the U shaped catch to become free and pivot.
It’s easy to see with the part in my hand and a strong little torch but really hard ( for me ) to put into words, if you have any questions ask away mate.

Hi Casso , thanks for the pics , i hope i can stumble my way thru this , all help at this is muchly appreciated ,thanks Mate.

OK ,lads , I have two replacement mechanisms coming . Will replace the one that is in the open door and then have to take her in to the Jag mechanics and see what they can do . Thanks to all that replied . Mark.