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Sliding door latch on '99 Caravan won't close

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Old 07-23-2011, 05:06 PM
J. Gibbs J. Gibbs is offline
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Question Sliding door latch on '99 Caravan won't close

My '99 Caravan has a manual sliding door (perhaps no automatic at that time?) and, not surprisingly due to its age, the door has moved out of alignment so it no longer latches properly and the door doesn't close all the way. I can't get the door adjusted so the latch lines up correctly with the door strike pin. I carefully adjusted the door position vertically using the factory horizontal pin-striping as a guide; horizontally making sure the gaps on left and right are equal; and making sure the door surface is flush with the door frame all around. And I adjusted the strike pin so it aligns vertically with the latch. But when I try to close the door the latch does not align correctly with the strike pin; but the thing is, it may be either too far forward or not forward enough!!! There seems to be a lot of slop in the rear sliding arm in the rear rail. I'm wondering if I'm diagnosing the problem correctly. And, if so, do I need to replace the arm and bearing; or is there a spring that is supposed to keep the door tight; or is there some adjustment to the arm tightness/tension that I can't see? How does one R&R the sliding arm?

Thanks,

J.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:40 AM
J. Gibbs J. Gibbs is offline
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Can I get a little help with my sliding door problem?
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:24 AM
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vpnavy vpnavy is offline
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Click the image to open in full size. Until someone pipes in - did you compare all the clearances, alignment, etc. with the working door?
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:32 AM
J. Gibbs J. Gibbs is offline
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Is this a serious forum? I asked a serious question 2 1/2 months ago, and got one response, which wasn't really a response at all and didn't even try to answer my question. If there is really anybody out there paying attention who understands Dodge Caravans, please help me!!!
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:42 AM
J. Gibbs J. Gibbs is offline
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If you read my original post, I clearly stated that I carefully aligned the door. The problem is NOT in the door alignment. The problem, as clearly stated above, is that even when the door is correctly aligned, there is a lot of slop in the rear sliding arm in the rear rail. As a result, the latch can hit the strike pin too far forward OR too far back, depending on how hard to swing the door. Mostly, it hits the pin too far forward, which puts a lot of pressure on the latch. (As a result, the door panel cracked where the latch attaches, and was bent inward. I had to pull it out and weld the crack to strengthen it.)
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:42 AM
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1999 caravan, doesn't close, latch, sliding door

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