A Sad Tale of a Frustrated Man. Part 1.

As you may or may not know the offside rear door of the Rescue Team Land Rover will not open. Not the first time we’ve had problems with the back doors, the central locking mechanism is particularly convoluted. So I have a history of swearing and skinned knuckles due to trying to work inside the door. I imagine it’s far more straightforward if you have 8 inch long fingers, about the dimensions of a lolly stick would be ideal, only with a bit more articulation. Sadly, mine bear closer resemblance to Cumberland sausages. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
So, this morning finds me lying across the back seats armed with a selection of bits of bent wire and screwdrivers, trying to sprag the door lock from the inside. After only a few minutes less than half an hour the bloody thing is open without having to resort to unbolting the whole door.
Now comes the easy bit, unbolting the internal door handle, door release cover plate and lock button. And next, the first encounter of the day with a small springy thing. In this case the one that holds on the window winder. I should explain at this point that small springy things and I have a distinctly fraught relationship going back a couple of decades. A bit like that girl you used to go out with (we all knew one) who, when she was there, was impossible to persuade to do anything you wanted her to do, but when she wasn’t there, you couldn’t achieve anything without her and desperately wanted her back.
So, the window winder small springy thing. An innocuous wire circlip, which if you could get to it would be the work of but a second to remove. Since it’s hidden behind the window winder, I land up prodding at the damn thing with a pair of screwdrivers, half hoping the thing will just move and half dreading the idea, knowing that it will fly off into the deep dark depths of somewhere I didn’t even know existed, and half cursing who designed it in the first place. I know that’s three halves, but I don’t give a damn by now.
Eventually, movement. Careful now, mustn’t let it spring off.
Oh, hell, it’s gone. Freeze. Don’t move a muscle, you could send it even further into oblivion.
Fantastic it’s lying on the drive in full view. And breath again
Easy bit again. Remove door card and the plastic damp proof membrane behind it. Now I can see the door locking mechanism for the first time today. Let’s have a look. Plip the fob a few times to lock and unlock the door, watching to see which bit either isn’t moving that should be, or is moving that shouldn’t. Nope, can’t see anything. Disconnect the central locking motor maybe. I’ve been here before see, and I know that adds a whole load of friction.
A Ha. Now I’ve sussed it. If I just remove that small springy thing (not the window regulator one, I’ve already removed that one, keep up). No this small springy thing holds the rod that holds the locking bar to the door handle button push. If I remove it, I’ll be able to turn the rod a couple of turns on it’s thread and then, when I put it back on, the door button push will exert more leverage all the way up the mechanism and operate the lock. Maybe. Once bitten, twice shy. I’ll use another couple of screwdrivers, fingers don’t fit remember, and try and push and wiggle all the bits to see if I might be right. Hmm, seems like it might work.
Be brave, it’s only a small springy thing, can’t weigh more than a few grams, and it’s essentially inert. The combined might of sixteen stone of me, plus my immeasurable brain power must be able to overcome it. Needle nose pliers this time, with a bit of rag wrapped round the whole thing. Small springy thing, you shall not defeat me.
Except the bit of rag means I can’t see to pop it off the rod.
Hands shaking slightly, i grip, push, pull and twist and the small springy thing succumbs. It’s safely gripped in the jaws of the pliers. I win!!!!
Another easy bit, a couple of turns on the rod, hold it in place with the pliers and let’s try the door handle. Looks promising. If I climb back into the Land Rover, shut the door, hold the rod with the pliers, reach out the window and try the door handle I’ll know if this is going to work. It’d be easier if I was an agile dwarf, but I manage to fold myself into position.
Success. The door opens. Close it, open it. Yep, all good. Close it, lock it, unlock it, open it. Still all good. Now all I need to do is put it back together.
As you may know, small springy things are much, much harder to get back in place than they are to remove.
To Be Continued…