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Old 12-03-2001, 09:04 AM   #1
P
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Member#: 7037
Join Date: May 2001
Location: USA
Default '91 Legacy Door Lock Problem

Hey all,

My sister has a 1991 Legacy LS sedan (186,400+ miles) which still runs fine but has one nagging problem. The door locks are malfunctioning. Right now it is just the passenger side front door, but I fear others may follow.

Here's what's happening: (all from inside the car)
You can only open the passenger side front door when you physically hold the interior "unlock" button in the "unlocked" position while at the same time pulling the realease lever. If you just move the button to the unlock position and then attempt to pull the inside handle (without holding the button "unlocked"), the button slips back to "locked" and the door will not open.

I was able to fix it by replacing the spring behind the door latch with a makeshift spring made out of some thin wire. Seems to be working well so far, hopefully it holds up!

P
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Last edited by P; 12-06-2002 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 12-03-2001, 03:47 PM   #2
ejicon
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Location: Burbank,California, USA
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08 2.5 WRX
WRB Mica

Default yes yes

This happened to me over the summer. The problem occured on my front passenger side door and one of the rears. Turns out that both had spring problems. Both springs which retract the opening position were shot. I had to replace them with new ones. If this problem could have been solved without buying new ones, I would have been happy. Good luck.. I'll try looking for a pair for you.
-Ells
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Old 12-03-2001, 04:52 PM   #3
P
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Default yup.....

replacement of the door lock assembly isn't required. The info from the Gary Hobey site is quite good and it seems to be working, at least well enough until the engine goes. The button action is a bit stiff, but it does self-return now..

!

P

Last edited by P; 12-06-2002 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 12-03-2001, 06:14 PM   #4
2roos
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: CO
Vehicle:
2002 WRX Sedan
Platinum Silver Metallic

Default

This is a common problem in an early MY Legacy. One of the local all Subaru shops even offers a discount sevice package to repair the door locks. I do not know what needs to be repaired, but I am sure one of your local Subaru shops could easily tell you.
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Old 12-04-2001, 03:20 AM   #5
ejicon
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WRB Mica

Default oops

sorry for not being specific.. I didn't need to remove the steel plate from the door, I simply screwed off the locking unit, and replaced it, I kept the original rods and pins. The unit itself has a spring in it or something.. All I know is that it was dead on mine, so I bought brand new ones.. If you mess your up, I'll send you my old ones and maybe you can swap the parts from it..
-Ells
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Old 12-04-2001, 06:25 AM   #6
richeich
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Default

There was a guy named Gary Hobie (I think) that had a website that talked about several repairs and upgrades to his Legacy. I seem to recall there being something about this problem addressed on is website. I don't have the link anymore, and I don't have time to search right now, I gotta get out the door to work (like, now). Anyway, maybe someone here still has a link to his website, or you can search for his name.

My 90 Legacy did that as well, and I fixed it based on some information gleaned from his description.

Good Luck-
Rich
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Old 12-04-2001, 07:21 AM   #7
P
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Default

I see.

it must be a spring in the upper push button unit that you all are describing, which yes, is pretty easy to get to.

I'll pull that and check it out.

P
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Old 12-04-2001, 10:53 AM   #8
P
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Default

http://www.geocities.com/hobiegary/legacy.htm

Gary Hobie's site, with the fix mentioned above.

I'll try it out today........

P
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Old 12-04-2001, 02:35 PM   #9
P
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Default fixed

keeping this thread alive.

used a piece of welding rod. just loop it in the back of the remote toggle, loop it around the spring tab, and then bend the ends back around the back of the lever housing.

in the pic attached you can see the two ends of the wire coming out of the back of the lever housing. Inside the housing it simply loops around the spring. Easy and cheap. A replacement lever runs $50 or so from subaruparts.com

P
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Old 12-04-2001, 05:13 PM   #10
richeich
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Yeah, yeah... that's the ticket! I couldn't remember what it was good enough to help directly. I'm just glad I could remember his name. Good job, P!

Rich
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Old 12-05-2001, 04:32 AM   #11
ejicon
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Default whoa

geez.. where was this website when I needed it.. oh well.. 12 bucks for new ones weren't bad....
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Old 12-05-2001, 07:25 AM   #12
P
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Default $12!

$12 must have been a 2nd hand or junkyard price right? A new remote switch was much more than that. There were a few old, non-working links to his site around, but a simple google.com search found his new location. Gotta love google.

Installed the fixed-up part last night. It works much better, not quite as perfectly as new, but it will get my sister by until the rest of the car implodes.

P
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Old 12-16-2001, 11:50 AM   #13
nazim
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
Vehicle:
1990 Legacy LS
White

Thumbs up just like new!

my passenger lock went just four weeks after I started driving my '90 Legacy(3 month ago). Then I read Gary Hobie's site and fixed it last week, took me about 40min.
The only advise I could give about his article is 16 gauge wire is not stong enough, use 18 gauge or something.

(works really really well)
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