Problem with sliding door

10

Asked by Oct 21, 2011 at 07:48 PM about the 1995 Dodge Caravan 3 Dr STD Passenger Van

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My '95 Caravan has a manual sliding door that doesn't latch smoothly even after
I carefully aligned the door. 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 roller arm. I'm
wondering if I'm diagnosing the problem correctly. And, if so, do I need to
replace the bearing, arm and/or the spring? 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.

4 Answers

230

Had the same problem with a '94, it would actually fall off the van at times. I loosened all three (or two, don't remember) bolts on the front bottom hinge, then one by one removed each bolt and placed a washer between the door and hinge on each bolt raising the front of the door. Seems the hinge wears out, and droops a little after a while. Hope this helps.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
10

Not really helpful. I already went through that process. The problem is in the rear slider. When the door is open, if you pull the rear edge of the door straight out or push it in it moves several inches in or out. I close the door very carefully until the latch and strike pin match, I can push the door in and it latches. But if I close the door with a normal amount of force, the weight and momentum of the door causes the rear to swing wide and long. The latch strikes the end of the pin and bounces off causing stress on the latch and latch mount. It has to be something in the slider roller or the rail. I just don't know enough about sliding doors to figure it out.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20

The rollers have a plastic cover it gets brittle and breaks off. Should replace all three roller assemblies.

Best Answer
10

Better late than never, I guess. I had this problem 5 years ago. I had to figure it out on my own, eventually (I actually got rid of that car 3 years ago). I did replace the roller assemblies and it fixed the problem. But a note to readers, before you do this, try to adjust the door on the rollers. Over time it will get out of whack due to wear on the rollers and rails, and roller assembly bolts working loose. It's been too long to remember where I learned about making the adjustments, but if you Google it you can find directions. I strongly recommend looking for instructions. I tried to do it by guess and couldn't get it to line up right. There is an order and method. The door adjust 3 different ways, horizontally, vertically and for lack of a better word, the yaw. If the door isn't adjusted properly it won't latch. If this doesn't fix the problem then you need new roller assemblies.(I suspect being out of adjustment caused premature failure of the rollers from slamming the door closed.) If you get to this point I strongly recommend replacing all the rollers. If you don't expect to keep the van for long then just live with it. With adjustment you can probably get it to latch with some shoulder pressure.

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