Registered: 2nd Sep 03
Location: Grantham, Lincolnshire
User status: Offline
First of all you need to have remote central locking, if not then you cant de-lock, sorry! You also need to consider the chance of the battery failing, because in this event, you need to have a second means of getting into the car, especially if you have a smooth boot too! If you have a good alarm fitted, with battery back up then this will rarely if at all happen.
There are any options that this could lead you to, personally in the past I have used a method which involved running two insulated wires, and positioning them under the car securely. So in the event of a battery failure, you can connect a secondary battery to these wires, and unlock the car. But in this case I haven’t.
Can you handle?
There are two different types of handle to use, these are the new type , found on newer cars - late Astra F, late Corsa B 5 door - but were first seen on Vectra, so they're mostly known as this. There is also the old type which are the same size and shape but found on older cars, early Corsa, Astra F and Cavalier. The early ones are flatter to the door, whereas the newer ones have a bit more shape. Both are completely interchangable.
Vectra handles are available from Vauxhall in primer for around £20 each. Old style are not available in primer as they were never fitted in body colour as a factory part. They could be prepared for painting, although this would require the grain removing by sanding and priming.
Both styles can be found in breakers fairly easily and if you're lucky they may even be the right colour! If you get them from a breakers, get the backing plates to, as these don't contain a lock so there is more room to work when fitting them.
If you spending the time de-locking you might as well colour code your handles at the same time. Painting plastic parts is an art in itself and covered elsewhere in the FAQ.
To dissessemble the handle, file down the punches on either side of the pin holding the two sections together. This will give you more access to the parts and will make sanding between coats easier.
Then paint away!
Once you’ve got them back together, don’t forget to punch them again, you’re ready for the handles to go in.
1 – First off you need to take the door card off which again is covered elsewhere in the FAQ.
2 - Inside the door you’ll need to remove plenty of the vapour seal, if you start at one corner, and peel slowly you can go far wrong. Just take your time. You can pick up new ones from Vauxhall for little money if you make a mess of it.
3 – To get at the backing plate the window guide rail needs to come out, so wind the window fully up and undo the two bolts at the bottom right of the door. Tug downwards on the rail and it should come free, then slide the guide rail out of the door.
4 – Now undo the two bolts on the backing plate of the handle, and don’t loose the bolts inside the door!
5 – Now comes the fun part! You need to unclip the rod connecting the lock to the central locking unit, this is hard, and on my first attempt I just yanked it out in the end! And ended up turning an hour job into a day job! But if you can get a screw driver behind it then it will prise out.
6 – Once the lock and backing plate is out then unclip the switch by gently prising off the metal clip.
7 – To get the handle out of the door, screw the small white plastic end piece of the connecting rod as far up as it will go, this will mean you can push the rod down further when removing the handle. To remove the handle itself, push up on the two clips on the bottom of the handle, and push the handle out and remove from the outside, with a little persuasion.
8 – Remove the rod from the handle removed and place it on the de-locked handle. Fit this to the door using reverse of the method above (in true Haynes style!). And don’t forget to screw the plastic part back into the control unit.
9 – This is the end part if you’ve got the backing plates for the rear handles, simply bolt the backing plates on and re-fit everything you’ve taken off, bar the lock and old backing plate. If you’re using the backing plates from the locked handles the lock needs to be removed from it.
Do this by prising off the U-shape clip on the back of the lock, I did this by using 2 screw drivers, one laced at the end of the U shape, and another levering the clip out from inside the places shown.
Remove everything that will come off, then simply place the backing plate on the edge of a table and tap the back with a hammer until it falls out.
If you have concerns over doing this job (its fiddly) or putting the lock back together to return the car to standard, it may be worth heading back to the scrappy for a de-lock (ie. rear door) backing plate. The type (Vectra/Cav) doesn't matter as they're interchangable.
10 – The backing plate now needs to be modified to take the expanded distance between the screws. You can do this by elongating the screw hole far enough to fit the other bolt through. Trial and error will come into play here.
11 – Then simply refit the backing plate and everything taken out.
I placed the switch from the lock insulating tape so as not to cause any faulty connections. On some models it may be possible to remove this part if the wiring looms altogether at the multiplug in the door, but it can be safely left in the door if suitably secure.
[Edited on 19-02-2005 by Ian]