DISCLAIMER: The information in these documents are a collection from experience (friends or myself), magazine articles, mailing lists and internet web sites etc. So don't take these as 100% correct gospel, hence I don't take any responsibility for any of these guides.
     Difficulty Rating: 3/5 - Preparation is the key.
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Created: 17th April 2001
Updated: 21 April 2002
Revision 2

Click on any of the pics for a larger view.


..and after.
...and after.

..and after.
Use a key fob to open and lock /unlock the doors.

This is a step-by-step guide on removing the door locks on a Vauxhall Nova. The same method can be applied to other Vauxhall cars that have the same type of lock and door handle (i.e. Astra). This modification is usually done to increase the security of a vehicle, as no longer can a screw driver be used to gain entry into the car via the door lock barrel. But this modification will require a portion of the door to be resprayed. So for the benefit of this guide, the door handles were also colour coded as this was at little extra cost.

But once the door(s) are delocked, you can NOT open them unless the car is fitted with central locking AND connected up to an alarm system which can remotely control the central locking. So you can only lock and unlock the car doors via the key fob. Otherwise the only entry point is the tailgate :) So if your car does not have central locking or an alarm, then you need to get these fitted from higher spec models to begin with.

Please note, this is NOT the best method on delocking a car door. But what is shown here is how it can be done simply, at little cost and what is actually involved. The method applies here is to use filler and adhesive to actually cover the door lock hole. Then the door is resprayed.

The best method is to weld a panel behind the door lock hole and use lead to fill up the lock recess. But this is expensive in labour and cost of materials. What is shown here is how to 'delock' the car yourself, and then pay for someone to respray the door. In theory halving the cost of the modification. So what is actually wrong with the method I've shown, you may ask. The use of filler is the main concern. Because with excess vibration, it can crack. The solution is preparation of the surfaces. The use of fibreglass paste reduces the chance of cracking, mainly because there is very little of this going to be used. But filler (P45 or "pug") will have to be used to fill in the small imperfections in the fibreglass (to get that smooth feeling). To date my doors have no sign of cracking (July 2000).

Araldite adhesive Wet & dry paper (400-800) Hand file Sanding block
Strong tape White spirit Backing plate (plastic) Screw driver

Araldite adhesive £14 The cost of a respray wideness heavily, depending on time and materials. The cost of respraying a door can cost anything between £50-£150. Depending on quality of paint and workmanship.
Wet & dry paper (400-800) £3
Sanding block £4+
Spraying door and handle £50+

Just before you start, make sure you note the following:

  • If you've got the Haynes manual for your car, have this is front of you. You'll need it on how to remove the door trim, the lock mechanism and the door handle. Hence I haven't gone into detail on these in this guide.
  • As mentioned before, this is not the best method on delocking your doors. Preparation is vital to stop it all going wrong, so make sure you've scratched the surface enough for it to 'key' and clean the surface before use of any grease, dirt or filings etc.
  • Araldite was used to glue a piece of plastic on the back of the door lock hole. I haven't seen anything this can't stick and hold in place...yet.
  • The Araldite MUST be mixed correctly for it to be affective. Apply it to both sides of the surface to be joined. It takes 24 hours to be fully harden.
  • The backing plate used was a piece of plastic from a ice cream carton (no kidding). Anything can be used so long that is doesn't rot or corrode easily after a period of time. Solid plastic is ideal for this.
  • Use fibreglass if possible to fill up the lock hole recess on the outside. Use thin layers and try and remove all air bubbles. Finally use filler (pug) for the final coat. This process will take a long time to be ultra smooth and in keeping with the surface of the door skin. Take your time on this and always allow enough time for the filler to dry before sanding. Use 400 then 600 and finally 800 grit to get it smooth.
  • When rubbing down the paintwork on the outside, you don't have to go back to the metal work because you are keeping the door the same colour. Just rub the filler down with 400 to 600 grit which will remove just the gloss of the paintwork.
  • To colour code the door handles (optional in this guide), it is ideal to remove them and spray them. They can be prepared and sprayed on the car, but it can be hassle. Rub the handle down with 600 grit paper, just enough to key it. Then apply thin layers of plastic primer. On the last prime coat, rub it down again with 600 grit. Either leave it to the bodyshop or start painting it the same colour as your car, remember to use thin layers all the time. If it runs or you get the orange peel effect, just rub it down again. The final coat can be rubbed down with 800 grit to give that shine effect (100 grit = rough paper, 1000 grit = fine paper).
  • When it's finished, don't slam the door shut really hard for a month or so. You might as well give the fibreglass and filler a chance :)

OK, got all the above? Then follow the steps below (remember to click on the pics for a bigger view):

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
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First you will need to remove all the interior door trim and strip off the water shield plastic sheet to expose the insides of the door. With all the trim removed, locate the back of the door lock barrel. Make sure the window is fully up to gain access. The door lock barrel is kept in place with a simple C clip. Get some pliers and pull it towards the hinge of the car (spray it with WD40 if it's stubborn).

Step 4 Step 5 Step 6
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With the C clip removed, the lock barrel can fall through the hole. But there is a bar that connects it to the lock. Position the lock arm so that the rod can be released. This is very fiddly but it does come out. Once the bar is unclipped from the lock, remove the lock barrel from the door. Also remove the bar from the other end, the lock mechanism

Step 7 Step 8 Step 9
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You now have access to inside of the door. With a file and sand paper, roughen up the surface ready for the adhesive. Carry the procedure outside the door. Just rub down the area of the lock so that the gloss is gone from the paintwork. You don't need to go down to the metal work. Clean the surface of grease and dirt with white sprit. Allow to dry. Cut a small piece of panel to cover the lock barrel hole and key the surface of the panel.

Step 10 Step 11 Step 12
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Apply liberally the adhesive on both the door and the panel. Press the panel on firmly and to keep it in place, tape it down to keep pressure on the panel. On the outside of the door, wipe away excess adhesive. It will take over 24hrs to set completely. When dry, clean the area of grease and dirt with white sprit. Once the area is dry, apply 'thin' layers of filler in the lock barrel recess. Make sure that you remove any air bubbles. Take your time on this and fill it up until it is just proud of the door surface.

Step 13 Step 14 Step 15
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While your waiting for the filler to dry, remove the door handle by unscrewing two bolts up inside the door (see pic). Keep on sanding down the filler until it is completely flush with the door skin. Use 600 to 800 grit for this. Apply more filler if required. Once the door and the handle has been resprayed, fit the door handle back on the door and put the trim back. Job done :)

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